Best of 2021: Corey’s List

Best of 2021

Is that it? Am I the last one? Dang. Again. Wait, maybe one more to come… Anyway, I guess I’ll start this off on my soapbox as always, by noting that I truly cannot comprehend where we are as a society. Well, I suppose I can, which is even more frustrating. If 2020 wasn’t a brutal enough year (not in a good way), 2021 seemed to serve as an appropriate encore. Seemingly everything we experience in life has been weaponized for political gain in one way or another, a global pandemic has been widely accepted as an endemic thanks, in part, to widespread misinformation, and, just as bluntly, climate disasters resulting from human activity are on the brink of running rampant for the duration of humanity’s remaining existence… however brief that may be. And those are just my three favorite, non-personal, items to discuss in our corner of the universe. It sucks, and I’m burnt out. Optimism has completely faded at this point, and I’m ready to run screaming into the woods. But hey, cheers to 2020, right?!

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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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Best of 2021: Josh’s List

Best of 2021

One more year and one more list. AND, I’m in pole position for main lists. How is that possible? Right, who cares… Anywho, 2021 was yet another dumpster fire globally, but personally it’s been a good year, for the most part. The road we’re on with supply chains and inflation has to hit a ceiling soon or dumpster fire won’t even begin to brand what we’ll be facing in 2022. But, before I get too far down the road we’re all too familiar with, ENOUGH of that shit. I’ve had it up to my ass with all of it. Metal, again, had a great year. Some genres fared better than others, as you’ll see in the list below, but overall it was a very good year, as Sinatra once said. All the anger and hatred and frustration pushed artists to a level of creativity, and for some a level of vitriol, we haven’t seen in a long time and I don’t expect that trend to change anytime soon. So, on that point, score.

List season. We all love them for one reason or another and love bitchin’ about them. It’s human nature. With that said, here’s all the albums that meant the most to me throughout 2021 and as usual, I’m in the top nine and nine honorable mentions format because, branding. Jump in and enjoy what made me tick this year.

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All In: Nine Circles ov 2021 — The Staff’s Combined List

Best of 2021

Greetings everyone, and welcome to Best of 2021 season! News to no one, this year was a flaming bag of feces everywhere else except for the land of metal. We definitely had a pop off valve for releasing all the pent up frustrations in the form of every single kind of metal available and from all across the globe. Bands were bigger, madder, and grander than ever before and made believers out of all of us in one way or another. We’ve already kicked off some Honorable Mentions lists, but before we roll into our individual MAIN lists, we’re kicking the season off with our combined staff list. First a reminder of how this all works…

But, first; this is typically a Tuesday post for the one of you paying attention. However, it’s EOY season so who cares. NOW, like last year and previous years, each member of the Nine Circles staff (well, most of them), chose their nine favorite albums (inclusive of EPs), listed in order, and up to nine honorable mentions. Obviously, branding counts. A scoring system was applied to the rankings. For example, one person’s first place album received 10 points, the second received 9, so on and so forth… and all honorable mentions received 1 point. Then, combining the scores between everyone’s lists, we have ourselves a Nine Circles ov 2021, brought to you by, well, everyone.

We’re keeping the thing we did in previous years, which is: crowning a label of the year, using the same scoring process as above. Clearly the highest honor in the industry. Who claimed this title for 2021? You’ll have to wait until the very end.

Anyway, that’s all simple enough, right? Right. Enough reading, let’s get into it…

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The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 205 (11.13.2021)

playlist - mixtape

We’re kicking through November, and I’m here with my usual: a steaming cup of coffee in a cup big enough to swim in, and a playlist of all the metal I’ve listened to in 2021 to start sorting out end of year stuff.

It’s a loooong list.

So to make it easier OF COURSE I’m going to kick it off with some Darkthrone. But the rest of the crew is definitely going to bring you to some uncharted corners for Volume 205 of the Nine Circles Playlist. I don’t know who Thangorodrim are, but they’re bringing the dark vibes on their debut. Jon just has a birthday, so he’s letting loose with some faves like Dethklok and Strapping Young Lad. Josh is over the moon over the news that Death Breath are coming back, and The Halo Effect, aka In Flames 2.0 seem to be moving in a good direction with their debut single. Vincent crosses the border into pop with some good good CHVRCHES but quickly hops back over with the long awaited new song from Nechochwen. And Ian closes us out this week with some Spiritbox, Owen, and Coheed and Cambria. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg in this week’s list, so settle in and give your ears a workout.

Chris