2022: The Year I came back… to writing about music that is. When the year started, I had no plans to write about anything and now I’m writing for Nine Circles. It feels good to write about music again, especially heavy music. Putting together a best of list felt like cramming for an exam, especially since I just started here. There’s excellent albums, not on here, that I purposefully left off because my fellow Nine Circles writers would mention or because they were similar to albums I simply loved more. Here are 15 heavy (and heavy adjacent) albums I loved in 2022 in alphabetical order.Continue reading
We’re going to keep the intro brief on this one. Year after year I struggle to find the words to open this post, where I ostensibly count down my favorite 25 metal albums of the year. Typically the first thing I do is check out the previous year’s entry…read and see if the themes are still relevant, if there’s anything I want to refine or emphasize for the current year. And for the first time, I didn’t find anything worth changing. Yes…I may have finally nailed it with my 2021 Best Of introduction.
By now you’ve (hopefully) read my post talking about nine albums that didn’t make my but could have, and my 15 Honorable Mentions and how the very concept of an honorable mention seems to contradict itself when the music is so good. I would usually say that was all prelude to this, but that’s a lie. You know, and now I do as well. In the end, all we can do is recount the things we love, and hope it inspires something in you.
So if you will, a request: go back and read that intro to 2021. And then check out the albums listed below for this year. Don’t worry about rankings, don’t worry about omissions. Just check out the music, and let it hopefully inspire something in you.
All of these albums did that for me.Continue reading
Look, you know me and my old-school love by now. Would anything other than the new Metallica going to kick off this, the 260th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist? “Lux Æterna” sounds like a band enjoying themselves, playing a lost cover from the past as part of their Garage Days series and I for one am here for it. Plus hot off the presses another killer track from the forthcoming Katatonia? 2023 can’t get here fast enough.
Elsewhere the 9C gang brought it home with some truly neck-breaking metal, including Meristem, Confined and Ultimatum from Josh as well as Panopticon, Pianos Become the Teeth, Pyrithe and – breaking the “P” streak – City of Caterpillar from Vincent. New Guy™ Colin brings the heavy with Moribund Dawn, Anaal Nathrakh, and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard in firm metal mode, while Slightly Older New Guy™ Dan hits us with Heads for the Dead, Boris, Chrome, and Black Dresses. Angela invites you to get dark with Gavran, Chelsea Wolfe and The New Values while in a twist, Anton brings up the rear guard with a pair of killers: Turbid North and Ketha.
Get listening. Stay safe. See you next week.
WordPress is asking me what my two favorite things to wear are. Huh. Never thought about it before.
- Boris dropped a surprise new album today, titled fade, as a way to wrap up their 30th anniversary year. Of course, this follows W and Heavy Rocks, so a 2022 trilogy is complete. Check out the video for “prologue sansaro” here, and be sure to pick up that album for Bandcamp Friday.
- Dutch blackened death metal crew God Dethroned unveiled a new music video for the digital single, “Asmodevs”. This falls right in line with the 30th anniversary of their debut album, The Christhunt. Not a bad way to mark the ocassion.
- Distant revealed details surrounding their third album. Heritage will be out on February 10 through Century Media Records, and a video for a new single, titled “Orphan Of Blight”, is available here.
- The third album from Abysmal Lord is also on the horizon. That one is set for a December 30 drop through Hells Headbangers, and it will be titled Bestiary of Immortal Hunger. Give “Ultra Expulser” a listen here.
- Katatonia revealed a second single from Sky Void of Stars, titled “Austerity”. It’s incredible. Give the video a watch below. As a reminder, that album is set for a January 20 release through Napalm Records. And you can bet that was pre-ordered some time ago.
“Ein Bier… bitte.”
It haunts me. Teases me with brief glimpses and subtle hints of the delight to come. My every waking minute tears my attention in two directions: what is the present will become the past. But for how long? The clock only moves one hour, but what time will this all too-solid flesh remember?
(Yeah…I really am looking forward getting that extra hour of sleep)
Anyway, let’s get going with the 256th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist. I’m not going to burden you with more Darkthrone even though all I’ve been playing is Astral Fortress since it arrived on vinyl here at the compound. Instead we’re going to kick off with some new older school metal, starting with a 1-2 kick to the balls courtesy of Skull Fist and Riot City. Elsewhere we’re rocking with the tangy taste of Dead and Dreaming, …And Oceans, Devil’s Witches, Type O Negative, Mord ‘A’ Stigmata, a massive dose of death courtesy of a 3-way split between Lipoma, Trocar, and Fluids, some Trash Panda, Eyes of Eden, Lacuna Coil, and a host of music at the close to get to know our new writer Dan M. who just joined the 9C ranks.
Get listening. Stay safe. See you next week.