Where does the time go? 2022 can be called the comeback year of all time, with virtually every band on the planet getting back on track post-COVID. So it was one helluva year for heavy metal as the releases started to pour in and the bands started to hit your town after nearly three years of madness. It is time to unveil our annual BravePicks countdown, where the devout scribes at BraveWords cast their votes at the hits and misses of the year! So who will be our #1? You’ll find out as we count down the BravePick Of 2022 each day in December!
Everybody has an opinion and it’s time for ours! And stay tuned in January for the writers’ individual Top 20s (new studio albums ONLY), Top 5 Brave Embarrassments (a fan favorite!), What/Who Needs To Stop In 2022? and Metal Predictions For 2022. All will be showcased come the New Year!
First up, the best of the best for 2022 begins NOW! And we begin with the six releases bubbling under our top 30.
10) BLIND GUARDIAN – The God Machine (Nuclear Blast)
Our top 10 begins with more power metal madness! Germany’s Blind Guardian scale the pomp back with the punchy The God Machine. Resembling the greatness exercised by Imaginations From The Other Side, The Germans provide throwback speedy numbers complemented by elaborate longer tracks that makes for a satisfying listen. The band is at the top of their game, shedding the orchestral excess and keeping things aggressive and meaty.
The God Machine powers to #10; a fantastic album showcasing BG’s songwriting prowess.
Scribe Mark Gromen wrote in his review:
“Deliver Us From Evil”, one of the early teasers, leads off, recounting the events surrounding the infamous Salem Witch trials. While the initially (pleasant) shock (in intensity) has long since dissipated, it remains a rousing opener and announces “We’re still capable of rocking out!” Thankfully, it is not a lone wolf. Witness, “Damnation” follow-up, another hammering number (apart from the melodic chorus): guitars chug like a runaway locomotive (individually, and in tandem), double bass drums are pummeled…what’s not to like? Also available before street date, “Secrets Of The American Gods”, with its synth undercurrent, was a bit of a head-scratcher (upon first hearing) not just stylistically, but also lyrically. Odd start and much more in the mid-tempo prog camp, why is the venerable Teutonic institution crowing about American politics? As with several others, there’s religious imagery/presence within the words.
11) STRATOVARIUS – Survive (earMUSIC)
12) OZZY OSBOURNE – Patient Number 9 (Epic)
13) DECAPITATED – Cancer Culture (Nuclear Blast)
14) EVIL INVADERS – Shattering Reflection (Napalm)
15) AMORPHIS – Halo (Atomic Fire)
16) ARCH ENEMY – Deceivers (Century Media)
17) WEDNESDAY 13 – Horrifier (Napalm)
18) WHITESPADE – Whitespade (Independent)
19) MISERY INDEX – Complete Control (Century Media)
20) KRISIUN – Mortem Solis (Century Media)
21) RAZOR – Cycle Of Contempt (Relapse)
22) MEGADETH – The Sick, The Dying…And The Dead! (Universal Music Group)
23) TONY MARTIN – Thorns (Dark Star)
24) UGLY KID JOE – Rad Wings Of Destiny (Metalville / UKJ)
25) TRIAL (SWE) – Feed The Fire (Metal Blade)
26) SABATON – The War To End All Wars (Nuclear Blast)
27) SCORPIONS – Rock Believer (Vertigo)
28) CORPSEGRINDER – Corpsegrinder (Perseverance)
29) SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS – 4 (Gibson / BMG)
30) NORDJEVEL – Gnavhòl (Indie)
31) WITCHERY – Nightside (Century Media)
32) ABBATH – Dread Reaver (Season of Mist)
33) AMON AMARTH – The Great Heathen Army (Metal Blade)
34) RECKLESS LOVE – Turbo Rider (AFM)
35) GOATWHORE – Angels Hung From The Arches Of Heaven (Metal Blade)
36) CAVE IN – Heavy Pendulum (Relapse)