As we find ourselves midway through another year, it is time for us again to look back at what this year has thrown our way whilst still looking forward. I’m not sure about you, but it’s much like every year that I find myself having an utterly fantastic time with these reviews still with the recent month of June, in particular, offering up loads of albums that I will definitely be talking about more than a little as we get closer to the final days of the year. But, it is the start of July, and even though I love making these lists, we must pay heed to what has already come before us if we’re to truly appreciate the majesty that is to come soon. In that regard, we’re in for an absolute treat as always, and I know damn well that many will lose themselves in the madness that has yet to pass.
I still find myself absolutely blessed from all the many different veins that the rivers of metal and rock have to offer with this year being a particularly eclectic collection that I find myself very proud of for no two records are alike in any way outside style, but it’s even then that the approaches vary wildly and deliciously. From the ever-fruitful world of instrumental psychedelic rock comes The Re-Stoned yet again with a fateful lizard for round two, the ending of an era of unrelenting death metal from Triumvir Foul, legends returning to the fold in glorious fashion in the form of Stöner, a fantastic and fun work of doom from the pairing of Bog Wizard and Froglord, dense atmospheres that touch on so much in exquisite fashion with Messa at the helm, and so much else – 2022 is an absolute boon that cannot be understated!
A simple disclaimer as well before diving in – all of these are albums that I’ve reviewed before today, but not all have been released with that being how I’ve decided to do this. Feel free to sue me.
One more disclaimer – in no way is this ranked in order, hence no numbers. This is just a list slapped together, no thought put into it other than my raw enjoyment. Just because one’s at the top doesn’t mean it’s my favorite nor does the bottom mean my least favorite. Numbers are for the end of the year.
This list also excludes a couple of names that I still found incredibly noteworthy, but I simply need more time with them before making such a list. Below you’ll find them all with links attached to the respective Bandcamp locales where you can hopefully have a good time with them as well. They’re equally worthy of your attention and I can only hope more come to them, no matter how big or small the band may be.
Warfist – Teufels / Cult of Luna – The Long Road North / Non Est Deus – Impious / Naxatras – IV / Morgue Supplier – Inevitability / Cosmic Putrefaction – Crepuscular Dirge for the Blessed Ones / Haunter – Discarnate Ails / Inhuman Condition – Fearsick
And as always: please support the music, bands, and labels that you love. There are so many people in the vast underground that are worthy of attention and I do my best to cover as much as I can, but I can only do so much as one person on this website. There’s never any shortage of excellence for any of us, and I know we’d all be lost without the hard work and passion that we find around every corner of the scene.
IF YOU WANT TO LISTEN TO THESE FINE ALBUMS THEN (please) JUST CLICK ON THE BAND NAME AND TITLE TO BE TAKEN TO EITHER BANDCAMP OR YOUTUBE!
“It’s an almost tear-jerking listen that’s absolutely wreathed with its own peaks and valley that always keep you on your toes for what comes next is never what you expect and Et Moriemur does no less than capitalize…” (read full review here)
“Doubling back into the realm of atmospheric black metal, it’s hard not to look into all that’s accomplished within the six tracks of this bold release and not feel as though this is the opus that Tome of the Unreplenished has long been building up to despite its sonic schizophrenia.” (read full review here)
“…a true embodiment of what just a sliver of what the infinite abyss is capable of, but a creation that feels deeply personal and cathartic for Absent In Body with just listening to their craft offering a shade of that excellence with such flavor and wonder that it becomes all but a wonder…” (read full review here)
“…a creation that’s made by two sides of the same coin, making the very whole of the effort something that feels as though it was made by the same band with alter egos posing as either Bog Wizard and Froglord with this being the best possible scenario with such a thing. There’s nothing to look down on for the entirety of “A Frog in the Bog” right down to the last croak…” (read full review here)
“…to witness a creation like this where it’s simply the instrumentations that take us on a glorious journey through the stratosphere and beyond sends chills down my spine everytime without fail with the highs and lows of this creation all but wildly captivating…” (read full review here)
“This is peak rock whether you place it in the desert, in the smoke of stoners, or in the craziness of psych-rockers; Stöner has simply made a masterclass of their craft.” (read full review here)
“…a devastating concoction of psychedelia-tinged, riff-filled heaviness that’s still somehow as smooth as water that’s gripping, intoxicating, and endlessly fascinating as each track not only has its own distinct identity, they come together to allow “This Sceptred Veil” to have this aura that makes it all but necessary for the listener to just keep listening…” (read full review here)
“Much like a Lovecraftian elder being, this album is the sort of effort where the more you surrender yourself to it there madder it drives you to become, but there is simply no other route to truly experiencing what this album has to offer than doing just that.” (read full review here)
“…this must be heralded as one of the absolute best creations that the style will through our way this year when it’s all said and done for it will take something truly titanic to topple a creation like this, but who could ever possibly come toe-to-toe with The Re-Stoned?” (read full review here)
“… a vision that is all but concise and devastating in its clarity of vision only matching its intensity. This is death metal of the most foreboding sort.” (read full review here)
“Panzerfaust is at their top game for this continuation of this vastly acclaimed series, and it stands within reason to really consider all that is brought forth for this third chapter as to whether or not it stands as the best entry so far.” (read full review here)
“…a deep, ethereal, and powerful performance that truly resonates with the soul should the mind simply surrender itself to all that Messa ushers forth. Filled with so many different layers, scenes of intensity, harrowing works of false serenity, and godly works of instruments…” (read full review here)
“…“Beyond the Macabre”, that needs to be taken at face value. I say that because what you see here, face-smacking death metal that holds nothing back, is essentially all that you get here.” (read full review here)
“Every band has to put out their final album at some point, and when you’re a band like this there is only one way to go about it: ultimate destruction. A scorched-earth policy is not immense enough for an effort of this caliber from a band like this ilk. “Onslaught to Seraphim” is destined to become the final dark sermon from what has undoubtedly been one of the most engaging acts of true horror…” (read full review here)
“… this certifiably has to be one of those releases that actually warrants to be considered “highly anticipated” with all that’s brought forth within “We Lay on Cold Stone” the very definition of greatness for heavy psych rock in recent times.” (read full review here)
“It’s got the old-school vibes threaded through every given note. It’s infectious on an unbelievable level. It’s downright murder right from the very first nanosecond. It’s addicting. It’s maddening. It’s fucking death metal! The very glory of Molder cannot be understated…” (read full review here)
“From passages of deep, colorful atmospheres to calculated black metal of which is the most tempered and focus that we’ve seen from this band to date, the very whole of this album is nothing to look down upon for I cannot help but see this creation as one of the most compelling pieces of black metal in this particular vein that I’ve come across in far too long…” (read full review here)