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.
We’re kicking through November, and I’m here with my usual: a steaming cup of coffee in a cup big enough to swim in, and a playlist of all the metal I’ve listened to in 2021 to start sorting out end of year stuff.
It’s a loooong list.
So to make it easier OF COURSE I’m going to kick it off with some Darkthrone. But the rest of the crew is definitely going to bring you to some uncharted corners for Volume 205 of the Nine Circles Playlist. I don’t know who Thangorodrim are, but they’re bringing the dark vibes on their debut. Jon just has a birthday, so he’s letting loose with some faves like Dethklok and Strapping Young Lad. Josh is over the moon over the news that Death Breath are coming back, and The Halo Effect, aka In Flames 2.0 seem to be moving in a good direction with their debut single. Vincent crosses the border into pop with some good good CHVRCHES but quickly hops back over with the long awaited new song from Nechochwen. And Ian closes us out this week with some Spiritbox, Owen, and Coheed and Cambria. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg in this week’s list, so settle in and give your ears a workout.
It got colder. And rainy. And the time changed. Make it stop. But, enough of my discomforts. New metal is why you came and we definitely can oblige with another long list this week: 200 Stab Wounds are coming in hot with their long awaited full length that’s an open love letter to the kind of gory death metal that struck fear in parents back in the day, next up is Dold Vorde Ens Navn with a black metal effort that’s an excellent combination of its members (do your research), then we’ve got an off kilter death metal outing from Vertebra Atlantis, a physical edition of cosmic black metal from Mesarthim, and a whole grab bag more that follows. As usual, something for every taste here so jump in and get some.
The cold weather’s finally kicked in. I’ve got a steaming cup of coffee so big I need two hands to bring its caffeinated goodness to my lips, and I’ve spent the past hour fiddling with parametric EQs to kick my headphones into high gear while listening to newest single by one of my favorite guitarists on this great glob of a world, Wata from Boris. Wherever you are I hope you’re finding some kind of aural and chemical comfort (feel free to pick your own poison; I’ll stick with coffee) right now.
Of course that’s not the only thing we’re blasting in Volume 204 of the Nine Circles Playlist. After thinking they were done Porcupine Tree is back in the saddle and released a new single which feels like Steven Wilson bringing his pop sensibility into the band and the band fighting back, and I love it. Josh brings the filthy death metal with Under the Church and Concrete Winds, while Vincent splits his time between the grace of Alcest and the brutality of Atræ Bilis. Anton revels in the swirling symphonic chaos of Dessiderium, and Buke? Buke is living in the glory his (and my) youth with classics from Twisted Sister, Down, and even some Spinal Tap. Finally, Angela brings it all home with the latest from 9C favorite Emma Ruth Rundle and some new stuff from Monolord. In other words it’s a stacked house, so settle in and enjoy the tunes.