Hello there, online metal community. How you holding up? List fatigue setting in yet? If so sorry: this is in no way going to help. My first year writing for Nine Circles resulted in listening to over 500 albums – I won’t even begin to pretend they all got a fair shake, but they all got at least one listen. The sheer glut of music that passed through my ears was like an awakening, helping me to better understand what it was music did for me, what I needed it to do for me. I found albums that mesmerized on first listen only to fade quickly, and albums I initially dismissed only to find their hooks in me months later, and it’s these surprise revelations that keep me listening, keep me writing, and keep me so engaged with this beast we call metal.
You’d think doing a Top 25 would be sufficient to cover all the bases, but it feels like it doesn’t even make a dent into the great music that sustained me over the course of the year. And so, if you’ll indulge me, here’s an extra 15 albums that warrant honorable mention. Think of them as #26-40 (hey, if Decibel can do it…), in any order you like, though they’re alphabetical below. Let’s dig in… Continue reading