We all know that 2020 was a very unpleasant year (to say the least). You don’t need me to list all the ways it was awful. We are all painfully aware of the details, and even more so as we look back at our 2020 new year’s resolutions we had made (travel more, drink less; you know). So enough of that, let’s focus on a bit of positivity and good that emerged from the past 12 months. For instance, there were so many new and wonderful musical releases that I could not even keep up. Every new album I listened to brought some joy, some goosebumps, and some pain—but in a good, cathartic way. As usual, my super indecisive self had a difficult time narrowing down the list of favorites. I managed to finally settle(ish) on a list. These selections are different (with the exception of my number one pick) from when I weighed in on the group list and different on the EOY Podcast episode—apologies for the inconsistency but, again, I’m indecisive (and also anxious).
Here are my top 13 as of this moment (because I love all things spooky, and c’mon, we’ve already had all the bad luck brought upon us) and a little list of some nonmetal favorites.
For this episode we go all in with most of the staff for our best of 2020 picks. We hit the high notes of what tickled our fancies for the year that was a shitstorm and even welcomed in a new member to the family. So, buckle up for an epic episode that has a wealth of stuff you may have missed and be sure to take notes, artists we mention need your support so open up those wallets and purses.
Ah, the big one. I’ve been looking forward to writing this for a while, but I also can’t help but feel like there’s no way I could possibly put everything I loved about music in 2020 into enough words to satisfy myself. If I had enough time or gumption to make a list that was twenty or thirty albums long, I still don’t think that would be enough. So much great music happened amid the Unpleasantness, and I think more than ever it was worth paying attention to all of it, whether for excitement or escape or transcendentalism or catharsis. For me, losing a twice-daily commute meant that I had to be an active listener to the music I chose to put on, and I think that made the releases that stood out to me stand out all the more. Plus, being a part of the team here has been a literal dream come true, and I had more access than ever to quality releases. Without further ado, here are the ones I’ve fallen for the hardest.
Greetings everyone, and welcome to Best of 2020 season! I know we are all anxiously awaiting another calendar turn, but before we start dealing with Decaying Society: Episode 2021, we have some highlights from the metal world to discuss. And let’s face it, despite the absurdity of 2020 in every sense of the term, there were still plenty of monster releases that graced our ears in the last 12 months. Before we roll into our individual lists, we’re kicking the season off with our combined staff list. First a reminder of how this all works…
Like last year, each member of the Nine Circles staff (well, most of them), chose their nine favorite albums (inclusive of EPs), listed in order, and up to nine honorable mentions. Obviously, branding counts. A scoring system was applied to the rankings. For example, one person’s first place album received 10 points, the second received 9, so on and so forth… and all honorable mentions received 1 point. Then, combining the scores between everyone’s lists, we have ourselves a Nine Circles ov 2020, brought to you by, well, everyone.
One change to it this year, however, is that we’ve also crowned a label of the year, using the same scoring process as above. Clearly the highest honor in the industry. Who claimed this title for 2020? You’ll have to wait until the very end.
Anyway, that’s all simple enough, right? Right. Enough reading, let’s get into it…
Yep, 10.31. HALLOWEEN. The best day of the year. So, in light of this, we bring you our spooky edition or gore edition or occult edition, all depends on what video is playing at the time. Brother Vince made the call for spooooooooky videos and I was over here with zero power or internet so in lieu of putting him on the last minute spot, you got me. So, what horrors are in store? What wicked tricks do we have? I bring some wicked death metal, King Diamond and Axeslasher, Jon brings some Devin Townsend, Angela brings Ghost B.C. and Misfits (topical, I might add), Ian brings The Mountain Goats (no surprise) and Pallbearer, and Hera brings some Zeal & Ardor. And, we close with two HITS from Two Minutes To Late Night and even though it’s not Christmas, both of these are still tailor made for today, you’ll see. Hit play and go scare up some good times somewhere or just hang in and sync this up with an old favorite horror movie. Either way, enjoy and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!