Year End Review: JAMES DEPAOLO Picks the Top 10 Albums of 2022

Honorable Mentions: Arch Enemy, Korukuma and the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s

10. The Nova Twins-Supernova

The Nova Twins are that band that comes directly for your throat. Think of the innovation of Rage Against the Machine with the energy of Prodigy. How this cd is not a major deal is such a crime. How this cd beat out the comeback record by the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s on my list is all the hype you need.

9. Veldune-Veldune

Out of the ashes of the Sabbath Assembly, Kevin and Jamie give us Veldune. I am just floored at the direction this cd takes. This record is both intimate and personal. There are moments listening to this cd that feel “ dream-like” and others that feel “ unsure”.  This was a bold move and it pays off for Jamie and crew.

8. Machine Head-Of Kingdom and Crown

When all the smoke cleared, we got the video for “ Choke on the Ashes of Your Hate”.  Then, the news of this being a “ concept record”. I thought the band was dead and buried, critics? Someone did not give that memo to Robb Flynn. This album is a monster. A creative and thought provoking journey. I know the critics will all dismiss this record and recommend the flavors of the week to gain cred from the fanbases. The same critics who whined about the band should return to their classic sound. Well, they did and all of you are still whining. I guess being a critic to you is trying to act like you are above a band or to be smarter than your viewers or listeners. Being a critic to me is falling in love over and over with albums like this that make me so happy that I gave them that chance.

7. Wet Leg-Wet Leg

Wet Leg will be huge. This album is such an addiction of both passion and ambition. I feel that this album is the shape of alternative radio to come. This sound is daring and redefining. This album will be talked about for years to come as an important statement to college radio. 

6. Venom Prison-Erebos

This album from open to close is such a unique and different adventure than what I was expecting. I was scared when words like, “ experimentation” were being thrown around before the record came out. Much like Devin Townsend, Venom Prison do venture into unknown areas but they keep it in their backyard with their fist pounding attack. Unique and definitely the shape of what is coming next, not sure if I am scared or happy, but this album is such a great reminder that great bands can remain great no matter what they venture into.

5. Witch Fever-Congregation

The war on religion has begun. Witch Fever is going to be a major deal very soon. This band mixes punk, grunge, metal and alternative in this “ fuck all” sound. I just feel that this band offers something that on the surface may feel similar but as you dive deep into it, you discover something different. Kids lock up your parents, this band is coming.

4. Darkher-The Buried Storm

If you have never experienced Jayn Maiven before. I want to say that in a world where Lydia Lunch paved the roads to be gloomy and intense. A world that Lingua Ignota has seemed to take all the headlines. You have Darkher. Do we deem this folk? Experimental? Metal? This dark tunnel of emotion and self reflection you will go through will take the place of any label you can put on the music that opens up the paths you journey down. 

3. Blacklab-In A Bizarre Dream

I did not expect the impact this record would have on me. Blacklab are a duo whose sound is as diverse as it is intense. Think of doom punk metal. This one caught me completely off guard. I was not expecting this to keep up the momentum for the whole record. This train went off the track early on and went straight down the tracks to hell and stayed. 

2. MWWB-The Harvest

While the name has shortened, the impact has not. Jessica Ball has become one of the best singers in the psychedelic doom metal genre. This album is not just a rebirth but it is a sign that this band is sick of being forgotten or pushed aside for the flavor of the week. This album is a statement and a reminder that there is a light in the underground that is getting closer to the mainstream.
  1. Messa-Close
The third release from Messa drips with emotion and leaves the listener in awe. Sara’s delivery is sultry yet powerfully raw. You hang on every word she says and she manipulates your emotions in this dark fog. This record is powerful and yet feels so vulnerable. It is not what the music makes you discover, it is what you were hiding before the music played. This record with headphones in a darkened room with a candle dimly lit, brings its true face to the forefront. The cd may be called “ Close” but this world is so dark that there is no closeness, it is all about alienation. The world may move forward, this cd is a reminder of when the world stops and what is left in the ashes of the moments.