We’re going to keep the intro brief on this one. Year after year I struggle to find the words to open this post, where I ostensibly count down my favorite 25 metal albums of the year. Typically the first thing I do is check out the previous year’s entry…read and see if the themes are still relevant, if there’s anything I want to refine or emphasize for the current year. And for the first time, I didn’t find anything worth changing. Yes…I may have finally nailed it with my 2021 Best Of introduction.
By now you’ve (hopefully) read my post talking about nine albums that didn’t make my but could have, and my 15 Honorable Mentions and how the very concept of an honorable mention seems to contradict itself when the music is so good. I would usually say that was all prelude to this, but that’s a lie. You know, and now I do as well. In the end, all we can do is recount the things we love, and hope it inspires something in you.
So if you will, a request: go back and read that intro to 2021. And then check out the albums listed below for this year. Don’t worry about rankings, don’t worry about omissions. Just check out the music, and let it hopefully inspire something in you.
What can I say? Sometimes it’s not that the promo pile is brimming over with releases and you miss out on a few things, sometimes you just get so caught up you simply forget. You miss the signs that something you’ve been waiting for forever slips by (ahem, *Hällas*) or that one album your friend has been telling you is damn good and you need to hear it and…you don’t. Sometimes a band you love just ups and sneaks one past you without a word.
And sometimes…sometimes children…you don’t get a promo at all.
We’re not complaining; we’re a small site and we do this for the simplest of reasons, and whether or not that also happens to feed the vicious masochistic streak hiding below our tender skins well, so be it. So for this edition of Nine Circles ov… let’s check out a few that got away.
Today I was this many years old when I found out Hällas released a new album, so we’re kicking off the 226th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist with a track from the incredible Isle of Wisdom, followed by some righteous early 70s proto-metal I’ve been playing nonstop the past few days.
Lest you think it’s nothing but underground and garage rock from before you were born, the loyal 9C staff have you covered with the more extreme stuff. Aton kicks us off with some new Werewolves, Autarkh III, and Enphin. Josh and I have been gushing over the latest from Wo Fat, so here’s a dose of what to expect when their new album explodes, as well as tracks from Demonical, Tenebro, Lord Belial, Hurakan, and a Motörhead classic. Vincent goes for the outer reaches with some Cremation Lily, The Callous Daoboys, Egregore, and a killer live cut from site favorite Kowloon Walled City. Buke goes decidedly old school with Manowar, Demilich, Sepultura, Darkthrone, and MSG. Finally Angela brings the proceedings to a close with the new single from Astronoid and tracks from Vattnet and Soft Kill, followed by a KILLER old cut from Thou. Really…we should have more Thou in our lives.