Wednesday, June 15, 2022

the Top 10 Albums of 2022 ... So Far


This year has half slipped away from us. More comprehensive of what has been released than you might expect, considering that I am already getting promos for August releases in my in-box. There is a fair cross-section of genres represented as I already did my metal list so while there are some hard rock artists, this is the top 10 non-metal albums that have been released this year so far.  Pop, goth, indie rock, post -punk and progressive rock are all represented here in varied shades. All of these albums a solid shot for the number one spot at the end of the year, depending on how they grow on me.  I make the overall top ten for the year and at this rate December will be here before we know it. What makes them the best is how much I actually listen to them. I guess we will see how these albums hold up over the course of the year.  I am posting links to the reviews if you want to check these albums out.

10-Dead Register - "Alive" 

This album picks up where they left off, but in a more refined manner. The grooves are smoothly syncopated with an industrial stomp, but with none of the gear grinding abrasion. There is more of a 90s grunge influence in the drumming this time around. The blend of brooding shadows in the verses is streamlined as the song writing is more noticeably matured

Abysmal Hymns: Dead Register : "Alive"

9-Marissa Nadler- the Wrath of Clouds" 

This EP consists of three unreleased songs and two covers. The originals she had forgotten about during the "Path of Clouds sessions", She went back into the studio and emerged with this. It splits the difference between the more atmospheric tone of her early work and where she is currently at with a more layered sound.

Abysmal Hymns: Marissa Nadler : "Wrath of Clouds"


 8-Rumours - 'the Lower We Sink the Less We Care" 

This Swedish band are skilled weavers of sonic gloom, it's laced with a punchy hint of 70s rock. The instrumentation is warmly recorded in analog. The retro thing is not the band trying too hard to capture a bygone era. With a sound that is very much their own, at time they occupy a sonic space similar to Rope Sect . The vocals are more dynamics as the singer belts it out with a great deal of convincing power.

Abysmal Hymns: RUMOURS : "the Lower We Sink, the Less We Care"

  7-Placebo- "Never Let Me Go" 

2006's "Meds" was the last album I want into by this British glam band.  I think the key to Brian's success as a songwriter lies in his ability convey the struggle of his anger, darkness, metal health and addiction. It is in that struggle where their music has found its fire. Moloko succeeds in recapturing that moodiness on their new album. I think it is important that Stefan is still working with Brian as that duo is clearly Placebo and not just Brian Moloko solo album. There is none of the kinetic punk tension that colored their early work. It works off smooth grooves and melodies, with sonic layers of guitar embellish the dynamics

Abysmal Hymns: Placebo : "Never Let Me Go"

6-Christain Death- "Evil Becomes Rule" 

The band's 15th album, I like the Valor albums and I like the Rozz albums I think Valor has carried the spirit of what the band was doing over the years. They continue to move in a less punk more metallic and darker direction, though it wonderfully melodic and there is an excellent choice in sonic colors they paint the sounds of this entire album.  

'Abysmal Hymns: Christian Death : "Evil Becomes Rule"

 5- Midlake-" For the Sake of Bethel Woods" 

When I press play on their new album, I cannot for the life of me have good reason as to why I have not listened to them until this point. They are moody and melodic in all the way I like for this kind of music to be. Their drummer is really on it. There is a folk thing, but they are also very melancholy and thoughtful. 

Abysmal Hymns: Midlake : " For the Sake of Bethel Woods"


4-Zola Jesus -"Arkhon" 

One of my favorite singers of the past decade, I breathed a sigh of relief when I pressed play and found this album is another step into the darkness as she could have taken a poppier turn. This time rather than taking everything on herself she worked with producer Randall Dunn, and former David Bowie drummer Matt Chamberlin The former's influence can be felt the most. The second song moves with a more organic fluidity to its groove. Are some of her vocal passages more accessible here? Yes, but I am not sure I would call this pop music as it is more complex in both arrangement and laying

Abysmal Hymns: Zola Jesus : " Arkhon"

 3- Charli XCX- "Crash" 

Quirky British pop singer Charli XCX is back. This time she is showing us that she makes an album with a half dozen less songwriters and producers than the likes of the Weeknd or Lil Nas X . She does continue a slick 80s retro path and I am not sure any of the songs strike me as bumping as hard as she did on; "How I'm feeling now" . She has a knack of riding the beats with odd chanted vocal lines, which she works off of coming out of the gate. The best Pop album of the year so far. 

Abysmal Hymns: Charli XCX : " Crash"

  2- Hangman's Chair- " A Loner" 

The French band's 2018 album "Banlieue Triste" took the top spot as Doom album of the year. This time around things are dialed back in the metal department. They straddle the fence sonically in a zip code closer to post-nu metal Deftones and Katatonia. They know there is more than one way to be heavy  the album as a whole is more about capturing a mood, which they have. I respect that they did not try to recreate the previous album and made steps forward,

Abysmal Hymns: Hangman's Chair : "A Loner"

1-Tears for fears - "the Tipping Point" 

After 18 year silence , the dup found themselves bucking record label pressure in 2013, until they found who they were in today's world free of the radio trappings that could have been imposed upon them. This makes for a great deal of surprises as the album spans genres from the folky opener to the controls being set to sizzle as they reflect the new wave 80s vibe while working in modern electronics.

Abysmal Hymns: Tears For Fears - " the Tipping Point"

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