Hello everyone and welcome to what is now the completion of 4/5th of this monstrosity of a list we all know and love this year called Heavy Debriefings' Top 150 Albums of 2022. By the end of today's segment, we will be down to only 20 albums left. For some, that's the perfect amount to talk about, for others, it's too much. For me, as you can tell, it's barely the tip of the iceberg, but these next three segments have been excruciating to try to be in an order that I would be happy with as any of these 30 albums deserves to be in the top 10, but you simply can't cram 30 albums in a ten album bag. So that's the break little man, break it down. It's Wednesday, you know what that means. Let's get into the rules and then get into albums 30-21 of this 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.
And now onto today’s segment of the list
30.) King's X- Three Side to One
Progressive Metal, Hard Rock, Classic Rock
A very apt name for this album as it showcases the styles of dUg, Ty, and Jerry perfectly. It gets as heavy as it does rockin' as it does poppy. Everything is in a 33.3% balance. While it's been such a long wait since 2008's XV. This more than exceeded my expectations, but that came with time. This really is a slow burn of an album. It may even feel like it's not your bag when you first hear it, but the more you listen, the more infectious it becomes, the choruses become more addicting, and the styles mesh so well together. The production makes more sense. Everything comes together. It's a collection of great songs written by one of the world's greatest bands. Is it one of their best? That's up to the ear of the beholder. But to me, I feel better having this album in my life and I don't want to go back to a world where this doesn't exist. Thank you King's X for making this happen finally happen.
29.) Entransient- Ghosts in the Hall
FFO- Progressive Metal, Alternative Rock, Post Rock
This is a sheer highlight of an underground album this year. While the band has been going strong since 2015, the band still has a modest following, which does not match its bombastic sound at all. They hit so many genres that can bring people together from prog to alternative rock. Like if you mix Dream Theater or Fates Warning with 90's alternative hard rock and those ever-so-sweet Porcupine Tree-style acoustic passages that show up at the right times. It's the kind of band that would truly stand out on Top 40 radio in a different timeline. The music is also highly emotional and hits you at the right moments to nearly make you weep in the best way. Like I said this is a true highlight of an album this year, and I really hope that between me talking about them and anyone who may check out this album that they get all of the love they deserve, this is just killer music from the start to finish and deserve your ears.
28.) Star One- Revel in Time
FFO- Progressive Metal, Time Travel Movies
Russell Allen singing about Donnie Darko, Dan Swano singing about Groundhog's Day??? Yep, it must be a new Arjen Lucassen release. But seriously, the return of Star One in a new style, being able to bring a grand array of guest stars to sing about different time travel movies was the album we needed in 2022. It's heavy, it's epic, and it puts a much-needed smile on your face (especially if you know the source material for each song); We didn't need another intensely dark album in 2022 as we have so many of those this year (and much more to talk about in this list), I needed something that I can go back to, think about movies that I've always enjoyed or ones that I am at least aware of, and hear a new take on the stories and even visually (seriously, the title track's music video may be the best video of 2022, bar none). While I know whatever Arjen does not will be much more serious and thought-provoking like we all know and love; this was a nice change of pace and really shows off the continued musical diversity of one of the most brilliant minds in heavy music. Thank you Arjen...thank you…
27.) Bloodbath- Survival of the Sickest
FFO- Old School Death Metal
Plain and simple this is the most fun Bloodbath album to date. This album knows exactly what it is and if you couldn't get that vibe from the opening track Zombie Inferno, you will by the end. While not every song is fun and hits some really dark territories, the overall vibe of this album amongst its gore-obsessed slaughtering is something that makes you just appreciate an album like this in 2022. Plus it doesn't hurt having Barney from Napalm Death and Karl from Nile lending their vocals to this album to give it some extra flare. I know the Old Nick era of Bloodbath isn't as beloved as the Mikael or Peter eras, but I want to take away that notion. Nick Holmes is the perfect voice for Bloodbath and has proved it in the previously released and finalizes it here. The album finally clicks with everyone else who still wasn't sure about this lineup. It's exactly what it needs to be and it works so amazingly well. If you want a death metal album that will put a smile on your face and make you say "indeed"; this is the album for you.
26.) Oceans of Slumber- Starlight, and Ash
FFO- Southern Gothic Rock
A band that went from a perfect display of progressive death metal has done something truly progressive and became their own sound. Starlight and Ash is a new chapter of the band that now only showcases Cammie Beverly's astounding vocal range, but combines southern rock, blues, and even Cajun style to their sound. While you won't hear any blast beats or screams or growls on this album; you will hear easily one of the darkest albums of the year, which is more metal than a lot of albums you will hear this year. The songs are perfectly crafted and combine more soul and darkness than what you'll hear on top 40 rock radio. It's a perfect album to be released to and led in with a false sense of security before it totally haunts you. While, yes, this is a stark difference from what you came to know from the band, I for one am someone who feels this was the direction they needed to go and they created a perfect album. Bravo! I can't wait to see what comes next.
25.) Amorphis- Halo
FFO- Melodic Death metal, Progressive Death Metal
I said it back in February and I'll say it again. This is the best Amorphis album since Skyforger. The songs are at their strongest, it has the catchiest choruses potentially ever and it has a great variety of sounds. The riffs have more emotion behind them, which is what got me into Amorphis in the first place. It's beautiful, and it gets heavy in the right spots, but doesn't overtake the songs, The production perfectly matches the vibe of the album. And while I have yet to see Amorphis live for this album cycle, I can only imagine the songs sound spectacular in a live setting. While this is the end of a trilogy of albums that Amorphis has been working on over the past several years, it's got me chomping at the bit waiting to see what will come next from this legendary band. If this is what we got not, it's only going to get better from here.
24.) Hammerfall- Hammer of Dawn
FFO- Power Metal, Heavy Metal
Easily the heaviest and darkest Hammerfall album to date. Don't get that twisted, if you thought Hammerfall is full of cheese, this album will not change your mind as it is filled to brim with those cheesy moments, but that's what brings us all to the table. That said, the tone of the album feels darker than ever before, and there's a heavier vibe overall which the production really makes shine through. It even includes an all-too-short cameo from the legend King Diamond. If that doesn't make this the evilest Hammerfall album to date, I don't know what would. But all of that said, the songs are as catchy as ever with those perfect sing-a-long choruses, big epic swaying moments, and an overall fun experience that the band has always delivered upon. It has slowly but surely become my favorite Hammerfall album to date and I can't wait to hear a few of these songs when they open for Helloween next year. It's a fun album that has me grinning from ear to ear. That's all I ever wanted or needed from the band and they easily delivered.
23.) Ether Coven-0 The Relationship Between the Hammer and the Nail
FFO- Sludge Metal, Doom Metal, Experimental
Ether Coven is a band that is truly hard to define without missing some of the nuances that truly make them stand out from the crowd. With the band's 4th album; they found what I think is their winning formula by combining their experimental moments in sludge and doom, but adding just the right amount of atmospheric moments (just listen to the song Warmth of Your Bathwater for how it works) and they added just the right amount of diversity into their already creative sound to create what bands in the future will be inspired by in years to come. When it gets heavy, it gets brutal, when it gets lighter, it grabs your heartstrings. When you have guests from bands like Integrity and Light the Torch; you know you are in a for a heavy time. This feels like a great transformation album for the band. What comes next will be a shock to everyone, including the band; but I know it will continue in some of the best music I've heard in the genre.
22.) Abyssic- Brought Forth in Iniquity
FFO- Symphonic, Blackened Death Doom
An album was brought to my attention by Von Yanesh of Agathodaimon. This 3rd album from this triumphant outfit is easily their best to date with the best production, brutal vocals, and songwriting that is done in perfect layers so every time you listen, you hear something new. And the lyrical content really grabs you and does not let go. This is brutal in so many different ways, but above all, there's a sense of cathartic moments that really hits you if you are suffering from mental health issues like myself. If you are a fan of classical and symphonic music, you will be able to appreciate what's going on here. If you love your death doom as heavy as possible, you will love this album. It nearly feels like a Viking funeral album with how dark and triumphant it sounds at the same time. With tinges of gothic and ethereal moments that you just won't get anywhere else. I wish I had discovered this band earlier so I could appreciate this album even more, but I am so happy I discovered them now and I can put them this high up on the list as they truly deserve it. A death doom masterpiece.
21.) The Ferrymen- One More River To Cross
FFO- Power Metal, Dark Metal
The 3rd album in 5 years from this all-star band is without question the band's finest work to date. Everything about this album is perfect. It is dark, it's super catchy, the vocals are impeccable, the production is so slick and clean, the songwriting is amazing, and it has everything you are looking for in a power metal album that is not over the top cheesy. Of course, as already stated elsewhere, Ronnie Romero is the shining moment of this album, he has one of the best voices in metal and anyone who says differently is lying to themselves. For any hard rock, heavy metal, and power metal fan; if you missed this album, you are only hurting yourself by missing out on this album and the band in general. It came out in January, but its staying power is forever. It just takes one listen to understand why.
And there you have it, folks, 130 albums done and tomorrow brings the start of what you are all waiting for, like the slathering dogs that you are, Heavy Debriefings' Top 150 Albums of 2022 Part IX: 20-11. Until then, this is Josh Rundquist for Heavy Debriefings saying, See Ya!
- Josh Rundquist (Heavy Debriefings)