Addison Herron-Wheeler’s Top Albums of 2022
While in some ways 2022 felt infinitely long with the deluge of releases backed up from 2020 coming out, it also felt like it was over in the blink of an eye. Such is the nature of life after COVID, but the good news is, there is still plenty of inspiration to be had now that everyone has had a fire lit under them to create music with a lasting impact. Here are some of my top releases from 2022.
20. Cave In – Heavy Pendulum (Relapse Records, USA)
19. Venom Prison – Erebos (Century Media Records, USA)
18. Autopsy – Morbidity Triumphant (Peaceville Records, USA)
17. Napalm Death – Resentment Is Always Seismic - A Final Throw Of Throes (Century Media Records, U.K.)
16. Chat Pile – God’s Country (The Flenser, USA)
15. Cult Of Luna – The Long Road North(Metal Blade Records, USA)
14. Goatwhore – Angels Hung From The Arches Of Heaven (Metal Blade Records, USA)
13. Watain – The Agony & Ecstasy Of Watain (Nuclear Blast,USA.)
12. Zeal & Ardor – Zeal & Ardor (Mvka, USA)
11. Evergrey – A Heartless Portrait (The Orphean Testament) (Napalm Records, USA.)
A band that needs no introduction, Dark Funeral are still around, still making great music, and still putting on a great live show. Their performance at Denver’s Decibel Metal and Beer Fest showed us that they still have it in them when it comes to taking the stage, and We Are the Apocalypse is proof that they still have music to write. Already known as pioneers of the raw, straightforward black metal sound that’s currently popular today, their new album can hang with the best of them without sacrificing anything about their previous sound.
Another classic band that are still churning out epic releases, Immolation did not disappoint with Acts of God. The large-scale expansiveness on this album is a testament to the staying power of the band after all these years. The cover art and imagery fit the theme of the record perfectly, and this is one I can listen to again and again.
Every time Midnight release a new album, you know you’re in for a good time. While the band never break the mold with their albums, and listeners generally know what to expect, they have yet to lose any momentum with their records. This one is just as fun and catchy as the last, and is one of the most solid releases from any metal band this year.
Imperial Triumphant continue to expand and experiment with their sound on Spirit of Ecstasy. All of the jazz and industrial influence shines through, making the record truly well rounded and heavy, as well as surprisingly listenable. In my opinion, this is their best record yet.
The best hardcore is catchy, metal-tinged, and played from the heart, and Escuela Grind check all those boxes with Memory Theater. Though they are a new band, they’ve already gained quite a following with their unique imagery, message of social justice, and earnest and heavy vibes. This album is great, and I believe there is a lot more in store for us.
Mortuous strike the perfect balance for death doom fans with Upon Desolation. There is cavernous heaviness paired with unique and blasting riffs. This record is perfect for driving, working, partying, or really just about anything.
Ripped to Shreds are putting Chinese-American death metal on the map, and 劇變 (Jubian) is heavy, modern, thrashy, California death metal at its finest. This album is by far one of the best death metal albums of the year and deserves all the attention it's getting.
Bleed-Abide is one of the best albums of all time, in any year, to listen to when you’re in a bad mood. Their earnest lyrics and heavy, metallic hardcore aggression is great for screaming along to in the car after work, and cheaper than therapy! This band keeps getting better with every record.
One of the best and most surprising of the year, They Fear Us far surpasses Ithaca’s initial album and perfectly nails the balance between nostalgia for old-school metalcore and the desire to create something new and unique. Hailing from Europe and playing some of the catchiest metal of all time, this album blew me away when I least expected it.
There is a certain formula for the perfect death metal album that involves the perfect amount of riffs, hooks, catchiness, and heaviness. It’s only been nailed absolutely perfectly a few times in the history of the genre, and this year’s album from Undeath does just that. From front to back, it is catchy, fun, and unrelenting.