Best of 2021: Josh’s List

Best of 2021

One more year and one more list. AND, I’m in pole position for main lists. How is that possible? Right, who cares… Anywho, 2021 was yet another dumpster fire globally, but personally it’s been a good year, for the most part. The road we’re on with supply chains and inflation has to hit a ceiling soon or dumpster fire won’t even begin to brand what we’ll be facing in 2022. But, before I get too far down the road we’re all too familiar with, ENOUGH of that shit. I’ve had it up to my ass with all of it. Metal, again, had a great year. Some genres fared better than others, as you’ll see in the list below, but overall it was a very good year, as Sinatra once said. All the anger and hatred and frustration pushed artists to a level of creativity, and for some a level of vitriol, we haven’t seen in a long time and I don’t expect that trend to change anytime soon. So, on that point, score.

List season. We all love them for one reason or another and love bitchin’ about them. It’s human nature. With that said, here’s all the albums that meant the most to me throughout 2021 and as usual, I’m in the top nine and nine honorable mentions format because, branding. Jump in and enjoy what made me tick this year.

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The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 207 (11.27.2021)

playlist - mixtape

I have awakened from the deep slumber that can only come from a combination of massive post-Thanksgiving tryptophan dosing and an ill-timed COVID booster to bring you, the discerning public the 207th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist. And it comes on the birthday of the greatest guitarist to ever light his guitar on fire, so of course we have to open with some classic Hendrix.

Once you’ve picked yourself up after that blistering performance of “Killing Floor” we of course have some more the more extreme music for your ripe and eager ears. Prepare to have your mind expanded when you come to the realization that Troy Sanders should sing ALL the songs when Two Minutes to Late Night cover Metallica’s “Blackened.” Then Josh brings the heavy with cuts from Atræ Bilis with whom we just released a killer interview with, Diablation, and Hate. Vincent finally listens to Marriages featuring Emma Ruth Rundle after being reminded of their greatness on our latest AOTM podcast, and sprinkles in some vicious Yellow Eyes and Sun of the Sleepless as well. Anton has gone deep with Transcending Obscurity Records, laying his soul bare to the attack of both The Last of Lucy and Dischordia. Finally I wrap things up with some of the metal I’ve had on repeat lately, including the latest from post-metal crew Daxma, the newest single from supergroup Lock-Up now featuring both Tomas Lindberg and Kevin Sharp on vocals, and the classic trad metal of Tower.

I can’t believe next week is December. End of Year lists edge ever closer. See you next time, hopefully more awake than I am now!

Chris

Second Circle: Withered and Diabolizer

In Dante’s Inferno, the second circle begins the proper punishment of Hell, a place where “no thing gleams.” It is reserved for those overcome with Lust, where carnal appetites hold sway over reason. In Nine Circles, it’s where we do shorter reviews of new (ish) albums that share a common theme.

It’s almost July and we’ve eclipsed the mid point of 2021. It has been one hell of a year thus far in the world of metal and as usual, it has followed the hellish landscape we’ve all been trying to live in, but no news there as music generally follows whatever fresh hell we find ourselves in and rides the anger and angst surrounding it all. We’ve definitely weathered some pre-apocalypse type shit and somehow, the world still turns. So, enough small talk. This edition of Second Circle focuses on the likeminded obliteration of Withered and Diabolizer who both find a way to sever any thoughts of happy endings.

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Initial Descent: June 27 – July 3, 2021

Diabolizer

Much like past new release lists of late, this is another one as packed as I am when readying bourbon for a vacation…or just a weekend away…or, you get the idea. Anyway, Diabolizer kick things off with one of the best examples of ass kickin’, speed demon death metal that I’ve heard all year. ALL. YEAR. Next up, Sewer Fiend get nasty on their all too quick death metal EP that I wish had at least 30 more minutes of runtime, Year of No Light continue to expand post-metal’s limits, and brutal death metallers Anthropophagus Depravity (say that 10 times fast) snap necks and cash checks. I DON’T KNOW, it just came out of my head, sounded good, and here we are. Moving on, the comment section is open so you can flood us with all the shit we missed or need to hear. After all, we’re one site and can’t know or hear them all despite what anyone else tells you. Pop a top, folks.

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The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 187 (6.26.2021)

playlist - mixtape

Saturday. Finally. What a shit week. No matter though as we’re back with our mixtape of stuff we’ve been jamming this week and guaranteed there’s something here that’ll fit whatever you have going on today. We’ve got some newish Sanguisugabogg, fresh Thy Catafalque and tons of Suidakra, a demo track from Crypticus, a slappin’ death metal beast from Diabolizer, Kataan, Withered, and many more. Basically the perfect playlist to massacre some lawns with or light up an early party with, or just…whatever the hell you have on tap. Good times. Let them roll via the play button below.

– Josh