Huzzah, good riddance to another weird year, not only on both personal and professional fronts which basically prevented me from engaging in music writing, but also in terms of metal itself. Weird in the sense that multiple previous EOY luminaries released albums that failed to resonate, while bands that had not clicked for me on earlier albums decided to surprise me. Amidst all the oddity, there was thankfully a degree of cosmic justice and continuing reliability, as old favorites released their best work to date while relative newcomers delivered on the promises and potential for greatness that were teased on their initial releases. Without further ado, here are my 15 favorite metal albums of 2022.Continue reading
Best of 2022: Ian’s Honorable Mentions
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:Continue reading
Best of 2022: Chris’s Honorable Mentions
I’ve been thinking about Honorable Mentions lately. We differentiate them from our main lists, but in the grand scheme of things every album we call out on the site is an honorable mention: there’s something about the music, about the power the chords and melodies hold over us that warrants notice, that deserves a voice to amplify the message to a wider, often preoccupied world. In a time when we too often use the tools of social media and the internet to confront, to argue, to parrot – even in the name of awareness – toxic behavior, I find myself moving steadily inward, barricading myself from the noise and burying my head in the sonic pulse of drums, guitar, bass, and vocals both sung and shouted, screamed and pitched in ways that insulate me from the static of the world.
But the music, dumbass! It calls for notice, deserves it. And like 2020 and 2021 this is just the start of a conversation, not the end. So once again: 15 records in alphabetical order. Any other day, any other minute from the time I write this it can change. Does that make it any less valid?
Does it matter if I got you to – even for a moment – consider the virtues of these fantastic records?
You decide. In the meantime, let’s do this.Continue reading
Scholar of the First Sin: Hera’s Best of 2022 — The Outliers (Honorable Mentions)
EOY list season is upon us, which means that many will be scrambling to put together lists that are both cohesive and, objectively, correct. Although I knew that 2022 might not be able to compete with 2021’s sheer musical quantity, 2022 had more quality releases. It’s gotten to the point where I now have an entire separate list of albums just to catch up with.
It’s also one of the many reasons why I have decided to expand the honorable mentions list, as I found myself with 28 albums that I had enjoyed but didn’t know what to do with them. After somewhat coming to terms with the 20 I want to officially present in my planned EOY list, I decided that these eight deserved some words from me, as I, once again, have a lot to say.
It’s time to touch the painting sitting in Anor Londo.Continue reading
The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 227 (4.16.2022)
Seven days have come and gone, and I am still buried in the swirling green haze of classic psychedelic rock. I can’t escape…and frankly I don’t want to escape. But I also don’t want to burden you with more fuzz and scuzz from the late 60s and early 70s, so I’m kindly bowing out of this, the 227th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist and will let my fellow partners in crime hit you with the heavy stuff.
Anton brings us in with some Cosmic Putrefaction, followed by Tomarum and Syberia. Josh hits us with all kinds of rot, starting with Wormrot and quickly chasing it with some new Jungle Rot. After that it’s a swig of Denouncement Pyre, Kreator, Moon Tooth, and some classic Burst. Vincent has been all over the debut from the Linda Lindas, so you get some that plus tracks from Amulets and Superstition. Ian graces us again with his picks, hitting up The Weakerthans, Gregory Alan Isakov, After the Burial, and the long awaited return of Ignite. From there Angela brings it home with Darkher, Primitive Man, Horn, and a collaboration between Thou, Emma Ruth Rundle, and Mizmor.
Get listening. Stay safe. See you next week.