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Top releases 2022:
 
Drudkh - Vsi Nalezhat' Nochi (All Belong to the Night)
Score: 10/10
I can't believe I'm saying this, but the Lost Souls Domain has nothing to do with the Eurovision song contest! So when a band from the Ukraine comes out on top this year, it has nothing to do with the war in Ukraine, but it is based on one thing and one thing alone: They made the best album of the year. And this is the also case for Drudkh with their latest album. It consists of only four songs, but each is an epic black metal masterpiece. Heavy in atmosphere and with the Ukrainian folk influences, Drudkh has always been a favourite of mine, but this might be their best album yet!
 
Eternal Solitude - The Gates of the Beyond
Score: 10/10
This is why I love discovering new bands! After three decades listening to metal, I am still finding hidden gems like this. Of course the method changed a bit: What used to be browsing through boxes of albums in obscure metal shops, is now replaced by scouring the internet looking for obscure releases. And Eternal Solitude from Brazil was certainly a band I never heard of before, but "The Gates of the Beyond" is a great find. It starts off as a total 'The Elysian Fields' worship, but then quickly degenerates into an awesome doom death fest, before closing appropriately with a coversong from The Elysian Fields. So surprising, but so good!
 
Cadaveria - Emptiness
Score: 9.5/10
I remember the first time I heard Cadaveria in action. I was a frequent guest of a place called Diskotheek in Rotterdam, which was not for dancing, mind you. It was a library (Bibliotheek in Dutch) but instead of books they loaned out cds. Luckily for me, their strategy to build their collection was to simply purchase everything they could get their hands on, which included quite some underground metal releases. Every quarter they released a thick paper catalog (This was the very early days of the internet, so this was not online yet!) and every quarter I would go through this catalog to pick out interesting releases. One of these was Opera IX's debut album "The Call of the Wood" which a diskotheek employee had to find in their storage, after which he grumpily told me they never loaned this one out yet. Of course a lot has changed since then, Cadaveria left Opera IX to start her own band, then she got very sick and is now on the road to recovery. During this period they released a couple of songs online, which are all on this album together with some new songs. And while all of the songs are good, it did make this album feel more like a compilation album. I am looking forward from more greatness from Cadaveria in the future!
 
Djevel - Naa Skrider Natten Sort
Score: 9.5/10
Last year Djevel entered the yearlist for the first time, so what are the odds that this year they're not only back, but they even surpassed last years release? "Naa Skrider Natten Sort" is just incredibly well made Norwegian Black Metal, remnant of the golden age of black metal in the nineties. Also last year I complained about the long song titles and this time they're shorter, so apparently they're reading these reviews - another brilliant album next year please!
 
Aphonic Threnody - The Loneliest Walk
Score: 9.5/10
Every year list needs a good funeral doom release, and international outfit Aphonic Threnody takes the honour this year. With a singer from Italy, guitar players from the UK and the US, a drummer from Australia and a keyboard player from Greece I wonder how they made this work, though perhaps it didn't work so well since everyone except the guitar player seems to have quit the band. They did come up with an excellent release though. And for the funeral doom aficionados worried about the ten tracks on this album: Stay calm, its a double cd clocking in at almost 2.5 hours, so you still have tracks averaging out almost 15 minutes!
 
Wolfheart - King of the North
Score: 9.5/10
The typical 'melodeath' is a difficult genre for me. While I enjoy the combination of faster death metal and melodic parts, and the mixed grunts and clean vocals, it can so quickly turn cheesy. Wolfheart is a band that finds the balance perfectly though, and their latest album King of the North is their best album since their debut Winterborn, so absolutely worthy of a place in the yearlist.
 
In Mourning - Live in Valley Sound Studio
Score: 9.5/10
What do you do when you want to play live but you also don't like to see people? You rent a studio and play live there? It's an interesting concept, but the result is a nice mix between live and compilation album: A new take on great songs from past releases, but also with perfect sound quality. I'll not bother with comparing Swedens In Mourning with country mates Opeth, but if you so happen to like older Opeth, then it's definitely worth a listen!
 
Autonoesis
Moon of Foul Magics
Score: 9.5/10
 
Theudho
Voorbij de nevelen des tijds
Score: 9.5/10
 
Grima - Frostbitten
Score: 9.5/10
Another example of great finds is this year's Grima. I had never heard of the Russian band before, but they put out a superb atmospheric black metal album with Frostbitten. They masterfully combine fast black metal with instrumental passages and great solo work, and since this is already their fifth full length I really should have heard of them before! Well, better late than never.
 
Timor Et Tremor - Realm of Ashes
Score: 9.5/10
With usually quite a few years between releases, and even six years since their last album, Germany's Timor Et Tremor is not the most productive band out there, but each album is definitely worth a listen. Their latest "Realm of Ashes" is an interesting experience: while rooting in black metal, it kind of bounces between genres, going from slow passages with clean vocals to harsh and fast, and do I hear some Dissection in there? Well worth a listen!
 
Shallow Rivers - The Tales Told Under the Willow
Score: 9.5/10
The Russian doom metal scene is as ever a very productive one, and while Shallow Rivers balances between doom and melodeath, it's an absolute treat for the fans of the slower metal genres. And using lyrics from William Blake is certainly adding a nice touch :)
 
Kalmankantaja
Metsäuhri

Score: 9/10
 
Vargsheim
In the Tower of Ivory
Score: 9/10
 
Wędrujący Wiatr
Zorzysta Staje Oćma
Score: 9/10
 
Golgotha
Mors Diligentis
Score: 9/10
 
Einherjer
Norse and Dangerous - Live... From the Land of Legends
Score: 9/10
 
Cult Of Fire
Live in the Underworld
Score: 9/10
 
Enchantment
Cold Soul Embrace
Score: 9/10
 
Shape Of Despair
Return to the Void
Score: 9/10
 
21Graceless
Chants from Purgatory
Score: 9/10
 
Ereb Altor
Vargtimman
Score: 9/10
22
 
23Commander Agares / Graveland
Awakening of the Storms
Score: 9/10
 
Mors Principium Est
Liberate The Unborn Inhumanity
Score: 9/10
24
 
25Monolithe
Kosmodrom

Score: 9/10
 
Lord Belial
Rapture
Score: 9/10
26
 
27Abbath
Dread Reaver
Score: 9/10
 
Medieval Demon
Black Coven
Score: 9/10
28
 
29Acherontas
Malocchio - The Seven Tongues of Daimon
Score: 9/10
 
Te Deum
Reflexia
Score: 8.5/10
30
 
31Dispatched
Warfare
Score: 8.5/10
 
Iku-Turso
Into Dawnless Realms
Score: 8.5/10
32
 
33Septic Flesh
Modern Primitive
Score: 8.5/10
 
Träumen Von Aurora
Luna
Score: 8.5/10
34
 
35Cult Of Luna
The Long Road North
Score: 8.5/10
 
Moonspell
From Down Below - Live 80 Meters Deep

Score: 8.5/10
36
 
37Kampfar
Til Klovers Takt
Score: 8.5/10
 
Celestial Season
Mysterium I
Score: 8.5/10
38
 
39Rotting Christ
The Early Days - Live in Studio (digital)
Score: 8.5/10
 
Månegarm
Ynglingańttens Íde
Score: 8.5/10
40
 
41Ashen Light
Living in Ashes and Light
Score: 8.5/10
 
Nokturnal Mortum
Do Lunarnoyi Poeziyi
Score: 8.5/10
42
 
43Celestial Season
Mysterium II
Score: 8.5/10
 
Bloodbath
Survival of the Sickest
Score: 8.5/10
44
 
45Negative Plane
The Pact...
Score: 8.5/10
 
Various
Wolfnacht / Goatmoon / Thy Serpent
Score: 8.5/10
46
 
47Falls Of Rauros
Key to a Vanishing Future
Score: 8.5/10
 
Eucharist
I Am the Void
Score: 8.5/10
48
 
49Saor
Origins
Score: 8.5/10
 
Elegeion
Plight of the Heretic
Score: 8.5/10
50
 
51Hermóðr
Through Forests of Sorrow (digital)
Score: 8/10
 
Sakrileg
2020 (digital)
Score: 8/10
52
 
53Bekëth Nexëhmü
De Dunklas Sorgeakt (Ett Nordiskt Afvsked...)
Score: 8/10
 
Ellende
Ellenbogengesellschaft
Score: 8/10
54
 
55Ultha
All That Has Never Been True
Score: 8/10
 
Abyssphere
Jejdolon
Score: 8/10
56
 
57Primordial
The Camelot Sessions (digital)
Score: 8/10
 
Khold
Svartsyn
Score: 8/10
58
 
59Contrast
Acedia
Score: 8/10
 
Misþyrming
Me­ Hamri
Score: 8/10
60
 
61White Ward
False Light
Score: 8/10
 
Gaerea
Mirage
Score: 8/10
62
 
63Kalmankantaja
Talvisota
Score: 8/10
 
Panzerfaust
The Suns Of Perdition - Chapter III: The Astral Drain
Score: 8/10
64
 
65Amon Amarth
The Great Heathen Army
Score: 8/10
 
In The Woods
Dīversum
Score: 8/10
66
 
67Placebo
Never Let Me Go
Score: 8/10
 
Bekëth Nexëhmü
De Evigas Gravrit
Score: 8/10
68
 
69Vintertodt
Under Endless Invented Night
Score: 7.5/10
 
Sacred Sin
Storms Over the Dying World
Score: 7.5/10
70
 
71Woods Of Desolation
The Falling Tide
Score: 7.5/10
 
Frostmoon Eclipse
Rustworn
Score: 7.5/10
72
 
73Drudensang
Tuiflsrijtt
Score: 7.5/10
 
Mortuus
Diablerie
Score: 7.5/10
74
 
75Interpol
The Other Side Of Make-Believe
Score: 7.5/10
 
Various
Grave Of Fire, Seal Of Stars (digital)
Score: 7.5/10
76
 
77Sargeist / Serpent Noir
Transcendental Black Magic
Score: 7.5/10
 
Gnipahålan
I Nordisk Vredeslusta
Score: 7.5/10
78
 
79Unreqvited
Split with Sadness
Score: 7.5/10
 
Agathodaimon
The Seven
Score: 7.5/10
80
 
81Hermóðr
My Throne (digital)
Score: 7.5/10
 
Lucifer's Child / Mystifier
Under Satan's Wrath
Score: 7.5/10
82
 
83Deos (FRA)
Furor Belli
Score: 7.5/10
 
Kalmankantaja
Ahdistus MMXXI
Score: 7/10
84
 
85Mosaic
Heimatspuk
Score: 7/10
 
Tribulation
The Dhampir (digital)
Score: 7/10
86
 
87Darkthrone
Astral Fortress
Score: 7/10
 
Svartsot
Kumbl
Score: 7/10
88
 
89Behemoth
Opvs Contra Natvram
Score: 7/10
 
Thormesis
If Mania Never Ends
Score: 7/10
90
 
91Sigh
Shiki
Score: 7/10
 
Abhor
Sex Sex Sex (Ceremonia Daemonis Antichristi)
Score: 7/10
92
 
93An Abstract Illusion
Woe
Score: 7/10
 
Träumen Von Aurora
Aurora
Score: 7/10
94
 
95Mesarthim
Anthropic Bias (digital)
Score: 7/10
 
Fear Factory
Recoded
Score: 7/10
96
 
97Hetroertzen
Live in Barcelona (digital)
Score: 7/10
 
Wake
Thought Form Descent
Score: 6.5/10
98
 
99Machine Head
ěf Kingd°m and Cr°wn
Score: 6.5/10
 
Sylvaine
Nova
Score: 6.5/10
100



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