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We say this every year, but 2022 was a fantastic year in metal. With literally too many killer releases to cover, especially with the increase of digital-only/Bandcamp releases.

And as usual, there was a mix of veteran acts that are still at the top of their game, and fresh new blood to get excited about and the future of metal seems to be in good hands.

Our carefully cured lists cover a whole gamut of styles and releases, so feast your eyes on our best of 2022 staff lists, check out the linked reviews and feel free to comment, let us know what we got right or wrong, and post your own lists in the comments.

Here’s to 2023 continuing the trend of great years as we get the likes of Metallica, Obituary, In Flames, Insomnium, Distant, Ne Obliviscaris, Extermination Dismemberment, Sanguisugabogg, and no doubt, exciting debuts from up and comers.

As always, thanks for reading, sharing, liking, and commenting. You are why we do this (and maybe some early free music). So please keep coming back here for your metal reviews, features, and general metal fuckery.

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Any intro I would have would be pretentious and trying to be funny, so let’s just get to the meat.

Heh, I said “meat.” Damn it. Anyway…

  1. AllegaeonDamnum (Metal Blade Records) – This was my #1 for almost the entire year, but Riley left and it bummed me out, so I almost moved it down.
  2. Castrator Defiled in Oblivion (Dark Descent Records)- This may be slightly biased because I’ve met these ladies, see them consistently at shows, and they may be the sweetest, nicest, kindest people I have ever met, but this album is the opposite of that.
  3. Atomic Witch Crypt of Sleepless Malice (Redefining Darkness Records) – I knew this was going to be good, but top five? Now send me merch, guys! Just kidding, I’ll pay for it. Long sleeve acquired.
  4. I AM – Eternal Steel (MNRK Heavy) I saw these guys live before the album dropped and had no idea this groovy monster was about to be unleashed. Do not miss it!
  5. Extinction AD – Culture of Violence (Unique Leader Records)- A bit of a sore thumb on Unique Leader’s roster. If you can’t wait for the Pantera tribute tour, you need to get on this.

No blurbs for the rest… Mostly.

  1. Nechochwen Kanawha Black (Bindrune Recordings)
  2. Lamb of God – Omens (Nuclear Blast Records)
  3. Blackbraid – Blackbraid I (Self-Released)

This next section can be referred to the New Wave of OSDM section. The year was full of this stuff, and these are my favorites.

  1. Molder – Engrossed in Decay (Prosthetic Records)
  2. Phobophilic – Enveloping Absurdity (Prosthetic Records)
  3. Tribal Gaze – The Nine Choirs (Maggot Stomp)
  4. Maul – Seraphic Punishment (Redefining Darkness Records)

The rest of the list.

  1. Spiritworld – Deathwestern (Century Media Records)
  2. VHS – Deep Gashes and Long Lashes (Horror Pain Gore Death Productions)
  3. Temple of Void – Summoning the Slayer (Relapse Records)
  4. Escuela Grind – Memory Theater (MNRK Heavy)
  5. (echo) – Witnesses (Black Lion Records)
  6. Soilwork – Övergivenheten (Nuclear Blast Records)
  7. Lorna Shore – Pain Remains (Century Media Records)
  8. Angelmaker – Sanctum (Self-Released)
  9. A Sound of Thunder – The Krimson Kult (self-released)
  10. High Command – Eclipse of the Dual Moons
  11. Tómarúm- Ash in Realms of Stone Icons (Prosthetic Records)
  12. Evil Invaders – Shattering Reflection (Napalm Records)
  13. Candlemass – Sweet Evil Sun (Napalm Records)
  14. Mother of Graves – Where the Shadows Adorn (Wise Blood Records)
  15. Dream Unending – Song of Salvation (20 Buck Spin)
  16. Exhumed – To the Dead (Relapse Records)
  17. Ingested – Ashes Lie Still (Metal Blade Records)

EPs of the Year:

  1. Vicious BladeSiege of Cruelty (Our Ancient Future)
  2. Mulciber – Misery of One (Redefining Darkness Records)
  3. Worm – Bluenothing (20 Buck Spin)

Songs of the Year:

  1. Allegaeon – “Of Beasts and Worms.
  2. Atomic Witch – “70,000 Skulls.”
  3. I AM – “Vicious Instinct.”
  4. Spiritworld – “Mojave Bloodlust.”
  5. Lamb of God – “September Song.”
  6. VHS – “What Have You Done to Solange?”

Live Bands of the Year:

As of writing, I have attended 38 shows and seen 183 bands this year. Unless something comes up, that’s it for the year. Here are some bands I loved seeing; Demilich, Cancer, Imperial Triumphant, Cattle Decapitation, Carcass, Obituary, Nechochwen, Internal Bleeding, Panopticon, Atomic Witch, Allegaeon, Immolation, Ingested, Aborted, Hulder, Exhumed, Incantation, Goatwhore, and several more. Holy fuck!

Label of the Year:

  1. Redefining Darkness Records. Here’s why. An absolute monster of a year with releases, but also Into the Darkness Fest, which was affordable, close, and above all, fantastic! I hope it happens again in 2023. Thomas is a good dude and has a label that is absolutely on the rise. It’s in the upper echelon where you know if it comes out on Redefining Darkness, it’s going to be great.

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