30: Frank Turner – FTHC
A guy who has been making fantastic music for over a decade and a half, Frank Turner also happens to be my favourite lyricist of all time. He has such a way with words, be it positive or negative he always finds the perfect ways to express his emotions. Heck, just look at ‘Haven’t been Doing so Well’ or the tear-jerking ‘A Wave Across a Bay’ to see what I mean.
This is one of the most heartfelt albums I’ve heard in years and details exactly how Frank has felt since he last spoke about his life. It’s deep, fun and hugely catchy throughout. We gave this a very deserving 8.5/10 in our review so if you like stuff on the punkier side, check this out!
Listen to: Haven’t Been Doing so Well, A Wave Across a Bay, The Gathering.
29: Oceans Ate Alaska – Disparity
Max: Oceans Ate Alaska were a band that made more exploratory music and music genres in ways that I had never encountered before. With the return of their original singer, there is so much that I love there and Chris Turners drums are phenomenal as they always have been. It’s a great metalcore album that is heavier than most and is a real return to form for a band that should be much bigger than they are.
Check out our review of the album, where we gave it and 8.5/10.
Listen to: Paradigm, Sol, Plague Speech.
28: Horizon Ignited – Towards the Dying Lands
A band that I discovered through the release of this album and New Music Mondays, and have loved them ever since. It’s another, like most on this list, that I wish I could put higher, as it deserves to be showcased as much as possible.
For just the bands second album, this was phenomenal. I’ve since been back and checked out their debut and this builds on it so well, adding fun new layers and plenty of amazing melodies. This is melodic death metal at its very best in 2022, and there are plenty of tracks on this album to prove that. We gave it a 9/10 and for clearly very good reason. Check this out, right now. Seriously, stop what you’re doing and give this a spin!
Listen to: Towards the Dying Lands, Aching Wings, Beyond Your Reach.
27: He is Legend – ENDLESS HALLWAY
It’s Alice in Chains, Gojira, Metallica and Nickelback all rolled into one. It’s fucking awesome. Having never heard of this band before, I can safely ask the question ‘what sad rock was I living under all this time?’. The band have been around for a good while now, but having checked out their older stuff, I couldn’t get into it quite as much as this. The opening four/five tracks alone are perfection for this album and blend together so many different styles perfectly. They’re heavy, fuzzy and arena-filling all rolled into one.
This got a whopping 9.5/10 from us, which it fully deserved, but I (Joe) was also the only one to check it out, so it didn’t score as high overall. Plus, it’s a little niche, I guess! But damn, if you like any of the bands mentioned above, you’ll love this!
Listen to: THE PROWLER, LIFELESS LEMONADE, RETURN TO THE GARDEN.
26: Electric Callboy – Tekkno
This album has such a strange feeling to me. I adore the singles. ‘We Got the Moves’, ‘Pump It’, ‘Spaceman’ and ‘Hurrikan’ are all some of the best tracks released in the last 18 months (and ‘Fuckboi’ was also released too). However, that’s exactly the issue. The first single off the album came out in September of 2021, a full year before the release of the album. And, said singles make up half of the album. So, honestly, I felt a little burnt out by the time the album was released, and not too many of the album tracks did much to change that. ‘Tekkno Train’ is okay, as is ‘Arrow of Love’, but the others felt a little serious and dark, contrasting strangely with the comedy singles.
We still gave it a 9/10, but that was mainly on how good the four main singles were. It’s a damn good album, but hearing it all through for the first time it’d probably come across as much better than a years worth of anticipation.
Listen to: Pump It, We Got the Moves, Hurrikan.
25: Chez Kane – Powerzone
The glammest thing I’ve heard in years, and it’s so fucking good. This is one of the best AOR albums I’ve heard in so long, and it’s going to catapult Chez to the very top of the rock world in no time at all. It’s catchy, poppy and just the right amount of rock and heavy. I’m honestly finding it hard to find words to say about this album aside for the fact that if you loved the booze soaked sunset strip sound of the 80s, the Rock of Ages tone, you’ll LOVE this. She’s already set to take over the NWOCR scene in 2023, but this deserves mainstream exposure, as it’s so damn accessible. it got another very deserving 9/10 from us!
Listen to: I Just want You, I’m Ready (For your Love), Love Gone Wild.
24: Ibaraki – Rashomon
Would it even be an end-of-the-year-best list without Matt Heafy on it? For the last two years the latest Trivium albums have ranked #1 and #2 respectively for me, and now he ends up on our list for the third straight year! Yes, Ibaraki is not quite as high as those, but that’s in part due to the death/black metal genre not appealing to me as much as metalcore, and part due to the sheer number of incredible albums this year.
However, even if you aren’t a fan of the extreme side of metal, I’d recommend checking this out. It’s not all insanely heavy, and when it gets there it feels like it’s certainly earned. Just check out ‘Ronin’ below, a plodding, slow track for the most part, but Gerard Way screams his lungs out midway through in what my be his best, most surprising vocal performance ever. It’s dark, melancolic yet wonderfully addictive to listen to, as is the rest of the album. Matt does an amazing job, but honestly the guests are the true highlights. It got a very deserving 9/10 from us!
Listen to: Ronin, Jigoku Dayu, Akumu.
23: Fit for an Autopsy – Oh What the Future Holds
Max: This album is angry and raw and there is nothing to not love about that. I have always loved the intensity of this band and their last album is still on of my favourites of all time so this really scratched the itch that I had for more.
We didn’t actually cover this one on our site at the time of release, but upon reflection it’s easily an 8.5/10!
Listen to: Pandora, In Shadows, Savages.
22: Coldrain – Nonnegative
I am absolutely gutted this didn’t make it any higher on our list. It’s so good! It was higher for a good chunk of the year, but dropped down when starting to get stuff ready for this list. That shouldn’t dull your opinion of this album at all, though, it’s amazing. From the soaring vocals to harsh screams and ch0nky riffs, it has everything you’d want from metalcore/modern nu metal and does it all perfectly. It’s only this far down because, for some reason, I haven’t listened to it as much as I feel like I should have. But damn, this thing is packed full of AMAZING tracks.
It got an 8.5/10 from us and it’s hard not to push it up to a 9 to be honest!
Listen to: Cut Me, CALLING, PARADISE (Kill the Silence).
21: Motionless in White – Scoring the End of the World
Max: So growing up, this was one of my favourite bands and I have loved seeing them get better and improve over the years and this album might well be their biggest improvement yet. There are so many fantastic things going on here that I don’t have enough time to say them all but to keep it short and sweet, the vocals destroy me in every good way and there is so much there everyone will find that they love. It got an 8.5/10 from us!
Listen to: Werewolf, Porcelain, Slaughterhouse.