Okay, so I may have only formally reviewed 11 albums by the mid point this year, but that’s one more than I was at last year, so victory! However, that doesn’t count the 30 other albums covered in earlier editions of Nine Circles ov (like the Stoner Metal one, or the promo pile one, or the non-promo pile one) or Second Circle. Not to mention my folders telling me I’ve listened to 151 metal albums so far this year. It’s scratching the surface, I know…but at least there are quantifiable metrics for you to assess whether or not I’ve met my acceptance criteria to mark this feature as Done.
And now that my work life has completely blended into this post, let’s talk about how massive 2022 has been so far. We’re once again turning this edition of Nine Circles ov… into a dozen and I’m even going to throw some bonus mentions into the mix. Are these my absolute favorites of the year? Kind of: I wanted to highlight some albums I haven’t seen a lot of coverage on as well as some definite big guns I really dig so far. So what I’m saying is, here’s a big list of stuff I love. Maybe you’ll love it, too.
Recently I created a new playlist featuring what has fast become my go-to genre when I need to bear down and get some serious groove on: the luscious low-end of stoner rock and metal (Spotify users are welcome to it here; Apple Music users can find it here). Throw some psych elements in and I’m an even happier camper. We don’t feature nearly enough of it her at Nine Circles; all too often the staff are mired in extreme noise and suffocatingly depressive odes to inner turmoil – and that’s perfectly fine…if that’s your thing. Lately it’s not mine; I’d rather get a nasty fuzzed to the heavens riff in my brain accompanied by sweet-ass vocal melodies and anthemic choruses I can shout along to as I air-guitar until my arthritic wrists cry out for reprieve.
So for this edition of Nine Circles ov… let’s highlight some of the boogie down rifftastic stoner and psychedelic rock and metal that’s all the rage in my frontal lobe, shall we?
It’s getting a bit ridiculous, listening to so many great releases so early in the year. I’ve already listened to four albums coming out in the next few weeks that could easily be an AOTY contender…and we haven’t even gotten out of the first month of 2022 yet. And I’m not even talking about the new Earthless record which came just came out – they were my AOTY back in 2018 and damn if Night Parade of One Hundred Demons isn’t currently kicking my ass as I write this, so why not have a preview kick off the 216th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist?
You know who else has a new album album that we never talk about on Nine Circles? Steve Vai. So let’s get one of his new tracks on here, too. And since I don’t want to hog too much of the spotlight (although I threw one of my favorite Opeth tracks in there, too) we’ll start with Anton who is rocking his shiny bald pate to the new Allegaeon as well as Dischordia. Josh has been enraptured with the new Zeal & Ardor (so say we all….jeez it’s phenomenal) but still finds some serious gutter time with Malefic Throne and some classic sludge from Eyehategod. Like me, Vincent is bemoaning the breakup of The Might Mighty Bosstones but manages to find some solace in new music from 40 Watt Sun and Boris, as well as some older music from Elliott and Mitski. Buke gets down in the dirt with Crowbar, Cathedral, and Nile while Ian both confuses and concerns me by injecting some Mac Miller and something called “Getcho Mans” before wrapping up with some Wilderun and Coheed and Cambria bringing Springfield back for “Jessie’s Girl 2”.
Oh, and maybe one more new track for Buke…be seeing you.
In case you didn’t notice, we’re big fans of the new Worm record around these parts.
We’ll kick Friday off with Earthless, who have announced some early 2022 tour dates. Tickets went on sale today for their run of 10 dates that beginning on January 27th in Los Angeles and end February 8th in Phoenix.
Can’t find a way to attend Knotfest Los Angeles? Well, you’re in the luck. The performance will be streamed live, taking place on November 5th, and tickets can be purchased here. As far as Slipknot goes, this is their first ever live stream, and the footage will be available for an additional 72 hours after the show.
Massacre is always the right way to close a week. Side note: I’m only just now appreciating how incredible their logo is. Anyway, check out the gnarly new clip for “Return of the Corpse Grinder” below. The uncensored version was understandably banned from YouTube, but you can peep that here if you feel up to it. Resurgence is out now on Nuclear Blast.