🌶️🎖✨ To The Teeth | the 30 best heavy albums of the year (and 101 best songs playlist)
The top 30 of 2022
30: 🌶️ Hulder - The Eternal Fanfare (black from the USA)
A one-woman black metal project born in Belgium with a great, recognizable sound. A little Aeternus, a little Satyricon. Didn’t really like her earlier work, but this: very cool.
29: 🌶️ Soul Glo - Diaspora Problems (hardcore punk from the USA)
A pure energy bomb.
28: 🌶️ Et Moriemur - Tamashii No Yama (atmospheric death/doom from Czechia)
You really have to give Et Moriemur a listen to hear something completely different.
27: 🌶️ Chat Pile - God's Country (noise from the USA)
Not a comfortable listen, but life isn't always comfortable. Chat Pile pushes where it hurts.
26: 🌶️ Vanaheim - Een Verloren Verhaal (epic folk from The Netherlands)
What a nice surprise! This is their debut full length, and it's very impressive, fun folk metal with great melodies.
25: 🌶️ Hammers of Misfortune - Overtaker (progressive from the USA)
Exciting, super shreddy heavy prog that’s more like your dad’s Voivod albums than Dream Theater.
24: 🌶️ Worm - Bluenothing (death/black from the USA)
The first half is slooow and goood, second half is fucking evil. ‘Shadowside Kingdom’ might be my song of the year: a masterclass in build-up.
23: 🌶️ VHS - Deep Gashes & Long Lashes (death/grind from Canada)
This is really, really weird. I love it.
22: 🌶️ Deadbody - The Requiem (death/hardcore from the USA)
This is a fist to the face like only hardcore can give you, but with riffs only death metal can give you, with a few curveballs only Deadboy will give you.
21: 🌶️ Krallice - Psychagogue (avantgarde black from the USA)
I’m a fan of Krallice, but they kinda lost me for a while. This one is the reality defying stuff I live for though.
20: 🌶️ Cave In - Heavy Pendulum (post-hardcore/alternative from the USA)
Cave In is back after the loss of their bassist Caleb Scofield, with Converge/Old Man Gloom veteran Nate Newton stepping in. And it shows: this is heavy Cave In.
19: 🌶️ Darkher - The Buried Storm (doom/dark folk from the UK)
Folky stuff, haunting and mysterious. Jayn Maiven transcends the gimmick with ease by crafting beautiful, thoughtful songs that are difficult to shake.
18: 🌶️ Sunrise Patriot Motion - Black Fellflower Stream (gothic/post-punk/industrial from the USA)
It was always clear that the Skarstad brothers Will and Sam (Yellow Eyes, Ustalost) had more up their sleeve than black metal. This is a weird amalgam of black metal, gothic and post-punk, and a lot of atmosphere.
17: 🌶️ Wormrot - Hiss (grind from Singapore)
Think you know what grind sounds like? Wormrot is here to smash everything you know about grind. Well, almost everything.
16: 🌶️ Kostnatění - Oheň hoří tam, kde padl (black from the USA)
Old Turkish songs turned into black metal, and it’s otherwordly and amazing and I want more of it.
15: 🌶️ Primitive man - Insurmountable (sludge/doom/noise from the USA)
A band I didn’t really get until I saw them live earlier this year. As comfortable as a meteor shower, but one you don’t want to leave. ‘Cage Intimacy’ especially is fantastic.
14: 🌶️ Misþyrming - Með hamri (black from Iceland)
A late contender. I might have put it much higher on the list if it came out earlier, that's hard to say. I really enjoy the vitriolic new style, with wooly synths and intense leads.
13: 🌶️ Svrm - Червів майбутня здобич (atmospheric black from Ukraine)
Of course you can’t listen to this band without thinking of their homeland, although the captivating, immersive black metal here is as beautiful as it is haunting.
12: 🌶️ Katharos - Of Lineages Long Forgotten (symphonic black from Sweden)
Do you miss Emperor? I do, and I know the Katharos guys do. The songs here really are too good to brush off as some kind of tribute.
11: 🌶️ Brutus - Unison Life (progressive punkrock from Belgium)
As soon as the first single of this new record came out (re-released through The Taste of Teeth!), I knew I'd be back on board with Brutus: deeply personal heavy music.
10: 🌶️ Porcupine Tree - Closure/Continuation (prog from the UK)
Is it closure? Is it a continuation? You never know with Wilson and co. I’m just glad to have these guys back for now.
9: 🌶️ Fugitive - Maniac (thrash/crossover from the USA)
Power Trip’s Blake Ibanez teamed up with members of Creeping Death and Skourge to make all our faces go stink.
8: 🌶️ Darkthrone - Astral Fortress (black/heavy/doom from Norway)
I don’t care what style Ted and Fenriz choose to rock, as long as they keep making exactly what they want I’ll listen to it.
7: 🌶️ Wilderun - Epigone (symphonic/progressive folk from the USA)
Not an easy album to get into, I admit. It's not as immediate as the predecessors. But multiple listens cement all the intricate ideas, the beautiful melodies - it's subtle, and so well done.
6: 🌶️ Sonja - Loud Arriver (heavy metal/gothic rock from the USA)
Melissa Moore is back after she lost her place in Absu when she came out as transgender. Fuck everything about that. She’s back stronger than ever, with a gem of an album.
5: 🌶️ Doldrum - The Knocking, or the Story of the Sound That Preceded Their Disappearance (prog black from the USA)
One of the guys in this band is from the amazing project Erraunt, one of the best prog-black outlets ever, but very shortlived. Alas, here is Doldrum!
4: 🌶️ Haunter - Discarnate Ails (death/black from the USA)
Haunter are fucking good. I know that's not a very professional review, but goddamnit I'm right. A twisted, hypnotic maze, with great harmonies within.
3: 🌶️ Ghost - Impera (heavy from Sweden)
Kaisarion! I keep yelling it every now and then and I will be for a while. The perfect comeback after a stale predecessor, this is Abba-metal in full swing.
2: 🌶️ Satan - Earth Infernal (heavy from the UK)
I would have never expected a classic heavy metal band to end up this high on my list. Earth Infernal is completely addictive. What a perfect album.
1: 🌶️ Terzij de Horde - In One of These, I Am Your Enemy (black from The Netherlands)
I love this band. I love these guys. I love that they keep finding their own path and follow it in such a grand, self-assured manner. This is a beautiful, intense, dramatic album that feels huge in scope and impact, but is so well trimmed. Not an inch of fat, not a note too much. Unlimited power and unlimited danger!
Honorable mentions: Hath, Inanna, Pestilent Hex, Al Namrood, Dream Unending, Thrawsunblat, Atomic Witch, Undeath, Trial (Swe), Star One, I Am The Night, Wandelaars & Final Eclipse (I first heard that one yesterday, otherwise it might have made the list).
Gold category: Ustalost - Before the Glinting Spell Unvests
A beautiful, beautiful album that came out just a week too late for my year-end-list of 2021. It didn't feel right to just put it on the 2022 list, but I didn’t want to leave it in that weird late december limbo either. (It would've been #1)
Non-metal & next year
🌶️ My favourite non-metal albums of the year:
Rosalía - Motomami
Silvana Estrada - Marchita
Tamino - Sahar
Nilüfer Yanya - Painless
Bad Bunny - Un Verano Sin Ti
Di Meola / McLaughlin / De Lucia - Saturday Night in San Francisco
Rauw Alejandro - Saturno
Lucky Fonz III - Hemellichamen
Hilary Hahn - Eclipse
Jake Xerxes Fussell - Good and Green Again
Looking forward to 2023 because of: Ahab, Obituary, Katatonia, Powerwolf, Cattle Decapitation, ...And Oceans, Delain, Hellripper, In Flames, Ulthar, Big|Brave, Insomnium, Heidevolk, Enslaved, Dawn Ray'd, Liturgy, Ne Obliviscaris & Metallica.
PS: yes I always made a calculated list of lists to see what's the best metal album across all publications - I just didn't have the time for it yet. Maybe in january, but I wouldn't wait up for it. Life, man...
Again: Check out the 101 best heavy songs of 2022
Have perfect holidays, friends - Peter