Hello everyone and welcome back for part two of this colossal endeavor known as Heavy Debriefings' Top 150 Albums of 2022. Yesterday we looked at albums 150-131. Now it's time to look at albums 130-111; which I must stress again, is no slight in the albums in question. I consume a lot of music every year, much more than a normal human being probably should, but it's all in the means of showing off the best music out there for others to enjoy. The ranking isn't as important as the albums in question. I keep saying this as there are some very, VERY, good albums that deserve your attention from 150-1 and I really hope you're not skipping any parts of this list just because of where it sits for me. Anywho, let's get into the rules, then on to today's display of musical endeavors.
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...onto this segment of the list!
130.) Vimur- Transcendental Violence
FFO- Genre Bending Black Metal
The album title is very apt for this recording. It really does feel transcendental and violent. Moments of beauty and soaring through different forms of life amongst the pure black metal rage shown throughout is quite a daunting task to be able to pull off, but the band has done it seamlessly. Beauty and chaos coexist and Vimur has portrayed it here to their best ability between the cascading songwriting, hard-hitting lyrics, and that sense of yin and yang exploding at the same time. Definitely an album worth experiencing at least once to see if it is something you would enjoy.
129.) Remains of Destruction- New Dawn
FFO- Heavy Power Metal, Modern Metal
The debut album from this Finnish powerhouse combines some of the heaviest aspects of power metal and mixes it through a modern filter with just the right amount of keys and sound effects to give a great-sounding power metal album into a fantastic modern power metal album. You can tell the band is about to burst into what they are capable of and the dynamics and creativity are only going to grow from here on out. Check this out now and see where the musical landscape will take them in the future.
128.) Lorna Shore- Pain Remains
FFO- Progressive Symphonic Deathcore
As I mentioned in last month's Top 10 of October 2022 list; this is not the same run-of-the-mill deathcore band I saw opening for Deicide in 2015; this is a band that has grown so much over the years and has rightfully taken the new spotlight of deathcore and rearranged it just enough to make it their own. By combining symphonic and progressive elements that more than outweigh the deathcore elements in other aspects, the band has become its own entity. While the vocals are so varied that they will either be everything you love or everything you hate; the band in its 2022 formation is easily worth checking out. If they can take someone like me who couldn't care less about what they were doing and made me become floored with what they are capable of; they just might do the same for you.
127.) Without Waves- Comedian
FFO- Experimental Progressive Metal
Chicago's Without Waves is a band that is not afraid to let the freak flag wave proudly. From going to absolute extremes to the absolute mainstream extremes on the same album, all with a strange, eerie feeling like you are in a horror fun house, really give this album a unique style that is all their own. Add on top of that the stunning musicianship and songwriting on display and crystal clear production and you have an album that will make any fans of Devin Townsend to Mr. Bungle happy. A shockingly fun album from start to finish.
126.) My Useless Life- Bittersweet Agony
FFO- Depressive Suicidal Black Metal
The 4th album from this California duo is their most sincere and cathartic album to date. With a raw, but captivating production style, just the right amount of atmospheric and post-black metal elements, realistic lyrics, and tones that can tear your soul apart, Bittersweet Agony is the kind of album for those that are struggling mentally but just need to hear that others are struggling as well to feel less alone. The songs, while sorrowful also, almost, give a unique sense of optimism behind them much like the album title hints at. Life is hell, but it can still have reasons to keep going. One of the best pure depressive suicidal black metal albums of the year, hands down.
125.) Destruction- Diabolical
FFO- Thrash Metal
If you are already familiar with these German thrash maniacs, then this album should be no shock to you. For everyone else, this is a blazing take on thrash in 2022 with just the right amount of dynamics and perseverance to make this an album worth experiencing for any thrash fiend. No reinventing the wheel here, just pure, unrelenting thrash, and sometimes that is all you need.
124.) Krilloan- Emperor Rising
FFO- Power Metal
For anyone who has missed the golden age of power metal, the days of the falsettos, constant double bass, blazing guitar and bass, and songs that are always memorable and super catchy; the debut album from Krilloan is the album you need to experience before the end of 2022. As I just described, everyone in this band is on fire and shows off their chops to the best of their abilities. Every song is distinct and full of wonder and brings you back to the days of power metal that you know and love. As of the writing of this placement, the album comes out December 9th, so go make sure to check it out when it comes out next week, it's more than worth it.
123.) Alter Bridge- Pawns & Kings
FFO- Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
Alter Bridge is one of those bands that are gigantic everywhere but the USA, which is so odd considering they are from the good ol' USA. Not to say they can't sell out venues here, but like in Europe, they are an arena/stadium band. The songs on Pawns & Kings are definitely written in a way that will satisfy the most save beast looking for metal tones, but also want to wrap their arm around their partner(s) and simply sway along. It's simultaneously their heaviest and one of their most commercial-sounding albums to date. It's a sound of the times and it matches the atmosphere perfectly. If you want a heavy and catchy look at the heaviest parts of mainstream radio, Alter Bridge is a band you should stop ignoring and give a proper chance. No preconceived notions, just dive in.
122.) Septicflesh- Modern Primitive
FFO- Symphonic Death Metal, Atmospheric Death Metal
After the last several years and the low water mark that was 2020. it's no wonder why so many bands took their time and wrote such aggressively heavy and thought-provoking albums to come out of the pandemic. Septicflesh with Modern Primitive is another band that took a look at the modern landscape of the world and has shown how we have progressed and regressed as a society at the same time. Match that with sheer passionate brutality and high dynamics and you get an album that feels like a whole dystopian film soundtrack rather than just a collection of great songs. It's not a cheesy album, but it's a realistic one. Check it out and see if you agree.
121.) In Loving Memory- The Withering
FFO- Death Doom, Melodic Doom
Ah yes, more melodic death-doom is incoming; probably my most listened-to genre this year. In Loving Memory was a huge reason why I got into the mood this year, besides the state of the world. Discovering this album back in January thanks to Cary over at the Metal Geeks Podcast and MSRcast; the 3rd album from this Spanish collective has the right amount of sorrow, beauty, and tragedy rolled into one. You sing your sorrows in the most haunting and wistful of ways. This album is not for the faint of heart, but it is for those that need those cathartic and even dreadful thoughts to be heard in audio form. A tragic delight.
120.) Culak- Holy Tempest
FFO- Post Black Metal, Atmospheric Black Metal, Doom Metal
Culak is an odd entity. A one-man band that sounds like a full orchestra at the same time. With his 13th album, he really takes advantage of the orchestral part as this album is swaying with emotions in its primarily black metal aesthetic, but just the right amount of doomy moments and the orchestral seasoning to make this an album that is both raw, and complete. If you let it sink in, it will take over you and you may even shed a tear. I know I came very close to crying on my first listen. A hard-hitting and beautiful piece of black metal.
119.) Earthrise- Until We Rest in the Winter Way
FFO- Post Metal, Doom Metal, Sludge Metal
It took a decade, but the Twin Cities-based Earthrise finally released their sophomore album and it lived up to the hype I made in my own mind for the duration. It's heavier, it's dreamier, and it captures the darkness and the light in its own significant way. The band has become even more bombastic, thanks to its production style on display which really helps the dynamics flourish and the atmosphere wash over you. If you are big into bands like Neurosis, Cult of Luna, and Bison B.C.; you will find something to love and appreciate with Earthrise.
118.) Conan- Evidence of Immortality
FFO- Doom Metal, Sludge Metal
Another heavy as-hell album, but this time from the UK, Conan's 5th LP is not just what may be their most dynamic and bombastic display of sludgy doom metal, but it is also their most thought-provoking as it does tackle the war still currently going on between Russia and Ukraine and the lyrics were penned as it was starting. Perfect creativity is terrible for the further downfall of humanity. But all of that said, this is easily the best Conan album to date if you just want the heaviest possible sounds you can get in 2022. Simply look no further, it's here in full display with its full arsenal.
117.) Cyborg Octopus- Between The Light and Air
FFO- Experimental Progressive Metal
6 years after their debut album, with a fresh new look at the world, Cyborg Octopus has returned to the surface with their sophomore album and it is a sight to truly believe. An experimental piece of progressive metal for anyone that wants a cohesive hodgepodge of mathcore, prog, jazz, 8bit, and more into their gumbo of musical delights. With a realistic look at the world and a soundtrack to accurately capture it, Cyborg Octopus makes no apologies for their musical style, thoughts or destruction they leave in their path. It's the definition of genre-bending and it's done in all the right ways. If you are feeling adventurous or just a tad bit saucy; dive down into the deep and check this album out. You may not escape, but it's more than worth the plunge.
116.) Deep Memories- Why Do We Suffer?
FFO- Melodic Death Doom Metal
Why Do We Suffer? An excellent question posed on the sophomore album from this Brazilian one-man band, that tackles the heartaches and possible ways we all suffer or will die on these pieces of recordings. It's one of the more raw melodic death doom albums of the year, but that adds to the sense of mournful dread you will experience throughout this album. It hits very hard the more you listen to the lyrics and the music matches those somber tones to perfection. It's not an easy listen if you are feeling joyful, but if you are feeling sad or worse, this could be an album you need right now. I know it helped me tremendously.
115.) Destrage- SO MUCH. too much.
FFO- Experimental Progressive Metalcore
It's hard to add more than I already did in my Top 10 of October 2022 list, but, I will try. The 6th album from this Italian experimental outfit is both a wacky sense of adventure that you will never expect, but also one of their most commercial-sounding and openly inviting albums to date. Both being completely on the edge of insanity and cohesive really gives everything a split personality feel that makes more and more sense the more you listen to it. And they do the most unique take on STP's Vaseline that you will ever hear. A sight for sore ears for those that want an album that is truly daring in 2022.
114.) Die Apokalyptischen Reiter- Wilde Kinder
FFO- German Metal
I can't give a better FFO description than that. Every album from this band has such a great unique sound to it, but over the last couple of albums, they really decided to throw everything into the blend and play what they want. That is what you get on this album. On one track you will get a dark black metal piece, you will get a power metal affair, you will get an arena metal anthem, and so much more that you will just have to experience to comprehend. The band has truly become that unification of metal. Not afraid to play any style as long as they want to write it, record it, and play it. With that attitude, it makes for some of their best work ever. Check it out and see if the variety of metal is right for you.
113.) Veonity- Elements of Power
FFO- Power Metal
Sweden's Veonity may have made the most powerful album of all power metal albums released in 2022. This has everything you want whether you are an old-school die-hard or love the modern take on power metal; it's here in full display. It has it all and it simply doesn't get much more majestic than this. It's an album that is sure to put a smile on your face on many occasions and when it comes to music, don't you want to be able to enjoy it? You get that and so much more with Elements of Power. A sheer power metal classic in the making.
112.) Troglodyte- The Hierarchical Ecological Succession: Welcome to the Food Chain
FFO- Death Metal, Goregrind
Death metal about bigfoot. That's all you need to know about this Kansas entity. With now 4 albums over 11 years, the band has made this silly, yet brutal band something to truly behold. This album in particular picks you up, and viciously tears you apart, but you still get a great laugh before you are slaughtered. Isn't that how we all wish we could go? If you want your death metal with a smile, this is the band you need in your life.
111.) The Flower Kings- By Royal Decree
FFO- Progressive Rock
This is sadly an album that just got lost on me this year and had I had more listens to it, it would have ranked much higher. Another double disc release from this long-running Swedish prog super-entity. It's whimsical, it's majestic, it's quirky, and delightful; just as The Flower Kings should be. If you've never heard the b and before, it's the perfect throwback to the 60s and 70s throwback prog sound with 80s and 90s flair, but now done in 2022 and more modernized. By Royal Decree is not the heaviest release from the band it won't make you feel depressed; nor should it. It's a fantastic display of musical craftsmanship by one of the best bands in the business showing how classic prog is done and does it right. You really can't ask for anything more.
And there you have it, folks, Part II of this unrelenting list I call Heavy Debriefings' Top 150 Albums of 2022. Come back tomorrow when we finally crack the top 100 with Part III: 110-91. Until then this is Josh Rundquist saying See Ya!
- Josh Rundquist (Heavy Debriefings)