We’re already coming close to the halfway point for 2023 and since I’ve had too much going on to actively seek out new music recently, I figure it’s time to highlight albums that have made some degree of impact on me over the past few months. Aside from one or two exceptions I don’t expect many of the albums here will join Enslaved and Dødheimsgard on my AOTY list; nevertheless, they deserve a shoutout, even if the wheel isn’t being reinvented.
I’ve made sure to select albums that haven’t been featured on the site yet (aside from popping up in our weekly playlist or mentioned on the AOTM podcast), so let’s dive in with a chronological look at what 2023 has had to offer so far.
There are albums you immediately love, and albums you immediately don’t. Sometimes you come around, sometimes you don’t and sometimes you don’t even try. Last night after listening to the newly released remix of Heartless, one of my favorite albums of the last decade I decided to give Forgotten Days, my White Whale of *shrug* from Pallbearer one more try. Something clicked, and I found myself drawn into a record in ways I haven’t in a long time. Might have been the cold medicine, but suddenly there was a richness and depth I could never hear before, and now I happily can’t un-hear it. So you’ll excuse me if I click off the 282nd edition of the Nine Circles Playlist with the opening track of my new favorite record.
From there we move onto the sea with live music from The Ocean, and then the rest of the staff brings the noise with new tracks from Bear, Grant the Sun, Aridus, Erdve, and the might return of Corrosion of Conformity and Khemmis. Elsewhere we have tracks from Atriarch, Godflesh, and Wolves in the Throne Room. Still here? There’s also music from Death Goals, Trespasser, Thyrfing, a blast of Greek power metal from Sacred Outcry and to round things out we’re tacking on the complete new left turn space odyssey album from Krallice.
Chris is away doing metal things…I don’t really know that, but let’s assume he’s out slaying demons with his battle vest on and blaring the latest singles from Metallica, yea man…that’s what he’s up to. Anyway, so you got me for this, the 268th edition of our mixtape playlist of things we’ve been playing way too loud this week and things we’ve been excessively talking about around our water cooler. I’ve been head over heads with the new Malleus and Colin has been the same about Enslaved, so we’ll kick this thing off there.
After that it’s a treasure trove of new and old favorites featuring Forcefed Horsehead, Tribulation, Majesties, Krallice, Celtic Frost, Ripped To Shreds, Ghost with Def Leppard, Hellripper, Mazzy Star, a twofer of Brutus, and many more. You know what to do at this point.
And, just so you don’t miss Chris too much, in his words: “Get listening. Stay safe. See you next week…”
Having only just joined the 9C crew around the end of November, I was hit with the sudden realization that I needed to get an EOY list together very soon. My top two slots were pretty much locked in, but the remainder needed a lot of work. I certainly haven’t had the time to craft the most immaculate Best Of list, but I’m still pretty happy with how it turned out. I wouldn’t have expected two EPs to make this list, and I’m glad that my top two slots are bands totally new to me in 2022. There’s a lot of material from last year I never had the opportunity to check out, but that’s what “Things I Missed” lists are for right?
There are some people whose presence on this earth are so large that you can’t imagine living in a world without them. For the world of rock music, Neil Peart was one of those powers. When I was a young man I thought I couldn’t stand Rush, mostly due to my distaste of Geddy Lee’s voice. Thankfully I got over myself eventually, but even in my days when I didn’t like the band, I always counted Neal Peart as one of the best drummers I’ve ever heard. There’s no one, Rush fan or not, who I ever heard call him anything less than the best. I’m sad we won’t hear any more of him, but his legacy will be here forever.