Hi everyone, it's Jon Rosenthal (feel free to bail now). If you're reading this, then you've either reached your final destination after reading all of our 2022 lists... or want to skip past all the standard Invisible Oranges-esque blathering about each release and simply find out which are the critical top picks. I don't blame you if you are the latter, but congratulations on ending your journey if you are the former. We ran maybe too many (17) lists this year.

Some things to consider when reading below:

Out of a list of 227 total albums across all 17 lists (sans ten unordered honorable mentions which were left out, sorry!), we have listed the top 20 here–each album is scored based on its position in the list, so a #1 gets 20 points, #20 gets 1 point, et cetera. As an album can only score a maximum of 20 points per list, an album could potentially receive a whopping 340 points if it cleaned house as Album of the Year across the board. This did not happen (as evidenced by how many albums we did include in our lists, having an overall album of the year in such blatant numbers is a miracle), though one album definitely did prevail.

Included below are our Critical Top 20, including total score, frequency of list inclusion, and average score based on frequency of placement and total score.

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1. Chat Pile – God's Country (The Flenser, USA)
123 points/9 lists = 13.67 average points
2. Undeath – It's Time… To Rise From The Grave (Prosthetic Records, USA)
92 points/7 lists = 13.14 average points
3. Negative Plane – The Pact… (The Ajna Offensive/Invictus Productions, USA)
59 points/4 lists = 14.75 average points
4. Doldrum – The Knocking… (Katafalque, USA)
58 points/3 lists = 19.33 average points
5. Sonja – Loud Arriver (Cruz del Sur Records, USA)
53 points/3 lists = 17.67 average points
6. Dream Unending – Song of Salvation (20 Buck Spin, USA/Canada)
49 points/5 lists = 9.8 average points
7. Gudsforladt – Friendship, Love & War (Night of the Pale Moon/Independent, USA)
45 points/4 lists = 11.25 average points
8. Immolation – Acts of God (Nuclear Blast, USA)
45 points/5 lists = 9 average points
9. (tie) Sigh – Shiki (Peaceville Records, Japan)
40 points/4 lists = 10 average points
9. (tie) Wormrot – Hiss (Earache Records, Singapore)
40 points/4 lists = 10 average points
11. Ghost – IMPERA (Loma Vista Recordings, Sweden)
39 points/3 lists = 13 average points
12. Blut aus Nord – Disharmonium - Undreamable Abysses (Debemur Morti Productions, France)
37 points/4 lists = 9.25 average points
13. Mamaleek – Diner Coffee (The Flenser, USA/?)
36 points/2 lists = 18 average points
14. (tie) Rolo Tomassi – Where Myth Becomes Memory (MNRK Heavy, UK)
35 points/2 lists = 17.5 average points
14. (tie) Sunrise Patriot Motion – Black Fellflower Stream (Sibir Records/Gilead Media, USA)
35 points/2 lists = 17.5 average points
16. Artificial Brain – Artificial Brain (Profound Lore Records, USA)
34 points/2 lists = 17 average points
17. Autopsy – Morbidity Triumphant (Peaceville Records, USA)
33 points/3 lists = 11 average points
18. Midnight – Let There Be Witchery (Metal Blade Records, USA)
32 points/2 lists = 16 average points
19. Ripped to Shreds – 劇變 (Jubian) (Relapse Records, USA)
31 points/2 lists = 15.5 average points
20. Escuela Grind – Memory Theater (MNRK Heavy, USA)
27 points/2 lists = 13.5 average points

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