I think that we all have a tendency to give more personhood to years than they deserve. “So long 2022!” is the defining refrain this January, and I know I will be among those more than glad to see last year in the rear view mirror, but 2022 didn’t purposefully single me out to do me wrong. The passage of time is like a natural disaster; we give human names to hurricanes, but a hurricane doesn’t have malicious intent. It simply is. 2023 will be a year that is as well. It will have good days and bad days in store for me just like its predecessor. So instead of imploring for something better and pretending the bad days are all behind me now, I will start this year as is my tradition to start every year, and say only this:
I am gonna make it through this year if it kills me.
You, of course, didn’t come to me for my half-baked philosophical ideas. You came here because you are interested in what it was that I listened to and loved this year. Thank you for that, sincerely. However small the number might be, the thought that there are people who take genuine interest in what I talk about is what keeps me wanting to talk about it more. 2022 certainly gave me a lot more to talk about than in previous years, and brought with it some of my favorite discoveries in recent memory. Some of these you’ve heard me mention more than once, some I haven’t had the pleasure to yet, all are worthy of being reminisced on here. Read about them all below.
Huzzah, good riddance to another weird year, not only on both personal and professional fronts which basically prevented me from engaging in music writing, but also in terms of metal itself. Weird in the sense that multiple previous EOY luminaries released albums that failed to resonate, while bands that had not clicked for me on earlier albums decided to surprise me. Amidst all the oddity, there was thankfully a degree of cosmic justice and continuing reliability, as old favorites released their best work to date while relative newcomers delivered on the promises and potential for greatness that were teased on their initial releases. Without further ado, here are my 15 favorite metal albums of 2022.
I am intrigued by the tour announcements that have emerged today.
First off, we have Khemmis on the road with WAKE and Conjurer next April and May. The date closest to me is May 4th, and I leave May 5th for Ireland… but we’ll see what I can pull off. Anyway, tickets go on sale Friday at this location.
Pagan metal crew Heidevolk released a new single, along with a music video, titled “Drink met de Goden (Walhalla)”. That’s taken from their upcoming new album, Wederkeer, which is slated for a February 24 release through Napalm Records.
Violate Consensus Reality has been one of my favorite releases in 2022 (more on that in the coming weeks), so today we’re going to close out with the new Psychonaut video for “Hope”. Give it a watch below. That album is out now through Pelagic Records.
How come I seem to get sick after doing literally anything these days?
Wayfarer and Wake are touring together this December. Unfortunately, it’s only a handful of dates, none of which are need me, but take a look at the full schedule here. If you can get to this one, do it, and make me jealous.
Some of the same people, but a very different vibe. Lykotonon revealed a new track from Promethean Pathology, titled “The Primal Principle”. Give it a listen here. That album is out on November 25 through Profound Lore.
Killswitch Engage have announced three shows in late December to celebrate the holiday season, in New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts. They’ll be joined by Rivers of Nihil and Unearth, so this is going to be a good time. Get tickets here.
Of course, it would be a mistake to not close with Darkthrone… lest I feel the wrath of Chris. So give “Caravan of Broken Ghosts” a listen immediately below. Astral Fortress is out on October 28 through Peaceville Records… which is a week from Friday. Damn.
What is there to say about Canada’s WAKE that hasn’t already been said? Since forming in 2009 they’ve positioned themselves as a frontrunner in the grind game and now with their sixth full length, Thought Form Descent, they’re shedding skin and growing new. Simply meaning, grindcore isn’t the only tool in their box anymore. It’s a cavalcade of extreme with lighter shades of gray that proves the band hit the nail on the head in their attempt to say that heavy and brutal doesn’t necessarily mean chainsawing through an album at light speed. It’s more nuanced, mature beyond its years, and shows a band fully open to growing without borders. Buke sat down with Ryan Kennedy for an insanely wide ranging discussion surrounding the new album and we now bring you this conversation in its entirety so grab your beverage of choice, a seat, and enjoy.