|DavidYowi's Best of 2022|
Rouge Carpet Disaster
You listen to this and you get this feeling that this band have what it takes to get big. Hell this sounds like a million dollars, just gleefully merging influences without a care in the world. Blissful stuff.
There’s been a small trend of using dissodeath (in this case with a blackened edge) as a metaphor for late capitalism, which I am absolutely here for. If the state of the world is in disarray why not apply that to music in constant disarray. The sax is a really nice touch.
|28||The Callous Daoboys|
There are tons of bands influenced by TDEP, but this is one of the few bands that understands just how funny TDEP could sound.
Heaven Is Here
Noisy and bludgeoning in the ways I want out of a hardcore record.
Aperture of Body
Haven’t listened to Tomb Mold in a while, so this was a good reminder that these guys absolutely crush. Lovely nods to Dream Unending on the final track as well.
I’ll admit that this lost a bit of impact for me once I listened to Tangerine Dream, but I really love that these guys put this under the Blood Incantation name. It highlights a set of influences I wouldn’t have considered to be in this band’s mood board. Made me appreciate what these guys are doing even more than I already did.
Foreverglade was one of the surprise knock-outs of 2021, and it turned out there were some delicious leftovers as well. With lead guitarist Phil Tougas in the band, their Castlevania-ass sound of symphonic death doom comes with limitless possibilities for their next full-length.
|23||Ripped to Shreds|
Very subtly diverse death metal record. Every song feels a lil different.
Monuments to Impermanence
It’s not often that post-metal clicks with me, but when it does it’s for something as raw sounding and diverse as this. Great variety of vocals too.
Bleak and ethereal album about a woman desperately clawing out personal freedom out of a Christian patriarchy. I remember an interview with Ethel Cain that came out right when this album was making the rounds where she mentioned being worried of being driven out of the music industry, and if it does, I still hope she still releases music on her own accord. Even on her debut she’s got a real distinct voice.
Love Krallice’s current synth obsession. This could’ve been on here just for the t/t, but every song here contributes to its frigid atmosphere.
UGLY DEATH NO REDEMPTION ANGEL CURSE I LOVE YOU
This is such a wonderful collection of her production skills, and her screams have gotten so ear-piercing and powerful. Really impressive how influential her work has gotten, especially with Black Dresses, and in such short time too.
This World Is Going to Ruin You
Most have deemed this as disappointing compared to Errorzone, which is a shame because it’s still a damn good metalcore record. Yes, it’s a bit inferior to Errorzone, but I still love this band’s sense of rhythm. There’s just something physical about their sound that I gravitate towards.
There Will Be No Super-Slave
Contains some real no punches pulled critiques on capitalism and white supremacy, but will also do some goofy shit like sample Spongebob. I like that approach, adds some light-heartedness to the album but Guevara still firmly stands by everything he says. His production work is also incredible. He’s not new to the game, but with this it feels like he’s just getting started.
Favorite pop album of the year. This really snuck up on me. Liked it decently enough on my first listen, but every time I picked out a track to listen to I ended up six songs deep into the tracklist.
Neon White OST 1 - The Wicked Heart
Takes everything I loved about RePorpoised and beefs it out to 80+ minutes. Machine Girl’s music always makes me feel weightless and giddy, a perfect companion for the frantic precision of Neon White (which you should play it’s very good, my fav (read: only) game out of 2022).
This one goes out to my boy Alec! Of the few grind albums I’ve heard, this might be my favorite. Love how bone dry the production is.
Melt My Eyez See Your Future
Love seeing Denzel grow as an artist, and this feels like a huge step forward for him. I guess if there was one thing I thought was missing from this, perhaps this is a bit too rehearsed. I like Denzel best when he’s a little bit loose. Well good thing Denzel released a special edition of this album which features alternate version of most of the songs with a live band. It’s called the Cold Blooded Soul version and it is fantastic. I really hope his next album has some live instrumentation as well, he sounds really in his element.
This just goes to show that when I make a year end list, you know damn well that Doug Moore is gonna show up at least once. Really though, this is the brainchild of composer Brendon Randall-Myers, and he’s created this massive sounding microtonal black metal that sounds equal parts intimidating and numbing. Moore contributes vocals and lyrics, and this just further cements him as an utterly peerless force in his field.
Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers
This was a real controversial one, huh. Whatever your thoughts, you gotta commend his honesty. This is Kendrick at his most emotional, neurotic, bitter, contradictory, self-affacing, empathetic, and tender. Even if you don’t agree with all of it, he’s almost always insightful in his perspectives. Take something like “Auntie Diaries”, while it threatens to be very “cis person talks about how someone’s transition makes THEM feel”, there are some solid observations about how the church views gender deviation as degeneracy and how threatened cishet men feel by someone not born a cis man performing masculinity in a better, healthier way than them. Even at its messiest, Mr. Morale is a multifaceted masterwork that’s always keeping your mind on its toes.
Best pure hardcore record of the year. You know when I first heard this, I thought that vocalist Pierce Jordan kinda overshadowed the rest of the band, but on further inspection I’m incredibly impressed by how fluidly the band flows with Jordan’s vocals, how they build and release momentum around him. I just can’t stress enough how great Pierce Jordan’s performance is on this record is. He is spitting some of the most politically righteous lyrics you could look for at such a relentless pace. Legit I don’t know he’s able to perform this shit live.
The Ailing Facade
Some of the bleakest extreme metal to come out this year. A smoggy haze of death, black, industrial, and post metal that feels like looking to the (gaunt) sky and watching grey clouds somehow writhe. Highly recommend seeing these guys live, some of the best live drumming I’ve seen.
Song of Salvation
As I’ve said before, I’m not a big post-metal girl. While this isn’t necessarily post-metal, this functions in a way that I’ve always wanted out of a post-metal record. I love how this is able to bask in its serene textures without feeling the need to add any gruffness to their sound. It just lets the music stand on its own.
We're Not Here To Be Loved
Big year for the guys in Vein! I feel the big metal trend of the ‘20s so far is Deftones-ish mixes of shoegaze and alt metal, and while metal + shoegaze mixes for me are hit and miss, when it hits it really hits. The Vein-y touches really give this a sharp jolt of aggression while Mirsy’s lilting voice contrasts that fury delicately, creating a captivating conflict within itself.
What really strikes me about this record is how fully formed they sound for a debut. Just a combination of buzzsaw textures and unhinged vocal performances that, while very much 90s noise rock a la Big Black and Jesus Lizard, sounds unified in a way that’s fresh. Really excited to see where these guys go from here.
Crepuscular Dirge for the Blessed Ones
The real dark horse entry on this list. I listened to this once when it came out, I appreciated it but didn’t return until making this list. I really undersold this on my first listen, and part of me still feels like I’m underselling it. This is some of the most ambitious and forward-thinking death metal out currently. I’m astonished Gabriele Gramaglia managed to not only perform every instrument besides drums, but released this hot off of releasing Vertebra Atlantis’ debut last year. This album is just further proof that this current death metal scene is the best the genre has ever been, and will continue to get wilder and more creative as the years go by.
Every year I try to put at least one vying-for-mainstream rock/metal album on my year end list in order to assure myself and (hopefully) others that radio rock doesn’t have to suck! And it feels like we’ve all accepted this, that once we discover our cool cousin’s underground taste, we’re suddenly too cool to enjoy a good old-fashioned hard rock song with a bright chorus. So I gotta give major props to Moon Tooth for literally saying “lets Dave Grohl this shit” and putting out some of the most relentlessly catchy and frenetic hard rock of the year. Love how this band hides their proggy bonfides with straightforward no-bullshit song structures.
I finally get Artificial Brain!!! Took me a while to get a grasp of this band’s nuances, but finally figuring out where it’s strange heart lies. I think what clicked for me was realizing that their music is actually quite emotional for the genre, you just gotta wretch it out from the shrill guitars, inhuman belching, and brutal death metal ass snare hits. Even within the extremely esoteric and inscrutable field of dissodeath, nothing else really sounds like this. Also, my favorite 5 seconds of the year go to Luc Lemay screaming “THE WOBBLING SUUUUUUUUUNNN” on “Insects and Android Eyes”. Every time I hear it it puts a big smile on my face.
HIS HAPPINESS SHALL COME FIRST...
This is Backxwash’s most consistent, devastating, and accomplished record to date, her vision of harsh noise and hip hop fully realized. Seeing that this is the final installment of a trilogy starting with God Has Nothing… and I Lie Here…, this also ends up being her most cathartic record. Don’t worry, the process getting there is still brutal, but then you get to “MUKAZI”, a track about how hip hop saved her life. There’s plenty of rap songs about what the genre means to their respective artists and they’re always endearing, but after hearing the entire trilogy and how dark it gets, “MUKAZI” really feels like coming up for air after almost drowning. You really get a sense that hip hop is her lifeline, and seeing how far she’s come with her art is deeply touching.
At The Foothills Of Deliration
I kinda feel like this is an unsurprising choice for my album of the year, but I’m still in awe at how much of an upgrade it is for the band. You know, for as much as modern death metal is beholden to the classics, it makes me wonder how bands carve out their own identities. While this is firmly on the From Wisdom to Hate side of tech death, Faceless Burial shows to me that what makes a band unique are the band members themselves. I love how these guys approach their instruments, each member has their own sense of character that effortlessly bounce off each other. You really get a sense of these guys as musicians. The songwriting itself is also remarkably elegant and frequently groovy. Strong hooks that the band revisit like Scooby-Doo doors until you hit by a pummeling, throw-you-off-a-cliff breakdowns. For the amount of “oh shit!” moments I had with this record, I am more than glad to award Faceless Burial my AOTY.