Get ready folks…more sax-infused metal coming your way whether you want it or not. Some folks are sick of it, some folks love it…either way, you’re probably not going to be able to escape it. Just recently I’ve had the skronk of a reed instrument accompanying the likes of the latest from Imperial Triumphant (featuring Kenny G no less), a massive opener from the forthcoming White Ward album, and hot off the presses the new single from staff favorites KEN mode which absolutely slays. In other words, just another day for the 235th Nine Circles Playlist.
Elsewhere the 9C crew leave the orchestra instruments behind for some gnarled metal. Josh whips up a frenzy with new tracks from Hammer King, Inhuman Condition, Soreption, and some classic Slayer. Anton ups there ante with Aara, Panzerfaust, and High Castle Teleorkestra. Ian only brings one track to the playlist this week but it’s a whopper…if you’ve never heard the theme song from Home Improvement masked with the vocals of David Lee Roth, well…I welcome you to the insanity of Neil Cicierega. After mellowing things out a bit with some Elliot Smith, Vincent hits us with some Lantlôs and The Black Atlantic. Finally Angela closes the list with new music from Wake, recent Dopelord and Windhand.
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.
That’s it: we’re officially in End of Year™ territory now. The big guns are coming out, as Decibel Magazine preemptively shared their Top 40 of 2021 prior to publication in the vain hopes of staving off blogs who simply post the list for views. I’d rather give them the props and the views, so head over there to check it out. In the meantime I’m on my fifth listen of the new Stormkeep and debating how high to have it on my own list. Because yeah…it’s gonna be there.
But enough of that. Welcome to Volume 206 of the Nine Circles Playlist, where we may or may not have some music that will appear on own own lists. In addition to our fearless editor Josh priming the pump with Stormkeep he’s heavily digging the latest from Hypocrisy and Sanguisugabogg. Angela has fallen hard for the hardcore punk coming from Fucked Up and the murky psychedelic cosmic stoner sounds of Tortuga. Buke never fails to bring the classic heavy to the list, so buckle up for some new retro courtesy of Haunt and Traveler as well as old school flavor from Judas Priest. Jon emerges from the snowy depths of the Great North to champion new stuff from Archspire and Every Time I Die. Vincent wallows in the despair of heavier fare from Emma Ruth Rundle, Lantlôs, and Dream Unending. As for me? I’m sitting here in the CLOUDS with Enslaved, digging the skramz of Warren of Ohms, and am in hook line and sinker with Josh about the new single from outlaw country bastard Paul Cauthen.
Country as Fuck, folks. No better way to close out the playlist this week. See you next time!