Rainbows in the Dark: Ian’s Best of 2022

Best of 2022

Wow, it really has been a while since I’ve visited this column, huh?  Things got really busy really fast over here, and it’s kinda hard to sit and write two articles a week when life is finally starting to pick up.  However, the tunes did not stop this year, and some of my favorite and most anticipated releases this year were from more than just the metal world.  It’s my pleasure to bring you another year of the best of all things metal-adjacent and non-metal.  Any of these albums can stand up to the world of buzzsaw guitars, blast beats and screamed vocals.  Maybe not in terms of sheer force, but in terms of emotional depth and good times, absolutely.  Without further ado, here we go:

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The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 252 (10.8.2022)

The weather’s turning colder, which means it’s time to wear a sweater…and jump into some extremity. Let’s not mince words and instead jump right into the 252nd edition of the Nine Circles Playlist.

We’re starting with new music from Ritual Dictates and Blind Illusion, and the the crew takes over with new Ingested, Ripped to Shreds and Mord’A’Stigmata. We also turn the volume down a bit with Touche Amore and Lantlôs before ramping it back up with Glassing and a whole bunch more.

Get listening. Stay safe. See you next week.

Chris

Nine Circles ov…Ian’s Mid-Year Favorites

I’ve really been itching to do a mid-year round-up for a while now, but I have a little bit of reservation about it.  Mostly, I don’t really want to spoil anything for the end of the year, because it’s usually around this time that I find the one or two albums that I KNOW are going to top my December list, and this year feels no different.  You gotta wait if you want the goods, but in the meantime, this edition of Nine Circles ov… is a list, in no particular order, of albums that I have been really enjoying this year.  Some are metal, some are non-metal, some may keep their position until the end of the year and some might end up as honorable mentions, but none of them are the absolute top.  Sorry, no spoilers, but these are still fantastic albums well worth the repeated listens I have given them.

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Rainbows in the Dark: Cremation Lily — “Dreams Drenched in Static”

Sleep doesn’t come easily for me.  It never has.  Since I was a kid, I’ve always had problems getting to sleep and staying asleep.  It’s a very rare night that I don’t wake up sometime between one and three in the morning with my thoughts racing out of control, and once that happens the only thing I can do is let them run their course, whatever that may be.  Zen Zsigo, the visionary behind Cremation Lily, also seems to suffer from the same problems, only he channels it into good use on the latest from the ambient, gazey project, Dreams Drenched in Static.

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The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 226 (4.09.2022)

playlist - mixtape

Dear Diary,

Today I was this many years old when I found out Hällas released a new album, so we’re kicking off the 226th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist with a track from the incredible Isle of Wisdom, followed by some righteous early 70s proto-metal I’ve been playing nonstop the past few days.

Lest you think it’s nothing but underground and garage rock from before you were born, the loyal 9C staff have you covered with the more extreme stuff. Aton kicks us off with some new Werewolves, Autarkh III, and Enphin. Josh and I have been gushing over the latest from Wo Fat, so here’s a dose of what to expect when their new album explodes, as well as tracks from Demonical, Tenebro, Lord Belial, Hurakan, and a Motörhead classic. Vincent goes for the outer reaches with some Cremation Lily, The Callous Daoboys, Egregore, and a killer live cut from site favorite Kowloon Walled City. Buke goes decidedly old school with Manowar, Demilich, Sepultura, Darkthrone, and MSG. Finally Angela brings the proceedings to a close with the new single from Astronoid and tracks from Vattnet and Soft Kill, followed by a KILLER old cut from Thou. Really…we should have more Thou in our lives.

Get listening. Stay safe. See you next week.

Chris