Hello everyone, and welcome to the 8th month of 2022 recap of music albums that I call...The Top 10 Albums of August 2022. This has been an incredible month for heavy music and a hellish month on my end for various reasons you can check out elsewhere. For today, we dine on 10 fantastic heavy albums that are worthy of your praise, some of these are debut albums, and some are from bands that have been around since the 90s. Regardless of it all; all 10 of these are phenomenal albums and it killed me not to include a few more that are also worthy of your time, but it's a Top 10, not a Top 15; gotta cut it off somewhere. But anyways, here come the rules for anyone checking out my lists for the first time, then we'll get right into the first album.
1.) These will be Original Studio ALBUMS. Not EPs, live albums, cover albums, rarities albums, lost albums, splits, collaboration efforts, etc. Simply Original Studio Albums from bands. Simply enough, right?
2.) These will be ALPHABETICAL ORDER. Not ranked. I don’t give away my secrets about what will be in the top 100 that easily. At least buy me a drink first!
3.) These reviews will be like my top 100 list where I give the band name, the album, and the FFO section; followed by a paragraph review. I could easily go track by track on every album, but then I will have given everything away. I want YOU to check any of these albums out and make up your own thoughts if you dig them or not. I’m just here to let you be aware these albums are out and for your listening pleasure.
4.) There is nothing sponsored here nor stolen content. Just my own thoughts. I have been given almost every album I review as a stream or promo and anything I missed I checked out on Spotify or Bandcamp after release.
5.) I will be covering more albums in audio form on my podcast every week there is a new show. There may be some crossover, other ones may just be in audio form. So check out both for the optimum experience.
6.) None of these albums are set in stone for the best of 2022. I may be high on them now, but that could change for a multitude of reasons (mainly if the band does something asinine).
7.) Any album not featured here or in the podcast can EASILY still be featured in my top 100. I can’t hear every album and some will slip through the cracks now or even then. So I just need to hear an album and make assertions from there.
8.) These are done for YOU. So I hope you can discover some new music on my behalf and be shown that new music has never stopped being great. Just go discover it.
Conan- Evidence of Immortality
FFO- Sludge Metal, Doom Metal
10 years after their debut album, Monnos, the UK doom masters are back with both their most crushing and their most versatile album to date. You will get the ever so brutal riffs and grave stompingly slow tempos, but you will also get songs with more mid-tempo speeds and I dare say even crust punk fast riffs from time to time. It makes the doom moments hit you even harder but makes you enjoy the album, even more, thanks to its dynamic peaks and valleys. This is a forward-thinking metal album that deserves your attention. Easily Conan's finest album to date. Bar none!
Cyborg Octopus- Between the Light and Air
FFO- Progressive Metal, Mathcore, 8Bit, Jazz
Cyborg Octopus has put out some of the most original heavy music of 2022. No matter if you are looking for odd time signatures, heavy riffs, gravity blasts, saxophone, or miss hearing 8bit console beep boops. While it's been quite a bit of time since their debut album back in 2016's Learning to Breathe; this sophomore album feels like a breath of fresh air (no pun intended) into a genre of heavy music that seems to focus way more on what you can do on the fretboards more than creating memorable music. Every song is catchy in its own way and no two songs sound alike. It's a real mind-twister on your first listen, but with every subsequent listen, everything will click and you would not be able to imagine the album done in any other way. Thank you for rejuvenating the controlled chaos of the more extreme sides of metal with your own signature blend. We all needed this.
Dynazty- Final Advent
FFO- Modern Metal, Power Metal, Hard Rock
This is really the band's 8th album? It feels like only yesterday since I discovered them all the way back in 2011 with their sophomore album, Knock You Down. Seeing the band go from Melodic Rock/AOR to Progressive Power Metal to more Modern Metal and blending the aforementioned genres has been a pure blessing to witness. And of course, seeing the band's popularity rise with every release is pretty nifty as well. Final Advent is not the lightest album to date, it's not the heaviest either; it mixes both sides of the band perfectly and makes it truly their catchiest album to date. No matter the tempo, every song is a certified killer song and if thise4 sounds at all intriguing to you, I highly implore you to check this out. It's more than deserving of your time.
FFO- Symphonic Metal, Power Metal
It blows my mind that this is a debut album, I've heard albums in this genre from bands going 20 years or more that don't even come close to the originality, musicianship, and downright quality songwriting written by this fantastic group. Whatever you are looking for in the power metal and symphonic metal realms; you'll find it on this album in at least one song. And that's another beautiful thing, every song is original and sounds inspired. Something the genre needs once in a while to keep everything fresh. You'll be hard-pressed to find another American band who can pull off this blend of music with this quality. They are only going to go up from here and as much as I love Fateweaver, their best material is yet to come...I can feel it. Catch the hype train now!
Ether Coven- The Relationship Between the Hammer and the Nail
FFO- Sludge Metal, Progressive Metal, Doom Metal
This Florida quartet's fourth album (and 2nd under the full name of Ether Coven) is easily, without a shadow of a doubt, the band's greatest work to date. This is an album that any band in the sludge and doom genres could only aspire to be one day. The emotion backed into this album is second to none, with heartbreaking lyrics, bone-crunching riffs, and the jaw-dropping vocal approach between the growls and cleans; this is quite possibly the best album of this genre in 2022 and it will easily be one of my favorite albums when I do my year-end round-up. Seriously, if you want something dynamic, thought-provoking, heart-wrenching, and filled with some great vocal appearances from the likes of Howard Jones, Dwid Hellion, and Daniel Weyandt; you need to check this album out immediately and thank me later.
The Halo Effect- Days of the Lost
FFO- Melodic Death Metal
As I eluded to in last month's top 10 list; there was only one other melodeath album that could easily be the best of 2022 and here it is. Take 5 ex-members of In Flames who aren't just friends, but wanted to make the melodeath that made them happy and combine it with enough modern metal flavorings to make the music truly stand out, and yeah...you easily have one of the best melodeath albums of the year. Every song is super catchy, and memorable and a particular subset of songs truly hits you right in the feels. While it would be so easy to compare this to another Swedish melodeath band that's releasing an album soon, don't compare them, don't put them against each other. Both can stand on their own accord and make the music they want to make and with The Halo Effect; I couldn't be more thankful these 5 guys got together and made an album that is just perfect for my ears. I can't wait to see what's next.
Hammer King- Kingdemonium
FFO- Heavy Power Metal
Heavy Power Metal at some of its finest. Kingdemonium is made a year after the band's previous self-titled album and it's shocking how different both albums are and how truly great both stand on their own two separate pairs of feet. This album focuses even more on the heavy side of the band but has such catchy choruses that'll be stuck in your head for days on end. If you want a power metal band that knows how to be heavy then Hammer King is a band that needs to be on your radar. And be sure to check out both this album and last year's self-titled album. Both have their charms that are worth experiencing over and over again.
Lacrimas Profoundre- How To Shroud Yourself with Night
FFO- Gothic Doom, Black Metal, Gothic Rock, Melodic Death Metal, Power Metal
This album is seriously a robust veil of heavy genres that's not different just for the sake of being different, but a dark collection of songs that are meant to be together. In what could be the most diverse album in the bands nearly 30-year career; the band hearkens back to the doom and gloom explored on their earliest albums, the more mainstream style gothic rock tones that the band quite possibly be best known for, and exploring new territories like post-rock and black metal in moments that sound left of center on paper but make all the sense in the world in execution. This will be an album that goes under the radar for some and will be some people's favorite album of the year. Where will it be for me? Let's find out! But seriously, this is an album you shouldn't ignore, just one listen and you'll understand why.
Nordic Union- Animalistic
FFO- Power Metal, Modern Metal, Heavy Metal
This perfect match-up of Ronnie Atkins of Pretty Maids and Erik Martensson of Eclipse is a match made in metal Valhalla. Taking what the band started with on their debut album and turning up the heavy moments by 11 has not only made this album stand out, but the band reaches even more ears than ever before. It's as heavy as it is catchy and it just makes you feel good as you listen to it, a rare feat in metal these days (or so it feels). There are not many words can say about this album, it's just a sheer delight to listen to and if you want some super fun heavy melodic rock and heavy power metal, you can do no wrong with Nordic Union!
FFO- Melodic Death metal, Progressive Metal, Melodic Metal
Soilwork has been known for one word over its 26-year career and counting...innovation. And now with their 12th album, that innovation continues to grow. Combining all of the best moments from the band's past between melodeath and progressive moments, adding the right amount of melodic metal/melodic rock moments with some amazingly soaring choruses leading to one of the band's most substantial albums to date. It's truly a Soilwork album for everyone who has ever been a fan of the band, every era is represented, but with a 2022 filter, leading to an album that is simply too good to miss out on. Do yourself a favor and check this album out now.
And there you go folks, 10 fantastic albums from August 20-22 that deserve your ears and if you do, you may just hear a new favorite album or ten. Thank you so very much for checking out this list. Check out the Spotify Soundtrack below to get a grasp on each album and I'll see you here next time for The Top 10 Albums of September 2022.
Same Heavy Time, Same Debriefings Website!
- Josh Rundquist (Heavy Debriefings)