Another year has ended and with it, the time to choose the best albums has arrived. All the albums have their unique sound, their unique flavor and must be listened. These were the biggest highlights of 2022, in alphabetical order, the 40 albums that the editors of Myth of Rock liked the most! As we have entered 2023, we will always remember these outstanding album releases! Have a happy/healthy/productive new year!
- Alter Bridge - “Pawns & Kings” (Napalm)
This band has nothing to prove and among tours, members’ bands recordings or live gigs, they are capable of bringing out their best selves, each time needed and called upon: typical – trademark Alter Bridge sound, amazing vocal performance and heavy like there is no tomorrow.
- Amorphis – “Halo” (Nuclear Blast)
How many albums about Kalevala are we willing to hear? The answer is “many of them”, provided they have the quality of “Halo”. Amorphis use familiar elements ideally to make another sentimentally intense album. Joutsen’s clean vocals and growls, prog themes, folk/oriental strokes, melodies and harshness are blended harmonically, producing a more theatrical than ever, icy musical context.
- Arjen Anthony Lucassen’s Star One – “Revel In Time” (Inside Out)
When Arjen releases something, you know it will be huge! This time he wanted to do something a bit more straightforward ... So he did! He brings more guests, who deserve to be known into the metal world, darkness, light! The vocals are well blended, there is a plethora of keyboards and more. A magnificent progressive rock/metal album, full of gems!
- (Tobias Sammet's) Avantasia – “A Paranormal Evening with the Sunflower Society” (Nuclear Blast)
Tobias Sammet has made his miracle again: Avantasia sounds more melodic, heavier and more mature than ever in songs, which have a strange magic! Just push play and let the mystery ride begin!
- Avatarium - “Death Where Is Your Sting” (AFM)
A brilliant album, from the Swedish melodic doom band, who have established themselves so emphatically in the heavy music universe.
- Blackbraid – “Blackbraid I” (Neuropa)
The Native American Sgah’gahsowáh, inspired by respect for his ancestors and the splendor of nature, and influenced by the frontrunners of the scene, enters the world of indigenous, atmospheric black metal. Authenticity, uplift and passion flow freely in a debut full of ravaging riffage and epic grandeur. A man seldom, if ever, reveals his soul in such a stirring way; don’t ignore that occurrence!
- Candlemass - “Sweet Evil Sun” (Napalm)
The Stockholm doomsters are back with this excellent piece of pure doom metal, where Johan shines once again and where the Leif Edling Co. has done a fantastic job, not unexpectedly I must admit, since we all know what they are capable of. Doom on!
- Clutch - “Sunrise on Slaughter Beach” (Weathermaker Music)
The Maryland quartet comes back, not long after their previous record, with a fresh, groovy and fun album, their 13th studio album, stronger than ever, not changing their core and identity gems. This album is so much fun to listen to.
- D’ Artagnan – “Felsenfest” (Sony Music)
This German folk metal band released its new album on 28th October 2022. The band makes reference to 17th century French soldier Charles de Batz de Castelmore d'Artagnan, made famous by the author Alexandre Dumas, in his d'Artagnan Romances, notably in the novel “The Three Musketeers”. Pioneers of the so called “musketeer rock”, they are well-known in their country, and with this album, they will conquer other countries, such us Greece, Spain, Portugal and more. If you’re into folk metal, drinking, having a good time and fellowship, this album is for you!
- Darkthrone – “Astral Fortress” (Peaceville)
Darkthrone’s instinct is extremely rare; their music remains simple, and diverse concurrently. You cannot fathom how easily you’re captured in their unearthly, frozen fortress; a simple riff, no matter how black, doom or heavy it is, suffices. References to their dark/melancholic past and atmospheric themes are used wisely to form splendor and sentiment of isolation. “Astral Fortress” is Darkthrone’s heart: simply cold.
- The Dead Daisies - “Radiance” (SPV/Steamhammer)
An all-star band can definitely create a great album, when being focused and dedicated on the target, which is a heavy, 70s-80s inspired hard rock pearl.
- Dynazty – “Final Advent” (AFM)
The world needed a record like this, after the pandemic! So beautiful, majestic, powerful, everything! The outstanding guitar riffs of Love Magnusson and Mike Lavér are even better in this one. Jonathan Olsson’s bass is very busy, wild, simply fascinating! Georg Härnsten Egg has a natural skill and impresses in every album he plays! What a guy! And Nils Molin has a very versatile voice! Beautiful! The lyrics are well written, from the heart! It’s Dynazty’s 15th anniversary and what better way then to release one of the best albums of this year.
- Ghost - “Impera” (Loma Vista)
You may call them a ‘hyped’ band. You may dislike their image and attitude. But you cannot deny them a very good album, one of the most distinguished of 2022. A very well balanced rock album, where every detail has been put into focus, with KISS, Queen and Blue Öyster Cult influences, an album to be played and listened in big arenas as well, something the band has already been doing quite successfully.
- The Halo Effect - “Days of The Lost” (Nuclear Blast)
Göteborgs finest, this all-star band leaves no prisoners on a ‘surprise’(?) return this year with the typical Gothenburg sound in the forefront and the guarantees of Mikael Stanne, Jesper Strömblad, Niclas Engelin, Peter Iwers, Daniel Svensson. A blending of In Flames and Dark Tranquillity. Can’t get better!
- Hammerfall – “Hammer of Dawn” (Napalm)
February 25th, 2022 was the revolutionary day for power metal. This Swedish legends bring trading off solos, soaring falsettos, marching drums. Supreme skills! The harmonies are incredible, the choruses are a real foundation! The solos give chills and scream for more! The title track is a joy to listen. These gentlemen have a 25-year story and won’t stop!
- The Hellacopters - “Eyes of Oblivion” (Nuclear Blast)
We have waited many years for a new Hellacopters album, and Nicke Andersson has not disappointed us at all. To the contrary, ‘Eyes of Oblivion’ re-establishes the band on their elite status, making a statement and re-igniting the spark to continue their long term journey.
- Immolation – “Acts of God” (Nuclear Blast)
“Acts of God” is impenetrably dark and gloomy; a darkness carefully unfolded by Vigna’s seemingly endless subtlety. Diverse, multilevel patterns, unexpected transitions, familiar “Immolative” performance by all band members are offered abundantly. Immolation are passion, dark feeling, abyss, mastery, riffing.
- Induction - ”Born From Fire” (Atomic Fire)
Induction’s sophomore album is a fantastic album, which shows the skills of the band. The guys play at an excellent technical level, there is a tight bond between the members and they know how to compose fantastic music and write impressive lyrics. The whole album is a blast!
- Lacrimas Profundere – “How To Shroud Yourself With Night” (Steamhammer/SPV)
This German gothic rock/metal band delivered a mysterious and exciting record on August 26th, 2022, featuring their new awesome vocalist, Julian Larre. They added more intensity and drama. They even brought more varieties into their dark atmosphere. Oliver Nikolas Schmid offers everything, from melodic riffs to heavy sounds. A perfect wild card.
- Machine Head – “Of Kingdom And Crown” (Nuclear Blast)
Machine Head comes back with a killer new album, based on the stunning song ideas of Robb Flynn. “Of Kingdom and Crown” is a heavy metal apocalypse, a fiery opus dedicated to all metaheads.
- Meshuggah – “Immutable” (Nuclear Blast)
“Immutable” is a sardonic, nightmarish sphere that overwhelms you with its parallel patterns and grooves. Meshuggah communicate their existentialism through a less complex and chaotic structure, intensifying their melodicism. Even though they don’t expand their universe, you cannot but admire the musicianship of “Immutable” and all members’ skillfulness.
- Misþyrming – “Með Hamri” (Norma Evangelium Diaboli)
The rawness and intensity of Misþyrming’s third album is incredible! The gloomy, malevolent and dark atmosphere of “Með Hamri” surrounds you instantly with a suffocating, relentless sonic wall. Misþyrming, feeding from classic black metal principles, place themselves at the forefront of the modern Icelandic sound, shocking the world with an unmerciful and majestic album.
- John Norum - “Gone To Stay” (Fifth Island Music/Gain)
One of the year’s highlights, definitely a highly anticipated record of John Norum band. Mellow, as heavy as needed, without any excessive exaggerations and extra load and with glimpses of the glorious past, of himself (“Face the Truth”) and others (David Bowie). A great album for sure!
- Ozzy Osbourne – “Patient Number 9” (Epic)
Ozzy returns with a satisfactory album, which will please, not only his fans, but also every classic rock/metal listener! “Patient Number 9” shall be described as a great piece of music, which includes fantastic songs, catchy, heavy and melodic!
- Rammstein – “Zeit” (Universal)
We finally listen to a really nice record from the Germans, who return having so many things to say. All the characteristics of the band, the typical style of Rammstein is here, in well crafted songs, made for our pleasure only.
- Riot City - ”Electric Elite” (No Remorse)
Frenetic true, traditional heavy metal, with duelling guitars, high pitched vocals and passion … great passion! One of the best true metal albums of 2022, Riot City is a highly-promising newcomer band that came here to enter the electric elite!
- Sabaton – “The War to End All Wars” (Nuclear Blast)
After 2019’s masterpiece, “The Great War”, Sabaton deliver the Holy Grail of power metal of this year. And what an album it is! The band gives us another insight of WWI and what happened through its lyrics. It’s a must have for the fans, who love history and power metal, all together! Going to a concert is still a joy! Brilliant, clever, and poweful lyrics ... They are our contemporary historians!
- Septicflesh – “Modern Primitive” (Nuclear Blast)
Dig here and you will discover top-notch Greek extreme metal by the mighty Septicflesh, who bomb our heads with superb compositions. The tag symphonic death metal is too narrow for the Greeks, who created another masterpiece!
- Seventh Storm – “Maledictus” (Atomic Fire)
Ah, José Saramago! And as Luís de Camões said: “…Never did love his boldness hurtful find; Fortune hath ever favours for the bold; For cowardice, that shivers in the cold ...”. Mike “Storm” Gaspar, Rez, Ben Stockwell, Josh Riot and Butch Cid have delivered a masterpiece, the best album of the Portuguese metal scene in 2022. What a debut! A true gothic sound, for the lovers of Tiamat, Sisters of Mercy, Bathory, Dead Can Dance etc. Best of the best! Parabéns, rapazes!
- Stratovarius – “Survive” (earMusic)
This brilliant Stratovarius new album is full of beautiful melodies and fresh, fantastic song ideas – all vocal lines are memorable, the refrains catchy and elegiac, the guitar work incredible and the keyboards amazing. Stratovarius belong to the strongest!
- Stray Gods – “Storm The Walls” (ROAR!)
18th March 2022 was the day that the Greek metal scene went even stronger! Bob Katsionis wrote the best music and lyrics the fans could ever hear! So awesome! The album has lots of tempos, riffs and good vibes! Artur Almeida (vocals) from the Portuguese band Attick Demons, was an incredible choice! Gus Macricostas (bass) and Thanos Pappas (drums) were also good choices for this super project. They are working on the next album, but let’s focus on this one! Bravo!
- Therion – “Leviathan II” (Nuclear Blast)
The first part of “Leviathan” was great, the second part is even greater. Symphonic, melodic, progressive and mystifying, “Leviathan II” is an enchanting music story without any boundaries. That’s metal art!
- Thunder - “Dopamine” (Bertelsmann Music)
This band has never disappointed its fans, and not only their fans. An absolutely great hard rock alum, from one of the finest and most underrated bands out there. Could not be missed on the 2022 list!
- Sakis Tolis – “Among The Fires of Hell” (Metal Hammer)
Referring directly to Rotting Christ’s mid-era, Sakis’ personal album is pleasant and cohesive, revealing exemplary composition. Melodic, catchy riffs remain in your mind with their straightforwardness and gothic beauty, wake (seemingly) hidden emotions, and make you feel nostalgia for things that you left in the past but didn’t completely forget after all.
- Joe Lynn Turner – “Belly of the Beast” (Mascot)
“Belly of the Beast” makes it obvious that Joe Lynn Turner still has many things to offer. His new release is a dark heavy metal album, with haunting melodies, bewildering atmospheres and shocking arrangements. Absolutely amazing!
- Twilight Aura – “For a Better World” (Metal Relics)
This Brazilian metal album is brilliant! It has the essence of progressive/power/speed metal at its fullest! Daísa Munhoz can sing everything, Andre Bastos can rock the guitar as Rodolfo Elsas, Leo Loebenberg can make you dream with his keyboard sounds. Claudio Reis plays the drums at full speed and don’t forget Filipe Guerra. What a bass! If you’re into this kind of sound, go grab a copy and you won’t be disappointed!
- Vanum – “Legend” (Profound Lore)
Vanum, in their third release, make their black metal more impressive and pompus, without discarding their true essence though. Inspired by pioneers like Bathory, Vanum’s excellent ideas engulf you with epic grandeur and originality. Subconsciously, you hear an anonymous ancestor, who, tired to wield a sword, whispers his heroic tales. That’s what “Legend” is: a memory.
- Voivod – “Synchro Anarchy” (Century Media)
Voivod’s tech-space journey to immortality continues. “Synchro Anarchy” seems chaotic, but profusely rewards listeners who “walk” till the end. Heaviness and progressiveness intertwining harmonically, brilliant abrupt changes, disharmonic sequences, imaginative voivodic riffs and countless interchanges of expressions blow anyone’s mind, in an ingenious album that’s darker than usual, and as “illogical” as usual. As always, the achieved quality is higher than the “summation” of all members’ astounding individual talents: 1+1+1+1>4.
- White Ward – “False Light” (Debemur Morti)
The Ukrainians expand their experiment, combining dark jazz and post elements with a traditional black metal foundation. The avant-garde structure of “False Light” is breathtaking; White Ward communicate their modernism regarding fall, alienation and desperation, via a transcending, melancholic creation that makes you realize that the light is indeed false.
- Wilderun – “Epigone” (Century Media)
Released early this year, this album is something huge in the symphonic/progressive metal world. Epic orchestral passages, hard and fast guitar riffs, incredible growls. This album is a storm of sounds, it has a lot to say, specifically the song “Passenger”. It has beauty, balance, mystery, and more!