EOY list season is upon us, which means that many will be scrambling to put together lists that are both cohesive and, objectively, correct. Although I knew that 2022 might not be able to compete with 2021’s sheer musical quantity, 2022 had more quality releases. It’s gotten to the point where I now have an entire separate list of albums just to catch up with.
It’s also one of the many reasons why I have decided to expand the honorable mentions list, as I found myself with 28 albums that I had enjoyed but didn’t know what to do with them. After somewhat coming to terms with the 20 I want to officially present in my planned EOY list, I decided that these eight deserved some words from me, as I, once again, have a lot to say.
It’s time to touch the painting sitting in Anor Londo.
It’s been a while since I have touched a progressive death metal record – not since Alustrium’s A Monument To Silence – and while I’ve been doing some listening behind the scenes, it struck as odd that I haven’t really been giving one of my favorite death metal subgenres a proper listen. Imagine my delight in finding an album that struck a chord with me the more time I spent with it, becoming more and more experimental and dissonant the further in I ventured. For an album that makes me question where the established line between progression and technicality begins to blur, Sadist’s Firescorched is an impressive feat of musicianship.
We’re back, and it feels like Spring is really starting to take a hold. I’ve been re-organizing my vinyl collection the past few days, figuring out just where the hell everything is going to fit and how I’m going to explain to my wife why I need to take over another room before the next stack arrives. First world problems to be sure, but that doesn’t mean I can’t use it to kick off the 225th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist, you know?
We’re gonna kick things off with some of the surprises I’ve discovered the last week, starting with new music from Michael Romeo, who brings the heavy prog I crave from Symphony X on his new solo joint. Anton ups the tech factor with some ripping new Inanimate Existence and follows it up with Luminous Vault and Lustmord collaborating with The Ocean. Josh digs into the dank earth of death metal to give light to Analepsy, Visceral Explosion, and Flesh Configuration before shaking things up a bit with Downcross and Real Steel. Vincent goes wide as usual with the newest single from Devil Master, Tzompantli, Falls of Rauros and deep cut from the Pieces of April soundtrack by Stephin Merrit. Hera returns to the playlist and brings Ibaraki, Ghost, Terzij de Horde, Playgrounded, Sadist, and something I’m assuming is called You May Kiss the Bride? I don’t know..it’s heavy though! Next up is Angela bringing some long awaited new music from Meshuggah as well as Frayle, Amenra, and Bhleg. Once again bringing up rear guard is Buke, and he’s chock full of great stuff, from the new Haunt single to some real old classic Opeth, Morbid Angel, Ripping Corpse, Autopsy, and finally some truly classic prog in the way of the might Emerson, Lake & Palmer.