We’re doing something a little different for this, our 240th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist. Around the 9C offices the jibberjab has been about mid-year favorites (maybe you’ve read a few of ourposts), and so I decided to ask each of the folks on staff to supply me with a track from their favorite metal (or metal adjacent) album this year.
I’m not gonna say who picked what, but I can say all of these choices righteously rock. And there was one album that was a three-way tie among the staff (what can I say, Corey, Josh and I have excellent – and similar – taste) so in instances of duplicates we let one person pick the track and the others would choose from their second favorite album. So settle in and crank it LOUD, and enjoy some of the best music to come out so far in 2022, including cuts from Saor, Pyrithe, Zeal & Ardor, A Pregnant Light, Nite, Kreator, Wilderun, Tzompantli and a bunch more…
Okay, so I may have only formally reviewed 11 albums by the mid point this year, but that’s one more than I was at last year, so victory! However, that doesn’t count the 30 other albums covered in earlier editions of Nine Circles ov (like the Stoner Metal one, or the promo pile one, or the non-promo pile one) or Second Circle. Not to mention my folders telling me I’ve listened to 151 metal albums so far this year. It’s scratching the surface, I know…but at least there are quantifiable metrics for you to assess whether or not I’ve met my acceptance criteria to mark this feature as Done.
And now that my work life has completely blended into this post, let’s talk about how massive 2022 has been so far. We’re once again turning this edition of Nine Circles ov… into a dozen and I’m even going to throw some bonus mentions into the mix. Are these my absolute favorites of the year? Kind of: I wanted to highlight some albums I haven’t seen a lot of coverage on as well as some definite big guns I really dig so far. So what I’m saying is, here’s a big list of stuff I love. Maybe you’ll love it, too.
Recently I created a new playlist featuring what has fast become my go-to genre when I need to bear down and get some serious groove on: the luscious low-end of stoner rock and metal (Spotify users are welcome to it here; Apple Music users can find it here). Throw some psych elements in and I’m an even happier camper. We don’t feature nearly enough of it her at Nine Circles; all too often the staff are mired in extreme noise and suffocatingly depressive odes to inner turmoil – and that’s perfectly fine…if that’s your thing. Lately it’s not mine; I’d rather get a nasty fuzzed to the heavens riff in my brain accompanied by sweet-ass vocal melodies and anthemic choruses I can shout along to as I air-guitar until my arthritic wrists cry out for reprieve.
So for this edition of Nine Circles ov… let’s highlight some of the boogie down rifftastic stoner and psychedelic rock and metal that’s all the rage in my frontal lobe, shall we?
If you’re reading this there are two possibilities at play, either of which warrant a hearty congratulations:
It’s the end of the year, and you found the strength, courage and forbearance to get through the infested muck that was 2020. Congratulations! I don’t know what 2021 will bring, but let’s put the future aside for a moment and just revel in survival, and talk about some great music.
It’s an indeterminate time in the future, after the apocalypse, and the collective hive mind has integrated into the data streams and come across this post in a random search string query to ascertain various data points about the distant past. Congratulations! I’m not alive to know what the Time Lords have in mind for the future, but let’s put that aside for a moment and just revel in whatever constitutes life in your existence, and talk about some great music.