2022 was an exciting year for rock and metal music fans, as many highly anticipated albums were released throughout the year. These albums included long-awaited releases from some of the biggest names in rock and metal, as well as new offerings from up-and-coming artists.
Victoria Purcell, Editor of RAMzine gives her run-down:
1. Iron Maiden – Senjutsu: Iron Maiden’s Senjutsu delivers a fresh take on their iconic sound while still staying true to what made them one of heavy metal’s greatest bands. With strong musicianship from every member of the group and thoughtful lyrics that explore deep philosophical concepts alongside dynamic instrumentals full of energy and emotion- this latest offering proves once again why they remain relevant after so many years in rock music history!
2. Mastodon – Hushed And Grim: Mastodon’s Hushed And Grim is an emotionally charged masterpiece that showcases both their musical prowess and lyrical depth. It serves as yet another testament to why they are one of modern metal’s most innovative bands.
3. Sleep Token – This Place Will Become Your Tomb: An experimental masterpiece that showcases Sleep Token’s unique take on modern rock music. Whether you’re a fan of alternative, metal, or prog rock (or all three), there’s something here for everyone to enjoy. Don’t miss out on this incredible release from one of today’s most exciting up-and-coming bands!
4. Nova Twins – Supernova: British rock duo consisting of Amy Love and Georgia South. The group was formed in 2014, and their music combines elements of punk, rock, hip hop, and electronic music.
Supernova showcases Nova Twin’s growth as artists since their debut album while still maintaining what makes them unique within the rock genre. It’s an excellent addition to any rock or alternative music lover’s playlist!
5. Ghost – Impera: Throughout Impera, Ghost demonstrates their ability to create immersive worlds through music. The album feels like a journey through dark forests haunted by ghosts and demons, with each song offering its own unique twist on this haunting theme.
Ghost continues to evolve as a band while staying true to their roots in theatrical rock. It will undoubtedly satisfy both longtime fans of the group as well as newcomers looking for something fresh in the world of hard rock music.
6. Architects – The Classic Symptoms of a Broken Spirit: Architects have proven themselves to be one of the most influential bands in modern metalcore over the years thanks to their unique blend of aggression and melody coupled with thought-provoking lyrics. With each release, they continue to push boundaries within their genre making them an essential listen for fans looking for something fresh yet familiar at once.
The Classic Symptoms of a Broken Spirit showcases Architects’ ability to combine heavy music with meaningful lyrics that address important social issues. It highlights their growth as musicians while still staying true to their roots in metalcore.
The list continues with various picks from RAMzine writers, starting with Tom Dixon’s pick:
7. Brave Rival – Life’s Machine: Brave Rival are a hugely talented band with essence of blues rock of the kind delivered by early Whitesnake. Imagine replacing DC with two female vocalists, employing a guitarist that can do Moody slide and Marsden subtlety, add a rhythm section that brings technical ability by the bucket load but know how to make it flow and fit – put that together and you get a band that, if there’s any justice, will be the next big thing.
Life’s Machine is packed full of standout tracks that belie the fact that this is a debut. Listen to the slow, Free rolling backing and riff of ‘Come Down’. It may be classic heavy blues but it has a new identity in these capable hands and voices. Every other track is just as powerful and blues-filled goodness. If you haven’t bought it yet, you’re seriously missing out.
Jens Nepper picks:
8. T.O.M.B. – Terror Winds: With respect to its oppressive vibe as well as its uniquely sinister musical qualities, this opus by the veteran US black metal outfit instantly evokes the feeling that this is a listening experience that is totally out of the ordinary, and believe me when I say that it is exactly that. Pitch-black riffs from the void that spell doom and hatred, caustic and unearthly vocals from the depths, a strangely trance-inducing aura, and six delightfully heinous compositions that contain more meaning and substance than you and I deserve. The sound is as unpolished and raw as a bleeding wound, and it envelops the songs in a dense and impenetrable cloak of infinite darkness. The way in which these gents have combined black metal with industrial music and dark ambient is a superb example of how to merge different genres to great effect. This is a stately piece of work.
Dale Unsworth picks:
9. Blind Guardian – The God Machine: Blending the lavish production of Queen with the heavy riffing and metal sensibilities of traditional heavy metal acts like Metallica and Iron Maiden, Blind Guardian make perfect use of their extended breaks to craft something that is so full of care and dedication to every aspect.
While not as much of a sprawling epic as previous releases, it uses its shorter run time to create more succinct and accessible tracks without sacrificing their identity. ‘Secrets of the American God’s’ alone make this an undisputed classic in their discography and Hansi Kürsch still sounds as incredible as he always has.
Christopher James Ryan picks:
10. Health – Disco 4 Part II: It’s a work of art. This album showcases the band’s talent working on synth, electronic and experimental metal – this is not a genre merge that I’ve come across before. It’s a perfect mix of soft vocals, heavy electronic riffs and noise. There are some huge collaborations on this album including Nine Inch Nails, Poppy, Lamb Of God and Perturbator!
Laurence Todd picks:
11. Six by Six – Six by Six: An album by three long-serving musicians who’ve all made their names elsewhere (Saga, Saxon, Keith Emerson band) but who combined to make a staggeringly good album of modern rock, combining elements of prog and classic rock alongside some intelligent and dynamic playing. The album has power and subtlety and for a debut album, it’s top-drawer stuff!
Jay Brown picks:
12. Alexisonfire – Otherness: Atmospheric, raw and electric, Alexisonfire’s comeback is a piece of work only they could create, a wholly unique album that’s set a new bar. If this is the direction the band is heading in then we should prepare for a new golden age of Alexisonfire!
Neil Mach picks:
13. Demi Lovato – Holy Fvck: When choosing my favourite hard rock album of the year, I look for anything that deviates from, and even disagrees with, my previous assumptions and is semantically unique (i.e., in a field that hasn’t yet been explored). Who would have imagined that the Teen Choice, Camp Rock, and Unbroken pop star would release an album with such abrasive rough-grained granulation and horrible caterwauling temper? You’ll appreciate this if you enjoy the image of a crazed panther ambling across the piledriving thud of punkish chords and Joviesque bass-play, like a thick-thighed Wednesday Addams on antidepressants. Would I purchase it? I already have. Am I a lovaholic? No, I wouldn’t say I am. Would I recommend that you buy it yourself? Erm? Not unless you want to be teased mercilessly for the rest of your life. But maybe that’s the point. Check the title again.
Overall, 2022 proved to be a strong year for rock and metal music fans with plenty of exciting releases across multiple subgenres. Whether you’re a fan of classic heavy metal or more experimental sounds, there were plenty of great albums to discover throughout the year.