TOP 10 OF 2022
The following are the lists of the best METAL/ROCK/PUNK releases for 2022 by staff members at Metal Revolution Webzine.
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Symphonity – Marco Polo: The Metal Soundtrack (Limb Music)
This is not just this year’s top symphonic metal release, but could easily be one of the best releases over all. Marco Polo: The Metal Soundtrack is a sublime concept album with a perfect song-writing and excellent production.
HammerFall – Hammer Of Dawn (Napalm Records)
Hammer Of Dawn is Hammerfall’s 12th full-length. It's shows that the kings of power metal are back and still in a triumphant form. Hammer Of Dawn is bombastic, and filled with some of the best songs the band have written in years.
Meshuggah – Immutable (Atomic Fire)
Meshuggah is not reinvented the wheel with the release of Immutable, but it is a very listenable album with a potential of becoming a classic. It's filled with lots of polyrhythms, jazzy solos and other experimental and progressive tones.
Dark Funeral – We Are The Apocalypse (Century Mediak)
We Are The Apocalypse is Dark Funeral's greatest achievement yet! I know it's a big words to say, but there're simply no filler tracks on this record. We Are The Apocalypse is a very diverse record with the respect to each song.
Kreator - Hate Über Alles (Nuclear Blast)
Hate Über Alles may sounds much as their last few releases, but still good enough for me. Decent riffs, tight performances, angry lyrics and thrashing anthems. What more can an old-school thrash fan ask for?
Stratovariums - Survive (Ear Music)
Another symphonic power metal pearl is to be found on my top10 list. Finland's pride - Stratoravius has released a hell of a come-back album with Survive. 11 excellent and well-crafted power metal hymns with an epic 11-minutes long ending “Voice of Thunder”, simply amazing!
Ozzy Osbourne - Patient Number 9 (Epic)
In an age of 73 double O is still not only alive, but also “Immortal” as he sings on his 13th solo album. A few dedicated rock giants make a contribution to this album, among those Zakk Wylde, Eric Clapton and Tonny Iommi, just to name a few. Patient Number 9 is surprisingly a very good album that will please all fans of heavy, blues, classic and dark rock/metal.
Megadeth – The Sick, The Dying... And The Dead! (Universal)
Apart from a couple of fillers The Sick, The Dying... And The Dead! Is very good new release from mighty Megadeth. It's a blend of The System Has Failed and United Abominations, and father better than their late 90s era.
Dead Cross – II (Ipecac Recordings)
Dead Cross consists of Mike Patton (screams and vocals), Dave Lombardo (drums), Michael Crain (guitar) and Justin Pearson (bass). As is often the case with anything Dave Lombardo and Mike Patton do, the level is high, but II also bears witness to a band that has grown and is here to stay!
Slipknot - The End, So Far (Roadrunner/ Warner Music)
That the nine musicians with masks can deliver albums of this quality with such frequency and with the creative exuberance and daring that has been experienced on their last several releases, is astounding.
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The Black Dahlia Murder - Yule 'Em All (Metal Blade)
Under normal circumstances I'll never listen to a holiday music, but Black Dahlia Murder's Yule 'Em All - A Holiday Variety Extravaganza is a funny and perfectly executed metal release, while remembering the legacy of Trevor Strnad.
Royal Hunt - Dystopia Part II (Northpoint)
No Top10 list without at least one band from Denmark! This year's best danish release is Dystopia Part II from danish kings of progressive rock. As the titles suggests, this is a second part of the story about Dystopia. It's dramatic, heavy, progressive and cinematic, almost as a perfect set-up for a theater play.
Epica - The Alchemy Project (Atomic Fire)
Epica is one of the oldest symphonic metal bands from The Netherlands. The release of The Alchemy Project marks two decades of their career. Simone Simons' vocals are as good as ever, and with a superb song-writing of Mark Jansen, this album is very interesting and different to anything we've heard from Epica before.
Alice Cooper - Live from the Astroturf (Ear Music)
Live from the Astroturf is the 12th live album by shock-rock legend Alice Cooper, originally released through Good Records in 2018, before receiving a worldwide release from Ear Music in 2022. I loved it back then, and I love it now.
Seventh Storm – Maledictus (Atomic Fire)
Seventh Storm are a new band formed by Mike Gaspar, formerly the drummer for Moonspell. This time he has also written and arranged all of the music for their debut album, Maledictus. They should be proud of their new work and all of the 12 tracks on the record.
Decapitated - Cancer Culture (Nuclear Blast)
Again, it's not very often that I listen to an extreme metal, but Cancer Culture is awesome album revealing new sides of the band that we thought we knew so well. This, eighth studio album by Polish death metal band Decapitated, is probably the best extreme metal record in 2022!
Amon Amarth - The Great Heathen Army (Atomic Fire)
Melodic death metal, esp. Swedish-style is more my cup of tea. The Great Heathen Army is the twelfth studio album by Swedish melodic death metal band Amon Amarth and probably their best to this day!
Lamb Of God – Omens (Epic/NuclearBlast)
Omens is the ninth studio album by Virginia heavy metal band Lamb of God. Omens finds the band sounds heavier, more violent and pissed-off as ever. Anyone into a mix of elements from hardcore/punk/metal will dig it. Another incredible album that needs to be in every metal fan's collection.
Queensrÿche - Digital Noise Alliance (Century Media)
Destruction - Diabolical (Napalm Records)
German thrash metal veterans Destruction brings out heavy artillery on their 15th studio album entitled Diabolical. It's a piece of honest and uncompromising thrash metal, which no fan of the genre should miss.
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Crippled Black Phoenix – Banefyre (Season of Mist)
On Banefyre Crippled Black Phoenix have taken all that they’ve improved on Ellengæst, and applied it to an massive complex framework. On this double album CBF have created the most comprehensive work of their career, on which the band unleashes their colossal potential. And they’ve done it on their own terms.
The Cult – Under the Midnight Sun (Black Hill Records)
The Cult has been riding the wave of creative bloom with that crucial push-pull relationship between Astbury and Duffy intact. Under the Midnight Sun is a grown-up rock record filled with character and with its hypnotic passion it simply burst with elegant beauty on virtually every aspect.
Sigh – Shiki (Peaceville Records)
There is so much gore darkness and so much fragile beauty on this record and sometimes they are present at the very same moment. Much like any Sigh album there is an instant impact of the music, but to fully appreciate it you need to invest time AND focus. There might not be all that much initial surprise or groundbreaking on Sigh’s twelfth album but , but it’s still an album that serves as an immaculate display of this band’s uniqueness and the fact that few can stand tall next to them.
Šajzerbiterlemon - Na Dugačkim Poljima (Greenger Records)
Building on their debut of energetic garage rock, Šajzerbiterlemon unfold their potential over all expectations on their sophomore release. Expanding their sound with elements of post rock, electronica and indie comes across as the most natural thing in the world. Add to that the young-band hunger and what you get is just about a perfect record.
Spell - Tragic Magic (Bad Omens Records)
Gorgeous elements and rehearsal-space feel both play a crucial role in Spell’s sound, but the balancing the two is where the sonic magic occurs. There is an ever-present hypnotic feel to Tragic Magic and combined with classic rock sound, the overall effect on the listener is rather uplifting. Its' basically impossible to listen to it without a grin on your face and that in itself is rather refreshing for the genre.
MMXX - Sacred Cargo (Candlelight Records)
With their debut Sacred Cargo, MMXX have created a strong and utterly exquisite doom record so suiting for this time of the year and indeed, the times we’re all living in. If you give it attention and time it craves, it will reward you by embracing you fully and perhaps even swallowing you whole into its beautify dark universe.
Porcupine Tree - Closure/Continuation (Music For Nations)
Another strong release by one of the most influential prog rock bands of past few decades and a rather worthy comeback after 13 year long hiatus. For the most part it rests on the shoulders of what the band has done before, but with outwardly class and taking into the consideration their impact on the genre, it’s completely justified to do just that.
Afterimage – II: Beyond Horizons Infinite (Steely Gallery)
With exception of those mind-blowing vocals, the ingredients of this album might not that original, but the result most certainly is. This is power metal done right, but at least just as importantly there is that hard-to-point-out quality to it, which makes the crucial difference. Afterimage have delivered a very strong power metal album and this Greek band is most certainly a band to hold an eye on.
Antimatter - A Profusion of Thought (Music In Stone)
A Profusion of Thought consists of ten previously unheard and unrecorded songs, which instigate from writing sessions for almost all of Antimatter’s albums. This album might me collection of songs that were opt out in the past, for whatever reason, but recorded and released in 2022 they prove this band’s colossal consistent quality.
Sonja - Loud Arriver (Cruz Del Sur Music SRL)
The debut from Philadelphia based trio is just the infectious, fun, raw classic heavy metal record, year of 2022 needed. On top of all that add extremely strong songwriting and performance and what you have is one of the strongest debuts of this year.
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Shape Of Despair – Return To Void (Season Of Mist)
Intensely melancholic and powerfully relentless, Return To Void marks clearly that Shape Of Despair have yet to pass their prime. Western Funeral Doom at its finest.
Peurbleue – La Ciguë (Les Acteurs De l'Ombre)
Haunted Black Metal hailing from the deepest recesses of France, with all that entails. Make sure to turn off the lights and keep distractions at a minimum for this one; Atmosphere heavy.
Miasmes - Vermines (Les Acteurs De l'Ombre)
Three talented musicians with experience from fifteen different bands banding together to prove that Second Wave Black Metal still belongs in the world – What is there not to love?
Rise To The Skye – Every Day, A Funeral (Meuse)
Atmoshperic Doom/Death Metal from a very prolific as well as talented one-man band. I remember writing that he hit me right in the blind spot and rose himself straight to my to-do-list – And I have yet to work my way through all his releases.
Houle – Houle (Les Acteurs De l'Ombre)
Expansive and hostile oceans are, for a little while still, a somewhat untouched subject by Metal bands. Melodic Black Metallers Houle are not fooled however, and are blatantly exposing both its dangers and its beauty.
Beyond Mortal Dreams – Abomination Of The Flames (Lavadome)
A modern Death Metal classic, while at the same time a strong throwback to what used to be. What is there not to love?
Dèhá – Decadanse (Les Acteurs De l'Ombre)
Slow and meticulous Black Metal from the Belgian master. From what I hear Déhà is either hit or miss due to his very unique style – I cannot comfirm this however, since he has always been a 'hit' for me.
Wesenwille – I + Live At Roadburn (Les Acteurs De l'ombre)
A combination between the bands first ever release alongside said album being played, chronologically in its entirety at Roadburn earlier this year. Now that is a recipe for perfection.
Au-Dessus – Mend (Les Acteurs De l'Ombre)
Au-Dessus rarely release a new album – However whenever they do, it is nearly guaranteed to be something I will have to get my hands on. They have yet to disappoint.
HammerFall – Hammer Of Dawn (Napalm Records)
Being a mainstay of the Power Metal scene by now, the nearly thirty years worth of experience on display on Hammer Of Dawn is hard to understate. An album made to be played live.