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    Posted: 25 Feb 2023 at 5:47am
Metal Music Archives Best of Year 2022

Welcome to the results of the MMA Best of 2022 as voted for by site Members, Reviewers, Collaborators and Admin.

Many thanks to Adam (adg211288) and Patrick (Vim Fuego) for helping with the write ups and thanks also to everyone who took the time to vote.


#49  (78 Points)

#49 (78 Points) 

#48 (81 Points)

#47 (82 Points)

#46 (83 Points)


Kirk Hammett - Portals (EP)

Progressive Metal


Amorphis - Halo

Progressive Metal


Wilderun - Epigone

Progressive Metal


Fallujah - Empyrean

Technical Death Metal


Saxon - Carpe Diem

Heavy Metal

#45  (84 Points)

#41 (85 Points) 

#41 (85 Points)

#41 (85 Points)

#41 (85 Points)


Gaerea - Mirage

Black Metal


Tankard - Pavlov's Dawgs

Thrash Metal


Rolo Tomassi - Where Myth Becomes Memory

Mathcore


Qrixkuor - Zoetrope (EP)

Death Metal


Dragonland - The Power Of The Nightstar

Power Metal

#40  (89 Points)

#36 (100 Points) 

#36 (100 Points)

#36 (100 Points)

#36 (100 Points)


Megadeth - The Sick, The Dying...And The Dead!

Thrash Metal


Proudhon - Social Tympanum

Deathgrind


Mechina - Venator

Symphonic Metal


Devin Townshend - Lightwork

Metal Related


Dawnwalker - House Of Sand

Progressive Metal

#35  (102 Points)

#34 (108 Points) 

#33 (114 Points)

#32 (115 Points)

#31 (118 Points)


Oceans Of Slumber - Starlight and Ash

Metal Related


Ratos De Porão - Necropolítica

Crossover Thrash


Michael Romeo - War Of The Worlds// Pt. 2

Progressive Metal


Gospel - The Loser

Hardcore Punk


Sabaton - The War To End All Wars

Power Metal

#30  (121 Points)

#29 (122 Points) 

#27 (125 Points)

#27 (125 Points)

#26 (126 Points)


Soilwork - Overgivenheten

Melodic Death Metal


Stratovarius - Survive

Power Metal


Witchery - Nightside

Thrash Metal


Pure Wrath - Hymn To The Woeful Hearts

Atmospheric Black Metal


The Callous Daoboys - Celebrity Therapist

Mathcore

#24  (131 Points)

#24 (131 Points) 

#22 (140 Points)

#22 (140 Points)

#21 (141 Points)


Bloodbath - Survival of The Sickest

Death Metal


Arch Enemy - Deceivers

Melodic Death Metal


Xentrix - Seven Words

Thrash Metal


Chat Pile - God's Country

Metal Related


Voivod - Syncro Anarchy

Technical Thrash Metal


#20 (143 Points)
Wake - Thought Form Descent
Black Metal


On their last album Devouring Ruin (2020) the Canadian band Wake no doubt surprised their followers by making the jump from playing grindcore to a sludge/post-metal and even progressive infused black metal sound. Thought From Descent continues the same approach, though they've nerfed some of the more death metal based inclinations, honing their genre towards the black metal cacophony that, for now at least, seems to be here to stay with Wake's output.  




#19 (144 Points)
Revocation - Netherheaven
Technical Death Metal


Revocation have been skilfully producing technical thrash/death metal with jaw dropping musical technique for over fifteen years now. On the strength of Netherheaven that trend is unlikely to change anytime soon. It may not be their best but that’s only down to the highs reached on past albums rather than any weaknesses here.





#18 (146 Points)
Wiegedood - There's Always Blood At The End Of The Road
 Black Metal


Wiegedood is a black metal act that's been around a few years now, delivering a trilogy of atmospheric black metal albums, De doden hebben het goed I – III, between 2015 – 2018. In 2022 they came up with their next effort, showing that those days are done. There's Always Blood at the End of the Road throws out their atmospheric black metal sound and goes for pure aggression instead. And as a group, they seem all the better for it, like they've found the sound they excel at and gone from a merely good to a great black metal band.




#17 (151 Points)
White Ward - False Light
Atmospheric Black Metal


White Ward hails from Ukraine and only those who have been living under a rock for the last year won't see the significance of them being able to continue to put out music during this terrible time for their homeland. False Light is their third studio album, bringing a fresh dose of their jazz infused post-black metal for our ears. As a band they continue to go from strength to strength and our thoughts are with them and all those in their situation during this trying time.




#16 (160 Points)
David Maxim Micic - Bilo IV
Progressive Metal


Probably the least known artist to make our best of 2022 top 20. Bilo IV is largely a solo project with guests but no less ambitious for it. An impressive collection of, for the most part, instrumental  music that deserves far more attention than it’s likely to get.

 



#15 (164 Points)
Zeal & Ardor - Zeal & Ardor
Avant-garde Metal


On their eponymous fourth album Zeal and Ardor are fearless in delivering an impressive piece of work mixing numerous musical styles. Black metal, electronic, blues, spiritual, alternative metal and more. They somehow manage to make it all work producing one of the years most eclectic successes. 



#14 (167 Points)
Evergrey - A Heartless Portrait: The Orphean Testament
Progressive Metal


Evergrey don’t surprise with A Heartless Portrait: The Orphean Testament. What they do though is deliver one of their finest collection of songs in some time. Fans of the band will already know how good this is, but anyone with an interest in progressive metal in general would be advised to spend some time with this.




#13 (187 Points)
Immolation - Acts Of God
Death Metal


There’s only a handful of bands who don’t have at least one dud in their back catalogue. One band that doesn’t is Immolation. All the more impressive as Acts Of God is album number eleven which maintains the high benchmark set by career highlights such as Close To A World Below and Majesty And Decay. Whilst they don’t re-invent the wheel here they continue to deliver compelling dissonant death metal that still sound fresh and vibrant.




#12 (190 Points)
Meshuggah - Immutable
Progressive Metal


Whilst the sound of Immutable is very familiar it’s also one of Meshuggah’s most diverse collection of songs with a more organic sounding production too. It’s testament to the strength of the material on offer that it can maintain the listener’s attention for almost 67 minutes.




#11 (198 Points)
Avatarium - Death, Where is Your Sting
Heavy Psych


Avatarium oozed quality from day one with perhaps the finest doom album of the last ten years and lesser bands would have been content to repeat the undeniably strong formula of that release. Since then though they have continued to expand their sound, with less reliance on doom and more emphasis on light and shade in their heavy psych framework. Death, Where Is Your Sting is one their finest collections of songs to date.




#10 (206 Points)
Kreator - Hate Uber Alles
Thrash Metal


The Kreator of today not surprisingly may not have the sheer raw aggression and intensity of their earlier albums but they compensate with musical precision and strong hooks and there’s no denying they can still pack a considerable punch when they want to. There may be one or two lulls on Hate Über Alles but as whole Kreator maintain the quality of recent albums making this another winner.




#9 (209 Points)
Artificial Brain - Artificial Brain
Technical Death Metal


Artificial Brain’s self-titled third album sees the band maintaining the high standards laid down on their previous two. Technical death metal is not always an easy genre to love but their ability to write an inventive and  memorable dissonant riff and the intensity of it all make it another winner and deserves to raise their profile much higher.




#8 (212 Points)
Elder - Innate Passage
Heavy Psych


Elder are a band that have steadily evolved over the fifteen years since their first album was released. These days largely eschewing the stoner metal and rock of earlier albums, they have gravitated more towards progressive and psychedelic territory. They can still pack a punch when required but Innate Passage’s strengths lie in subtle melodies and slow builds the long song lengths allow that very soon get under the skin. If you liked their last album, Omens, you’ll likely enjoy this one even more. Elder really are on top of their game with this, the best of their six albums so far.




#7 (219 Points)
Allegaeon - Damnum
Technical Death Metal


If it ain’t broke don’t fix it may be the approach adopted by Allegaeon on album number six Damnum but they have nevertheless continued to perfect their craft of top tier technical death metal. Whilst I don’t rank amongst the Allegaeon faithful many fans of the band claim it to be their best work yet and who am I to argue!



#6 (321 Points)
Star One - Revel In Time
Progressive Metal


Star One may not receive the same attention that Arjen Lucassen’s main project Ayreon does but that doesn’t mean it’s not as good. He proves that here with Revel In Time, being the best of the three albums so far and is also up there with the best of Ayreon. In power metal opener Fate Of Man I’ve rarely heard better from the man and the rest of the album is not far behind. 



#5 (323 Points)
Threshold - Dividing Lines
Progressive Metal


Studio album number twelve of a thirty year career once again sees Threshold deliver the goods. Darker sounding than 2017’s acclaimed Legends Of The Shires, Dividing Lines maintains the high standards set by their back catalogue and is another excellent progressive metal album in the classic Threshold tradition. Like all their albums, a mixture of longer and shorter songs of varying complexity but never losing sight of the importance of memorable and powerful hooks.

Dividing Lines is not their best album but this is more down to the high peaks reached on past work than any shortcomings here and still ranks very highly in one of the most impressive discographies  in progressive metal.




#4 (332 Points)
Wormrot - Hiss
Grindcore


Often from adversity comes great music. Such is the case with Wormrot and their incendiary album "Hiss". Before the departure of co-founding vocalist Arif and his wife Azean, the band's manager, so they could concentrate on family life, Wormrot once again redefined pure grindcore. "Hiss" spits forth 21 tracks of societal and political rage, thrilling long time listeners, and wowing hordes of new fans. Luckily for all fans, the band are soldiering on for now with stand-in vocalist Gabbo Dubko.




#3 (389 Points)
Spheric Universe Experience - Back Home
Progressive Metal


Spheric Universe Experience rightly deserve their high postion in the MMA vote. A stunning piece of work with complex compositions, soaring melodies and heavy riffs played by excellent musicians. Back Home is a long album of 68 minutes and its testament to the strength of its songs that it doesn’t feel  anywhere near that. A must hear for fans of progressive metal.




#2 (458 Points)
Sigh - Shiki
Progressive Metal


Sigh have never been an easy listen but with Shiki we have probably got as near to that as is ever likely. We are talking relatively speaking of course, so long time fans won’t be disappointed and they are as eclectic as ever. The excellent musicianship is present and the music still comes from a myriad of sources including black metal, doom, prog and Japanese folk to name a few. Where Shiki stands out to is its immediacy and strong songwriting without compromising on what the band are about. Shiki may just be a career best.



#1 (507 Points)
Blind Guardian - The God Machine
Power Metal


Premium German power metal act Blind Guardian are a group that need no introduction. While never the most productive of artists compared to those who turn out an album at least every other year if not more frequently, their qualitative over quantitative approach has resulted in one of the strongest discographies in metal music. 

Though evolving into more symphonic and progressive tendencies in the latter part of their career, their latest album The God Machine sees them almost at a regression: raw, fast, hard, like a classic Blind Guardian album of the 1990s. And it is glorious. By this point, no one really thought we'd hear a new Blind Guardian album that sounded quite like this again. While the only thing perhaps missing is one of their signature folksy ballads, it is by and large what the power metal genre was always supposed to be: hard hitting metal that isn't messing around, with still enough elements of the modern Blind Guardian to balance it out. 

In short, it's among the best albums they've ever produced. And with a discography as strong as theirs, that's really saying something. 



Releases By Main Genres

Progressive Metal: 12

Death Metal: 9

Thrash Metal: 7

Black Metal: 5

Power Metal: 4

Metal Related: 3

Grindcore: 2

Hard Rock: 2

Metalcore: 2

Avant-garde Metal: 1

Hardcore Punk: 1

Heavy Metal: 1

Symphonic Metal: 1



Edited by Nightfly - 26 Mar 2023 at 6:55am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nightfly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Mar 2023 at 9:50am
Now live.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vim Fuego Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Mar 2023 at 12:48pm
Clap

Well done! Looks great as ever!

I reckoned I could predict the winner within a couple of days of voting starting, and it turned out just as I expected.Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Mar 2023 at 2:57pm
Great job once again, Paul. There's quite a few I don't recognise this time around. 

I'm planning to make an effort to get to hear some of these I don't know for once, starting with the two from the top 10 I've not heard: Kreator and Wormrot. The latter should be interesting, as I rarely delve into grindcore. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nightfly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Mar 2023 at 3:41pm
Cheers guys. Yes I predicted early on that Blind Guardian would win as well.

A few for me to check out as well and a few I need to give another listen too. In fact I already started while compiling the votes. 

I have 22 of the top 50 in my collection already, either on CD or Vinyl.


Edited by Nightfly - 04 Mar 2023 at 3:44pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vim Fuego Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Mar 2023 at 5:11pm
Originally posted by adg211288 adg211288 wrote:

Great job once again, Paul. There's quite a few I don't recognise this time around. 

I'm planning to make an effort to get to hear some of these I don't know for once, starting with the two from the top 10 I've not heard: Kreator and Wormrot. The latter should be interesting, as I rarely delve into grindcore. 

And I haven't heard the Blind Guardian.Wink

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote UMUR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Mar 2023 at 11:54pm
^me neither LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nightfly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 2023 at 3:17pm
A shorter list than last year because of fewer people taking part. 

I'll get a few stats added when I get time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tupan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Mar 2023 at 12:12pm
Originally posted by adg211288 adg211288 wrote:

Great job once again, Paul. There's quite a few I don't recognise this time around. 

I'm planning to make an effort to get to hear some of these I don't know for once, starting with the two from the top 10 I've not heard: Kreator and Wormrot. The latter should be interesting, as I rarely delve into grindcore. 

Wormrot is glorious, believe me!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote siLLy puPPy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Mar 2023 at 8:18am
Great job! Didn't see Blind Guardian winning the top slot but it is an excellent album so happy to see them get some well deserved kudos. Like everyone else, no matter how hard i tried, too much to explore this year as the metal universe constantly grows.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Mar 2023 at 12:36pm
Hey folks, here's the customary List Challenge of the results. Check off which ones you've heard.


I am at 21/50!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nightfly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Mar 2023 at 2:59pm
26/50 for me. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote siLLy puPPy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Mar 2023 at 7:26pm
Out of these only 17
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vim Fuego Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Mar 2023 at 12:11am
12, which is actually more than I expected.
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I got 19. Some catching up to do there.

Great job on the presentation Paul. 
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12 of 50
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^^ Thanks Nicole. 
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15 of 50
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rushfan4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Mar 2023 at 4:04pm
I've heard 8 out of 50; probably about 5 or 6 others that I can see wanting to hear.  Not much interest in much of the rest.  Blind Guardian as the winner is surprising to me.  A good album for sure, but not one that really stood out for me as the best of the year.   
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