Best of 2021: Corey’s List

Best of 2021

Is that it? Am I the last one? Dang. Again. Wait, maybe one more to come… Anyway, I guess I’ll start this off on my soapbox as always, by noting that I truly cannot comprehend where we are as a society. Well, I suppose I can, which is even more frustrating. If 2020 wasn’t a brutal enough year (not in a good way), 2021 seemed to serve as an appropriate encore. Seemingly everything we experience in life has been weaponized for political gain in one way or another, a global pandemic has been widely accepted as an endemic thanks, in part, to widespread misinformation, and, just as bluntly, climate disasters resulting from human activity are on the brink of running rampant for the duration of humanity’s remaining existence… however brief that may be. And those are just my three favorite, non-personal, items to discuss in our corner of the universe. It sucks, and I’m burnt out. Optimism has completely faded at this point, and I’m ready to run screaming into the woods. But hey, cheers to 2020, right?!

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Best of 2021: Zyklonius’s List

Best of 2021

Huh, it appears that I blinked and a whole year went by just like that. Luckily there was metal, a lot of it in fact, to the extent that none of the albums on my list ended up on our staff’s combined list, which shows just how much diversity there is, in terms of releases, genres and our respective tastes and preferences. With majestic hails to the bands whose releases enriched my life in the past 12 months, the following contains my 20 favorite albums of the year. I hope you will find something that intrigues, excites and animates you. 

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The Nine Circles Audio Thing: The Ruins of Beverast was February 2021’s Album of the Month!

Episode 68 of The Nine Circles Audio Thing showcases just how musically polarizing The Ruins of Beverast have been and continue to be on their latest “The Thule Grimoires.” Buke again captains the episode with a handful of the usual suspects in tow as they discuss, argue, and break down the album and the band.

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Album Review: The Ruins of Beverast — “The Thule Grimoires”

The Ruins of Beverast - Thule Grimoires

A friend of mine, who is not largely into metal, asked me the other day what my favorite metal band was. I gave him my usual evasive, yet largely true, response: this is a question with an answer that changes on a day-to-day basis. I love metal so much and am so passionate about so many bands that it can be hard to even attempt anything in the neighborhood of picking a “favorite.” Yet without a doubt, The Ruins of Beverast are a band that consistently ends up on my short list when I do reckon with this topic. When I think about “favorite” bands, I think about bands whose music sticks with you, bands that cultivate a sound that makes them stand out from others, and The Ruins have, over a storied career, come to a point where their sound is unlike any other I have ever heard. Enter The Thule Grimoires, an album that takes this history of wild creativity and continues to push the limits of what its creator, and metal as a whole, is capable of.

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Initial Descent: January 31 – February 6, 2021

Chaos Echœs

You may ask “why feature Chaos Echœs now?” and the answers are: 1) because they are releasing an astounding live soundboard recording from 2018 on glorious vinyl and 2) because they were masters of their craft. Period. Must own situation so go do that now and then finish up here. Other, of note, new releases this week come in the form of entrancing black metal from The Ruins of Beverast, upbeat folk metal from Korpiklaani, and epic post-metal from Cult of Luna—it’s an EP so maybe half epic? All that and much more directly below.

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