Jan 25, 2023
Best Metal of 2022, Show 2, counting down to my #1 album! WIEGEDOOD (Belgium), album – There's Always Blood At The End Of The Road.
ALTARS (AU), album – Ascetic Reflection, song – Ascetic Reflection
— Chaotic, eclectic, excruciatingly enjoyable death with teeth-gnashing technical. Reminds me of 2017’s Venenum, album Trance of Death.
EPECTASE (France), album – Nécroses, song – Confusion
— Doomy psychedelic with black metal and noise rock and electronic.
XAOC (VA), album – Proxime Mortis, song – Terror Forge
— Dissonant, blistering, proggy death that is somehow a blast.
ARKÆON (Denmark), album – Parasit, song – Forbrænde
— Cold, murky and menacing in an opera of atmosphere creates horror black metal.
IMMOLATION (NY), album – Acts of God, song – Blooded
— A powerhouse of death where minimalist joins with layers of melody, and the vocalist and drummer destroys.
LUMINOUS VAULT (NY), album – Animate The Emptiness, song – Earth Daemon
— Ascerbic black with psychedelic synth, brutal and atmospheric, industrial and electronic.
AEVITERNE (NY), album – The Ailing Facade, song – Stilled The Hollows' Sway
— Death with a harrowing pace, melodic, progressive and sludge and a raspy black metal vocal round it out.
GEVURAH (CAN), album – Gehinnom, song – At the Orient of Eden
— A universe within one song. Sinister black with nowhere to escape. Even the stillness threatens.
CARRION VAEL (IN), album – Abhorrent Obsessions, song – Disturbia
— Death with muscular and snarling vocals add to that relentless pace. Intense guitar solos under the rage of their incredible drumming.
LIMINAL SHROUD (CAN), album – All Virtues Ablaze, song – Transmigration II - The Cleansing Ash
— Misted black metal brings the ethereal and fragile but builds into an epic mountain of progressive strength and rhythm.
WHITE WARD (Ukraine), album – False Light, song – Cronus
— Avant-garde cinematic black that mesmerizes with jazzy overtones. Stunning and dramatic.
WAKE (Calgary), album – Thought Form Descent, song – Bleeding Eyes of the Watcher
— Epically throated masterpiece exploding to a screech in a beautiful melodic storm of doom, black, and death.
BLACKBRAID (Adirondack Mts), album – Blackbraid I, song – Sacandaga
— Melodic black with avalanche pace breaks with organic instrumentation, strummed guitars, and synth electronic.
REEKING AURA (NY/NJ), album – Effigies Blood And Bonemeal, song – Blood And Bonemeal
— A furnace of a death sound, guttural baritone intertwined with demonic bursts, groove and tightly paced drums.
GAEREA (Portugal), album – Mirage, song – Laude
— Atmospheric black metal creating a bludgeoning bleakness, splashes of emotion, still sharp within multiple layers of percussion and guitar.
ARKAIK (CA), album – Labyrinth of Hungry Ghosts, song – To Summon Amoria
— A rolling pummeling vocal that acts as a rhythm section. Ethereal and ethnic against technical guitar solos.
ESOCTRILIHUM (France), album - Consecration of the Spiritüs Flesh, song – Tharseîdhon
— An onslaught of demonic, raging, bleak and weird, guttural mutterings of a mad man. Aggressive and unholy.
WIEGEDOOD (Belgium), album – There's Always Blood At The End Of The Road, song – And in Old Salamano's Room, The Dog Whimpered Softly
— This was also my number one vocal of the year, a unique vicious blade of sound. Frantic guitar hurtles after you. Sinister black metal with rhythm that mutates, and all of it in an alien burning atmosphere. Beautiful, crisp, cold and dark.