Best of 2021: Chris’s List

Best of 2021

The beginning is the end. Literally, in this case. I started this post with the entries for my list a few weeks ago, wrote my 1,000 word review (sorry) on my Album of the Year and concluding paragraph right before Christmas, and now here I am in the vaporous ether before the new year pondering the introduction.

And there are no words left.

I’ve wrangled with the why, trying to make sense of the music I consume and what it says, and I hit a point where trying to find an answer was…pointless. Not because it’s unimportant to know, but in the last two years the rest of the world became so much harder to deal with, life became so much harder to deal with, something in my brain went into emergency mode and just shut down the logic circuits, sending one single message over and over again:

“Stop thinking, stupid. It’s just music.”

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Nine (or so Heavily Qualified) Circles ov…2021: A Mid-Year Report

2021 mid-year report

Wait…so the guy who only wrote a total of 10 freakin’ reviews this year thinks he has any weight when it comes to a mid-year report? Well, uh…I guess that’s why I put the “heavily qualified” in the title of this post?

But seriously, I’ll be the first to admit that metal hasn’t really been my #1 go-to when it comes to music lately, but like everything else, what you see on the Internet never tells you the whole story. I haven’t been writing nearly as much about the genre lately, but I have been listening. Listening, and refining. Finding the things that really resonate despite the press and the push of PR, or what the pundits tell you on the 1,001 other sites out there scrambling for clicks. And what I’ve discovered is that more and more I’m coming to the sounds that drew me to the genre: thrash riffs, lots of melody, and tasty solos. So yeah: expect some old school bands putting out great records more than 30 years into their existence here. And maybe a few newer bands as well.

Is that qualified enough for ya? Then let’s dig in.

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The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 184 (6.5.2021)

playlist - mixtape

Good morning and welcome to another Saturday morning mixtape. We have a full house of picks this week, from a Pride month kickoff from Violet Cold, to some classic Wolves in the Throne Room, to the mesmerizing new single from King Woman (a particular staff favorite). Check all that out and much more at the link below

– Vincent