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Top Metal Albums of 2022

Discussion in 'RC' started by Opeth17, Jan 1, 2023.

  1. Opeth17

    Opeth17 Bill Ward's Red Pants

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    Whatchu got? @J. @Doom @spikes77 @DarkGift @Cryptos Grimm @Hell Mike @rms

    https://rateyourmusic.com/list/SonOfNun/top-20-metal-albums-of-2022/

    1. Molder - Engrossed in Decay

    Molder has been a true revelation. Linking the past and present, Molder did more than any other band to convince me that there are new Death Metal bands that are not just carrying the torch of the old school but making music at the same level of quality. Their two albums are both instant classics from today's number one Death Metal riffmasters.

    2. Eric Wagner - In the Lonely Light of Mourning


    A fitting adieu from the legend Eric Wagner. This album brings his career full circle. It is reminiscent of his excellent, recent work with The Skull while evoking memories of Trouble. May his memory be eternal.

    3. Cryptic Hatred - Nocturnal Sickness

    Cryptic Hatred's debut really snuck up on me late in the year. This album by some talented Finnish teens has not generated nearly the buzz that it should have. These guys have an incredible knack for re-creating the spirit of the emerging Brutal Death Metal scene at the beginning of the 90s. They draw their primary inspiration from Cannibal Corpse circa Butchered at Birth but "Nocturnal Sickness" is not a carbon copy. Cryptic Hatred bring the riffs and are excellent songwriters. Take note.

    4. Morbific - Squirm Beyond the Mortal Realm

    Morbific has quickly become one of my favorite bands and near the very top of the pile of new Death Metal bands. Coming from the grimy Autopsy school of Death Metal, Morbific thankfully emulates that band's penchant for catchy riffs that linger with you and create memorable songs. Top notch stuff.

    5. Last Retch - Sadism and Severed Heads

    I discovered the debut album of Last Retch late in the year, but it made it all the way to number five. That is indicative of how much I enjoyed it from the get-go. This is the kind of mid-paced, groove oriented Death Metal that I'm a sucker for. Last Retch's OSDM grooves are laced with perfectly placed leads that set the songs off. I'm reminded of Jungle Rot and the early Six Feet Under albums (which I love).

    6. Monasterium - Cold Are the Graves

    My top current Doom band is Evangelist and Monasterium are the brother band of that group. They share members, most significantly Michał Strzelecki, who is undoubtedly the voice of Epic Doom today. Cold Are the Graves is a varied album that shows the strength Monasterium has playing in various tempos and styles. Highlights include "The Siege" which has an epic heavy metal vibe and recounts the tragic tale of the Fourth Crusade; "Remembered" - a ballad concerning a man's reflection on death and it's aftermath; and "The Great Plague" which is traditional Epic Doom perfected (ala Evangelist).

    7. Grenadier - Trumpets Blare in Blazing Glory

    Grenadier have largely succeeded in re-constructing the atmosphere of Arghoslent's "Incorrigible Bigotry," an album that I adore. There was little doubt, then, that this album would be a winner for me. Despite my generally high regard for the album's sound, however, it didn't quite click right away as I felt the urge to just listen to Arghoslent instead. However, repeated listens did reveal that this album has put it's own stamp on the style and the band have crafted some really well-written songs. Highlights are "Commending the Imperial" (which can stand toe-to-toe with any Arghoslent track) and "The Levant Sultanate."

    8. Inanna - Void of Unending Depths

    Inanna has got to be the biggest surprise in my Top 10. As you can tell from the rest of my list, this is not the mid-paced, groove-oriented, sewer DM that is my forte. Inanna is dense, technical, dissonant, and spacey. Those are qualities I typically either don't care about or actively dislike, yet somehow this album won me over. I think it's because the guys in Inanna are not only impressive musicians, but they are great songwriters and create some beautiful melodies (especially in the lead guitar work). Songs that could easily overwhelm me instead keep me following right along and banging my head. Everything is placed exactly where it should be. Outside of the largely slow-paced "Key to Alpha Centauri," I'm gripped by the record throughout...and that closer "Cabo de Hornos." Damn! What a song. Inanna comes in at number 8 and wins surprise of the year.

    9. Mother of Graves - Where Shadows Adorn

    Mother of Graves plays the absolute perfect style of Death/Doom for me. This band is influenced by the Katatonia/Paradise Lost/Novembers Doom school of Death/Doom that is filled with melody and melancholy atmospheric beauty. Keyboards are present and add tremendously to the mood of the album. Listening to this record is a moving experience and this album quickly made it's way into my Top 10.

    10. Dream Unending - Song of Salvation

    When I first listened to the sophomore album by Dream Unending, I figured "Eh, this is kinda boring - not for me." Of course, I was only half-listening while distracted with other business. This album is a great reminder that being in the right situation and listening intently is key to understanding a record. When I put on Song of Salvation at bedtime, the beauty of the album totally blew me away. There is some stunning, melodic guitar work here that has to be heard. As you may have guessed, I'm generally not a fan of super slow music so the funeral doom elements can be difficult for me, but this is such a varied release that they quickly shift into something else. Any fan of atmospheric Metal should give this a focused listen and hear the layers of beauty unfold.

    11. Autophagy - Bacteriophage

    As I sorted through the gamut of 2022 releases near the end of the year I discovered some gems that quickly rose to the top. Autophagy's debut is one of them. This album combines a variety of styles from traditional OSDM groove, to slower Death/Doom passages, all nestled within a rather brutal framework. The band is at their best when they pummel at full-speed and then crush you over the head with a meaty breakdown (like in the middle of "Eviscerated Remains"). Some of the slower passages, such as the latter part of the title track are too much for me, but there's not a weak track on the album. Highlights include "Beneath the Moss, Between the Roots" and "Return to Charnal Hall." This band is going places.

    12. Jungle Rot - A Call to Arms

    Jungle Rot is consistently good. Critics say they repeatedly make the same album but that's not true. Their sound has certainly shifted since Dead and Buried and while I have a slight preference for that earlier sound, new Jungle Rot is still fantastic Death Metal that delivers the groove.

    13. Undeath - It's Time to Rise From the Grave

    It's easy to see why this album blew up and garnered so much attention. It's great material and well-played. I really dig some of the influence of "The Bleeding" era Cannibal Corpse. Like CC on that album, Undeath has a penchant for creating catchy, almost anthemic Death Metal that translates well to a live environment.

    14. Autopsy - Morbidity Triumphant

    This is just Autopsy doing Autopsy things. The album definitely has a throwback feeling to the classic first two. Some of the material, like "The Voracious One," is right up there with that earlier work.

    15. Trinity - Memories of the Ancient Presence

    This is an album that almost no one knows about, but it's quite well done Atmospheric/Epic Doom. The compositions are evocative of early Solitude Aeternus and the album would be enjoyed by anyone who is a fan of that band. Highlights include "The Ancient Presence," "Kyrie Eleison," and "The Fall (Jericho)."

    16. Tzompantli - Tlazcaltiliztli

    Here's another band/album that continued to elevate my interest in Death/Doom in 2022. Tzompantli often hedges a little closer to the mid-tempo range to thrown down some monstrous grooves which helps create a nice pacing for the album. The uniqueness of this act comes in the form of a commitment to Mesoamerican cultural themes and instruments. These are very well done - especially on the track "Eltequi." I would only like to see the native elements integrated into the Death/Doom a little more seamlessly. This band has an "Unas, Slayer of the Gods" in there somewhere, waiting to be unleashed in the future.

    17. Saxon - Carpe Diem

    While I enjoy Saxon's early works, I am primarily of fan of what they've done from "Unleash the Beast" onward. It's rare for a band to excel in their style for so long, especially in the latter years of their career, but Saxon has done that. "Carpe Diem" is another strong release with instant Saxon classics such as "The Pilgrimmage" (an epic song that is a throwback to "Crusader"), the up-tempo "Remember the Fallen," and the atmospheric mid-tempo gem "Lady in Gray" which will enter my Heavy Metal Halloween rotation.

    18. Paterikon - The Way Down

    This is a very well done Trad Doom album by an Orthodox Christian priest from the South - literally my perfect match. Great doomy riffs with a bit of Southern soul and warm vocals. This was an incredibly cool find and I look forward to supporting this project in the future. I hear CDs will be coming soon!

    19. Abysmalist - Vile Possession

    For the most part, this album is on the slower side of Death Metal that I can stand, but the songs are well crafted with well placed blast beats and mid-tempo sections that keep everything interesting. If not for the final track (which is largely pointless) and the brevity of the album, this would have rated even higher. I look forward to seeing where Abysmalist goes next.

    20. The Chasm - The Scars of a Lost Reflective Shadow

    I've never really been a fan of The Chasm, but I've also not spent a lot of time digging in to their discography. As a result, this album took me by surprise. It's a rather straight-forward affair of slicing Death Metal riffs (which is probably why it immediately appealed to me). On the flip side, many of the riffs are quite similar and a little more variation within songs (as in the highlight track "An Occult Gift Responds") would elevate the album even higher.

    21. Phobophilic - Enveloping Absurdity


    Phobophilic is not typically the kind of Death Metal that I listen to, but this album really grew on me (especially after I saw the band live). They have a way of making technical riffing still very catchy. Enveloping Absurdity is a very thoughtful album that includes some atmosphere, particularly in the instrumental track "Individuation." The album strengthens as it progresses with the final track "Enveloping Absurdity" best combining the technicality, groove, and atmosphere of the record. Being a simpleton, I might prefer the extra groovy breakdowns of the EP, but this is a great debut.

    22. Suppression - The Sorrow of Soul Through Flesh

    I enjoy how Suppression throws it back to some of the early technical Death Metal bands and that they seem to be influenced by Pestilence which is not too common among new bands. I prefer the slightly more straightforward sound of the EP (my favorite track from the album is "Self-Eaten Alive" which appeared previously on the EP). Suppression's music can be a bit dense for me, but I appreciate it and there's a lot that I enjoy about this album.

    23. Obscene - From Dead Horizon to Dead Horizon

    This album really put Obscene on my radar. It is certainly an improvement over their debut which I had been a bit iffy on previously. These guys have one of the more unique sounds of the new OSDM bands and I think that is what requires a bit of adjustment. The vocals are particularly different and interesting but effective for me. There's no denying the quality of the riffs and songwriting on tracks like "Deathless Demigod."

    24. Stryper - The Final Battle

    I am one of the many fans of later period Stryper. I firmly believe that their best work has come over the last decade - beginning with "No More Hell to Pay." Fallen was the heavy, energetic peak of Stryper. The following albums have been more mixed, though still of generally higher quality than the well-known 80s works. One of the weaknesses of those 80s albums, to me, is the overabundance of ballads. While not as great of a problem on "The Final Battle," it is still an album that leans too heavily on the ballad for my tastes and while solid, fails to reach the heights of No More Hell to Pay or Fallen.

    25. Temple of Void - Summoning the Slayer

    This album was a pleasant surprise. Though I love OSDM and Traditional/Epic Doom, I have not been particularly drawn to Death/Doom Metal. What I have begun to notice, however, is that Death/Doom has a number of variants (just as any other Metal sub-genre) and I do prefer some styles over others. I do not particularly enjoy heavy Death Metal riffs played at a glacial pace with growled vocals and little variation or melody. I greatly prefer when Death/Doom bands incorporate some melodic riffs or leads or even other instruments as in the case of Paradise Lost's "Gothic" or Paramaecium's "Within the Ancient Forest." I am a fan of November's Doom's "The Pale Haunt Departure" as well and there are moments on this album that remind me of that gem such as on the highlight tracks "Deathtouch" and "A Sequence of Rot." Releases such as this helped me connect with Death/Doom this year.

    Top Metal Albums of 2022 (1).jpg
     
    #1 Opeth17, Jan 1, 2023
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2023
  2. J.

    J. Old Fart

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    The Chasm - The Scars of a Lost Reflective Shadow
    Simply one of the best out there....still

    Kvaen - The Great Below
    I love this type of stuff. Guitars all over the place with a singular purpose

    Stangarigel - Na Severe Srdca
    Something about it brings me back to the mid to late 90's when all those strange, new bands would pop out of random no-name countries (Obtest, Negura Bunget, Poccolus, Ha Lela, Skyforger) and I would scramble to get my infidel American hands on a copy.

    Stormkeep - Tales of Othertime
    Hype warranted

    Tchornobog/Abyssal - split
    Two 23-minute songs of murky black doom. It pummels me, and I'm thankful for it
     
  3. rms

    rms Active Member

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    I actually don't own any 22 releases...maybe I'll check your lists out, but wasn't happy with anything this year. Unless I'm forgetting something
     
  4. CiG

    CiG Sand Boondie ist Krieg!

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    Surprised you aren't into Gjendod.
     
  5. rms

    rms Active Member

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    Don't think I've heard of them before
     
  6. CiG

    CiG Sand Boondie ist Krieg!

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  7. rms

    rms Active Member

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    Eh, not my thing.
     
  8. Opeth17

    Opeth17 Bill Ward's Red Pants

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    I had to update my list as I discovered some new things/had things click. That Chasm album ended up making my list. I've never been too familiar with them (I only had one album), but I dug it.

    You might check out that Inanna album. Some have compared them to The Chasm. It's certainly not standard DM.
     

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