Greetings everyone, and welcome to Best of 2021 season! News to no one, this year was a flaming bag of feces everywhere else except for the land of metal. We definitely had a pop off valve for releasing all the pent up frustrations in the form of every single kind of metal available and from all across the globe. Bands were bigger, madder, and grander than ever before and made believers out of all of us in one way or another. We’ve already kicked off some Honorable Mentions lists, but before we roll into our individual MAIN lists, we’re kicking the season off with our combined staff list. First a reminder of how this all works…
But, first; this is typically a Tuesday post for the one of you paying attention. However, it’s EOY season so who cares. NOW, like last year and previous years, each member of the Nine Circles staff (well, most of them), chose their nine favorite albums (inclusive of EPs), listed in order, and up to nine honorable mentions. Obviously, branding counts. A scoring system was applied to the rankings. For example, one person’s first place album received 10 points, the second received 9, so on and so forth… and all honorable mentions received 1 point. Then, combining the scores between everyone’s lists, we have ourselves a Nine Circles ov 2021, brought to you by, well, everyone.
We’re keeping the thing we did in previous years, which is: crowning a label of the year, using the same scoring process as above. Clearly the highest honor in the industry. Who claimed this title for 2021? You’ll have to wait until the very end.
Anyway, that’s all simple enough, right? Right. Enough reading, let’s get into it…
7. Deafheaven – Infinite Granite
6. Between The Buried And Me – Colors II
5. Thy Catafalque – Vadak
4. Panopticon – …and again into the light
3. King Woman – Celestial Blues
2. Khemmis – Deceiver
1. Mastodon – Hushed and Grim
And there you have it! Now, let’s run into some fun facts from our lists.
- Between all the participants amongst our staff, we ranked 125 different albums which is one less than last year, but still, DIVERSIFICATION.
- 79 of these appeared in a single list. Again, down from last year from a whopping 90.
- Khemmis appeared in the most lists (5) followed by Mastodon, King Woman, Panopticon, Between the Buried and Me, and Kowloon Walled City (4).
- Only Mastodon and King Woman claimed top spot in multiple lists, (3) and (2) respectively.
- We had so many ties that came down to tiebreaking scores that they’re too many to list in lieu of last year where we had two of these situations.
- Mastodon and Khemmis won first and second place by a point differentiating themselves, King Woman snagged third lagging behind by these two by seven points.
And building off that last point… the Label of the Year for 2021 (officially declared by the fine staff at Nine Circles) is… Relapse Records! Thanks to King Woman for leading that charge. Season of Mist and Nuclear Blast came in a close second and third with Metal Blade Records taking fourth with a gap of 20 points behind Nuclear Blast.
As always, many thanks to the bands, labels, and PR folks for giving us the goods to enjoy and to compile this type of info. And to our staff, THANK YOU and much love, you do indeed keep the wheels turning with exceptional content and a family atmosphere. And of course, to you, dear reader(s), for returning time and time again to see what we have to say. You have no idea how much we appreciate all of you.
That will do it! Thanks everyone for reading, may the Main List EOY festivities begin…