2021 was…. a bit much. We will take each day at a time cautiously in 2022 and try not to spook it. While 2021 brought a hefty amount of unpredictability and chaos, some wonderful things were forged in the turmoil. This was a really great year for music, and I have many albums that I want to shout about from the rooftop, but I am keeping it concise and calling out my Nine Circles nine (we love a good theme). Once again, I am one of the last of the bunch of wonderful writers here to post my year end list as my indecisiveness and overthinking ruined the party again. However, I did participate in the group list (though my albums have shifted a bit…) and also the Best of 2021 Audio Thing (which was a blast).
Here are my top nine personal favorites as well as a list of honorable mentions and non-metal albums that brought me some joy this past year.
So, I don’t think any of us have forgotten that the last, oh I don’t know, eighteen months or so have been something of a nightmare, but I think it is also worth pointing out that California in particular has had a rough go of it in recent memory (as somepeople might be willing to attest to). Shantel Amundson, mastermind behind Illudium, is one of those people who was deeply affected by the conflagration that spread over large chunks of the state that she calls home and draws musical inspiration from, and Ashes of the Womb, the newest release from the dreamy, gloomy trio, reflects upheaval on an environmental and personal level.
The Playlist is BACK baby. Figured I’d take this one since it was my fault we missed the last couple. Hey man, gotta have a day in the sun and sand at least once a year right? Right. Alright then, you know how this works; we pull together a mixtape of jams we’ve been into this week, put it in a playlist, and paste it here for you to enjoy. This week we’ve got new Archspire, Spirit Adrift, Teeth, Eyes of Perdition, Deafheaven, Full of Hell, and Wolves In the Throne Room along with some choice cuts from Fluids, King Woman, Hail Spirit Noir, and True Widow. And that’s just naming a few as there’s several more in this mixtape that is fit for whatever you have going on this Saturday. So, hit the play button below and get your groove on. Or whatever else you want to get on. Your choice. Cheers.
This has been a very bizarre Monday, let me tell ya.
We heard new stuff from Cradle of Filth at the end of last week, so we may as well follow all that up with a new tour announcement. They’ll mark their return to the United States in October with 3Teeth and Once Human. Those shows will include a full performance of the 1998 album Cruelty and the Beast, which is fun.
Thrash collective Mantic Ritual have reunited after a decade-long hiatus, and signed on with M-Theory Audio. It looks like they are preparing a new EP, which we would see sometime before the end of the year. Furthermore, for those left coast friends of mine, you can catch them live on August 26th at Supply & Demand. Dope.
I’ve been impressed with Prophecy Productions releases recently, so let’s close with the new video single from Illudium for “Sempervirens”. That track is taken from Ash of the Womb, which is set for an October 15th release. Pre-orders can be snagged here.