Saturday, June 11, 2022

the Top 10 Metal 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 we have doom, industrial, thrash, prog, death metal, and black metal, with that said my three big sub-genres doom, black metal and death metal, each have two entries apiece. Still no word on a solid release date for the new King Diamond, so that gives 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-Gwar - the New Dark Ages" 

If you thought in 2022 this band would be out of ways to push the envelope you would be wrong. In fact, I imagine more audiences will be offended and they did this while making a really great album that is full of weird twists in directions away from what you expect from these guys while delivering the goods when it comes to what you want from a Gwar album,

Abysmal Hymns: Gwar : " The New Dark Ages "


9-Voivod-"Synchro Anarchy" 

Their 15th album finds the Canadian prog metal god fathers continuing on the path they began with "Target Earth" back in 2013. The riffs winding around varied forms of palm muted tension on a dynamic journey to the center of a cyborg mind. They are true to the sound they began crafting in 1984, though it has shed all the early punk grit. There is more groove than thrashing.

Abysmal Hymns: Voivod : " Synchro Anarchy"

8 - Famyne-"II: The Ground Below" 

hear echoes of Candlemass in lead singer Tom Vane's delivery, they have carved their own dark doomy place out with the impressive sonics here. The grungy touches that reach out from the 90s coloring these songs.


7-Temple of Void - "Summoning the Slayer" 

Their 2020 album "the World That Was" landed in my top 5 death metal albums of the year. They have continued to evolve their songwriting past even that point.  Maturation can be felt in how they take both their doom influence and their death metal influence and rather than worry about creating a sound, write great songs.

Abysmal Hymns: Temple of the Void : " Summoning the Slayer"



6-Decapitated -"Cancer Culture" 

The Polish band's 8th album finds them blending enough groove to balance out the more technical elements of what they do. This is the top contender for best album title of the year. Not the most brutal when it comes to death metal, there is a fair amount of melody buried in the guitar with the drumming the most technical aspect of their sound. Considering the dude has been playing since he was 12 that makes sense. Not breaking new ground but continuing to perfect what they do.

Abysmal Hymns: Death is June - Decapitated : " Cancer Culture"

5-Author & Punisher - "KRÜLLER"

Having long championed this project so was looking forward to this album.  There is a dark hazy multi layered sonic wall of synths that reminds me of Type O Negative. The smoother croon of vocals from Shore adds to this comparison.. The more experimental touches that detract from the song writing are balance out by the songs where he really goes above and beyond by striving to push himself as a singer and a song writer rather than just being the guy who makes music with machines

Abysmal Hymns: Author & Punisher : "KRÜLLER"

4-Puppy- "Pure Evil"

 Of all the albums on this list this one sits on the fence to being hard rock, if by hard rock we are talking about grunged out alternative from the 90s. That said it is more metal than old Smashing Pumpkins and often rivalling Soundgarden's heaviest moments.

Abysmal Hymns: Puppy- " Pure Evil"



The opening track feels like a very logical progression in the next step of the band's songwriting, there are new tricks up their sleeve as forays into jazz and progressive rock color the dismal blues inflected exploration of their shadowy souls. They continue to knock it out of the park. 

Abysmal Hymns: Messa : "Close"

2- White Ward -"False Light"

The third album from Ukrainian black metal band, starts off with a more typical aggression that might come to mind when you think of black metal. I was a huge fan of their 2019 album "Love Exchange Failure" in how it blended jazz with the genre. Midway into the first song they get into that. Rather than it being two colors they switch back and forth the best moments are where the two are blended, it's black metal being tasteful, which is just weird to type. 

Abysmal Hymns: White Ward : "False Light"

  1-Watain - 'the Agony and Ecstasy of Watain"

With their 7th full length Watain continues to show how they change and yet stay the same with each album. The production is crisp and big without losing what makes them sound like themselves. This album shows the band willing to grow while being true to who they are. Not sure how they hell a black metal band is going to put out a better album this year,

Abysmal Hymns: Black Metal History Month- Watain : "the Agony and Ecstasy of Watain"

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