Best of 2022: Zyklonius’s List

Best of 2022

Huzzah, good riddance to another weird year, not only on both personal and professional fronts which basically prevented me from engaging in music writing, but also in terms of metal itself. Weird in the sense that multiple previous EOY luminaries released albums that failed to resonate, while bands that had not clicked for me on earlier albums decided to surprise me. Amidst all the oddity, there was thankfully a degree of cosmic justice and continuing reliability, as old favorites released their best work to date while relative newcomers delivered on the promises and potential for greatness that were teased on their initial releases. Without further ado, here are my 15 favorite metal albums of 2022.

Continue reading

Scholar of the First Sin: Hera’s Best of 2022

Best of 2022

Last year, I supplied a list of 20 albums, thinking that I would be able to shorten to ten by the time list season came around. As it would turn out, even the best-laid plans can be upended, so I am back in EOY list hell.

Welcome to slowly wondering if I was too hasty in writing my lists EOY list season!

You know the drill: there are 20 albums here, and I reviewed some of them. Eps are off the list, which means Epica’s brilliant The Alchemy Project will not be here. With this is mind, this list is divided into four parts, which are as follows:

  • the nebulous, where any of those albums’ placements could be placed anywhere at any time
  • the hypothetical, where the albums’ placements are more concrete, but can also be moved around
  • the theoretical, where the albums’ placements have been solidified
  • the top album of the year. Please start placing your bets.

Also, please note: I submitted a previous list to our benevolent editors, which you’ll see soon. Since then, and even while writing this list, I have made so many changes in placement because I couldn’t decide where they all fit in the grand scheme of things. With this, I now present the fruits of my labor.

Here we go!

Continue reading

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 250 (9.24.2022)

Well whaddaya know? We made it to 250. This is the 250th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist and since it’s our party we’ll invite who want to, you know?

So you’re gonna hear stuff like the new Venom, Inc. which is killing anything Cronos might be doing (although thanks for releasing the In Nominee Satanas set on CD) and Gaerea who just released a killer new record, as did the noise kings KEN mode. But that’s not all! How about some vicious preview tracks from the likes of Autopsy and Scars of the Flesh? Or maybe you’re feeling like it’s an indie weekend? We got you some older tunes by Pianos Becomes the Teeth and Catherine Wheel to soundtrack your vibe. Lest you turn away there’s still plenty of heavy to be had with music from Ashen, Aenaon, Ultar, and a bevy of classic metal tracks to close things out from the likes of DBC, Sodom, Morbid Angel and Vader.

Get listening. Stay safe. See you next week.

Chris

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 248 (9.10.2022)

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.

Get listening. Stay safe. See you next week.

Chris

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 237 (6.25.2022)

“But wait, Chris! What happened to Episode 236 of the Nine Circles Playlist?!”

Sometimes playlists are just too wild to be contained on the webpage of a humble music blog. Even now, if you listen closely between the high pitched whine of the street lamps you can hear the fading tremolo picking and blast beats of a runaway playlist, foraging on the remains of boy bands (rest in peace, BTS) and the tattered remnants of forgotten 00s dub step. If you love something, set it free…but if you simply forget to post something at least make the story fun.

Anyway, let’s talk about the much more present edition, which is literally below for you to relish with your favorite accoutrements. Josh is kicking it off with the latest from Megadeth…maybe the best song they’ve done in 15 years or more. And if that doesn’t rock your world, the new Krisiun is even more brutal. Followed with a hefty dose of Lorna Shore you should be off to a great start. Anton gleefully shoves some Antigama, Aenaon, and Xenoglyph to ensure you have 100% of your extreme intake complete. Vincent gets a massive track from Scarcity on and is slowly fulfilling an unspoken promise to feature every track from Bloc Party‘s debut in the playlist. Hera fuels my nightmares with something called AWS which I am assured is not Amazon Web Services…unless it is? She also has White Ward, Apocalyptica, Leprous, and a great collaboration between Trent Reznor and Danny Elfman. Ian brings in some great new music from the likes of Wake, Saor, and Russian Circles, as well as a classic banger from Alexisonfire to celebrate the release of their new album. Finally Angela returns as a voice of calm and serenity, giving us soothing lullabies from the likes of Deathwhite, Silent Majority, Stay Inside, and Aptera, which I’ve also been enjoying immensely.

As for me? I’ll end the playlist this week with a few tracks you can expect to see me review in the coming weeks.

Get listening. Stay safe. See you next week.

Chris