We’re back, exactly 365 days from the last time I kicked off my run of End of Year tomfoolery. And I’m not gonna lie: this year the wear of listening to and giving time, consideration, and word to so many albums is taking more than a little toll. At 40 years and counting of being obsessed with music I can still feel the flush of discovering something new, but I think I’m quicker to make the call on whether I’ll continue to listen to something or not. And I admit the pull of the nostalgic, the familiar, the comfort is stronger than it’s ever been.
That hasn’t stopped me from finding joy from a lot of records: You’re still getting altogether a list of 40 albums – my “official” Top 25 ranked list and an Honorable Mention list of 15 other albums in alphabetical order (if Decibel can list 40 than so can I). And just like in years past I’ve tacked on an additional nine albums that didn’t make my lists for various reasons, but I still love and want to put on your radar. The reasons why are fickle and unique, and time being the great equalizer means these omissions may come back to haunt me…lord knows they have in the past. That’s the great thing about lists – they’re snapshots of a moment and never written in stone. Well, maybe one list was, but these are far from commandments. They’re just more great albums to get excited about.
Once more into the breach. Forget labels. Forget hype and marketing. Take a look (better yet, take a listen) to this edition of Nine Circles ov… and see what didn’t make my list for 2022…but could have.
There are numbers, and there are numbers. For example, this is in fact the 254th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist, which I’ve been painstakingly assembling for you for almost exactly one year – since the 202nd edition, to be precise. But the real important number to consider is SIX. Because in six days my beloved Darkthrone will be releasing a new album. So even though we featured it in there Cantos this week you know we have to use “Caravan of Broken Ghosts” to kick things off with bang.
And though I could easily just continue filling the playlist with more Darkthrone, there’s a hell of a lot more out there to get you through the week, am I right? So how about some scuzzy Sabbath metal from Peth, some sax skronking stoner rock from Ecstatic Vision, and then some killer metal from Lykotonon, Ultar, -(16)-, Sarcator, Bonecarver, Atrocity, Boris, Sonja, and some older cuts from the likes of Thursday, Cloud Rat, and hell…even some Sisters of Mercy?
You know what it is. I’m too tired and too hung over to get a more pithy introduction out for the 249th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist, so let’s just get to the music, huh?
A lot of new music out this week, but I keep finding myself drawn back to the latest from Mork, who kill it with their raw, atmospheric black metal. We also have the debut from Sonja finally in our hands, and I may have more to say about that next week, pairing them off with the wicked retro thrash of Transgressive. We also have new music from Lorna Shore, Wolfheart, Trocar, the Anitchrist Imperium, Dream Unending, Woods of Desolation, AWS, Behemoth, and Psychonaut, not to mention a killer classic of post punk from Pink Turns Blue.