My work is cut out for me this week. Ladies and gentlemen, today the Brothers Martinek™ celebrate a birthday. Which makes this playlist for them. Which means you’re going to get more Mountain Goats and Broken Social Scene and indie sad alt goodness than either you or I expected or intended.
Don’t worry, though. The others are still around with more extreme offerings…although who’s to say which is more extreme in the context of a metal site’s playlist? Bloodbath or My Bloody Valentine? Rotborn or Ride? Anyway, expect that as well as tracks from A Pregnant Light, Blackbraid, Judicator, Holy Fawn, Cloudrat, Black Anvil, Whitespade, Psionic Madness, Spitpool, Lamentations, as well as a slew of other tracks to kick your weekend off right.
We’re doing something a little different for this, our 240th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist. Around the 9C offices the jibberjab has been about mid-year favorites (maybe you’ve read a few of ourposts), and so I decided to ask each of the folks on staff to supply me with a track from their favorite metal (or metal adjacent) album this year.
I’m not gonna say who picked what, but I can say all of these choices righteously rock. And there was one album that was a three-way tie among the staff (what can I say, Corey, Josh and I have excellent – and similar – taste) so in instances of duplicates we let one person pick the track and the others would choose from their second favorite album. So settle in and crank it LOUD, and enjoy some of the best music to come out so far in 2022, including cuts from Saor, Pyrithe, Zeal & Ardor, A Pregnant Light, Nite, Kreator, Wilderun, Tzompantli and a bunch more…
Welcome back to your regularly scheduled Nine Circles Playlist. The 232nd, in fact. And the metal has been flowing here at 9C. Some really strong music coming out lately, both from heavy hitters like Cave In and Blut Aus Nord as well as some smaller but really killer bands like Predatory Light and Kvaen, who I just got turned onto thanks to the awesome staff here at Nine Circles. So let’s kick it off with some of that and then get to the crew.
Have you been knocked to the floor yet? If so, pick yourself back up, because Anton’s back and he’s got new music coming from Warforged, Greylotus, and Inanna. Then Josh barrels into the room (careful not to spill a drop of his choice bourbon) with Tombs covering Motörhead, Abaddon Incarnate, Dismorphic Demiurge, Periphery, and some killer new cuts from Wormrot. Next up it’s Vincent over the moon with news that Imperial Triumphant is back with new music. He’s also bringing the variety with Cocteau Twins, new Nechochwen, A Pregnant Light and some Martyrdöd – I just picked this up on vinyl and it is indeed vicious. Buke alternates between old and new with some classic Rainbow, Amon Amarth,Sanctuary, and Opeth before following it up with some new music from Master Boot Record. Finally Angela makes sure we all go home satisfied with some Alexisonfire, Sowulo, and Ethel Cain.
So now that two full weeks of 2022 are in the books, how have our outlooks changed? For the better, I hope? Alas, that’s definitely not the case for me, as pessimism continue to reign… but hey, music helps with all that so it’s cool.
For what it’s worth, I once again contributed nothing to this week’s collection. I haven’t personally been listening to much, primarily because my external hard drive failed and it seems those files, including all my music and photos, are gone forever. So, also once again, I am immensely grateful for the tremendous playlist pieced together by our team, with a couple of fun surprises in there. Wilderun rightfully made a presence after the release of the incredible Epigone, and then we dropped in some new stuff from Sylvaine and Konvent, among many others. As always, the older stuff is all over the map, and there are just enough non-metal adds to keep things interesting… but I’m not going to spoil any of that. You’ll just have to dive in when you have a little bit of time to kill.
For me? Well, here in the mountains of New Hampshire the high tomorrow will be exactly 1 degree. As a result, the first half of my weekend will be spent backing up whatever remaining files I can find across my devices, drinking at least a bottle of rye, and listening to this playlist throughout. Enjoy the weekend folks, and see ya on the other side.
Don’t call it a comeback. I’ve been here for years.
2021 did force me to put my writing here on pause for a while. Between the very good and the very bad it was a wild pendulum of a year, and at some point I found myself unable to keep up with all of it. I took time away, as I have been want to do lately. And for the first time in a long time, I feel like that time away really did me some good. I’m not just back here writing a year-end list because I feel like I have to in order to earn my keep, I’m doing it because I feel like I have things to say about the music I loved this year. Because there was a lot to love, and because I managed, somewhere along the way, to find that love again after feeling like it had been fading for the last few years. Between long train rides with old favorites and early mornings with coffee and brand new discoveries, I felt that connection between me and the music I love slowly flowing back. I feel hopeful that that connection will allow me to be able to share more with you all about what it is that makes me light up.
But then, I suppose I should talk about what made that happen for me in 2021, right?