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.
Greetings, everyone! Corey coming at you with our weekly playlist this time, as Chris is off doing way more fun things than this. Meanwhile, I’m on Cape Cod for a wedding this weekend. A cold… rainy… bleak Cape Cod on Memorial Day weekend. Is that also more fun than this? Maybe. And just to pout a little bit, seeing all my friends MDFing this weekend has also brought some nostalgia feels. Oh well. At least I have a fridge full of Tree House to entertain myself with up to and (if I pace myself) through the Champions League Final. Now that’s a tradition on this holiday weekend that I do still very much enjoy and practice. ANYWAY.
Fortunately, even on these dreariest of Saturdays, we have these handful of songs to entertain ourselves with for a spell. This time around, part of the playlist is directly inspired by a very important album announcement from Blind Guardian, something we should all be celebrating. Beyond that, we covered quite the range this week. On the more gothic side of things we have some stuff from The Sisters of Mercy and Chelsea Wolfe, new material from Cavernlight and Behold! The Monolith to pummel you into the ground, and then a few classics from the likes of Entrails and Nasum, and, of course, so so much more. You know what to do. Hit that Play button below, and sit back and enjoy the grey.
Weird random though for the morning: although we’re often nostalgic for things from our youth, sometimes the things from our youth are not things from our youth, you catch me? I don’t know; I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. Maybe it’s the music, so many new albums coming out that capture so succinctly the signatures of the sounds that came before it (*cough* Ghost) I’m caught in a revelry of the past. Don’t fear, though: I won’t let it influence the 222nd edition of the Nine Circles Playlist too much…
…but I will a little, kicking it off with a certain massive popular band who finally went all in on the hard rock/pomp of the 80s (*cough* Ghost). But man, if you haven’t also heard the latest from Drug Church get thee to a computer and rectify that post-haste. Hits the 90s indie hardcore rock so good, and they’re from my old stomping grounds of Albany, NY to boot. Elsewhere Anton brings up Siberia, Vital Spirit, and Autarkh III to get the nasty flowing. Vincent continues to champion site favorite Absent in Body and throws in some new music from Devil Master and Egregore as well as Bootblacks. Josh takes a break from his non-stop listening of Impera to get down with the OTHER site favorite Zeal & Ardor but also manages to make room for Corpsessed, King Dude, and a pair of outlaw country tunes, including the latest from Paul Cauthen. Buke can always be counted on with some choice classic cuts, and he does not fail this week, serving up some vintage KISS and Rainbow, but also hits with new cuts from Rammstein and Deathwhite (there’s some Anvil in there, too). And Angela comes in to remind that if the first quarter of 2022 was already stacked tooth gills with great music, we just got the new Messa, a new single from Conjurer, and the latest from Chelsea Wolfe.
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.
I really like honorable mentions. When people talk about their favorite albums of any given year, I think I am actually more interested in by what *almost* made the cut than what took the number one spot. It’s so interesting to see where the absolutely arbitrary line gets drawn between “the best” and “the still pretty fucking good”. Once again, I find myself truly hashtag blessed to be in another year where there was so much good metal that I couldn’t bring myself to write just one list. As always, just because these are honorable mentions doesn’t mean they’re not worth your time. This list is just a musical amuse bouche before the real thing, but it is nonetheless delicious on its own.