Hello Everyone! Welcome to my biggest list ever, the behemoth of all behemoths, the list that will leave 80-95% waiting for the Top 10 and maybe top 20, but is for the 5% who will check out every album that is intriguing to them list that in 2022 is The Top 150 Albums of 2022. For the past 10 years, I had been doing my lists as That Drummer Guy and It got to the point where a Top 100 not only became standard but was taken from other platforms to make their own top 100s. In 2022, This year has been nothing short of a spectacular year in heavy music, and even cutting this list down to 100 was not going to be something I would be happy with the outcome of. SO! I decided to double the ante and make a Top 200 Albums of 2022…then realized when I sat down with it that the last 50 was just padding, so I cut it down the middle and ended up with my Top 150 Albums of 2022 List. If you are new to how I do my lists or you forgot the rules; Here are said rules that more or less carry over from every previous year, just updated slightly to accommodate this year's list.
1.) This is a 10-part List running from November 28th to December 9th. The first week is Albums 150-51. 20 Albums a day in countdown order. The 2nd week is the Top 50 with 10 albums a day counting down all the way to number 1.
2.) There are no EPs, Live Albums, Remake Albums, Cover Albums, or Rarity Albums. It is a list of all brand-new studio albums released in 2022.
3.) The order of each entry is as follows: Band Name, Album Title, FFO (For Fans Of) Section, Paragraph or less description of said album.
4.) The list takes into account albums that are released between January 1st, 2022 and December 9th, 2022. Yes, the last few weeks of the year are not included and there is no reason you should be releasing music in that time frame if you want people to check out your album in a calendar year. That's on you.
5.) This list is mine and mine alone. I was not paid or asked to put any album on this list.
6.) As it is impossible to add every single heavy album in a single year, I can only add what I've heard and enjoyed. If an album is not on here that you feel should have been it is because either A.) I didn't hear it, B.) I didn't hear it enough, or C.) It wasn't my bag...baby.
7.) This is a list of my TOP 150 albums of 2022. Not just 150 albums I heard this year. I heard much more than that and narrowed things down to the ones that I want to showcase. Your favorite album or discovery from this list could be at 1, 23, 78, 104, or 150. You don't know unless you check the whole list and check out anything that may appeal to you. I'm just the messenger giving you good music and my own thoughts, but I really do enjoy every single album listed and recommend you check these out at your own discretion.
8.) Enjoy the ride, make some new discoveries, and check out some new music. If between all 150 albums listed you can't find one that you enjoy, you're reading the wrong list.
Now...let the games begin!
150.) Battle Beast- Circus of Doom
FFO- Power Metal, Pop Metal, Heavy Metal ABBA
Battle Beast's brand new album is their best work to date and it came from one main distinction, they decided to get heavier and catchier. Adding the right amount of flair to their already bombastic sound to create a sense of wonder that is like a heavier take on ABBA, the band has found their niche and it truly makes the album and the band stand out. Every song is filled with hooks and choruses you'll remember for days after you hear them. If you want just a fun album of thrills, chills, and at least from what I can tell, no spills; this is the album for you.
149.) Famyne- II: The Ground Below
FFO- Doom Metal, Classic Doom Metal
The sophomore outing from this UK outfit shows the band progressing further into their sound with production that's even punchier, songwriting that hits even harder, and fantastic musicianship filled to the brim of the barrel. While very much a clean vocal doom metal album, you can hear tinges of other bands and genres throughout that help the songs stand out even more. For example, the trace amount of Opeth vibes over top of some Candlemass riffs just makes this album such a great listen. Those that want some epic doom metal without venturing into the death doom or funeral doom territories should look no further than this outstanding album.
148.) Belphegor- The Devils
FFO- Blackened Death Metal
Belphegor has returned after 5 years with some of their strongest material in years. This is definitely the kind of album where you realize that it's not about reinventing the wheel, but refining it so it's the smoothest and most functional wheel you can make. Everything you've loved about the band in the past is on showcase here but just updated enough with what may be the band's best production ever. Every song has a great range of dynamics, whether it goes full speed ahead or gets close to entering the death-doom territory. Simply put, this is one of the finest examples of classic blackened death metal you will find this year, if you missed out on it, go back and check this out.
147.) Stratovarius- Survive
FFO- Power Metal, Melodic Metal
Stratovarius, after 7 years and now 16 albums proves that they are more than worthy of all the praise, love, and artists they have inspired over the years. The album shows a bit of a return to form for the modern era of the band. The songs are catchy and heavy with the right amount of double kicks, over-the-top vocals, and jaw-dropping keys when needed. If you love your power metal straight ahead into a world beyond, Stratovarius is one of the best examples of a band that can maintain their core sound over decades together and never loses steam. A great choice for a power metal album this year.
146.) Venom Prison- Erebos
FFO- Death metal, Melodic Death Metal, Metalcore
The 4th album from this insanely aggressive and brutal band shows the band at what may be their most angry and yet its most cohesive. The band has spread its wings from album to album and this album explores the most with genre-bending into more melodic and core elements and even more clean vocals, but when you listen to the lyrics, their intensity and hatred have not let up whatsoever. It's an extreme take on musicianship and a perfect landscape that we are a part of in 2022. This is the album for you if you need to release all of your aggression in one of the most cathartic of ways.
145.) Dragonland- The Power of the Nightstar
FFO- Melodic Power Metal
If I had more time with this album, it would have been much higher up on this list, but I'm so glad it still ended up here. After 11 years of waiting and somehow being able to see them twice at ProgPower USA 2016 after thinking I would never see them live; Dragonland arises from the ashes and put out an outstanding display of melodic power metal that is equal parts fun and cheesy and done with profound efficiency and prowess. Dragonland is the kind of band that just puts a smile on your face as you listen to them. If you can't have fun with this, I don't think you and I would like the same kind of party. It is so great to see the band back after so long picking up right where they left off and it is truly for the best.
144.) Nite- Voices from the Kronian Moon
FFO- Hard Rock, Black Metal
A unique blend of black 'n roll where it focuses much more on rock and roll with just a tinge or two of the evil black metal goodness in its aesthetics. It's like mixing up KISS, Motorhead, Thin Lizzy, and Tribulation. It sounds odd on paper but sounds like perfection in execution. The sophomore album shows the band expanding its diversity while maintaining the core sound they began with to create their strongest material so far and with this only being their 2nd album, it's only going to get better from here. If you want a starter black metal album if you are a classic hard rock fan, or if you want an evil album that sounds like it could be on top 40 radio in a different timeline, Nite is a band you need to check out immediately. This hits every checkpoint it was trying to achieve and then some.
143.) Municipal Waste- Electrified Brain
FFO- Crossover Thrash
There's not really much to add about Municipal Waste that isn't already out there. They are crossover thrash done right. Every album is fun and makes you want to chug your drink of choice, eat pizza, and party. Electrified Brain is another chapter of that philosophy with no real left-of-center changes nor does it need to be. As mentioned, it's crossover thrash done right and that's all they ever need to be.
142.) Allegaeon- Damnum
FFO- Progressive Death Metal
The latest album from Allegaeon is a masterpiece of the technical/progressive death metal realms. It's unfortunate that a lineup change also came after the release of this album, and when you listen to it you can almost sense it, but it definitely sounds like a purge album if there ever was one. The anger on this album is fierce, the musical proficiency is in peak form and you can hear the band showing their love of prog just a tad bit more. While it seems like the Allegaeon ship might be righted now, it leads me to think their next album is not only a new chapter of the band but what could lead to their best album to date. This album, I dare say, is the angry calm before the storm of all storms. Buckle in now and enjoy the destructive ride.
141.) Needless- The Cosmic Cauldron
FFO- Progressive Death Metal, Technical Death Metal
I simply can't believe this is a sophomore album. This is the kind of album where bands in their similar genres will strive years upon years and album after album to try to make and fail at it. This is a true force to be reckoned with. Whether you are looking for some jaw-dropping musicianship, genre-bending on the turn of a dime, or some of the best-arranged technical and progressive death metal of the 2020s, you need to check this album out and enjoy every second recorded. It's a complete whirlwind, but it's more than worth the trip.
140.) GWAR- The New Dark Ages
FFO- Heavy Metal, Punk Rock
What an aptly named title for the world we currently live in isn't it? GWAR continues its new chapter with Blothar at the helm and creates a fun, chaotic, funny, and horror-filled GWAR classic. This time around it feels more raw and aggressive with more of a punk rock heart than a metal heart and it works in its favor. And any new reason for GWAR to be able to present a new stage show and give us fun blood and other liquid-spewed-filled night is always good in my book. This thing is a raging good time/
139.) No Point in Living- The Road to Death
FFO- Depressive Suicidal Black Metal, Progressive Black Metal
I could have easily gone with any of the 6..that's right SIX albums that No Point in Living has churned out this year, but I went with the one that I heard first. This one-man band is a recording machine with making music not only at laser speed, but all done with improving quality, thought-provoking lyrics, and outstanding songwriting. Whether you want something more ambient, more progressive, or more raw black metal, there's bound to be at least one No Point in Living album for you. The Road To Death feels like a great center-point to the discography so far where it is raw but listenable, proggy, but still straightforward, and overall...very depressing. Give this album a shot, or really give any of the albums a shot. Apparently, there is 68 No Point in Living releases to date on Bandcamp since 2017, so you'll have no shortage of music from this project if you want it.
138.) Autumn's Grief- Dead by the Dawn
FFO- Symphonic Metal, Melodic Metal
As of the writing of this list, the album is still yet to be released and is coming out December 9th (hence, my cutoff point mentioned in the rules earlier). The sophomore album from this Finnish Symphonic powerhouse hits all the sticking points of a great modern symphonic metal band. It's dark, it's epic, it's symphonically driven, and most importantly, it has staying power. The songs are so catchy and memorable. The fact it's their second album and their debut album came out last year really says a lot about the power of this band and how much their cache will skyrocket in years to come. Climb aboard this grief-stricken ride while it's still at the station before they become the top name of the genre they are sure to be.
137.) Misaligned- Colours
FFO- Melodic Death Metal, Modern Metal
Finnish melodeath always has a way of ending up on my lists and for good reason. Per capita, no one does melodeath better than the Finns. This debut album has the perfect blend of classic melodeath and enough modern metal tinges to make the band sound unique amongst their peers with super catchy hooks and melodies, headbanging moments, and a super fun atmosphere that is missing in a lot of melodeath these days. All that said, this is a mind-blowing debut album that you need to check out if you are a melodeath fan, I can't imagine you'll be disappointed.
136.) Lawnmower Deth- Blunt Cutters
FFO- Crossover Thrash
The band's 4th album and first since 1994 is a fun-filled, fast, heavy, funny, and thought-provoking affair. In short, it picks up right where the band left off 28 years ago and it feels like they haven't skipped a beat. If you want a UK taste of crossover thrash, almost as a counterpart to something like Municipal Waste (who of course came much later), then you will be in a treat with Lawnmower Deth.
135.) Tragedy of Mine- Aeon
FFO- Melodic Death Metal, Metalcore
The sophomore album from this German group focuses even more on the groundwork laid out on their 2018 debut. The catchy choruses are even bigger, the songwriting is even stronger, and the atmosphere is even darker. The technical and creative control of this album is simply stunning and with more people discovering this album, they more they will be floored by what this band has to offer. Great things are sure to come with Tragedy of Mine and you should be checking them out as soon as you possibly can if you are a melodeath or metalcore fan. This band hits both albums in strides.
134.) Moonlight Haze- Animus
FFO- Symphonic Power Metal
Moonlight Haze is some outstanding Italian symphonic power metal that now with 3 albums under their belt, is showing the band has true staying power and is not afraid to showcase all the tricks of their ever-growing trade. Excellent songwriting and musicianship are on display with so many catchy and even the occasional scream to throw off your false sense of security. A truly standout symphonic power metal album from 2022.
133.) Zero Hour- Agenda 21
FFO- Progressive Metal
It appears that Zero Hour is back and quite possibly stronger than ever. With their first album since 2008; the band showcases their aggressive sides and proggy sides to perfection. With a new lineup including members of Powerwolf, Seventh Wonder, and Cynthesis; the band is filled with a new fire, but at the same time, a love for what the band has accomplished so far. I am so happy this band is back as we needed this jaw-dropping prog sensibility back into our ears. Check out this classic throwback, yet modernized piece of prog wonder.
132.) Trauma Field- From Wounded Soil
FFO- Death Doom, Melodic Doom Metal
Get used to seeing the genre death doom thrown out in this list a lot in the coming days, because there is a lot of it, and it starts off here with Trauma Field. Finnish death doom on their 3rd album and first album since 2016. the songs are filled with that signature death-doom style, but this is different enough. It adds just the right amount of haunting riffs on top of very melancholic and above all, melodic melodies that make Trauma Field a name you remember in the field of the darkness. The songs don't outstay their welcome and the album has that instant replay value. A sheer dark delight of an album that I hope more people will check out because of this list.
131. Ghost- Impera
FFO- Occult Rock, Heavy Metal, Progressive Rock
Yes Yes, everyone has their thoughts on Ghost and any band that start to become as popular as Ghost does is sure to get its detractors and haters attached to it the more popular they become, the louder those squeaky wheels become to tear down something others enjoy. All of that said, of all 5 albums released so far, this probably is in last place for me; but that is in no way saying this is a bad album. In fact, I dare say it's their most daring and adventurous album to date. Impera brings back some of the metal the band has lost and found again over the years, but rather than keeping what has been a very 70s vibe; the band is entering the 80s and even a little bit of 90s flavorings into their sound. Adding influences from Rush Queen and even in the most polarizing song of their career, Twenties, it has a Faith No More meets Danny Elfman vibe that you will either love or hate...or think is ok. Impera is filled with arena rock hits to fill their now arena-sized audiences and that is quite alright. So they will never write another Opus Eponymous, they don't need to, they are doing just fine doing what they do best, making occult rock fun again and pissing everyone else off who doesn't like it. Ghost, please don't ever change.
And there you go folks, the first 20 (or bottom 20 depending on how you look at it) of my baffling ordeal of a ten-part series that is the Heavy Debriefings' Top 150 albums of 2022. Come back tomorrow for Part II: 130-111. Until then this is Josh Rundquist saying, See Ya!
- Josh Rundquist- Heavy Debriefings