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2022


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2022 Listens

Created by: LordFezzington | 03.01.2022



1. Dark Millennium - Acid River
[Death/Doom, Germany] This could easily be at home during peak 90's death and doom metal, which shouldn't really be a surprise since Dark Millennium have been around since 1989. Once this gets going, it's fantastic stuff - especially the mournful melodic moments on 'Lunacy' and 'Death Comes In Waves'. Takes a few unexpected turns along the way. [8.0+]
2. Trenches - Reckoner
[Hardcore/Sludge, USA] This is pretty damn good actually. Blends together hardcore aggression with sludge and enough little post-whatever expansiveness to be quite engaging. Nice and to the point at 37 minutes too. [7.5+]
3. Beholder (CAN) - Arcane Subreptice
[Black/Thrash, Canada] Québécois thrashened-black - at least it feels closer to black metal at its core, anyway. Very fun little album with a nice blend of speed and atmosphere. [7.0-7.5]
4. Wilderun - Epigone
[Progressive, USA] This has got a lot of people drooling it seems. I actually don't remember Veil of Imagination (which either means I didn't listen to it or I didn't like it much), but I can hear moments on here of genuine quality. 'Passenger', 'Identifier' and parts of the 'Distraction' suite stand out. But overall, the soft elements are fairly colourless and both 'Distraction' and the 15-minute 'Woolgatherer' felt like collections of ideas rather than cohesive songs and don't really justify their length. [7.0-7.5]
5. Riverwood - Shadows And Flames
[Progressive/Folk, Egypt] Wasn't sure about this going in - 75 minutes is a long time. Some very solid stuff on here, with a couple of really excellent choruses - 'Queen Of The Dark', for example. And, in fact, the long songs work pretty well for the most part - the interludes could absolutely be ditched. But again, 75 minutes? Edit this down to 50-60 minutes and I think you'd end up with a fantastic record. As it is, it's still good, but could be even better. [7.0+]
6. Mechina - Venator
[Sci-Fi Industrial/Orchestral, USA] A significant improvement on last year's Siege. Feels much closer to their peak, if not quite there. Harsh vocals making a return is nice, but the songs are more engaging this time round. [7.0]
7. Nocturnal Graves - An Outlaw's Stand
[Death/Black/Thrash, Australia] OK, this is nothing special, but maybe it's just the way these styles go together when done well that made this a worthwhile listen. Might come back to this. [6.5-7.0]
8. Ancesthor - White Terror
[Thrash, Mexico] A curious record this. Five of its seven tracks are pretty banging melodic thrash rippers, which is all to the good. But then comes the semi-operatic 'La Llorona' derailing everything half way through and the 8-minute closer 'The Waltz Of The Sea' tries to be progressive, but is a mess, quite frankly. [6.5]
9. Needless - The Cosmic Cauldron
[Death/Thrash, Hungary] Seems a risky move naming your band Needless, especially given just how much music there is around! Pseudo-tech death adjacent stuff here, reminded me a bit of Vektor at times, but that could just be the sci-fi theme. Passable [6.5]
10. Sothoris - Wpiekłowstąpienie
[Death/Black, Poland] Obvious comparisons with Behemoth here. Also one song that sounds like it was lifted straight from the cutting room floor during Satyricon's Now, Diabolical sessions. Again, it's fine, but unlikely to get me coming back. [6.5]
11. Fit For An Autopsy - Oh What The Future Holds
[Deathcore, USA] Deathcore has a lot to do to convince me it's worth my time. Born Of Osiris managed it in 2021; can Fit For An Autopsy manage it in 2022? Maybe. There are a few elements that make FFAA a bit different to some other bands in the space, and there are a couple of nice songs here - 'Two Towers' for example. But I still think they fall back on genre stereotypes a bit too much. [6.0-6.5]
12. Power Paladin - With The Magic Of Windfyre Steel
[Power/Heavy, Iceland] Only listened to this on the recommendation of a friend. Daft but incredibly catchy power metal anthems with suitably stupid lyrics. Some songs are very repetitive though. Not much in the way of new ideas - the first riff on the album being lifted straight from the mid-section of Maiden classic 'Sign Of The Cross' illustrating this perfectly. [6.0]
13. Necrophagous - In Chaos Ascend
[Death, Sweden] It seems a curious thing to release a debut album in this style in 2022 to be honest. Straight up death metal really. Tightly played and produced, sure, but bang average overall. [6.0]
14. Insecurity - Intruder Of Reality
[Thrash, Chile] By the numbers 80s thrash worship, lifting VERY clearly from early Metallica, Testament, Anthrax etc. Occasionally recalls early Blind Guardian-esque speed metal. A fun one-time listen, but incredibly derivative. [5.5]
15. May check out:
16. Apocryphal - Tales Of Galilea
17. Demoted - Away From The Living
18. Kalmankantaja - Metsäuhri
19. Upcoming (January):
20. Tony Martin
21. 40 Watt Sun
22. Jethro Tull



Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
[ More lists by LordFezzington ]




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