This is my first year writing up an honorable mentions list. I really struggled narrowing things down this year (well, I struggle every year) and thought instead of cutting out albums that deserve praise, I would make an additional list. This list is not ranked and because it contains artists that I admire, I also wrote up many of the full-length reviews for these. I have included albums that may not be 100% metal but contain metal elements and are on the heavier side. I also wanted to bring some attention to albums that my lovely colleagues here may not be writing about so we continue our diverse listings. I love that the 9C fam has varying musical tastes and we respect everyone’s opinions. EOY time is our favorite and the lists keep rolling out. Check them out here. This list is very much an Angela list (spoiler alert – a lot of doom and a lot of femme power) and I hope others also enjoy and check out these wonderful artists.
Another day, another dollar, another death…I just came back from a wake, poured myself a whiskey and left the bottle nearby even though I know it’s going to kill my numbers tomorrow (hello diabetes my old friend) and turned the music up. In other words I’m feeling the crush of life a little more than usual tonight, and that means the music needs to be loud. Loud and unapologetic in its intent. So whether that’s some classic Venom to kick off the 223rd edition of the Nine Circles Playlist or new music from blackened trad metal powerhouse Nite which I’ve been playing nonstop the last few weeks, it’s going to have to work overtime to get the job done.
As always there’s a lot more on deck to satisfy all metal cravings. Anton once again gets the early ticket with tracks from Defect Designer, Au-Dessus, and Sum of R. Josh comes in hot with what has become one of my most anticipated albums of the year in the form of the new Cave In, but he follows it up with some equally devastating music in the form of new music from Dead Register (back after far too long), Wormrot (JFC!) and a banging classic from The Red Chord. Leave it to Vincent to brings things to a darker, warmer place as he spins some Midwife, Ulver (you can never have too much Ulver), Orville Peck, and a double dose of Alexisonfire. Angela gets on a roll this week with a ton of new music, including Darkher, Konvent, Corpsegrinder, Holy Fawn and a little something from Jonathan Hultén. And finally Buke races in with some killer picks. He’s got Carpenter Brut right up front, and tags it with some new music from Witchcraft’s Magnus Pelander. Man, I wish I had some new rockin’ Witchcraft but I’ll take this…for now. Buke also throws in some classic Nailbomb, some killer neo old school metal with Merciless Law, and some tight new trad metal courtesy of Greyhawk.
Thank whatever gods you lay your oblations to, because if we were basing the 218th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist solely on my recent listening history, it would be nothing but the new Zeal & Ardor. I wrote two reviews this week for Nine Circles – for two excellentalbums – but the new self-titled release by Manuel Gagneux is something for the ages. For form’s sake I also added new tracks by ViciousKnights and All Them Witches so not to seem too biased.
But that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Anton wants to make sure everyones gets in on Cailleach Calling, Tomarum and Gloson. Josh is going in hard with the latest from Midnight, Kreator and Dark Funeral, but then turns around and reminds you that Blue Murder was a kickass band back in the day. Vincent rolls out some Rolo Tomassi for the second week in a row, sprinkles in some Holy Fawn and ends on another recurring track with some Mitski. Angela can always be counted on to bring something fresh to the proceedings, and she doesn’t disappoint with tracks from Konvent, Greet Death, and the great collaborative album from Pijn and Conjurer. Finally, Buke roars in with some new Mortuary Drape, Vio-lence, Vanum, and Walg.
So now that two full weeks of 2022 are in the books, how have our outlooks changed? For the better, I hope? Alas, that’s definitely not the case for me, as pessimism continue to reign… but hey, music helps with all that so it’s cool.
For what it’s worth, I once again contributed nothing to this week’s collection. I haven’t personally been listening to much, primarily because my external hard drive failed and it seems those files, including all my music and photos, are gone forever. So, also once again, I am immensely grateful for the tremendous playlist pieced together by our team, with a couple of fun surprises in there. Wilderun rightfully made a presence after the release of the incredible Epigone, and then we dropped in some new stuff from Sylvaine and Konvent, among many others. As always, the older stuff is all over the map, and there are just enough non-metal adds to keep things interesting… but I’m not going to spoil any of that. You’ll just have to dive in when you have a little bit of time to kill.
For me? Well, here in the mountains of New Hampshire the high tomorrow will be exactly 1 degree. As a result, the first half of my weekend will be spent backing up whatever remaining files I can find across my devices, drinking at least a bottle of rye, and listening to this playlist throughout. Enjoy the weekend folks, and see ya on the other side.
Welcome back friends, how is 2020 treating you? Canada is sicking their federal dogs on indigenous protesters and a new coronavirus has infected tens of thousands globally. Are you feeling the doom? I’m feeling the doom. And so is January’s Third Circle.