Scholar of the First Sin: Hera’s Best of 2022

Best of 2022

Last year, I supplied a list of 20 albums, thinking that I would be able to shorten to ten by the time list season came around. As it would turn out, even the best-laid plans can be upended, so I am back in EOY list hell.

Welcome to slowly wondering if I was too hasty in writing my lists EOY list season!

You know the drill: there are 20 albums here, and I reviewed some of them. Eps are off the list, which means Epica’s brilliant The Alchemy Project will not be here. With this is mind, this list is divided into four parts, which are as follows:

  • the nebulous, where any of those albums’ placements could be placed anywhere at any time
  • the hypothetical, where the albums’ placements are more concrete, but can also be moved around
  • the theoretical, where the albums’ placements have been solidified
  • the top album of the year. Please start placing your bets.

Also, please note: I submitted a previous list to our benevolent editors, which you’ll see soon. Since then, and even while writing this list, I have made so many changes in placement because I couldn’t decide where they all fit in the grand scheme of things. With this, I now present the fruits of my labor.

Here we go!

Continue reading

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 249 (9.17.2022)

You know what it is. I’m too tired and too hung over to get a more pithy introduction out for the 249th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist, so let’s just get to the music, huh?

A lot of new music out this week, but I keep finding myself drawn back to the latest from Mork, who kill it with their raw, atmospheric black metal. We also have the debut from Sonja finally in our hands, and I may have more to say about that next week, pairing them off with the wicked retro thrash of Transgressive. We also have new music from Lorna Shore, Wolfheart, Trocar, the Anitchrist Imperium, Dream Unending, Woods of Desolation, AWS, Behemoth, and Psychonaut, not to mention a killer classic of post punk from Pink Turns Blue.

Get listening. Stay safe. See you next week.

Chris

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 247 (9.3.2022)

Big week for big releases. I must have listened to that Megadeth album five more times after writing up my maiden voyage with the album for the site. Now it’s been a steady diet of Blind Guardian, King Buffalo and the Motörhead tribute Whitespade from the guy behind Midnight. The heavy is strong this week, indeed.

But it’s not all about me. The team has some massive tracks to share as well, from bands like Goatwhore, Armed for Apocalypse, some true insanity from Fluids, as well as the latest from Devin Townsend, Wolfbrigade, Escarnium, Crippled Black Phoenix and Cloakroom. Throw in the latest single from All Them Witches, a classic track from Siouxsie and the Banshees as well as Pantera, Moonspell and Killswitch Engage and, well…you got yourself this week’s playlist.

Get listening. Stay safe. See you next week.

Chris

CANTO: Machine Head, Saor, Manticore, and More

I almost forgot it’s Saor release week! That’s a very good thing!

  • Speaking of which, Origins was premiered in full today. I had a break in between meetings and was able to check it out. It’s awesome. Can’t wait to get my hands on the vinyl.
  • Looks like we’ve got new Devin Townsend coming! Lightwork will be out through Inside Out Music on October 28th. Pre-order details coming soon, but for now you can check out this tour trailer which offers some sneak peaks.
  • Manticore have set July 15th as the international release date of Endless Scourge of Torment, which will be out through Hells Headbangers. Check out the recently released “Empty Eyes, Hollow Temples” here.
  • I Prevail have announced a massive two-leg tour with Pierce The Veil, Fit For A King, and others this coming September through November. Get the full scoop here.
  • To close out the day with anything other than the new Machine Head track wouldn’t be right, so the video for “Unhalløwed” is immediately below. As a reminder, Øf Kingdøm and Crøwn is out on August 26th via Nuclear Blast Records and Imperium Recordings.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
cmb

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 153 (10.31.2020)

playlist - mixtape

Yep, 10.31. HALLOWEEN. The best day of the year. So, in light of this, we bring you our spooky edition or gore edition or occult edition, all depends on what video is playing at the time. Brother Vince made the call for spooooooooky videos and I was over here with zero power or internet so in lieu of putting him on the last minute spot, you got me. So, what horrors are in store? What wicked tricks do we have? I bring some wicked death metal, King Diamond and Axeslasher, Jon brings some Devin Townsend, Angela brings Ghost B.C. and Misfits (topical, I might add), Ian brings The Mountain Goats (no surprise) and Pallbearer, and Hera brings some Zeal & Ardor. And, we close with two HITS from Two Minutes To Late Night and even though it’s not Christmas, both of these are still tailor made for today, you’ll see. Hit play and go scare up some good times somewhere or just hang in and sync this up with an old favorite horror movie. Either way, enjoy and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

– Josh