Best EPs of 2022
Worm – Bluenothing
[20 Buck Spin]
This is an absolute no brainer. Very technical, yet Worm manages to create an oppressive atmosphere. This should be an auto include on everyone’s list. Trust me. A worthy successor to “Foreverglade”. Worm have already become the absolute spearhead in the Death Metal scene after only a few years.
Inhuman Nature – Under the Boot
[Church Road Records]
You want riffs? Try Inhuman Nature. The perfect mix of Hardcore and Thrash Metal. The only problem, the EP is too short. We desperately need a second album. ASAP. Jokes aside, please take your time. In the meantime, I’m listening to this masterpiece. [Review]
Deathrite – Delirium
[Into Endless Chaos Records]
Risen from the dead! Ok, Deathrite were never really dead, but I’ve never been a big fan of Nightmares Reign. But with Delirium these guys have written a more than brilliant EP. It’s Punk and Death Metal perfectly mixed. Here and there it sounds like a wild bar fight. I love it. I just liked the HM2 period with albums like Revelation of Chaos, but Delirium sets a new standard. [Review]
Haexler – Wage, Work
[Lower Class Kids Records]
Harder. Faster. Haexler.
Actually, you could stop here, no need to say more. Nevertheless, if you like Power Violence, you can’t get past this band. Support Haexler and Lower Class Kids, nothing but great people. [Review]
Chat Pile – God’s Country [The Flenser]
Devil Master – Ecstasies of Never Ending Night [Relapse Records]
High Command – Eclipse of the Dual Moons [Southern Lord Recordings]
Top 15 Releases
15) Ripped to Shreds – 劇變 (Jubian)
The perfect homage to OSDM. A true HM2 massacre. This album feels like a time machine that recreates the golden age of Grave, Entombed and Dismember. A well-crafted record every old school fan should check out. Especially the melodic influences are cleverly packaged. There is no trace of boredom to find on this record.
14) Vein.fm – This World Is Going to Ruin You
[Closed Casket Activities/Nuclear Blast]
Rarely has an album title been more fitting. When you release a record like Errorzone, the expectations are naturally very high. Nevertheless, Vein.fm succeeds in fulfilling them to the fullest. This World Is Going to Ruin You sounds like it was created in a parallel world that has not yet been destroyed by Errorzone. Chaotic, brutal and perhaps oppressive. Anyone who still has a spark of hope will eventually lose it through this record.
13) Maul – Seraphic Punishment
[Redefining Darkness Records]
I personally think that more people should talk about this album. Go to the nearest record store and buy “Seraphic Punishment”. Then after listening to it 24/7 for the next few days, tell your friends about how good Maul’s debut is. Thank me later. Nasty Death Metal, which keeps the old traditions and caresses them with new elements. The sound of this record will haunt you. [Review]
12) Darkthrone – Astral Fortress
No gimmicks, zero fucks given. I mean look at the album cover! A middle finger for every Black Metal edge lord. Musically they stay true to themselves, at least as far as the last two albums are concerned. If you are looking for a rough and primitive Celtic Frost worship then “Astral Fortress” is exactly your cup of tea.
11) Mindforce – New Lords
[Triple B Records]
Riff city, baby. Heavy riffs with a good portion of mosh. If you want to trash your apartment you can put on “New Lords”. Everyone is a target. New York Hardcore is alive and kickin.
10) Foreseen – Untamed Force
[Quality Control HQ]
It took five years, but it was definitely worth the wait. Foreseen are without any doubt the best European Crossover Thrash band. Untamed Force clearly proves this. Especially the Heavy Metal influences have surprised me very much. Refreshing, even if the music comes from the cold north. Every riff on this record makes me smile, because it’s so well written.
9) Candy – Heaven is Here
If I was talking about brutality, Heaven is Here would probably be my clear #1. No album is as heavy and loaded with violence as this one. It’s interesting how Candy experiments with their sound. The industrial influences can’t be ignored, but turn out to be an interesting plot twist. Heavy as fuck. I really like this record and so should you! [Review]
8) Abest – Molten Husk
[Moment of Collapse Records]
Maybe my biggest surprise this year, but Molten Husk generates such a nasty vibe. It’s like Abest recorded this album in the sewers. Which should definitely be taken as a compliment. I’m not sure if you should just talk about sludge here, because often the influences change with each riff. This coupled with the oppressive atmosphere make Molten Husk a damn strong album.
7) Tribal Gaze – The Nine Choirs
You can’t go wrong with death metal or hardcore bands from Texas. Tribal Gaze are another very good example of this. Rarely have I heard such a consolidated and mature sound on a debut album. The Texans know exactly what they want. Brutality all over the place. No gimmicks, just demolition. The Nine Choirs speaks for itself. [Review]
6) Wormrot – Hiss
Singapore’s finest have long been more than “just” a grindcore band. Hiss has so many different influences, no matter which Metal subgenre you like, it will be represented on this record. A logical development as far as the sound is concerned. Everything you liked about Voices makes you want to fall in love with Hiss. This record is damn varied and is one of the strongest releases of 2022.
5) Ultha – All That Has Never Been True
Fortunately, this was not an April Fool’s joke. Ultha just can’t release a bad album. Every release of the band is simply majestic. I am not exaggerating. No matter what Ultha touch it turns to gold. And that’s exactly how this record feels. “All That Has Never Been True” feels like a sad journey. It’s not supposed to feel like fun, no. A stab right to the heart as you slowly bleed out.
4) Mortuous – Upon Desolation
[Carbonized Records / Extremely Rotten]
Death Metal has never sounded better. If Undergang and Spectral Voice had an illegitimate child, it would probably be called Mortuous. This is what it sounds like when this planet will eventually perish. “Upon Desolation” is the perfect soundtrack for any apocalypse. Sit down and finish or start the year while blasting this beast of a record. Thank me later.
3) Unru – Die Wiederkehr des Verdrängten
[Babylon Doom Cult]
„Die Wiederkehr des Verdrängten“ feels like a tribute to Black Metal. Unru manages to pack a meanwhile versatile genre cleverly into one album. It doesn’t matter if it’s old school black metal or rather the modern art of this culture. Everything is on this record, almost like a time capsule, which will remind us in later years how diverse music can be.
2) Undeath – It’s Time…to Rise from the Grave
“It’s Time…to Rise from the Grave” embodies everything I love about Death Metal. It contains the essence that many bands already carried in the early 90s and brings it back to the current time. Of course, all this sounds very nostalgic, but that’s exactly what Undeath has managed to do with their second album. Keeping Death Metal alive, just like countless bands have tried to do. However, Undeath succeeds in a very impressive way. The future belongs to the guys from Rochester, New York.
1) Wiegedood – There’s Always Blood at the End of the Road
[Century Media Records]
Here it is, my album of the year 2022. After Wiegedood finished their legendary “De doden hebben het goed” trilogy, I was curious to see what would happen next with the band. 2022 gave me an answer to that quite early. It was going to be scary. At least that’s how “There’s Always Blood at the End of the Road” works for me. It’s like a nightmare. Oppressive, like you’re being chased in a maze and the next pain is lurking around every new corner. This album will break you. This is not an easy listen but worth every minute.