Best of 2022: Chris’s Honorable Mentions

Best of 2022


I’ve been thinking about Honorable Mentions lately. We differentiate them from our main lists, but in the grand scheme of things every album we call out on the site is an honorable mention: there’s something about the music, about the power the chords and melodies hold over us that warrants notice, that deserves a voice to amplify the message to a wider, often preoccupied world. In a time when we too often use the tools of social media and the internet to confront, to argue, to parrot – even in the name of awareness – toxic behavior, I find myself moving steadily inward, barricading myself from the noise and burying my head in the sonic pulse of drums, guitar, bass, and vocals both sung and shouted, screamed and pitched in ways that insulate me from the static of the world.

But the music, dumbass! It calls for notice, deserves it. And like 2020 and 2021 this is just the start of a conversation, not the end. So once again: 15 records in alphabetical order. Any other day, any other minute from the time I write this it can change. Does that make it any less valid?

Does it matter if I got you to – even for a moment – consider the virtues of these fantastic records?

You decide. In the meantime, let’s do this.

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Nine (or so Heavily Qualified) Circles ov…2022: A Mid-Year Report

voss mid-year report 2022

Okay, so I may have only formally reviewed 11 albums by the mid point this year, but that’s one more than I was at last year, so victory! However, that doesn’t count the 30 other albums covered in earlier editions of Nine Circles ov (like the Stoner Metal one, or the promo pile one, or the non-promo pile one) or Second Circle. Not to mention my folders telling me I’ve listened to 151 metal albums so far this year. It’s scratching the surface, I know…but at least there are quantifiable metrics for you to assess whether or not I’ve met my acceptance criteria to mark this feature as Done.

And now that my work life has completely blended into this post, let’s talk about how massive 2022 has been so far. We’re once again turning this edition of Nine Circles ov… into a dozen and I’m even going to throw some bonus mentions into the mix. Are these my absolute favorites of the year? Kind of: I wanted to highlight some albums I haven’t seen a lot of coverage on as well as some definite big guns I really dig so far. So what I’m saying is, here’s a big list of stuff I love. Maybe you’ll love it, too.

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The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 238 (7.2.2022)

In the United States a lot of folks are celebrating Independence Day, which falls on July 4th. Myself, I’m celebrating a Monday off and an extended weekend in the woods with my family as I contemplate life, the universe, and everything, to crib from a certain Douglas Adams.

Oh, and I’m kicking off this 238th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist with an awesome band I just discovered: Kryptograf. They deal in some crazy psychedelic stoner doom rock straight out of Birmingham 1970 if you catch my drift. Great stuff. I may have also thrown in some vintage Darkthrone because I just got my limited edition white vinyl of A Blaze in the Northern Sky. Elsewhere Anton is repping Pelagic Records hard with tracks from Psychonaut and Hiroe, as well as a new cut from Conan. Vincent brings the madness with new music from Alexisonfire, Pianos Become the Teeth, Gaerea, and another cut from the fantastic new release by Inexorum. Finally Josh is going to wrap it up today with a host of great extreme music, including cuts from Werewolves, Spirit Adrift, Peelingflesh, Mongrel, and the newest single from Bloodbath that is so damn good I bumped it to the top of the playlist.

Get listening. Stay safe. See you next week.

Chris