Metal Storm logo
2022: A Year In Review

My top to bottom list of everything from 2022 I've spent time with and have also purchased either physically or digitally (which is why most of them have high ratings). Releases featured on MS only. Whole number ratings out of 10 and my personal opinions included.

NOTE: I am no longer updating this list as I have moved onto 2023... which you can check out here:

Created by: ProgVet | 04.02.2022

1. Sylvaine - Nova
Sylvaine has captured an incredibly dense and emotional atmosphere with this release. Her ethereal vocalizations play incredibly well with the aggressive and melodic wall of sound that is traditionally associated with this style. For me this is the best shoegaze album in general since Alcest’s ‘Kodama’ in 2016. 9/10
2. Humanotone - A Flourishing Fall In A Grain Of Sand
Fuzzed out progressive stoner metal with a vein of psychedelia running through it. This one man project is a shining example that you don’t need a giant record deal and unlimited funds to make absolutely stellar music. Very impressed. Hopefully this guy keeps it up. 9/10
3. Tómarúm - Ash In Realms Of Stone Icons
An insanely complex, innovative, and ambitious juggernaut of extreme progressive music. I have not been this impressed with a debut release since In Mourning in 2008 and Ne Obliviscaris in 2012. These guys are absolutely the real deal and hopefully will continue to push musical boundaries moving forward. 9/10
4. Allegaeon - Damnum
This album is a certified banger. Just a massive performance from Allegaeon and for me their overall best release. It has it all; chunky grooves, ripping guitar solos, brutal lows, soaring highs, stellar production, and an absolute blow out sale on riffs. I find myself coming back to this album over and over again. 9/10
5. BlackBraid - Blackbraid I
Not since Agalloch has there been a black metal album so attuned to the rhythm of nature. An exceptionally impressive one man project. Amazing arrangements and perfect production. This isn’t just one of the best debut releases of 2022, it’s one of the best releases of the year… period. 9/10
6. Psychonaut - Violate Consensus Reality
Psychonaut's sound cannot easily be summed up but I will do my best. This genera bending exploration into phycology will have you coming back for more. It is aggressive and subtle, atmospheric and relentless, approachable yet thought provoking. Easily one of 2022's best. 9/10
7. An Abstract Illusion - Woe
A monumental extreme progressive and atmospheric experience. Meshing themes from melodeth, black, dark-jazz, ambient, and even electronic seamlessly into one cohesive sound requires ambitious songwriting and stellar musicianship to pull off, which they have more than done so on this release. 9/10
8. Gaerea - Mirage
Gaerea have been towards the front of the modern black metal scene since 2018 with their pummeling intensity, dissonant tones, and melancholic melodies. Arguably their best work to date, on 'Mirage' they seem to have come into their own with additional atmospheric and post-metal influences. Truly sensational. 9/10
9. Porcupine Tree - Closure / Continuation
When PT announced a surprise new release I was very excited; the album does not disappoint. I'm not sure if this is a new PT album or more of what Steven Wilson's solo career should have sounded like after 2016 but either way I am more than pleased. Excellent progressive rock music. 9/10
10. Brymir - Voices In The Sky
'Wings of Fire' was a top 5 album for me in 2019. In 2022 Brymir have returned with another stellar performance of sheer epicness. Awesome arrangements, endless riffs, catchy choruses, blistering solos, and a perfectly crisp production. 9/10
11. White Ward - False Light
White Ward create a sound like no other; progressive, melodic, atmospheric, post, black metal. Such a unique blend that is polished off with murky saxophone passages that give a dense, musky, almost dissonant mood. Simply a stunning selection of songs. 9/10
12. Pure Wrath - Hymn To The Woeful Hearts
Ferociously melodic and blistering black metal. The acoustic, atmospheric, ambient, and even dissonant passages along the way give a brief reprieve. An exceptional attention to detail in the performance and production gives a very deep and flushed out feeling. A phenomenally composed piece of musicianship. 9/10
13. Grîmmöld - Tales Of The Forest
Grîmmöld's best work to date. Aggressive and atmospheric while having an excellent blend of whimsical, folk like moments. There is deep and emotional connection to life and nature throughout. The production is impressive as well. Proof that you can make excellent music without the backing of a studio/label. 9/10
14. Alestorm - Seventh Rum Of A Seventh Rum
The ever absurd Alestorm have returned with their seventh album and what ultimately is their best since 'Sunset on the Golden Age' as well as a big improvement from 'Curse of the Crystal Coconut.' A glorious collection of songs that are not only catchy but well arranged, performed, and produced. 8/10
15. Corpsessed - Succumb To Rot
Corpsessed have released a brutally dense experience and one of the better death metal albums of 2022. It's so damn heavy. There is thick chunky groove to be found throughout that when paired with the slightly muddy tones and production give an incredibly effective package. 8/10
16. Amorphis - Halo
Amorphis is one of the most consistent bands out there and 'Halo' is another entry in a long list of stellar performances. Not quite as variable as previous releases, this one feels like a collection of really good B-sides that didn't make the past two albums. That being said it's still a more than great release. 8/10
17. Aeternam - Heir Of The Rising Sun
Epic, grandiose melodic death metal with traditional eastern folk and symphonic passages. Heavily progressive while be very approachable and dynamic at the same time. Aeternam have pulled off a master class of story telling on this album. 8/10
18. Zeal & Ardor - Zeal & Ardor
Zeal & Ardor's sound is truly a breath of fresh air for metal music in general. Their latest effort comes off somehow even more aggressive than previous releases with a more industrial approach and even splashes of shoegaze. They have more than shown this is not just a novelty. 8/10
19. The Halo Effect - Days Of The Lost
Extremely approachable and catchy melodic death metal performed with passion, energy, and precision. Classic Gothenburg scene. The entire albums oozes nostalgia and the production is very good as well. It's not overly original but with an album like this I don't think it really needs to be. 8/10
20. Sigh - Shiki
For almost 30 years Sign have been making eclectic, unusual, and most certainty unique avant-garde black-ish metal. In 2022 they have returned with their 12th exploration into the bizarre. 'Shiki' is a rollercoaster of musical oddities that only these guys could pull off with such success. 8/10
21. Saor - Origins
Saor is a band that in my mind can truly due no wrong. A decade long history of incredible depth and emotion that captures the rolling landscapes of Scotland with grace. It's all the more impressive considering this is a one man project. 'Origins' brings aggressive melody and folk-laden atmosphere together as one. 8/10
22. Nechochwen - Kanawha Black
A solid black metal offering with substantial atmosphere and deep American folk influences. I am quite fond of the clean and acoustic passages which are frequent and incorporated seamlessly. The production is a little muddy to me but the performance and originality more than make up for it. 8/10
23. Messa - Close
Messa have returned with their slow, bluesy, jazzy, and almost lackadaisical approach to doom meatal. The combination of sounds and the overall performance is as unique as it is effective. Equally as good as their 2018 release 'A Feast for Water.' 8/10
24. Tišina - Увод​.​.​.
Melodic/death/doom is as classic a combination as there is. Here is it presented in a stripped down, almost simplified version that is hard not to enjoy. The production is crisp and the performance is stellar; I just wish it were longer. I am looking forward to seeing what the future holds for Tishina. 8/10
25. Mossgiver - The Song Among Branches
A deep connection to the natural beauty and melody of nature are ever present throughout this album. These themes when combined with the production and performance give a densely atmospheric yet hopeful sound. The entire package is simply quite pleasant. My favorite pure atmo-black release of 2022. 8/10
26. Kvaen - The Great Below
Kvaen have returned two years after releasing one of the better debut albums from 2020. For me ‘The Great Below’ is even better. Scorching fast melodic black metal with more head banging thrash riffs and guitar solos than you’ll know what to do with. 8/10
27. Septicflesh - Modern Primitive
I have not picked up a Septiflesh album since 2011's 'The Great Mass.' On 'Modern Primitive' it seems their sound has not changed much over the past 10 years or so. Excellent orchestral arrangements and production coupled with death metal grooves and melody. 8/10
28. Without Waves - Comedian
Fifty minutes of chaotic neutrality. I picked up this album on a whim and without knowing much about it ahead of time. Needless to say it surpassed expectations. A constantly moving, constantly evolving, progressive and experimental deathcore-ish encounter that will leave you buzzing. 8/10
29. Véhémence - Ordalies
A black metal album that has it all; pummeling blast beats, ferocious melodies, raw vocals, and folk passages that play so well with everything else and tie the medieval theme together excellently. Strap on your shields and raise your banners, hear the call of raging battle. 8/10
30. Doldrum - The Knocking, Or The Story Of The Sound That Preceded Their Disappearance
Doldrum present a truly unique sound that is ultimately highly effective. Rough vocals, borderline clean guitar tones, awkward riffs, and a weird performance that brings it all home. Additionally there is a deep eerie and haunting concept throughout this whole album. You can easily call me a fan. 8/10
31. Bipolar Architecture - Depressionland
It seems 2022 will be remembered for its high quality debut albums, including this one. Bipolar Architecture offer us a well arranged combination of blackened post-progressive djent-y musicianship. An aggressive performance with melancholic themes and atmosphere that is backed up with good production. 8/10
32. Svrm - Червів Майбутня Здобич
Straight up black metal with great production and an even better performance. The guitar tone is especially outstanding. While I don’t understand the lyrics you can feel the raw emotion behind them. At only 4 songs it's a little short but it does give a lasting impression. Slava Ukraine! 8/10
33. Panzerfaust - The Suns Of Perdition - Chapter III: The Astral Drain
This is my first exposure to Panzerfaust (somehow) and after several listens I am excited to explore their back catalogue. Slowly building and brooding black metal that strikes a balance between pummeling, atmospheric, and even tribal-like. 8/10
34. Bríi - Corpos Transparentes
Bríi have been pushing the boundaries of what black metal can be only since 2020, but this project seems so much more seasoned than that. An inspiringly unique blend of blast beats, aggression, piano, ambiance, atmosphere, avant-garde, and electronic elements. For me this is Bríi's best work to date. 8/10
35. Incandescence - Le Coeur De L'Homme
There is plenty of progressive and melodic variation to make this more that just a traditional black metal release. The mixing seems to highlight the drumming which is fine with me as it is one of the better drumming performances of 2022. Also have to love that album cover. 8/10
36. Bilwis - Pan
‘Sagenwelt’ was one of my favorite clandestine cuts of 2021. A year later the mysterious Bilwis have returned with ‘Pan’; a raw, melodic, folk infused black metal adventure that makes me want to put on my weathered cap, get my sturdy walking stick, and venture into a deep, forgotten wood. 8/10
37. Olhava - Reborn
Immensely deep and atmospheric black metal chronicling the death and subsequent rebirth of Mother Earth. This album is ambitious, highly meditative, and emotional. Ideally it should be listened to not only with the right mindset but in one playthough and on headphones or good quality speakers. 8/10
38. Pharmacist - Flourishing Extremities On Unspoiled Mental Grounds
Now this is some deathgrind I can get behind. Plenty of groove, some mega chunk, endless riffs, blistering solos, pummeling drums, and brutally low vocals. The entire package is incredibly effective. This albums slams. 8/10
39. Hulder - The Eternal Fanfare
Hulder is really coming into her own as one of the better recent solo black metal projects. This EP is an excellent blend of gritty, traditional, raw black metal and eerie dungeon synth keyboards. The additional clean vocals on ‘A Perilous Journey’ is something I hope to see more of on future releases. 8/10
40. Violet Cold - Səni Uzaq Kainatlarda Axtarıram
The ever prolific Violet Cold have returned in 2022 with a new EP. A densely atmospheric shoegaze album with a gemheart of electronic trance and synthwave. For me this is a step in the right direction and their best release since 2017’s ‘Anomie’. 8/10
41. Au-Dessus - Mend
Au-Dessus have returned after 5 years with what seems to be becoming their signature combination of black and post metal. This time around they have thrown in some extra dissonance for good measure. The entire EP is solid but it doesn't hit quite as hard as their previous releases. 8/10
42. Kreator - Hate Über Alles
Probably Kreator's most experimental release in over 20 years but much more successful than the oddity that was their '90's era. It's nice to see them slightly stepping away from the formula they have stuck to over the past several releases. That being said I still prefer those previous several albums to this one. 7/10
43. Drudkh - Всі Належать Ночі (All Belong To The Night)
Simple, yet effective black metal with a lot of atmosphere. Drudkh is well seasoned at this point in their career and have mastered their sound. Considering the war and unrest in Ukraine in 2022 it is truly remarkable and inspiring to see these guys release new music. Slava Ukraine! 7/10
44. Graceless - Chants From Purgatory
Graceless have not deviated from their old school death metal sound on this album and in no way is that a bad thing. Low, brutal, and groovy. When you execute simplicity this well you can’t really ask for much more. Super enjoyable OSDM. 7/10
45. Lamb Of God - Omens
Lamb of God have improved upon their last self titled album and first without Chris Adler on the pots-and-pans. You're not going to find technical ingenuity here or an overly original performance but you will have fun with it. I would like to see Randy bring out the clean vocals more often on future releases, I dig them. 7/10
46. Soreption - Jord
Perhaps one of the most technically proficient death metal acts out there, Soreption have returned with their fourth offering. A more than solid performance that grooves and moves, however it just doesn't quite hit as hard as their previous releases for me. 7/10
47. Devin Townsend - Lightwork
A more tame side to Devin Townsend's songwriting is showcased on 'Lightwork/Nightwork.' I do overall enjoy this album but it unfortunately came off a bit dull and linear to me, especially compared to his back catalogue. As expected the production and mixing are flawless. 7/10
48. Persefone - Metanoia
Aggressive and thoughtful progressive metal that continues with the band's introspective themes. The musicianship and general performance on 'Metanoia' is superb but the album drags along in the second half for me. A good album, but Persefone has yet to return to their peak that was 'Spiritual Migration.' 7/10
49. Ellende - Ellenbogengesellschaft
Ellende has always had a certain way of arranging black metal that is almost soothing; beautify ambient and atmospheric at times yet intensely blasting at others. Their latest effort is a continuation of that but becomes a little too dreary as it progresses to me. A very solid release, I just prefer their earlier works. 7/10
50. Wilderun - Epigone
'Epigone' feels like a natural follow up to 2019's massive 'Veil of Imagination' but not as dynamic. It's still a very ambitious album with a great performance, it just didn't grab my attention quite as much. Not sure how often I'll revisit this one. 7/10
51. Gloson - The Rift
A solid offering of death/doom metal covered in a thick film of sludge. This album is heavy. The production and performance give a very deep and full feeling while even being dissonant at times. I had never heard of Gloson before this release but they will now remain on my radar. 7/10
52. Et Moriemur - Tamashii No Yama
A variable cornucopia of metal genera. Ever changing and evolving yet flowing together as a cohesive album, ‘Tamashii’ is definitely best enjoyed in a single play through. The Japanese folkish themes give another layer of uniqueness that really set this release apart. 7/10
53. Aerial Ruin - Loss Seeking Flame
Erik Moggridge has returned with his haunting and atmospheric approach to folk music. His echoing vocals reverberate overtop dark-folk acoustic instrumentation that when blended with violin comes to a head during 'Ideation.' 7/10
54. Terzij De Horde - In One Of These, I Am Your Enemy
Terzij de Horde present a unique blackened metalcore (if there is such a thing) sound that is full of raw emotion and visceral anger. I usually don't go out for "core" style music but this has enough blackened and post-metal pull it keeps me interested. Certainly one of the better clandestine cuts of 2022. 7/10
55. Grîmmöld - Heatherfrost
If you're not familiar with Grîmmöld you should amend that. A one-man atmospheric black metal / dungeon synth project inspired by high fantasy and the changing seasons. 'Heatherfrost' takes a strict dungeon synth approach to give you some relaxing and ambient tones to get you through the colder months of the year. 7/10
56. Ghost - Impera
It seems Ghost have fully embraced the transition into arena rock. While this album does have its moments, especially the finale 'Respite On The Spitalfields', overall it misses the mark for me. I feel my musical arc with this band coming to an end. I am neither disappointed nor surprised with this release. 6/10
57. Begrime Exemious - Rotting In The Aftermath
Overall this album was simply an OK experience for me. Nothing particularly wrong with it, although the production was overly muddy for my liking, but nothing particularly great about it either. Comparable to an under-seasoned meal at a restaurant you probably wouldn't go back to. 6/10
58. Amon Amarth - The Great Heathen Army
This marks three subpar and uninspired releases in a row for Amon Amarth. This is a frustrating release for me. There are flourishes of what I know Amon Amarth to be but not much more than that. I think these guys should take 6 years or so off to remind themselves of what it means to be a true víkingr. 5/10
59. Morgue Supplier - Inevitability
I think it was the cover art that led me to snag this off Bandcamp without really listening to it first. Usually that tactic doesn't lead me astray but in this case it did. This album is pure dissonant chaos which may be appealing for some people but it is simply not for me. 5/10

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


‹‹ Back to Lists
Comments: 2   Visited by: 20 users
17.10.2022 - 00:02
i c deaf people
That's a pretty impressive list, as it includes just about every 2022 release that I would consider worth listening to: An Abstract Illusion, Tómarúm, Blackbraid, White Ward, Pure Wrath, Wilderun, Au-Dessus, Et Moriemur, Svrm, Allegaeon, Bríi...
Funny that you even have Tišina on your list. I think their debut is pretty awesome, but after 5 months of flying in stealth mode, I'm afraid it's going to stay under everyone's radar for the rest of the year as well.
signatures = SPAM
21.10.2022 - 22:25

Agreed on Tišina. Above average doom/death. Hopefully will get more traction but doesn't seem likely. Maybe with future releases. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on them.

Hits total: 326 | This month: 1