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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Initial Descent: November 14 – 20, 2021

Khemmis
Khemmis

And…we’re back. No idea where the last week has gone, feels like we just did this. To top that off, we’re getting close to another year in the books which is wild. Anyway, this is a year that even the naysayers will have to admit there’s been at least a handful or so every week that’s been in top shelf category. How many will make it to the best of lists out of those…who knows. But, we’ve got more to add to that pile this week starting with the best all around example of doomed heavy metal Khemmis has ever done, a pair of essential black metal albums from Der Weg Einer Freiheit and Stormkeep, an equally essential tech death return from Obscura, and several more in the list that follows. You know what to do, get after it.

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Initial Descent: October 17 – 23, 2021

Massacre
Massacre

As we inch closer and closer to Devil’s Night, this week of new metal absolutely has any and all soundtrack needs covered. And, we’re cranking the chainsaw with a smattering of death metal and a pinch of doom thrown in for good measure. First up is a band that, to me, is legendary in death metal and has always encapsulated what that genre tag means: the mighty MASSACRE. Am I excited? Damn right. It’s been too long, but they’re back with a great album. Following that is an absurdly nasty death doom outing from Worm, a 50/50 merge of Swedish and Floridian leaning death metal from Lovecraftianists Bizarre, slamming death groove from Waking The Cadaver, and, as always, a ton more in the list below. Dig in and enjoy!

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CANTO: Between The Buried And Me, Boris, Carnifex, and More

I’m happy it’s Friday, and I’m happy about all the metal news that emerged today.

  • And we’ll start with Boris, who unveiled a new video for a live performance of “Loveless”. That track is the lead single from No, which will see a vinyl release through Third Man Records on August 27th.
  • From there, we’ll check in with MØL. The blackgazers are returning with their second studio album, Diorama, which will be out through Nuclear Blast. Additional details are still to come for that release, but check out the video for new single “Photophobic” right now.
  • I haven’t heard from Bullet For My Valentine in quite some time, so I suppose we can see what their up to. Looks like a new self-titled album is set for an October 22nd release through Spinefarm Records. And today we get a new track from that album, titled “Parasite”. Check it out.
  • We’ve also got a new track and album announcement from Carnifex to add to the pile. Graveside Confessions will be out on September 3rd through Nuclear Blast. A video for the title track from that album just dropped today, and you can check it out right here.
  • The obvious way to close out the week is with the latest from Between The Buried And Me. This is the new video for “Revolution In Limbo”, another one taken from Colors II. As a reminder, that album drops on August 20th through Sumerian Records.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
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CANTO: At The Gates, Hellfest 2022, Silver Lake, and More

I skipped the last couple days because I have family in town. But I didn’t work today so I can’t really justify skipping this one. Oh well… happy Friday!

  • Lots of videos to share today, so we may as well get right to it. We’ll kick things off with At The Gates, who released the new single and video for “The Fall Into Time”. That’s the latest from The Nightmare Of Being, which is out on July 2nd through Century Media.
  • Silver Lake by Esa Holopainen was recently released through Nuclear Blast. I haven’t checked it out in full yet, but I am intrigued by the new video for “Sentiment”, a track which features Jonas Renkse on vocals. And we all know how much I love projects that involve the Katatonia vocalist…
  • So we’ll pause all the video announcements to include a note about Hellfest 2022, which is probably the most immense festival I could fathom. The festival will span a full week, from June 17th through the 26th, with over 350 bands performing across 6 stages. Headliners include… Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Nine Inch Nails, Faith No More… honestly the list goes on and on. And those are just the headliners. Get the full scoop here.
  • Hey look, Bullet for My Valentine is still a thing! They announced a new self-titled album, with a video for a new track titled “Knives”. That album will be out on October 22nd through Spinefarm Records, and can be pre-ordered here.
  • Time to wrap this up, because I have places to be. We’ll close with the new single and video from Carnifex for “Pray For Peace”, which you can watch below.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
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