All In: Nine Circles ov 2022 — The Staff’s Combined List

Best of 2022


Greetings! Just when you thought it was finally over, we have one last piece of 2022 content to share with the masses. I’m sure you’ve already gotten a sense of this across our individual lists, but 2022 was a really, REALLY strong year. In nearly every corner of every metal subgenre one quality release emerged after another. Personally, I can’t remember having a harder time picking the best of the best. And spoiler alert: our team stats at the end of this list reflect that. So while the doomsday clock keeps ticking forward, and the world gets increasingly uglier, we can rest assured that metal as an outlet is as strong as ever. So, once again, we’ve rounded up our favorite albums as a writing team and nailed down the top nine albums between all of us. Here’s how it all works…

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, and so on and so forth… and all honorable mentions received 1 point. Then, combining the scores across everyone’s lists, we have ourselves a Nine Circles ov 2022, brought to you by, well, everyone. Almost everyone.

Immediately after the break, you’ll find the top albums of 2022 as chosen by the Nine Circles staff, starting with number 9 and working down to number 1 at the end. And again, we also tracked the labels that produced these albums, allowing us to crown a label of the year, using the same scoring process as above. This is clearly the highest honor in the industry, so I’m sure the anticipation couldn’t be higher. Who claimed this title for 2022? You’ll have to wait until the very end to find out.

Simple enough, right? Right. Enough reading, let’s get into it…

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Initial Descent: June 3 – 9, 2018

YOB
YOB

Another week full of stuff, things, happenings and more stuff. Whatever. But now, a fresh start in the form of new releases and even though the massive quantity of recent weeks has waned a bit, quality takes a front seat. So, what’s up this week?

Oregon’s (and the world for that matter) favorite doom sons, YOB, return with their eighth full length Our Raw Heart and in case you’ve somehow missed it to this point, this is some of their most heart wrenching yet fully realized work to date. Yea, I said it. Feel free to have your own opinion. Nearly as massive but on the death metal front is Tomb Mold with their second full length Manor of Infinite Forms which rides even higher than their debut — is it possible? Yes…and again, insert opinion here. Moving right along with Lago, a band I discovered and developed a huge affinity for back in 2014, return with their second full length Sea of Duress and honestly I didn’t expect this much death metal maturity but I’m fully engrossed once again and happier than a pig in sh…you get the idea. Last up in the opening slots this week is Zeal & Ardor with their amazing combination of black metal and spirtuals with Stranger Fruit and this is where you’ll find something way different from the norm yet something to completely lose yourself in — love this band. We’ve had an already massive showing but as usual there is soooo much more. Stick around as long as you like and by all means, leave those opinions in the comments section below.  Continue reading