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.
Good morning and welcome to another Nine Circles mixtape. This time around, we’ve got an excellent new collaboration between Converge and Chelsea Wolfe, Der Weg Einer Freiheit in 360 degrees, Capra live from Knotfest, and a killer audio/visual experience from Archspire. All that and more down below.
And then we’ll hop over to Converge, who have announced a new collaborative album, Bloodmoon: 1. That project will feature the likes of Chelsea Wolfe, Ben Chisholm, and Stephen Brodsky, which is awesome. That’s also a November 19th release, through Epitaph Records. Check out the lead track, “Blood Moon”, right here.
Swallow the Sun have announced a U.S. tour scheduled for this coming November and December. Support will be in the form of Abigail Williams and Wilderun, but unfortunately there are no dates near me. That said, this is an awesome bill and you should all go.
Extinction A.D. have signed on with Unique Leader, and have announced a new EP titled Chaos, Collusion, Carnage & Propaganda. That will be out on November 5th, and you can stream “Chaos” immediately below.
Last playlist of January and even though it’s a little late, there’s still plenty of time to rip your favorite beverage and jam. I mean, what the hell else you got to do?! Anyway, this week’s edition is stacked with stuff we’ve been digging this week; I’ve got the new Empyrium and 16, Vince has Amulets and Laster, Zyklonius has the new Stortregn, Angela has a cut from Heilung and the new Chelsea/ERR track, Ian brings new Genghis Tron and Tribulation, and Didrik drops new Soen and a pick from Baulds Draumar. All that and so much more behind the play button below. So, drink, listen, and be merry.