Missed Connections: Looking Back on 2021

Best of 2021

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.

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Best of 2021: Chris’s List

Best of 2021

The beginning is the end. Literally, in this case. I started this post with the entries for my list a few weeks ago, wrote my 1,000 word review (sorry) on my Album of the Year and concluding paragraph right before Christmas, and now here I am in the vaporous ether before the new year pondering the introduction.

And there are no words left.

I’ve wrangled with the why, trying to make sense of the music I consume and what it says, and I hit a point where trying to find an answer was…pointless. Not because it’s unimportant to know, but in the last two years the rest of the world became so much harder to deal with, life became so much harder to deal with, something in my brain went into emergency mode and just shut down the logic circuits, sending one single message over and over again:

“Stop thinking, stupid. It’s just music.”

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Initial Descent: October 3 – 9, 2021

Kowloon-Walled-City
Kowloon Walled City

Alrighty then…it’s spooky month, finally, and I’m happy about that. Time to stock up on all the horror you can feast on. That is unless, like me and co-conspirator Chris, you do that all year, in which case you already win and this will just give you an excuse to gorge. And, do remember all the nasty metal that goes so well with this season, soak it all up folks. Speaking of metal, it’s a new week which means we’ve got a fresh batch of new releases to kick the month off right. First up is an album we’ve all been waiting on for faaar toooo long from Kowloon Walled City (FINALLY!), next up is a stunning technical death entry from Atræ Bilis, then a quick chapter of brutish death metal from Creeping Death that you’ll hear more about later in the week, an epic dash of symphonic deathcore from The Breathing Process, and several more that follows in the list below. Dive headfirst into the coffin and find yourself something devilish to kick the month off with.

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The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 196 (9.11.2021)

playlist - mixtape

Hello one and all and welcome back to another mixtape of “what we’ve been listening to around the water cooler.” It’s Saturday so it’s TIIIIMmmeee. Reading that is a lot flatter than how it sounds on primetime MMA but, just know that’s the vibe I’m going for. As always we’ve got a ton to dig into; Kowloon Walled City (FINALLY), a new one from Massacre, gory stuff from Heads For The Dead, a kick ass new track from Sarke, likewise from Atræ Bilis, and same from Hippotraktor and Blood Red Throne. And, of course, many more from all across the heavier spectrum. So, smash that play button below and be somebody.

Josh

CANTO: Anomalie, Deathsomnia, Kowloon Walled City, and More

Days off no longer exist. Apparently. Late-stage capitalism sure is fun.

  • Anomalie, one my favorite black metal projects, has set November 5th as the release date for Tranceformation. Their fourth studio album will be out through AOP Records, and you can stream the first new track from that effort, “Trance II: Relics”, right here.
  • Deathsomnia released You Will Never Find Peace last Friday through Isolation Records, and today they gave us a new video for “Void Oblivion”. That track features Gabriel Franco of Unto Others (formerly Idle Hands), which is an added bonus.
  • And then we’ve got new material from Emma Ruth Rundle, another one of my personal favorites. Engine of Hell is also set for a November 5th release through Sargent House, and a clip for “Return” is available right here.
  • Oh shit! I almost forgot about this from yesterday. Kowloon Walled City officially have a new album on the horizon. Piecework will be out on October 8th through Gilead Media and Neurot Recordings.
  • Zombies are fun, so let’s close with the new clip from Ice Nine Kills for “Rainy Day”. That’s taken from their upcoming new album, The Silver Scream 2: Welcome To Horrorwood, which is out on October 15th through Fearless Records.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
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