Nine Circles ov…Ian’s Mid-Year Favorites

I’ve really been itching to do a mid-year round-up for a while now, but I have a little bit of reservation about it.  Mostly, I don’t really want to spoil anything for the end of the year, because it’s usually around this time that I find the one or two albums that I KNOW are going to top my December list, and this year feels no different.  You gotta wait if you want the goods, but in the meantime, this edition of Nine Circles ov… is a list, in no particular order, of albums that I have been really enjoying this year.  Some are metal, some are non-metal, some may keep their position until the end of the year and some might end up as honorable mentions, but none of them are the absolute top.  Sorry, no spoilers, but these are still fantastic albums well worth the repeated listens I have given them.

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Nine (or so Heavily Qualified) Circles ov…2022: A Mid-Year Report

voss mid-year report 2022

Okay, so I may have only formally reviewed 11 albums by the mid point this year, but that’s one more than I was at last year, so victory! However, that doesn’t count the 30 other albums covered in earlier editions of Nine Circles ov (like the Stoner Metal one, or the promo pile one, or the non-promo pile one) or Second Circle. Not to mention my folders telling me I’ve listened to 151 metal albums so far this year. It’s scratching the surface, I know…but at least there are quantifiable metrics for you to assess whether or not I’ve met my acceptance criteria to mark this feature as Done.

And now that my work life has completely blended into this post, let’s talk about how massive 2022 has been so far. We’re once again turning this edition of Nine Circles ov… into a dozen and I’m even going to throw some bonus mentions into the mix. Are these my absolute favorites of the year? Kind of: I wanted to highlight some albums I haven’t seen a lot of coverage on as well as some definite big guns I really dig so far. So what I’m saying is, here’s a big list of stuff I love. Maybe you’ll love it, too.

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Nine Circles ov…Vince’s Mid-Year Favorites

Hello. Been a while, hasn’t it? Every year feels like it’s passing us by faster and faster, but the overwhelming amount of things to process this year has already made it impossible to fathom that 2022 is halfway over. If you are curious as to what music has been keeping me grounded for the last six months, now is as good a time as any to check in and see what the standout albums of the year are, as far as one humble author is concerned. Down to business then…

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The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 238 (7.2.2022)

In the United States a lot of folks are celebrating Independence Day, which falls on July 4th. Myself, I’m celebrating a Monday off and an extended weekend in the woods with my family as I contemplate life, the universe, and everything, to crib from a certain Douglas Adams.

Oh, and I’m kicking off this 238th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist with an awesome band I just discovered: Kryptograf. They deal in some crazy psychedelic stoner doom rock straight out of Birmingham 1970 if you catch my drift. Great stuff. I may have also thrown in some vintage Darkthrone because I just got my limited edition white vinyl of A Blaze in the Northern Sky. Elsewhere Anton is repping Pelagic Records hard with tracks from Psychonaut and Hiroe, as well as a new cut from Conan. Vincent brings the madness with new music from Alexisonfire, Pianos Become the Teeth, Gaerea, and another cut from the fantastic new release by Inexorum. Finally Josh is going to wrap it up today with a host of great extreme music, including cuts from Werewolves, Spirit Adrift, Peelingflesh, Mongrel, and the newest single from Bloodbath that is so damn good I bumped it to the top of the playlist.

Get listening. Stay safe. See you next week.

Chris

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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