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.
I officially live in the mountains… just in time for winter.
Northwest Terror Fest is returning in 2023, and the lineup is pretty darn stacked. Yob, Wormrot, Horrendous, and obviously many more. That festival is set for May 25 through 27 in Seattle, and tickets go on sale this coming Friday. Get the full scoop here.
With Focus turning 30 in 2023, Cynic are paying homage to late members Sean Reinert and Sean Malone, while marking the anniversary of that album, with two special performances. They’ll be performing on the 70,000 Tons of Metal Cruise, which is set for January 30 through February 3, and then at ProgPower USA on September 6 in Atlanta. These are their first live performances since the passing of Reinert and Malone.
I love the phrase “cold comfort”. Taken in its intended meaning, the world may be falling apart, but at least the music’s been good, right? But I also find that with the cold weather comes the deep desire to drown in a wash of the nostalgic, the lived in, the…well, comfortable. So we’re kicking off the 258th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist with the remaster of “Total Eclipse”, rightfully put back in the track listing for Iron Maiden‘s seminal 1982 album, now packaged with the incredible Beast Over Hammersmith live album.
From there we move onto more extreme corners, kicking things off with new Candlemass before going full on throat ripping with Sanguisugabogg, Ribspreader, Psionic Madness, Turbid North, Spider God, and new Nothingness. There are small breaks with classics from Against Me! and Refused before diving back into the filth with Cloud Rat, Wormrot, Falls of Rauros, The Otolith, new Gaupa and a lot more.
Friday night. Bourbon. Metal. This is how we do it here at Nine Circles. I’ve been listening nonstop to the new Wormrot record that came out on 7/8. It’s a monster, and they’re probably the best grind band out there right now, in my humble opinion. But before we hit that up I have some internet surprises that hit me in just the right spot…maybe they’ll hit you, too.
Elsewhere Josh has everyone in a frenzy with new music from Psycroptic and Municipal Waste and Trapped In The Morgue…and then slays with a classic cut from one of my favorite Death records. Vincent is up next and he’s serving some new music from Cloud Rat and the new project from the folks in Yellow Eyes called Sunrise Patriot Motion before hitting some old school sounds from Pianos Become The Teeth. Next up is Angela charing the plains with Amon Amarth, followed by some Telekinetic Yeti and The Chasm. Finally Ian returns and lays down some Woods of Desolation, Svalbard, First Fragment and then a whopper of a track from the Violent Femmes because you know you all love “Blister in the Sun” as much as we do. And since we’re a little short today and it’s what I’m currently listening to as I write this there’s a massive jam from Grand Funk Railroad just to shake things up. Make of that what you will – they were featured in an issue of Decibel SO IT COUNTS!
Welcome back to your regularly scheduled Nine Circles Playlist. The 232nd, in fact. And the metal has been flowing here at 9C. Some really strong music coming out lately, both from heavy hitters like Cave In and Blut Aus Nord as well as some smaller but really killer bands like Predatory Light and Kvaen, who I just got turned onto thanks to the awesome staff here at Nine Circles. So let’s kick it off with some of that and then get to the crew.
Have you been knocked to the floor yet? If so, pick yourself back up, because Anton’s back and he’s got new music coming from Warforged, Greylotus, and Inanna. Then Josh barrels into the room (careful not to spill a drop of his choice bourbon) with Tombs covering Motörhead, Abaddon Incarnate, Dismorphic Demiurge, Periphery, and some killer new cuts from Wormrot. Next up it’s Vincent over the moon with news that Imperial Triumphant is back with new music. He’s also bringing the variety with Cocteau Twins, new Nechochwen, A Pregnant Light and some Martyrdöd – I just picked this up on vinyl and it is indeed vicious. Buke alternates between old and new with some classic Rainbow, Amon Amarth,Sanctuary, and Opeth before following it up with some new music from Master Boot Record. Finally Angela makes sure we all go home satisfied with some Alexisonfire, Sowulo, and Ethel Cain.