All In: Nine Circles ov 2022 — The Staff’s Combined List

Best of 2022


Greetings! Just when you thought it was finally over, we have one last piece of 2022 content to share with the masses. I’m sure you’ve already gotten a sense of this across our individual lists, but 2022 was a really, REALLY strong year. In nearly every corner of every metal subgenre one quality release emerged after another. Personally, I can’t remember having a harder time picking the best of the best. And spoiler alert: our team stats at the end of this list reflect that. So while the doomsday clock keeps ticking forward, and the world gets increasingly uglier, we can rest assured that metal as an outlet is as strong as ever. So, once again, we’ve rounded up our favorite albums as a writing team and nailed down the top nine albums between all of us. Here’s how it all works…

Like last year (and previous years), each member of the Nine Circles staff (well, most of them), chose their nine favorite albums (inclusive of EPs), listed in order, and up to nine honorable mentions. Obviously, branding counts. A scoring system was applied to the rankings. For example, one person’s first place album received 10 points, the second received 9, and so on and so forth… and all honorable mentions received 1 point. Then, combining the scores across everyone’s lists, we have ourselves a Nine Circles ov 2022, brought to you by, well, everyone. Almost everyone.

Immediately after the break, you’ll find the top albums of 2022 as chosen by the Nine Circles staff, starting with number 9 and working down to number 1 at the end. And again, we also tracked the labels that produced these albums, allowing us to crown a label of the year, using the same scoring process as above. This is clearly the highest honor in the industry, so I’m sure the anticipation couldn’t be higher. Who claimed this title for 2022? You’ll have to wait until the very end to find out.

Simple enough, right? Right. Enough reading, let’s get into it…

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Album Review:  Wailin Storms — “The Silver Snake Unfolds”

A week prior to kicking off a US tour, gothic noise rockers Wailin Storms are coming in hot with their fourth full-length release, The Silver Snake Unfolds.  This album is an incredible addition to the band’s blooming discography.  Each song is diverse and brings something a little different to the table.  Some tracks are moody, dark, and angsty while others are lively, danceable, and, yes, angsty.  I mean… we are talking about a band with a heavy doom influence, so angst is to be expected.  Wailin Storms has a unique signature blend of southern gothic/psychedelic/doom/post-grunge/punk/rock and it shines very brightly in this release.

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Album Review: Inexorum – “Equinox Vigil”

Inexorum have quickly climbed up the ranks of bands I need to keep my eyes on, but it was not always so.  You know how this story goes: someone (usually Vince or Angela) mentions an album they are thrilled about, in this case it was 2020’s Moonlit Navigation, I swear on God I’m going to listen to it, and then I don’t.  It took me far too long to get around to Moonlit Navigation, but when I did it was like a cartoon mallet came down on my head: I couldn’t avoid it if I wanted anymore.  So, I told myself I would make the same mistake twice when the next release came around.  Enter: Equinox Vigil.

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Initial Descent: June 12 – 18, 2022

Denouncement Pyre

By the time you read this I’ll be pushing sand and ocean waves through my toes on my annual ‘get the hell outta dodge for a week’ trip. Fear not, however, as my brothers in metal will be holding down the coffin. Too much? NAH, never too much in the land of all things extreme. You bet your ass I loaded some sweet tunes to jam to whilst beachside and some of which are from this week’s loaded stable of new releases. What exactly might these jams consist of you may ask, well… blackened death metallers Denouncement Pyre are back with a vicious slab of sinewy goodness, Tombs hit that metal of all sorts sweet spot on their all-too-quick EP, Inexorum offer up a delicious dish of black metal, Consecration get the lead out death doom style, and there’s many more in the list that follows to sink your fangs into. Nothing left to do now except to go GET SOME. Happy hunting and we’ll be seeing you here throughout the week. Oh, and yes I will bring you back a good sunburn…

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CANTO: Wailin Storms, White Ward, Living Wreckage, and More

And tomorrow I’m back on the highway. As the great Limp Bizkit would say, “keep rollin’, rollin’, rollin’, rollin’…” And that’s enough of that.

  • DevilDriver are releasing a massive box set through BMG titled Clouds Over California. It will feature vinyl or CD offerings for their debut self-titled album, The Fury Of Our Maker’s Hand, The Last Kind Words, Pray For Villains, and Beast.
  • Significant news emerging from Wailin Storms today. To start, the new full length, The Silver Snake Unfolds, will be out on July 22nd through Gilead Media. Check out “Broken Into Three” over at Brooklyn Vegan. Better yet, they also announced some tour dates in July and August. Get the full scoop here.
  • White Ward unveiled False Light in full, ahead of its June 17th release through Debemur Morti Productions. Give it a listen here.
  • Progressive rock crew Crippled Black Phoenix announced a new album. Banefyre will drop on September 9th through Season of Mist, the first single, “Blackout77”, is available for streaming now.
  • Wrapping up our day, we have the new video from Living Wreckage for “Endless War”. That’s the title track from their debut full length, set for a September 23rd release through M-Theory Audio. There are some familiar names in this project, so it’s definitely worth checking out.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
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