How is 2022 already gone? I think we are all still processing 2020—I know I am—but here we are embarking on a new year with new albums to enjoy and discuss. Before we move ahead, let’s take a look back at some impactful albums from this past year. I have posted my list of honorable mentions which is ultimately an extension of this list (check that out here) and am now here with my Nine Circles Top Nine (™ ™ ™). These albums accompanied me on many nature walks, commutes, and game nights. They served as background music while I cooked, cleaned, created, and worked at my day job. Needless to say, they have stuck with me throughout the year and resonated with me in big ways.
This is my 2022 soundtrack. I hope you enjoy it and also check out my colleague’s lists here as we all have diverse tastes and stellar albums to gush about.
Last year, I supplied a list of 20 albums, thinking that I would be able to shorten to ten by the time list season came around. As it would turn out, even the best-laid plans can be upended, so I am back in EOY list hell.
Welcome to slowly wondering if I was too hasty in writing my lists EOY list season!
You know the drill: there are 20 albums here, and I reviewed some of them. Eps are off the list, which means Epica’s brilliant The Alchemy Project will not be here. With this is mind, this list is divided into four parts, which are as follows:
the nebulous, where any of those albums’ placements could be placed anywhere at any time
the hypothetical, where the albums’ placements are more concrete, but can also be moved around
the theoretical, where the albums’ placements have been solidified
the top album of the year. Please start placing your bets.
Also, please note: I submitted a previous list to our benevolent editors, which you’ll see soon. Since then, and even while writing this list, I have made so many changes in placement because I couldn’t decide where they all fit in the grand scheme of things. With this, I now present the fruits of my labor.
What a year. It’s hard to believe that most of the hubbub and fervor of the last few years is fading into the background (read: not gone, not even a little bit). I feel like for once I had so much going on outside of sitting at home that I felt like it was a little hard to keep up with everything that came out this year, but nonetheless, there were a ton of albums that captivated me and kept me company, and we’re going to start with the honorable mentions. You get it by now: these albums are fantastic, but I only have room in my personal tops for nine albums, so don’t feel like I’m shortchanging any of these. Without further ado, here we go:
Word on the street is that it’s going to snow overnight. That’s wild.
Leading off, we have a new performance video from Soen for “Fortune”. That’s the latest material taken from Atlantis, their new concert film, which drops this coming Friday through Silver Lining Music. That track, of course, is originally taken from 2021’s Imperial.
Considering my next couple days will be spent in Boston, these will be sparse this week.
We’ll start with a tour that I really want to get to if the stars align. Zeal & Ardor, with Sylvaine and Imperial Triumphant. Dates are in September and early October throughout North America, and tickets can be acquired here.