Best of 2022: Chris’s List

Best of 2022


We’re going to keep the intro brief on this one. Year after year I struggle to find the words to open this post, where I ostensibly count down my favorite 25 metal albums of the year. Typically the first thing I do is check out the previous year’s entry…read and see if the themes are still relevant, if there’s anything I want to refine or emphasize for the current year. And for the first time, I didn’t find anything worth changing. Yes…I may have finally nailed it with my 2021 Best Of introduction.

By now you’ve (hopefully) read my post talking about nine albums that didn’t make my but could have, and my 15 Honorable Mentions and how the very concept of an honorable mention seems to contradict itself when the music is so good. I would usually say that was all prelude to this, but that’s a lie. You know, and now I do as well. In the end, all we can do is recount the things we love, and hope it inspires something in you.

So if you will, a request: go back and read that intro to 2021. And then check out the albums listed below for this year. Don’t worry about rankings, don’t worry about omissions. Just check out the music, and let it hopefully inspire something in you.

All of these albums did that for me.

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Denis “Snake” Bélanger of Voivod on their new EP “Ultraman” and much more!

Voivod

Some 40 years and change has seen a lot in the Voivod camp. A handful of genres crossed, a deep discography, and tons of rabid fans that soak up anything and everything they can get their hands on. The Voivod of today makes some of the best sci-fi metal you’re likely to ever hear and on their newest EP, Ultraman, they offer a stunning tribute to the TV series theme of the same name. As if that’s not enough, the EP also offers some bonus live tracks. Buke recently sat down with vocalist Denis “Snake” Bélanger to discuss the new EP, the band’s deep history, and so much more. We now bring you this conversation in its entirety so grab your beverage of choice, a seat, and enjoy.

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Nine (or so Heavily Qualified) Circles ov…2022: A Mid-Year Report

voss mid-year report 2022

Okay, so I may have only formally reviewed 11 albums by the mid point this year, but that’s one more than I was at last year, so victory! However, that doesn’t count the 30 other albums covered in earlier editions of Nine Circles ov (like the Stoner Metal one, or the promo pile one, or the non-promo pile one) or Second Circle. Not to mention my folders telling me I’ve listened to 151 metal albums so far this year. It’s scratching the surface, I know…but at least there are quantifiable metrics for you to assess whether or not I’ve met my acceptance criteria to mark this feature as Done.

And now that my work life has completely blended into this post, let’s talk about how massive 2022 has been so far. We’re once again turning this edition of Nine Circles ov… into a dozen and I’m even going to throw some bonus mentions into the mix. Are these my absolute favorites of the year? Kind of: I wanted to highlight some albums I haven’t seen a lot of coverage on as well as some definite big guns I really dig so far. So what I’m saying is, here’s a big list of stuff I love. Maybe you’ll love it, too.

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CANTO: Arch Enemy, White Ward, Imperial Triumphant, and More

After a couple days off, I am back to close out the week.

  • We’ll open up with some new material from White Ward that actually premiered yesterday. But since I’m a degenerate, you get it today. Check out “Cronus” here, the second track taken from False Light. As a reminder, that album is out on June 17th through Debemur Morti Productions.
  • Cynic released a live video of “King of Those Who Know”, with footage taken from a 2010 performance in Mexico City. Give it a watch here.
  • Imperial Triumphant is dropping a new album on July 22nd. Spirit of Ecstasy will be out through Century Media, and “Maximalist Scream” is available for streaming now. That track features Snake from Voivod, which is awesome.
  • Funeral Chic have announced that their third full-length album, Roman Candle, will be out on July 29th through Prosthetic Records. Check out the lead single, “Spit & Crawl”, with accompanying music video, here.
  • Arch Enemy is pretty reliable when it comes to new music videos, so that’s how we’re going to head into the weekend. Check out the clip for “Sunset Over The Empire” below. And if you want to purchase the single, you can do so here. They also have a new album out o July 29th through Century Media titled Deceivers. All kinds of good stuff.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
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The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 228 (4.23.2022)

playlist - mixtape

As I write this it’s a few short hours until the next Record Store Day. I’m not normally the type to burst to my LRS in the dawn light just to snag an overpriced variant, but when you have sweet reissues from Opeth and Voivod, plus the debut of The Lord from Greg Anderson, well…you know I have to set the alarm for that, right?

So yeah…we’re gonna kick off the 228th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist with what you can expect from those heavyweights, but we got more of the concrete coming straight for your head. Anton welcomes new music from Exocrine, Misanthropic Rage, and Ufomammut to the playlist while Josh doubles down on the brutality with Black Braid, Crypticus, Paganizer, Butchers Burial and a killer new track from site favorite Spirit Adrift. Vincent is knee-deep in his Pyrithe review, so he’s serving up some of their music along with Ultha, Orville Peck, and some classic New Order. Ian returns to the playlist with some Kardashev and Gojira, along with a healthy dose of the Pixies and some Planning for Burial. Angela is digging the latest from Tribulation and…wouldn’t you know it? For the first time, so am I! And she also has Mountaineer and Telekinetic Yeti bringing up the rear for this week.

Get listening. Stay safe. See you next week.

Chris