Missed Connections: Looking Back on 2021

Best of 2021

Oh hey, you thought lists were all done?  Nope, I’ve got one more in the tank and some more albums to talk about.  I wrote one of these lists last year, amid a flurry of excitement and trepidation that I had missed something truly great, which is kind of a silly thing to worry about now that I think about it.  Of course I did then, and of course I do now.  There just isn’t enough time in the world for me to take every great album in, even in the span of a whole year.  And, not least of all, new bands and new albums are always being thrown my way thanks to the good folks we have on staff.  So, here I sit with some leftovers of 2021, albums that for whatever reason didn’t jump out at me right away but have since found their way into my heart.  Don’t consider these throwaways; they stack up to anything on anyone else’s list, and in fact, many of them WERE on other peoples’ list and that’s what brought them to my attention.  Just consider it a nice bonus present, post-holidays.

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Best of 2021: Angela’s List

Best of 2021

2021 was…. a bit much.  We will take each day at a time cautiously in 2022 and try not to spook it.  While 2021 brought a hefty amount of unpredictability and chaos, some wonderful things were forged in the turmoil.  This was a really great year for music, and I have many albums that I want to shout about from the rooftop, but I am keeping it concise and calling out my Nine Circles nine (we love a good theme).  Once again, I am one of the last of the bunch of wonderful writers here to post my year end list as my indecisiveness and overthinking ruined the party again.  However, I did participate in the group list (though my albums have shifted a bit…) and also the Best of 2021 Audio Thing (which was a blast).

Here are my top nine personal favorites as well as a list of honorable mentions and non-metal albums that brought me some joy this past year.

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All In: Nine Circles ov 2021 — The Staff’s Combined List

Best of 2021

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…

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Best of 2021: Chris’s Honorable Mentions

Best of 2021

It’s the first year I’m at a loss for words. I think I said everything I had to say about lists, and honorable mentions in my 2020 post. It’s really about finding those albums that affected and impacted you, and sharing some sense of why in the hopes they might do the same for someone else. Arguing about what’s missing makes no sense; it wouldn’t change the fact that these 15 records all did something to me to make me include them on this list. Sure, maybe I forgot something, but the fact I forgot it also says something (though it could very likely be saying that my memory is going) – but I tell you what; I’ll make the same agreement with you I always do. Anything you think I might have missed I will listen to again – it might not make my End of Year lists, but it can still make an impact on me, and in the end that’s what’s always the most important.

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The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 193 (8.21.2021)

playlist - mixtape

Good morning and welcome to another Saturday morning mixtape. We’re full to bursting with a bunch of new singles this week, including tracks from two new Gilead Media releases, Succumb, Every Time I Die, and…god this is hard to even type…an Archspire song I really, actually like. I know, it surprised me too. Check all that and more out below.

Vincent