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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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Well hell, here I am at the end of another year saying the same things and feeling the same ways that I usually say and feel, though this year has been a bit different. Mental health, bi-polarism, and depression are things that are not new to my family. Like many others out there it’s just a fact of life and one more “thing” to have to deal with as we make our way through this plane of existence. Fortunately for myself, I have always had better luck in  keeping my personal/mental struggles leveled, i.e. no prescriptions/pharmaceuticals

Yet this year has been a lot harder. For reasons, that I am still not quite sure of, I have just wanted to call it quits in damn near every area of my life and just walk away. Sure, we all have those moments where this sentiment arises and the idea of purging yourself from it all and starting anew and fresh seems like the best option, yet running away doesn’t solve anything, especially when the majority of the problem(s) are my own feelings and perceptions. Don’t get me wrong though, 2022 did have some bright spots for sure.

Getting to experience and take part in new job opportunities within my company was pretty cool, and being able to once again take part in the returning Maryland Death Fest was fan-fucking-tastic. Not to mention getting to meet my fellow metal scribes, Frank Rini and James Mays was pretty rad as well. Truth be told, I am really quite a smiley and overall happy kind of guy for the most part. I attribute some of this happiness, a lot in all actuality, to heavy metal music and its therapeutical, and overall cathartic, properties.

Outsiders in our circle can’t seem to understand how something so intense and extreme can produce a sense of peace, calm, and tranquility, but it can. Shit, you guys and gals out there get it. I guarantee that metal does the same for you as well. What I am slowly getting at is that this music brings us joy, it cleanses, it gives us smiles, thrills, and tingles of excitement. It gives us a purpose at times, a sense of belonging, and an outlet for pent-up anger or rage. Metal music helps save our lives, plain and simple, and I am thankful that I have it to lean into and fall back on.

While I wasn’t very prolific with my review writing this year, I did indulge in a lot of different albums and honestly, many were quite good. So much so that I had one hell of a time in narrowing down what bands to include on this year’s list, and I still don’t think I really did justice, as many albums I enjoyed this year won’t be making an appearance. If nothing else, that just speaks to the fact that extreme metal music is as alive as ever, thriving like a maniacal beast, with a seemingly infinite number of good artists at your disposal.

Alas, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. In honor of the closing year, here are 22 of the best releases for me this year and 30 honorable mentions I enjoyed as well, plus a few EP’s to boot. You’ll notice the three-way tie for first place. All I can say is that it was damn near a five-way tie for first instead, that’s how awesome this year in metal was. Feel free to inquire, challenge, give props, or talk shit about any of my choices, I promise I won’t take it personally. As for 2023, I hope it brings every single one of you the hopes, dreams, and opportunities that you long for and deserve.

Top 22 albums of 2022 

  1. LamentationsPassion of Depression  (Willowtip Records)
  2. An Abstract IllusionWoe  (Willowtip Records)
  3. Shroud of DespondencyAir of Abrasion  (Independent)
  4. Hath All That Was Promised  (Willowtip Records)
  5. DischordiaTriptych  (Transcending Obscurity Records)
  6. ExocrineThe Hybrid Suns  (Unique Leader Records)
  7. Shed the Skin Thaumogenesis  (Hells Headbangers)
  8. Ravenous Death Visions from the Netherworld  (Memento Mori)
  9. Faceless BurialAt the Foothills of Derilation  (Dark Descent Records)
  10. Megadeth The Sick, The Dying…And The Dead! (Universal Music Group)
  11. UndeathIt’s Time to Rise…From the Grave (Prosthetic Records)
  12. Ectoplasma Inferna Kabbalah (Memento Mori)
  13. De Profundis The Corruption of Virtue (Transcending Obscurity Records)
  14. Dark Funeral We Are the Apocalypse (Century Media Records)
  15. Near Death ConditionAscent from the Mundane (Unique Leader Records)
  16. Inhuman Condition Fearsick (Listenable Insanity Records)
  17. Pharmacist Flourishing Extremities on Unspoiled Mental Ground (Sevared Records)
  18. Tomb of Finland Across the Barren Fields (Uprising! Records)
  19. The Mist from the Mountains Monumental-The Temple of Twilight (Primitive Reaction)
  20. Beyond Mortal DreamsAbomination of the Flames (Lavadome Productions)
  21. RetadorRetador (Xtreem Music)
  22. Epoch of UnlightAt War with the Multiverse (Dark Horizon Records)

Honorable Mentions 

Abbath Dread Weaver

AutopsyMorbidity Triumphant

Blind Guardian The God Machine

BloodbathSurvival of the Sickest

Castrator Defiled in Oblivion

The ChasmThe Scars of a Lost Reflective Shadow

CryptivoreCelestial Extinction

Destruction Diabolical

Disfuneral Blood Red Tentacle


ExhumedTo the Dead

Goatwhore Angels Hung from the Arches of Heaven

HoaxedTwo Shadows

ImmolationActs of God

KreatorHate Über Alles

Lamb of GodOmens

Lord Belial Rapture

MacerationIt Never Ends

Misery Index Complete Control

Municipal WasteElectrified Brain

Obscene…From Dead Horizon to Dead Horizon

ObvurtTriumph Beyond Adversity

PsycropticDivine Council

Revocation Netherheaven

Schizophrenia Recollections of the Insane

Static Abyss Labyrinth of Veins

Strigoi Viscera

Temple of VoidSummoning the Slayer

VorgaStriving Toward Oblivion


EP’s of varying degrees of badassness 

ByzantineBlack Sea Codex

Defect DesignerNeanderthal

Dark ForestRidge & Furrow

Disma Earthendium


Massacre Mythos

Moonlight Sorcery Piercing Through the Frozen Eternity

Moonlight Sorcery Nightwind – the Conqueror from the Stars

Tormentor TyrantTormentor Tyrant

Vio-lence Let the World Burn 


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