1. Apolion's Genocide - Execrabilis Apocrifus Manifestus
Easily the most creative, original, catchy and simply best metal album of the year. No band sounds like them! No boring riffs heard 1000 times before, every track with a unique feeling. I fell in love with them in 2020 with their demo material but this is their masterpiece.
2. Elegeion - Plight of the Heretic
Best doom/death album of the year, Elegeion killed it with this album! Original, powerful, and sinking everything they recorded earlier... their best album.
3. Ataraxia - Pomegranate
The best ethereal/classical release of the year for me and the best recording Ataraxia has done in years. This harkens back to their 90s material, every track is standout.
4. Dernière Volonté - Cristal
Geoffrey D. almost never (Immortel is the only album I ever disliked) disappoints, another powerful piece of beautiful, dark and catchy synth electronics.
5. Screaming Savior - Reveal the Unreal
A masterwork of technical sci-fi influenced black metal from China that was my favorite thing released on Pest this year.
6. Mournful Congregation - The Exuviae of Gods - Part I
Best funeral doom album of the year, Mournful Congregation pretty much never disappoint and have always been consistent.
7. Fragments of Lost Memories - Divagate
My favorite new funeral doom discovery of this year, varied, interesting, evocative... this Japanese band desperately needs a physical release.
8. Ornamentos del Miedo -Yo, no soy yo
An unexpected new album from Ornamentos del Miedo following a set of closely released albums from previous years, as epic and beautiful as all his rest.
9. Aries - Le Dernier Sacre
An unexpected new find from France playing exceptional old style black metal. A million bands are marketed as a return to 90s black metal (which says that most black metal today is shit, which it is) but this one really has the 90s soul to it.
10. Iratus Nebula - Natur und Seele
German melodic black metal with a bit of a thin production but some great ideas, summoning much of what I used to love about the old German (and Austrian) BM scenes.
11. Blestema - Inmunda Visión
Best straightforward black metal of the year, very good riffs and perfect production reminding me a bit of old Marduk. The title track kills.
12. Visceral Explosion - Human Meat Distribution Process
Best brutal death metal album of the year for me, excellent sound and riffs so powerful and heavy that I can even dismiss the horrible pig squeals.
13. Mardom - Longing For a New Dawn
Very tasteful black metal from Poland coming out late this year, really has the old, ancient spirit.
14. Eucharist - I Am The Void
Eucharist is one of my favorite melodic Swedish death metal bands so it was very exciting to hear of this comeback. I Am The Void discards the melodicism and instead goes for a blasting Dark Funeral or Setherial approach the majority of the time. Could have been edited down but still a good album.
15. Blazemth - The Return of Lucifer
Their first new recording in 26 years, Blazemth produced a satisfying black metal record with some ties to their glorious past from the 90s. I look forward to more of their material.
16. Blackbraid - Blackbraid I
High quality black metal with some folk/native American influences far better than what Nechochwen is doing these days. I think this band's best days are ahead of them but this was highly enjoyable.
17. Arche - Transitions
An unexpected surprise from guys in Profetus, this is quality, subtle funeral doom that demands multiple listens.
18. Sunshine & Lollipops - The 8 Circuits of Unconsciousness
One of the most unique metal bands from Germany with an independent spirit hard to find elsewhere. Even if the crust and punk-style moments I dislike it's obvious that this is their best, most well-composed album.
19. Animas Defunctorum - Necrópolis Nebulosa
After recording one of my favorite BM albums of 2021, Animas Defunctorum changed style with elements edging on depressive black metal, particularly the vocals which are the only part of this I don't like very much.. Nevertheless, good riffs and a great old feel pull this into the top of 2022.
20. Stabbing - Extirpated Mortal Process
Still getting the hang of this one. I enjoyed the MCD and thought it had some interesting compositions. This one continues with that and shows that this is not just a circus show with some of the most brutal female vocals ever (although there's that too).
21. Guttural Disease - The Foreseen Deadline
This one came to my attention through Artifacts of Brutality zine where it was the album #1 in the review section. There are hundreds of death metal bands from Indonesia and they all sound identical to one another, but Gutteral Disease stands out with better than usual riffs and an excellent production.
22. In Pain - The Thing From The Grave
Despite a deficit of ideas and no originality whatsoever, the sound on this album is one of the best I heard on any OSDM release this year... like a mix of old Fleshcrawl and Bolt Thrower. Deserves a spot on the list for that reason.