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…Continue reading
Best of 2022: Chris’s List
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.
All of these albums did that for me.Continue reading
Album Review: Inhuman Condition — “Fearsick”
Believe it or not, there was a time when death metal didn’t have 2,060 different strains and most of it came from a select few geographical areas. For those of us that recall and/or experienced that time knows that while the genre was death metal, the Floridian strain particularly was a shit ton of fun to listen to because of its simplicity, groove, seriously thick bottom end, and very memorable tracks; the music served the songs and the songs served the music. When Inhuman Condition released their debut Rat God last year, it was clear THEY remembered and consequently put out one of the best straight ahead, no frills death metal albums of 2021 and it was of the Floridian strain which hasn’t been very successfully trodden in years. And now with Fearsick, they pile on with sicker riffs, heavier groove, and some serious swamp ass attitude. You may decide to flip the page now since you know where my head’s at on this one, and that’s ok, but I’m sticking to my guns and confident at least one of you will soldier on (thanks mom).Continue reading
Initial Descent: July 10 – 16, 2022
Plenty to say here, but everyone that knows me has already heard it and you came here for new metal so, I’ll sum it up in three statements: Be quiet unless you truly have something to add. Be a rock. Don’t be a dick. Simple right? Ha, you’d think. Anywho, new metal Monday is upon us and hot damn we’ve got some treats in store this week starting with a couple of killer death metal albums from Inhuman Condition and Molder, next up is a long awaited grind return from Antigama, progressive metal from Anova Skyway, and a ton more in the list that follows. As usual, plenty here to hit anyone’s funny bone so dig in and we’ll be seeing you here throughout the week.Continue reading
The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 235 (6.11.2022)
Get ready folks…more sax-infused metal coming your way whether you want it or not. Some folks are sick of it, some folks love it…either way, you’re probably not going to be able to escape it. Just recently I’ve had the skronk of a reed instrument accompanying the likes of the latest from Imperial Triumphant (featuring Kenny G no less), a massive opener from the forthcoming White Ward album, and hot off the presses the new single from staff favorites KEN mode which absolutely slays. In other words, just another day for the 235th Nine Circles Playlist.
Elsewhere the 9C crew leave the orchestra instruments behind for some gnarled metal. Josh whips up a frenzy with new tracks from Hammer King, Inhuman Condition, Soreption, and some classic Slayer. Anton ups there ante with Aara, Panzerfaust, and High Castle Teleorkestra. Ian only brings one track to the playlist this week but it’s a whopper…if you’ve never heard the theme song from Home Improvement masked with the vocals of David Lee Roth, well…I welcome you to the insanity of Neil Cicierega. After mellowing things out a bit with some Elliot Smith, Vincent hits us with some Lantlôs and The Black Atlantic. Finally Angela closes the list with new music from Wake, recent Dopelord and Windhand.
Get listening. Stay safe. See you next week.