I had this enormous amount of words set to open this thing but opted for… not that. We’ve all lived through another year so there’s no need to reiterate. Instead, I’ll say that 2022 was great for me. It’ll be one of those years I’ll look back on as one that changed things for the better and I’ll have extremely fond memories of it for reasons I can’t mention here. But, I’ll also look back on it as a tremendous year for metal. And it doesn’t matter what strain you dig as pretty much all of it had a banner year. I know it seems like we’re a broken record saying that every year, but 2022 was damn strong. If you don’t feel the same, please rewind and revisit and get back to me. Otherwise, welcome to all the things that made a huge difference for me throughout the year and what was my 2022 soundtrack, what made the biggest impact…whatever, you get the idea. This list of 18…, wait…you ask “why 18?” Well, branding of course. We’re Nine Circles so you’ll get my top 9 and my 9 honorable mentions… and a few special mentions. 9C, as it was. So, let’s do it…Continue reading
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.Continue reading
December is largely a reflective time for me. And one of the things Iw as reflecting on this was how massive an influence the great Angelo Badalamenti was for popular music. His scores, particularly his collaborations with David Lynch was a huge impact on a ton of heavy music, whether you (or the bands themselves) realize it or not. So we’re kicking this edition of the Nine Circles Playlist with one of his most memorable themes. Is it also a meme? Sure, but if anything those memes show just how adept Badalamenti was at evoking an entire mood with just a few notes.
Elsewhere we have the latest video from Megadeth, and Rocky and the Sweden covering…Cheech and Chong? The rest of the staff kicks in the usual great tracks, including new music from Sanguisugabogg and Insomnium, a monster of a new Enslaved track, a live cut from The Armed as well as fresh music from A Pregnant Light, Tithe and Ashen. We have classic tracks from Baroness and Mogwai. There’s a Christmas track from Majestica, and some moody music courtesy of Bauhaus, Dashboard Confessional, and an epic closer from Jane’s Addiction.
Get listening. Stay safe. See you next week.
There are numbers, and there are numbers. For example, this is in fact the 254th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist, which I’ve been painstakingly assembling for you for almost exactly one year – since the 202nd edition, to be precise. But the real important number to consider is SIX. Because in six days my beloved Darkthrone will be releasing a new album. So even though we featured it in there Cantos this week you know we have to use “Caravan of Broken Ghosts” to kick things off with bang.
And though I could easily just continue filling the playlist with more Darkthrone, there’s a hell of a lot more out there to get you through the week, am I right? So how about some scuzzy Sabbath metal from Peth, some sax skronking stoner rock from Ecstatic Vision, and then some killer metal from Lykotonon, Ultar, -(16)-, Sarcator, Bonecarver, Atrocity, Boris, Sonja, and some older cuts from the likes of Thursday, Cloud Rat, and hell…even some Sisters of Mercy?
Get listening. Stay safe. See you next week.
Feeling better, tomorrow is Friday, and there are horror movies in my future. I’ll take it!
- BIG|BRAVE have announced a new album, nature morte, which will be out on February 24 through Thrill Jockey. Give the first single, “carvers, farriers and knaves”, a listen right now.
- Enemy Eyes released a new video for the title-track of their debut album, History’s Hand. Give it a watch here. That album drops on November 18 through Frontiers Music Srl.
- Ofdrykkja revealed the second single from After the Storm, titled “The Cleansing”. Their fourth album drops on November 25 through AOP Records.
- And then from Napalm Records, Wind Rose released a new lyric video for “The Breed of Durin”. That track is taken from their sophomore album, Wardens of the West Wind, which is being reissued along with their debut, Shadows Over Lothadruin. Those will be out on December 9 as LP.
- Closing out, we’ll go with a new video from Megadeth. The clip for “Life In Hell: Chapter IV” is below, another track taken from The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!
“Ein Bier… bitte.”