Best of 2022: Corey’s List

Best of 2022


That, my friends, was a fucking ride.

Honestly, where do I even begin in recapping the year that was? Of course, all the global issues I lamented about at the end of last year are only getting worse, with a few new additions to the pile just for fucking fun. So to quickly catch everyone up, that doomsday clock is most definitely still ticking! But let’s narrow the scope a bit and make this all about me. That’s what we’re all really here for, right?

I’ll repeat: 2022 was a fucking ride. Challenges existed in seemingly every aspect of life in 2022 — perpetually dumb family drama, a complete collapse of job security (a situation that seems to be resolving itself, thankfully), an unexpected and subsequently chaotic move from the ocean to the mountains that has now been in process for four consecutive months (an overall positive development, but a challenge nonetheless), and, of course, the fact that costs are continuing to greatly outpace wages so being alive has become a massive financial burden on my life. You read that right. Yet, at the same time, 2022 was one of my best years. I can finally say I live among the mountains, even if that dust is still far from settling. I ran the Berlin Marathon and followed it up with a few days in Munich and Oktoberfest, two major bucket list items checked off. I photographed some of my favorite bands (twice, in the case of The Ocean), and had the privilege of shooting The Metal Tour of the Year, by far the largest show I’ve been fortunate enough to cover. And then, of course, Wyoming. A week of backpacking and exploring Yellowstone, followed by the return of Fire In The Mountains in the Tetons (the greatest festival on Earth, and one I am proud to say I was able to photograph as well) was probably the greatest single adventure I’ve experienced as an adult. The entire trip was a dream come true. So, yes, 2022 had its ups and downs, but when I look back on the year that was, it will be hard to do so with a negative perspective. And now that I’ve highlighted the last year of my life in a few sentences, let’s talk metal!

This was, without a doubt, the toughest EOY list I’ve ever had to assemble. I changed the order of my favorite albums dozens and dozens of times over the past couple of months. The difference between my favorite album and, say, my fifth favorite album is razor thin, and any of them could have ended at the top of this list. It was a great year, but when all was said and done, there was one that captivated me just a little more than the rest. Let’s stop the rambling here and finally get into it…

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Best of 2022: Josh’s List

Best of 2022

I had this enormous amount of words set to open this thing but opted for… not that. We’ve all lived through another year so there’s no need to reiterate. Instead, I’ll say that 2022 was great for me. It’ll be one of those years I’ll look back on as one that changed things for the better and I’ll have extremely fond memories of it for reasons I can’t mention here. But, I’ll also look back on it as a tremendous year for metal. And it doesn’t matter what strain you dig as pretty much all of it had a banner year. I know it seems like we’re a broken record saying that every year, but 2022 was damn strong. If you don’t feel the same, please rewind and revisit and get back to me. Otherwise, welcome to all the things that made a huge difference for me throughout the year and what was my 2022 soundtrack, what made the biggest impact…whatever, you get the idea. This list of 18…, wait…you ask “why 18?” Well, branding of course. We’re Nine Circles so you’ll get my top 9 and my 9 honorable mentions… and a few special mentions. 9C, as it was. So, let’s do it…

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Nine Circles ov…What Didn’t Make My 2022 End of Year List…(But Could Have)


We’re back, exactly 365 days from the last time I kicked off my run of End of Year tomfoolery. And I’m not gonna lie: this year the wear of listening to and giving time, consideration, and word to so many albums is taking more than a little toll. At 40 years and counting of being obsessed with music I can still feel the flush of discovering something new, but I think I’m quicker to make the call on whether I’ll continue to listen to something or not. And I admit the pull of the nostalgic, the familiar, the comfort is stronger than it’s ever been.

That hasn’t stopped me from finding joy from a lot of records: You’re still getting altogether a list of 40 albums – my “official” Top 25 ranked list and an Honorable Mention list of 15 other albums in alphabetical order (if Decibel can list 40 than so can I). And just like in years past I’ve tacked on an additional nine albums that didn’t make my lists for various reasons, but I still love and want to put on your radar. The reasons why are fickle and unique, and time being the great equalizer means these omissions may come back to haunt me…lord knows they have in the past. That’s the great thing about lists – they’re snapshots of a moment and never written in stone. Well, maybe one list was, but these are far from commandments. They’re just more great albums to get excited about.

Once more into the breach. Forget labels. Forget hype and marketing. Take a look (better yet, take a listen) to this edition of Nine Circles ov… and see what didn’t make my list for 2022…but could have.

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The Nine Circles Audio Thing: Goatwhore was October 2022’s Album of the Month!

Album of the Month time again and for October the winner was Goatwhore’s eighth album Angels Hung From The Arches Of Heaven. The usual gang of suspects join in along with our main man on the mic Buke leading the charge. The gang spends time covering how bad ass this album is as well as the band’s past and their road to the present. Elsewhere, the gang spends a good portion of the runtime gushing over everything else they listened to since they last spoke. That and the usual banter back and forth on literally anything and everything.

In other words, just another episode of the Nine Circles Audio Thing.

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The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 253 (10.15.2022)

For the last five days I’ve been trapped, sequestered in this tiny 9’X12′ space not because I’m sick, but because I’m the only one not sick. After more than two and half years my entire family have fallen ill to the COVID, and I attribute my still (reasonably) healthy body to the massive amounts of metal sliding into my brain pan. May this, the 253rd edition of the Nine Circles Playlist, keep you free from illness as well.1

We’re kicking things off with some Rhythm of Fear, whose brand of thrash has my old man bones quaking with nostalgic joy. From there we have a cut from the recent EP by Asarhaddon which hits that atmospheric black metal button I thought I had tucked away for a while now. Elsewhere the crew is pushing some great stuff, including new cuts from a slew of great bands, including Lamentations, Lost in Kiev, Exhumed, Distant, A Pregnant Light, Woods of Desolation, Envy, and frickin’ Blink-182, which is a big ol’ blast of fun. There’s even more surprises in store, but I don’t want to give away the whole store, you know?

Get listening. Stay safe. See you next week.

Chris

1 Listening to copious amounts of metal shouldn’t be the only thing used in the fight against disease. Use your brain, get vaccinated, and maybe wash those hands a little more often, ya filthy animals.