It haunts me. Teases me with brief glimpses and subtle hints of the delight to come. My every waking minute tears my attention in two directions: what is the present will become the past. But for how long? The clock only moves one hour, but what time will this all too-solid flesh remember?
(Yeah…I really am looking forward getting that extra hour of sleep)
Anyway, let’s get going with the 256th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist. I’m not going to burden you with more Darkthrone even though all I’ve been playing is Astral Fortress since it arrived on vinyl here at the compound. Instead we’re going to kick off with some new older school metal, starting with a 1-2 kick to the balls courtesy of Skull Fist and Riot City. Elsewhere we’re rocking with the tangy taste of Dead and Dreaming, …And Oceans, Devil’s Witches, Type O Negative, Mord ‘A’ Stigmata, a massive dose of death courtesy of a 3-way split between Lipoma, Trocar, and Fluids, some Trash Panda, Eyes of Eden, Lacuna Coil, and a host of music at the close to get to know our new writer Dan M. who just joined the 9C ranks.
Oh hey, you thought lists were all done? Nope, I’ve got one more in the tank and some more albums to talk about. I wrote one of these lists last year, amid a flurry of excitement and trepidation that I had missed something truly great, which is kind of a silly thing to worry about now that I think about it. Of course I did then, and of course I do now. There just isn’t enough time in the world for me to take every great album in, even in the span of a whole year. And, not least of all, new bands and new albums are always being thrown my way thanks to the good folks we have on staff. So, here I sit with some leftovers of 2021, albums that for whatever reason didn’t jump out at me right away but have since found their way into my heart. Don’t consider these throwaways; they stack up to anything on anyone else’s list, and in fact, many of them WERE on other peoples’ list and that’s what brought them to my attention. Just consider it a nice bonus present, post-holidays.
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.
Welcome to the future, everyone. I spent the last day of 2021 applying beauty masks and drinking champagne with my wife and son because you know what? That shit felt NICE. Even the boy admitted it it was cool, although I suspect his favorite part was the horror of peeling the mask off like dead skin. Yes, we had Slayer playing in the background…couldn’t resist.
To kick off 2022 and the 212th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist I put on my metal playlist and hit random to see what came out, so you’re getting the year off to a brutal start with some Unanimated and Chapel of Disease, as well as some classic Katatonia. Josh comes into the year guns blazing with some Wommbath, Barghest, and Everclear before finishing up with the ripping live Corrosion of Conformity. Vincent changes the mood a bit with The Hotelier, Alcest, and King Woman before Jon comes out of the snow to go full tech death, blasting some new Allegaeon, Spawn of Possession, and Archspire. Anton continues to play the left field choices, bringing in some choice cuts from his AOTY band Code as well as tracks from Eschatos and Fleshvessel. Bringing up the rearguard this time is Buke, and as awakes he’s ready with the classic of the genre, from Ahab, Death, Manowar, Saviours, and even a little Trivium.
That’s it. We’re officially in the new year. Let’s see if we can make it better than the last two, huh?
I am the Scholar of the First Sin, and I have insight to give.
Last year, my list was short and to the point, as I spent more time listening to music that gave me respite and comfort than to new releases. This meant that, once I had more time on my hands, I was finally able to go out and see what I had missed. The fact that I can’t include Dark Tranquility’s Moment, an album that deserves more attention, on this list because it came out last year fucking kills me.
Despite the Omicron variant (at this time) destroying all hope for a small sense of normalcy, 2021 was an absolutely fantastic year for music. After many bands either couldn’t tour because of the onset of the pandemic or postponed a lot of their releases, this year provided us with new music, which meant that a lot of vetting had to happen in order for me to make this list. After graduation, I suddenly had more time than I ever had to do with and decided to dive deep into what I had been ignoring for the better part of five months.