Editors have spoken: here are the best rock and metal albums of 2022

Author Arto Mäenpää - 31.12.2022

Year 2022 was a year when music business returned almost back to normal, and bands got back from their caves with new music. Year 2022 was absolutely amazing in terms of new music, and we got to hear tons of great new records this year. Our editors listed their Top 10 favorite albums of the year. Check out the albums that made the lists here:

Arto Mäenpää

  1. Lorna Shore – Pain Remains
    The best deathcore album to come out in the past few years. Will Ramos is an absolute beast behind the microphone, and the instrumental section creates just beautiful melodies and landscapes to back up his vocal skills. The “Pain Remains” song trilogy is just pure magic and perfectly shows why the band deserved to be the most hyped metal band in 2022.
  2. The Halo Effect – Days Of The Lost
    What happens, when you combine five Swedish melodeath legends together? I would say that the best metal debut album of the year 2022, and one of the best melodeath albums to come from Sweden in years. Jesper Strömblad is one of the most innovative and best metal guitarists to ever come from Sweden, and this album is another perfect example of it.
  3. Machine Head – Of Kingdom And Crown
    For me Machine Head has always been a bit like a “hit or miss” band with some of the albums ending up being my favourites of the year while some just getting lost after a spin or two in the pile of CDs at my home. “Of Kingdom And Crown” is definitely is a strike of gold for Machine Head and shows that mr. Robb Flynn still has a lot of amazing creativeness within him. One of the strongest Machine Head album entities to date.
  4. Apulanta – Sielun kaltainen tuote
    Band that seems to get better like fine wine year after year and album after album. “Sielun kaltainen tuote” is nearly a perfect album and one of the best albums from a band that has been going on for over 30 years now.
  5. Meshuggah – Immutable
    delivers another very solid album. “Immutable” shows perfectly band’s amazing musicianship and is also a perfect continuation for “The Violent Sleep Of Reason”.
  6. Blind Channel – Lifestyles of the Sick & Dangerous
    Blind Channel
    ‘s violent pop revolution officially began with “Lifestyles of the Sick & Dangerous”, and the album shows nicely the massive potential this group has to become the next big thing to come from Finland after Nightwish. Despite of having some weaker tracks the album is overall rock solid and definitely recommended for alternative rock / nu-metal fans out there.
  7. Amorphis – Halo
    is a band that has released strong albums during its whole career, and “Halo” is no exception to that. Band’s ability to paint beautiful landscapes with its music is something that only a few can do in the music business. Brilliant album.
  8. Arch Enemy – Deceivers
    After getting Alissa White-Gluz and Jeff Loomis into their ranks Arch Enemy has been an unstoppable force within the metal scene, and “Deceivers” is another musical step forward for the band. I know that for some fans having White-Gluz to sing clean vocals on an AE album is a big red flag but I think that it gives much more layers to the group’s sound palette when she is using her full voice and not just part of it. “Deceivers” is the most mature release from this multi-national group to date and I consider it their best album to date.
  9. We Came As Romans – Darkbloom
    We Came As Romans
    has always been a band with extremely catchy songs full of beautiful melodies that get stuck into your head. After hearing about clean vocalist Kyle Pavone’s passing I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the group but “Darkbloom” shows that the band has a bright future ahead. I consider “Darkbloom” as the best metalcore album to come out in 2022.
  10. Slipknot – The End, So Far
    I was thinking for a long time whether I should add this album to this list or not. The high points of “The End, So Far” are high but the low points on the album are the lowest the band has ever been at. It is not as good as you would expect from this Iowan nine piece but it is better than most of the metal albums that came out in 2022.

    Honourable mentions:
    – the Classic Symptoms of a Broken Spirit
    Battle Beast – Circus Of Doom
    Parkway Drive – Darker Still
    Kreator – Hate Über Alles
    Ghost – Impera
    Lost Society – If The Sky Came Down

Benedetta Baldin

  1. Heilung – Drif
    It’s hard to review albums like this one when they are basically the closest thing to perfection. The production is flawless, the songs are varied and the atmospheres this band creates are sublime. Masterpiece.
  2. Allen/Olzon – Army Of Dreamers
    One of the few artists that is able to move me to tears is definitely Anette Olzon. That woman can do no wrong. And when she teams with Russell Allen, the work is even more spectacular. Jewel.
  3. Raskasta Joulua – Viides Adventti
    Thank God this album was released, or my Christmas playlist would be very weak. The order of the songs is strategic, the melodies are timeless and the feeling is just unique. Festive.
  4. Reckless Love – Turborider
    Just like wine, this band evolves and ages with a record that is the best expression of their style. The vocal agility mixed with incredible guitar lines and catchy melodies is a killer combination. Timeless.
  5. Shining Black – Postcards From The End Of The World
    This band has created a power metal album that embodies the elements of the genre but with the magic touch of innovation. Powerful.
  6. Strata – REMINA
    How many bands are capable of combining an atmospheric genre with gothic and metal? Not many. But this band has taken these three genres to a whole new level, and it will be difficult to replicate. Dark.
  7. Perfect Plan – Brace For Impact Sophomore
    Albums are a challenge because even if the debut album is wonderful, there is no guarantee of what will happen. This isn’t the case, because this Swedish group has all it takes to make it. Brave.
  8. Drabik – Mannequin
    I tend not to give many praises to debut albums, but this Italian band has teamed up with an incredible producer to make this album. And they got the assignment completely right. Heavy.
  9. After Evolution – War Of The Worlds
    There are countless symphonic metal bands, and even more with a female lead. But it will be very easy to remember this one because their projects are exquisite. Majestic.
  10. The Hour Of The Wolf – Amoth
    If I were to describe the most surprising band I saw at Tuska Festival this year, it will be them. The union of heavy metal, progressive and brilliance are the quality marks of this group. Amazing.

    Honourable mentions:
    Ultima Grace
    – Ultima Grace
    Jani Liimatainen – My Father’s Son
    Serj Tankian -Perplex Cities

David Araneda

  1. Nite – Voices of the Kronian Moon
    A perfect blend of old-school heavy metal with doom and black metal elements and a unique vocal approach. Beautifully crafted songs creating a haunting atmosphere, dark and melodic in equal parts. Album of the year for me and the biggest surprise by an up-and-coming band.
  2. Hällas – Isle of Wisdom
    You can’t go wrong with Hällas, I love everything they have released so far and “Isle of Wisdom” is yet another example of the Swedes masterful mix of Genesis-inspired 70’s prog with proto metal traces. One of my favorite bands these days and a great live act also. Pure delicious ear candy.
  3. Evergrey – A Heartless Portrait: The Orphean Testament
    The Swedish prog masters have released five masterpieces in a row during the last decade. They show no signs of slowing down or running out of inspiration, always finding new ways to captivate with elegant, complex yet highly enjoyable melancholic tunes.
  4. Amorphis – Halo
    never disappoints and “Halo” is no exception. After a 30 year-plus career, the Finns still manage to explore new musical territories and the result is simply phenomenal. Kudos to Petronella Nettermalm for a fantastic guest performance on beautiful album closer “My Name is Night”.
  5. Venator – Echoes From the Gutter
    My favorite traditional heavy metal album of the year. In a genre flooded with Iron Maiden clones and high-pitch, cringy falsettos, Johannes Huemer’s vocals are truly powerful and bring back to mind the glory days of “Defenders of the Faith”-era Judas Priest. Awesome full-length debut.
  6. Battle Beast – Circus of Doom
    After 2019’s rather disappointing “No More Hollywood Endings” I was worried about BB‘s musical direction, but luckily Noora Louhimo & co. came back from the pandemic years with an absolute banger of a record. Perfect album to dance, sing along or work out with a smile on your face.
  7. Spell – Tragic Magic
    Canada is currently one of the leading countries when it comes to young bands who are not afraid to experiment with different sounds. “Tragic Magic” is the perfect follow-up to 2020′ s highly acclaimed “Opulent Decay”, mixing proto metal with proggy, psychedelic elements and hypnotic vocals.
  8. Captain Black Beard – Neon Sunrise
    My favorite “feel-good” album of the year. Nostalgic 80’s AOR-infused songs full of energy and positive vibes, boosted by Martin Holsner’s impressive vocals. The melodies are so catchy that after only one or two listens I could already sing along to most of the songs on the album.
  9. Oceans of Slumber – Starlight and Ash
    With their fifth album, the Texans get rid of most of their death metal influences and delight us with a collection of songs exploring more gothic and dark pop sounds. Cammie Beverly (formerly Gilbert) is one of those singers who sends shivers down my spine every time.
  10. The Birthday Massacre – Fascination
    Another Canadian band in my Top 10, a surprising entry indeed because their sound is very far from the music I usually listen to. Credits to the people in Metal Storm for including this release on their database. Highly addictive darkwave/synthpop with plenty of Depeche Mode vibes.

    Honourable mentions:
    – Nova
    Sumerlands – Dreamkiller
    Aeternam – Heir of the Rising Sun
    An Abstract Illusion – Woe
    Disillusion – Ayam

Vickky Lewis

  1. Bad Omens – The Death Of Peace of Mind
    I have never been speechless listening to a album before. I have no words expect it’s perfection.
  2. Blind Channel – Lifestyles of the Sick and Dangerous
    Continuing to create their own lane. I can’t help singing out loud to this. Yes I know all the words!
  3. Lost Society – If the Sky Came Down
    The production is insane. It’s a rhythmic and a very honest record.
  4. Electric Callboy – Tekkno
    Party central. When you mix rave and metal you make a non stop record. It’s time to rave.
  5. Slipknot – The End, So Far
    I first heard a few tracks live at Knotfest and it’s great live as it is on the record. The masters have returned.
  6. Motionless In White – Scoring The End Of The World
    Dramatic and dynamic with standouts semi-ballads that just want to make you cry.
  7. The Rasmus – Rise
    They are back with a catchy rock masterpiece. It’s dark but uplifting all at the same time.
  8. We Came As Romans – Darkbloom
    Stacked with hits and no disappointment. Dave kills it as a new frontman.
  9. Shiraz Lane – Forgotten Shades of Life
    Fresh air in rock n roll and they keep getting stronger. Hannes’s vocals are also on show.
  10. Lähiöbotox – Itä-Metal
    Fell for these guys when I saw them live at Knotfest. Now I am hooked.

    Honourable mentions:
    Stoned Statues
    – Stoned Statues
    Arch Enemy – Deceivers
    Heroine – Thornhill
    Alle Kinder Sind Tot – Kochkraft Durch KMA

Oussama El Ouadie

  1. Decapitated – Cancer Culture
    Had it on repeat ever since the first single was released. Perfect blend of all what Decapitated has done over the years, shows maturity, and a lesson on how to stay authentic. Milestone album from the poles.
  2. Revocation – Netherheaven
    They have really challenged the boundaries of good and evil, virtuosity and brutality, and they’ve definitely opened the gates of hell.
  3. Psycroptic – Divine Council
    The technical thrash/death metal from Australia made a statement with yet another full length masterpiece that kicked ass while giving lessons in how to be technical gods.
  4. Corpsegrinder – Corpsegrinder
    The most famous neck in metal stepped out of his comfort zone to kick everyone’s ass. Kept the brutality he’d been displaying with Cannibal Corpse for almost 30 years, and added a more raw, simple and efficient aspect to it.
  5. Thrillogy – Uncompromised
    Beyond a metal album, it’s a whole country’s pride. A crushing oeuvre, by the most professional of standards. The Moroccan band releases what probably will turn out to be its breakthrough album.
  6. Keith Merrow – Mojave Repressions
    The riffmeister comes back and shoots a masterpiece at you. He never pulls his punches, and he didn’t on this EP either. Emphasized by Krimh’s drumming, the riffing only gains more emotional dimensions to it.
  7. Meshuggah – Immutable
    Is it really needed to explain why Meshuggah deserve to be in a top 10? The Swedish twisted minds take you once again into their cold world, hypnotizing and groovy, and beyond technically mastered.
  8. Bloodbath – Survival of the Sickest
    Year after year after year, the Swedish supergroup comes back with the signature Swedish death metal tone, and heavy cavernous riffs that you can help but headbang to. Steadily delivering raw death metal, and kicking your ass on stage.
  9. Belphegor – The Devils
    They really are the devils, delivering evil music over and over again, and this time exploring other sides of darkness than just pure and raw riffing. The Austrians went and used the more melancholic side of darkness and evil.
  10. Fetal Blood Eagle – Indoctrinate
    A side project that many would wish it was their main. Aborted‘s Sven de Caluwé proves that brutality is within him, he breeds it, he lives it, he is it. A crushing album by all meanings of death metal

    Honourable Mentions:
    Beyond the Styx
    – Sentence
    Kreator – Hate Uber Alles
    Gaerea – Mirage

Flavia Andrade

  1. Darkthrone – Astral Fortress
    Moody and elegantly displaying the melancholy that is so characteristic of Darkthrone, this album brings us true doomy musical beauty. The Norwegian duo, Fenriz and Nocturno Culto, keep their mysterious aura, as the iconography of “Astral Fortress” pays homage to the band’s own back catalogue. The sound is perfectly balanced: distortions and classic doom riffs play well alongside synths and a slightly 70’s prog atmosphere on certain tracks.
  2. Audrey Horne – Devil’s Bell
    Another great classic rock album by Audrey Horne, this time with a little bit of darkness in the mix. Great guitar work by Arve “Ice Dale” Isdal and Thomas Tofthagen with amusing twin solos make it for a tight-sounding band, as usual. Espen Lien on bass and Kjetil Greve on drums are always on point, while Toschie Rød’s vocals reminisce of Ozzy Osbourne and 80’s pop icons. All songs are very well-written, especially the instrumental piece, “Return To Grave Valley” and “From Darkness”, the closing track.
  3. The Halo Effect – Days Of The Lost
    One of the best melodic death metal albums to come out of Sweden in a while, this record brings some of Gothenburg’s finest, all ex-In Flames members, doing what they do best. Of course it reminisces of their former band, but it brings a touch of the new, with catchy songs and good riff-work, and newly recycled energy that is certain to fuel at least a few more albums like this, let’s hope.
  4. Blackbraid – Blackbraid I
    This album was a pleasant surprise. A solo black metal project by native American artist Blackbraid, with themes inspired by nature and native American mythology, the atmospheric sounds evoke misty mountains, wolves and forests among blast beats, bringing an archaizing feel that makes it timeless. Beautiful music from an unexpected source.
  5. Porcupine Tree – Closure/Continuation
    The long-awaited comeback of Steven Wilson and co., after 13 long years, “Closure/Continuation” is a very well written and performed progressive rock album. With a range that goes from experimental electronic pieces like “Walk The Plank” to down-to-earth ballads like “Dignity”, going through prog metal songs like “Rats Return”, this album is a masterpiece of song-writing and musicianship.
  6. Candlemass – Sweet Evil Sun
    Doom metal pioneers Candlemass have wrought another great opus. After a few albums bringing experimental elements into their sound, the band finally nails it on this one: they are finally back to a stripped-down version of themselves, which brings echoes of masterpiece “Epicus Doomicus Metallicus” (1986). Vocalist Johan Langqvist sounds better than ever, which is yet another reason to love this album.
  7. Behemoth – Opvs Contra Natvram
    Ever since 2014’s “The Satanist”, we had been waiting for another album of that caliber coming from the Polish extreme metallers. They now made it with “Opvs Contra Natvram”, which brings complex sounding tracks like “The Deathless Sun”, as well as doom metal songs, like “Ov My Hercvlean Exile”. For those who appreciate the genre, this is a must-have.
  8. Stratovarius – Survive
    A new masterpiece by one of Finland’s finest metal bands, “Survive” is a strong and energetic album, displaying fine musicianship and a very good production. The album is filled with catchy songs and Timo Kotipelto’s vocals are on point, as well as extremely expressive.
  9. Gaerea – Mirage
    Modern black metal never sounded so good as on Gaerea’s new opus, “Mirage”. The album brings the masked quintet to new heights of despair and misanthropy, with expressive yet highly energetic modulations. The sound is angry, but the band manages to keep the lyrical atmosphere thematically focused on suffering, with the blast beats never failing to create a wall of sound that helps us detach from everyday life and dive into the abyss.
  10. The HU – Rumble Of Thunder
    Another pleasant discovery of the year, Mongolian folk metal band The HU brings traditional instruments and singing styles into metal. Calling it “Hunnu rock”, they do manage to create their own brand of music, bringing Mongolian themes and culture to the foreground. The result is interesting, beautiful, and exciting. A mix of past and future, East and West.

    Honourable mentions:
    – Hate Über Alles
    Amorphis – Halo
    Ugly Kid Joe – Rad Wings Of Destiny
    Desalmado – Live Mental Devolution

Marko Syrjälä

  1. ScorpionsRock Believer
    German hard rock veterans do not disappoint. Although that the band’s long, more than 50-year career includes some total failures “Rock Believer” is not anything like that. Album offers guaranteed Scorpions music in the strong spirit of the 80s hard rock. If the album remains as the last album of the band’s career, it will be an honorable end to a long career.
  2. KreatorHate Uber Alles
    Another German veteran, albeit a slightly younger one, continues to release more strong albums. Maybe this isn’t as good as the previous “Enemy of God,” but it’s not far behind. Kreator is probably the best thrash metal band in the world right now.
  3. SaxonCarpe Diem
    The twenty-fourth album of the English NWOBHM group Saxon is an almost unimaginably strong release. With this album the band returns to its roots. I’m talking about the period of the end of the 70s and the beginning of the 80s when Saxon released the most important records of their career, “Wheels of Steel” and “Denim and Leather.” “Carpe Diem” is a great album for any fans of traditional heavy metal.
  4. MegadethThe Sick, The DyingAnd The Dead
    Megadeth‘s latest album was a long wait but it’s definitely worth of it. This album is not a new “Rust in Peace” or “Countdown to Extinction,” but it is still a powerful and maybe the most remarkably versatile album the band has ever done.
  5. Michael MonroeI Live Too Fast To Die Young
    Solo records of the former Hanoi Rocks vocalist have not been very strong in the recent years, but it was such a pleasure to notice that “I Live Too Fast To die Young” is a refreshing exception. The album’s sound world is now totally different, and at times they are like bands’ from the 70s, such as The Sweet, David Bowie, or Slade. This is an excellent hard rock record from Monroe.
  6. Arch EnemyDeceivers
    “Deceivers” is the third Arch Enemy album with Alissa White-Glutz, and the results are still brilliant. This time more pure vocal parts have also been included in the album, which makes the album even more interesting. Alissa rocks!
  7. The HellacoptersEyes of Oblivion
    To be honest, I didn’t think I’d ever hear another The Hellacopters album but luckily I was wrong. “Eyes of Oblivion” is the band’s best release since its classic “Grace of God” and ranks among the band’s Top 3 albums.
  8. StryperThe Final Battle
    Stryper is perhaps the world’s most famous so-called Christian metal band, but at the same time it is one of the best hard rock bands of its era. “The Final Battle” is a record that combines all the most important aspects of that music genre. A great singer with strong songs, remarkable guitar solos, good production, and excellent cover art.
  9. Stratovarius – Survive
    Finnish power-metal band has already come a long way, and the band has experienced a lot of changes. “Survive” is Stratovarius‘ fourth album without its creator Timo Tolkki, and now it finally feels that the band is ready to move on with out living with the ghosts of the past. “Survivor” is a dignified and tight album.
  10. Ozzy OsbournePatient Number 9.
    All in all, Ozzy Osbourne is a fascinating character. I think that almost everyone is aware of his Sabbath past, his solo career, and his recent health problems, but the fact that the man has been able to release two such strong solo albums in recent years has taken everyone by surprise. “Patient Numer 9” is a strong continuation to the “Ordinary Man” album few years back, although it may not be quite as strong as an album.

    Honourable mentions:
    Queensryche – Digital Noise Alliance
    Amorphis – Halo
    Def Leppard – Diamond Star Halos
    Ronnie Atkins -Make It Count
    Venom Inc. – There’s Only Black
    Skid Row – The Gang’s All Here