We all know that 2020 was a very unpleasant year (to say the least). You don’t need me to list all the ways it was awful. We are all painfully aware of the details, and even more so as we look back at our 2020 new year’s resolutions we had made (travel more, drink less; you know). So enough of that, let’s focus on a bit of positivity and good that emerged from the past 12 months. For instance, there were so many new and wonderful musical releases that I could not even keep up. Every new album I listened to brought some joy, some goosebumps, and some pain—but in a good, cathartic way. As usual, my super indecisive self had a difficult time narrowing down the list of favorites. I managed to finally settle(ish) on a list. These selections are different (with the exception of my number one pick) from when I weighed in on the group list and different on the EOY Podcast episode—apologies for the inconsistency but, again, I’m indecisive (and also anxious).
Here are my top 13 as of this moment (because I love all things spooky, and c’mon, we’ve already had all the bad luck brought upon us) and a little list of some nonmetal favorites.
Ah, the big one. I’ve been looking forward to writing this for a while, but I also can’t help but feel like there’s no way I could possibly put everything I loved about music in 2020 into enough words to satisfy myself. If I had enough time or gumption to make a list that was twenty or thirty albums long, I still don’t think that would be enough. So much great music happened amid the Unpleasantness, and I think more than ever it was worth paying attention to all of it, whether for excitement or escape or transcendentalism or catharsis. For me, losing a twice-daily commute meant that I had to be an active listener to the music I chose to put on, and I think that made the releases that stood out to me stand out all the more. Plus, being a part of the team here has been a literal dream come true, and I had more access than ever to quality releases. Without further ado, here are the ones I’ve fallen for the hardest.
Yep, 10.31. HALLOWEEN. The best day of the year. So, in light of this, we bring you our spooky edition or gore edition or occult edition, all depends on what video is playing at the time. Brother Vince made the call for spooooooooky videos and I was over here with zero power or internet so in lieu of putting him on the last minute spot, you got me. So, what horrors are in store? What wicked tricks do we have? I bring some wicked death metal, King Diamond and Axeslasher, Jon brings some Devin Townsend, Angela brings Ghost B.C. and Misfits (topical, I might add), Ian brings The Mountain Goats (no surprise) and Pallbearer, and Hera brings some Zeal & Ardor. And, we close with two HITS from Two Minutes To Late Night and even though it’s not Christmas, both of these are still tailor made for today, you’ll see. Hit play and go scare up some good times somewhere or just hang in and sync this up with an old favorite horror movie. Either way, enjoy and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
In this house we respect Pallbearer. Pallbearer is one of our favorite bands that we have enjoyed since their debut. When we saw that the Nine Circles inbox was blessed with the latest from the band, Forgotten Days, we decided to co-author a review instead of fighting each other to the death for who would do the honor. We decided to sit down and listen to the album and write this review together as a singular cohesive piece.
Let’s talk about something near and dear to my heart; it’s October and nearly Halloween. ‘Tis the season for horror of all sorts, skulls and pumpkins, and fall vistas that look like the intro to many of the early Halloween movies. At least we’ve got that to get excited about. But also, it’s Monday which means new metal time so there’s another happy thing. This week brings us the next chapter of Pallbearer‘s trajectory which finds them back at their concise and to the point doom but, really, better than ever. Next up is a twofer of death metal starting with the brutal sort with Distant and the old school, rattle the coffins sort with Undeath. And, closing out the top spots is an alcohol fueled, four-on-the-floor, sinewy metal return from Raging Speedhorn. Better get your nasty decorating done and your costumes ready, or, just line up a long list of deliciously vicious horror movies. Dig in below for the rest of the new metal, tons to explore.