I could wax for paragraphs on how 2020 leapt into the toilet in March and continues to swirl, deeper in, teetering just on the edge of complete obliteration, but that would be news to no one. In a year when bands could’ve easily went into hiatus based on no way to tour or support themselves—and honestly no one would’ve blamed them—we are damn lucky to have any music at all much less any best of lists. Thankfully the bands turned it up, tuned low, and cranked it out anyway, despite the thought of any sort of monetary return. In short, metal freakin’ ruled this year and kept me sane while the world crumbled and hope was fleeting at best. My music collection grew like my headphone time at dangerous volume levels (according to my apple stats) and I loved the fact that bands sounded angrier and louder, experimented more, stretched thin genre lines to the limit, and generally laid their balls on the chopping block in a way we haven’t heard in a long time. That chopping block bit was one of ten rules I made for my 2020 list back in January and all the artists that made my list did just that in one way or another but my picks this year were also about the albums that really stuck with me for either the long haul or made a fast impression. So, keep reading and maybe one, or more, of these will hit you the way it hit me.Continue reading
Welcome back, weekend warriors, to another edition of our Nine Circles Saturday morning mixtape. This week, we’ve got a re-recording of classic Clutch featuring Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe, another Two Minutes to Late Night cover, and new music from Stormkeep, which is almost single-handedly saving this week for me. These, plus more, at the link below.
Well, it’s October. We’ll ignore the fact that it’s almost November, because what can I say? It’s been a busy stretch of life, on top of COVID-fatigue and existential dread. But we’re all here for the riffs, right?Continue reading