Last year was a big one for heavy metal that saw many highs and many lows. After crawling out of the darkness of COVID shutting things down, concerts became more consistent, album releases became more frequent, and our hard, black hearts melted when the legendary band Judas Priest was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alongside Dolly Parton.
As we look back on 2022 – and hope for an even more “normal” 2023 – these were the Top 10 Heavy Metal Albums that were the soundtrack to our year.
TOP 10 of 2022:
Lorna Shore “Pain Remains”
Coming off one of the most viral metal songs of 2021 (“To the Hellfire”), Lorna Shore is single-handedly putting heavy metal back into the limelight with their charismatic lead singer, Will Ramos. Again hitting the viral jackpot with this new album, they released a three-song music video trilogy that was more like a soap opera of emotions that no other metal band has ever been able to create – and may have even made grown men cry.
Fit for an Autopsy “Oh What the Future Holds”
The sixth studio-released album from Fit for an Autopsy has beautifully-grotesque bass grooves and apocalyptic riffs that are so contagious, this eerie deathcore band from New Jersey will give anybody a run for their money.
Bleed from Within “Shrine”
The boys from Scotland do not disappoint with this album, which features heavy metalcore riffs laced with a crazy amount of symphonic melody, and layered vocals from Scott Kennedy on the break downs.
Shadow of Intent “Elegy”
With a crushing deathcore sound backed by a symphony in the mix, Ben Duerr’s voice delivers a range of screams from high black metal shrieks to extreme low growls. If you are a fan of Whitechapel and Dimmu Borgir, then this album is for you.
Arch Enemy – “Deceivers”
The melodic death metal band from Sweden continues to prove why they remain a force to be recon with as Jeff Loomis lays down some killer solos and Alissa White-Gluz punches with powerful vocal screams that put most men to shame. Anything but deceiving because this album delivers.
Megadeth – “The Sick, the Dying…and the Dead!”
Everyone was afraid that the band was getting complacent. However after going through the Covid-19 Pandemic and letting guitarist David Ellefon go, Megadeth was back to their old school Dave Mustaine trash metal angst that older fan base will appreciate.
Amon Amarth -“The Great Heathen Army”
Their 12th studio album release in thirty years, this Swedish Viking death metal band took a step back towards their more melodic death metal origins with new Norwegian stories of concurring and conquest to unfold.
Lamb Of God – “Omens”
Once again that band shows their consistency with the southern grove metal formula that has worked so well time after time. Randy Blythe burst out angry vocal screams that have become his signature while Mark Morton and Willie Adler are shredding nonstop on guitar from the very first song to the last song.
Meshuggah – “Immutable”
Every want to know what if feels like to sprint an entire marathon a full pace? That what this album feels like as the listener is bombarded by punishing blast beats and insane guitar riffs. If you are a fan of Meshuggah, then you like this album.
Wolves at the Gate – “Eulogies”
The black sheep in the bunch, but yes there is even room for the Christian metalcore band Cedarville, Ohio. This album has a chatty blend of clean pop vocals, harsh metal screams, with aggressive guitar licks under a more positive message that proves that heavy metal style for everyone.
Honorable mention: Slipknot – “H377”
The begging of this album was great with some real heavy bangers but halfway through, the band got way too weird and more experimental than what the old school fans would like to have seen. It is worth noting that this Slipknot last album with Roadrunner Records and we eagerly await what the future brings.
Heavy Metal bangs to be on the Look Out For:
Crypta is an all-female death metal band from Brazil who with be touring North America as the opening act for Morbid Angle with stops at the The Regent Theater in LA and the Brick by Brick in San Diego in March.
Spiritbox is a wife and husband heavy metal duo band from Victoria, British Columbia with Courtney LaPlante as the lead singer and Mike Stringer on guitar. Making a name for themselves in the last couple of years, Spiritbox will be healing a tour in the States, with show in April at Ace of Space in Sacramento, The Observatory in San Diego, and The Wiltern in LA.
August Burns Red is a Christian metalcore band from Amish town Lancaster, Pennsylvania who have made a name for themselves in the heavy metal circuit for the last 20 year.
Their last album “Guardians” which was release in 2019 was stacked with guest appearances from other band in the music community. Excepting to release their new album Death From Below in 2023, the band will headline in support of it at the Anaheim House of Blues and Soma San Diego at the end of February and begging of March.