My favourite music of 2022

Last updated 25-12 11:55: The other albums of 2022 added

2022 has been a great year for music for me personally. I've discovered a lot of great new artists, bands and albums. I've gotten into new genres and went to a lot of concerts (50 acts!) too. There was a lot of metal, but it's also the year where I really started digging into the endless catalogue of music by John Zorn. Where I started listening to Dutch artists like S10 and Froukje and where I've buried my head deep into death-metal and got kind of bored with most black-metal.

How did I create my top 10 of favorite albums? First I made a long list of about 70 albums that I really liked this year. I went through everything I saved in Apple Music, all the stuff I bought on Bandcamp and physical formats like vinyl. Then I sorted everything by hand. Went through the list multiple times. Listened to albums, reordered the list and did this for about a week. In the end I ended up with the list below. Is it my final list? Right now it is, but on different days, with different moods, the order might still change somewhat 🤷.

The 10 best albums of 2022

  1. Cave In - Heavy Pendulum

    I actually did not expect Cave In to release another album and especially not one that sounds as good as Heavy Pendulum. It's great, there is lot's of variety and doesn't get boring at all, since this is also a double album, contains 14 songs and lasts 70 minutes in total. It might even be their best album after Jupiter and that says something.
  2. Messa - Close

    Messa combine the sounds of Black Sabbath with Arabic music and jazz. Still, it doesn't sound exactly as how you might expect something with that description to sound like. Close was for me the first highlight of the year and has stayed with me for the last couple of months.
  3. Froukje - Uitzinnig

    Froukje joins Eefje de Visser in my very short list of modern Dutch pop musicians who sing in Dutch and also make great music. I think Froukje has a bright future ahead, let's just hope her next release will be a proper full length album and not another EP.
  4. black midi - Hellfire

    black midi is the amalgation of Mr. Bungle and King Crimson playing post-punk. Whatever these guys do, it seems they almost always strike gold. Hellfire continues down the same road the band went down on their previous album. Still, it's perhaps a bit less dense, a bit more varied and contains better tunes.
  5. White Ward - False Light

    It's even more impressive Ukrainian post-black-metal band White Ward even released an album in the year Russia started a war with their country. False Light isn't an easy listen, but is perhaps the pinnacle of modern (post) black-metal. I love how the band combines dissonant black-metal with saxophone and more atmospheric parts.
  6. Artificial Brain - Artificial Brain

    It took me a while to appreciate this album, but as is often the case, the best albums need to grow a bit. Artificial Brain is impressive in terms of vocals and technicallity. But the album doesn't feel too dense or too dissonant to sit through, you just have to sit down and listen.
  7. Brutus - Unison Life

    My favorite Belgian post-metal band return with their third album. Unison Life is more melodic and a tiny bit less aggressive than their previous releases. In my book this improved the variation and dynamics of the songs, making this album their best.
  8. GGGOLDDD - This Shame Should Not Be Mine

    This Shame Should Not Be Mine is a gripping and emotional post-rock album with a sound that sits comfortably next to Portishead's Third. Which is nothing but praise in my book.
  9. Disillusion - Ayam

    Ayam came out of nowhere for me. The album was the first time I was made aware of this German progressive death-metal outfit. It's an impressive mix of progressive melodic death-metal, where the band has written a couple of great songs.
  10. Wormrot - Hiss

    Hiss might be the first grindcore album that I've really, really liked and listened to repeatedly on multiple occasions. This is loud and dense, but also experimental on several tracks, which makes this a lot more interesting for me.

The other albums of 2022

  1. High Castle Teleorkestra - The Egg That Never Opened
    • The new band from the musicians behind Estradasphere, Mr. Bungle, Secret Chiefs 3 and Farmers Market.
  2. Charlotte Wessels - Tales from Six Feet Under Vol. II
    • I'm so impressed by the quality of songs Charlotte releases every month, for two years in a row already.
  3. S10 - Ik Besta Voor Altijd Zolang Jij Aan Mij Denkt
    • Probably the first and last time I feature a Eurovision songfestival candidate in my end of year list. File S10 with Froukje and Eefje under my favorite Dutch artists singing in Dutch.
  4. Orville Peck - Bronco
    • Orville's Elvis sounding voice might sound a little gimmicky in the beginning, but all songs on Bronco are of the highest quality here.
  5. Besvärjelsen - Atlas
    • Swedish stoner meets grunge meets occult rock. Strong vocals and songs. You might have missed this one.
  6. Mother of Graves - Where the Shadows Adorn
    • This is the album for you if you miss Katatonia's Brave Murder Day sound.
  7. Terzij de Horde - In One Of These, I Am Your Enemy
    • This grew a lot on me in the last few days. The two very long songs might look a little intimidating, but this is not your cookiecutter atmospheric black-metal with boring 15 minutes songs. Not at all!
  8. Faceless Burial - At the Foothills of Deliration
    • This technical old-school death-metal goes in a lot of directions. Not an easy listen, but highly rewarding.
  9. An Abstract Illusion - Woe
    • Perhaps this one needs to grow a little more. The progressive death-metal here is great and has the potential to move up some places.
  10. Autonoesis - Moon of Foul Magics
    • A very impressive blend of black/thrash is what these guys are playing.
  11. Imperial Triumphant - Spirit of Ecstasy
  12. Zola Jesus - Arkhon
  13. Negative Plane - The Pact
  14. tricot - 不出来 (Fudeki)
  15. Misþyrming - Með hamri
  16. Reeking Aura - Blood and Bonemeal
  17. Oceans of Slumber - Starlight And Ash
  18. Holy Fawn - Dimensional Bleed
  19. Amorphis - Halo
  20. Psychonaut - Violate Consensus Reality
  21. The Callous Daoboys - Celebrity Therapist
  22. Obsidious - Iconic
  23. Everything Everything - Raw Data Feel
  24. Black Lung - Dark Waves
  25. Wilderun - Epigone
  26. Sylvaine - Noire
  27. Cult of Luna - The Long Road North
  28. Black Map - Melodoria
  29. The Halo Effect - Days of the Lost
  30. In Aphelion - Moribund
    • Lot's of shredding, solo's and awesome guitar playing on this impressive and melodic black/death metal album with some thrash/black 'n roll influences.
  31. The Gathering - Beautiful Distortion
  32. Cloud Rat - Threshold
  33. Druids - Shadow Work
  34. Hath - All That Was Promised
  35. Aeternam - Heir of the Rising Sun
  36. Vorbid - A Swansong By The Edge of Mandala
  37. thoughtcrimes - Altered Pasts
  38. Altars - Ascetic Reflection
    • Dissonant death-metal from Australia, different from Ulcerate. Taking this sound somewhere else.
  39. Mizmor & Thou - _Myopia
  40. Verberis - Adumbration of the Veiled Logos
  41. Ghost - Impera
  42. Kelly Lee Owens - LP8
  43. Nils Frahm - Music For Animals
  44. Devil Master - Ecstasies of Never Ending Night
    • A successful combination of Black-metal, deathrock and punk. Between this and Negative Plane you have heard the best of this genre in 2022.
  45. Moon Tooth - Phototroph
  46. Immolation - Acts of God
  47. Katharos XIII - Chthonian Transmissions
    • Doom-metal with saxophone and ethereal vocals. It's slow and moody and feels a little long sometimes, but pretty good still.