|Something Something 2022|
I've been largely absent this year from Sputnikmusic as I took up a position in a Greek online magazine (Rocking.gr) as a reviewer and this has been taking up most of my time. I still lurk here, though, and Sput is my No1 site for opinions, new releases, and new discoveries.
This list contains almost all the music I heard from 2022, as a log, and perhaps you find something interesting to check out. It's in no particular order.
Love all y' all. Have a wonderful new year.
Portrait of a Lady
Genre: Alternative / Post Punk [USA]
One of my favourite albums of the year, and it has been largely ignored, what's up with that people?
Genre: Noise Rock [USA]
America of liminal spaces, disorientation, and a dream that was gold for as long as the paing stayed. It's an amazing debut that attacks our senses like a storm
Genre: Death Rock [USA]
Beauty and ugliness, dysphoria and enjoyment, cleanliness and dirt. Autonomy doesn't get caught up in easy dilemmas. It's a jewel of modern death rock / post punk that filters the genre's formulas and underlines its most important aspects
|96||Birds in Row|
Genre: Screamo / Post Hardcore
A concerned, melodic, rough, and deeply poetic album, both on a musical and lyrical level. With their brush in gray, purple, and blue, they paint one of the greatest portraits of modern screamo / hardcore
Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers
Genre: Consious Hip-Hop [USA]
An autobiographical album that transcends boundaries, touches on generational trauma with honesty, and realizes that a wound needs to be burned to close. After such a disc, neither Kendrick Lamar, nor mainstream rap are going to be the same
Genre: Indie Rock [UK'
Eccentricity, your name is alt-j. The overly talented trio from England opens up their treasure box and take out yet another great piece, i.e. one of their best albums of their astonishing career
Genre: Post Punk [UK]
Fun post-punk with great loops and grooves, a singer with immaculate delivery and theatrics, lyricism on point, and the heritage of Talking Heads. My most anticipated release of the year so far.
Genre: Doom Rock [Italy]
Top 10 of the year? Perhaps, if not AOTY. Messa put out an incredible album, blending seamlessly doom, psychedelia, rock revival, blues (that unexpected guitar solo on Suspended!), black metal, and traditional eastern music. I just can't have enough of this thing, and it was so unexpected that it leaked two months prior to official release.
Last Boy Picked
Genre: Djent [Indonesia]
If djent is the rhythmic evolution of prog metal, then Kuntari's Last Boy Picked is the djent-equivalent for Zeuhl. The eccentric rhythmic play between guitars, drums, and percussion makes up for an alien ritualistic aesthetic, with short, abrasive piano interludes that only pretend to be ''normal'', failing to hide the avant-garde logic behind them.
Genre: Metal [Canada]
I rarely if ever check out power metal bands, but these Riot City guys made me fall in love with their sophomore album.
Revel in Time
Genre: Progressive Metal [Netherlands]
Ayreon seem to have lost some steam, so Arjen chose to invite a bunch of A-List musicians (well, yet again) and let them loose, thus creating another riff oriented, larger than life, theatrical album, reminiscent of glorious days of the past.
Genre: Post Punk [UK]
In the wave of post punk revival, Thank are not the biggest name, nor the most immaculate band, but they still have songs that pump you up
Genre: Melodeath [Finalnd]
Closing the trilogy of Finnish mythology-turns-metal, Amorphis remain consistent and relevant, even if sacrificing originality a wee bit. Having found their place after a long and notable career, Amorphis provide a polished, heavy and intricate album that won't reveal itself easily.
|86||Zeal and Ardor|
Zeal and Ardor
Genre: Black / Gospel [Switzerland]
The third strike by Gagneux and co. with their signature blend of black metal, that shouldn't work, not even on paper, but it so absolutely does. This time songs are not as easy to decript on first listen, but there are also some cuts that are bound to be career highlights
|85||Cult of Luna|
The Long Road North
Genre: Post Metal [Sweden]
You know more or less what to expect by post-metal pioneers Cult of Luna, and on this new album you'll find it aplenty. Crushing and heavy (one might say ''unbearable''), this album is also merrited by small details, like the feature of vocalist Wallentin and saxophonist Stetson, which provide more texture and layers to CoL's massive sound
Genre: Pop [South Korea]
A phenomenal debut with a crazy range of ideas and genres, and although it's long, it never overstays its welcome.
This Shame Should Not Be Mine
Genre: Post / Gothic [Netherlands]
An album that strives for catharsis, deeply personal, dark, and experimental, it was far more engaging than originally thought
Genre: Psychedelic Rock [Greece]
An interesting blend of psychedelia and folk, that sounds lush and warm, best enjoyed in summer. Some songs take it slow, some fast, but they all have something to say
|81||Red Hot Chili Peppers|
Genre: Alternative Funk [California]
Frusciante's second return did not result in a Californication-level album, but in a natural continuation to what the Peppers have been up to since "The Gateway". Not bad, but probably just mediocre, it was also followed by the sub-par "Return of the Dream Canteen", which also had its moments
Versions of Modern Performance
Genre: Indie Rock [USA]
Cuddly and relaxed indie rock that has nothing too substantial yet to say, but sounds promising.
We're Not Here To Be Loved
Genre: Alternative [USA]
A Deftones worship, a Vein.fm side project, or just a brilliant little album with a light on its own.
The Great Regression
Genre: Post Punk [UK]
If you like IDLES, you're probably going to like Ditz, since IDLES themselves liked them. Sliding towards noise rock sometimes, Ditz allow their music to become black in character, scary even
Genre: Punk [Ireland]
A musical condemnation of organised religion, property, and personal demons, that sounds not half bad
|76||Black Country, New Road|
Ants From Up There
Genre: Art Rock / Indie Rock [UK]
BC,NR have managed to become a household name with a one-two punch in to years. Their second album is complex, theatrical, personal, and artistic without sounding (too) pretentious
Fear of the Dawn
Genre: Alternative Rock [USA]
Undeniably a hero of its era, lets his creativity loose and it's gone haywire. On "Fear of the Dawn" and "Entering Heaven Alive", White showcases all his talents in writing memorable songs, experimentation, and ease in genre-hopping
A Light For Attracting Attention
Genre: Alternative [UK]
Not exactly a Radiohead album, but honestly probably just that sans the moniker. Greenwood and York don't push the envelope, but it's a damn fine album
Genre: Post Punk [UK]
An album loved by the fans of the genre, and one that seems to gather a lot of attention, had nothing to give me, and so yeah, check it out if you're into post punk
Genre: Progressive Death / Post [USA]
Dreadnought follow prog's logic of genre-collage, and with various influences ranging from Opeth to iamthemorning, they have finally released an album that has majorly caught our attention
Remember That You Will Die
Genre: Alternative Prog [USA]
Where do you go when you have cemented your position as one of the industries leading forces, and guitar-players' newest directions to follow? You invite various vocalists, experiment with styles, write songs that bop hard, and have fun.
Genre: Progressive Rock [Greece]
On their fourth album, Verbal Delirium go full in on creativity, and deliver one of the most intricate prog rock albums, bursting with theatricality, melody, and passion
Genre: Avant-Garde Black [Japan]
Masters of their craft, Japanese black metallers go a bit proggier, and infuse their sound with traditional japanese music. One the more interesting side of 2022's releases
Genre: Avant-Garde Black [Scotland]
Unavoidably one of the most discussed albums of the year, and indeed it's a tour de force. Unfortunately, I needed a bit more memorable moments to make me stay and connect, but having said that, the album is undeniably a work of art.
Genre: Progressive Metal
An interesting blend of prog with non prog bands like Deftones and a unique identity is the best thing we could ask from a prog band
Genre: Progressive Metal [Andorra]
Prog death band that follows the recipe to the "t" and yet still comes up with nice ideas and is proficient enough to make them work without ruining the atmosphere. From me, it's a yes.
Isle of Wisdom
Genre: Progressive Rock [Sweden]
An up and coming band heavily influenced by the '70s, though working its strengths and releasing a truly magnificent album. Vocals may not be anyone's cup of tea, but to me the add sugar and spice to the mix
|64||Dawn of Solace|
Flames of Perdition
Genre: Gothic Metal [Finland]
Initially hooked, but then later on disinterested for this album of mournful Scandinavian romanticism.
Genre: Avante-Garde [France]
The album dives in the mire of french carnival and cabaret, and stays there feasting on worms and dead roosters. Manic, theatrical, varied, and downright *fun* this album is all things it promises and more
|62||Anna von Hausswolff|
Live at Montreux Jazz Festival
Genre: Drone / Experimental [Sweden]
Anna seems even more unstoppable live. I can't even start to imagine what an experience this concert might have been.
Genre: Jazz [Spain]
Looking at the cover I expected a lo-fi bm album, but some pristinely produced jazz sounds came from my speakers. Tasty jams, unmatched atmosphere and warm playing, this is truly a great experimental jazz album.
Genre: Experimental [Greece]
he creative exit for a drummer, a guitarist and a violonist during lockdown time in 2021. It's quite peculiar at times without becoming ''too-out-there'', it remains heavy and interesting due to the baritone guitar interplaying with the violin.
Land of Green and Gold
Genre: Progressive Rock [Ukraine]
What seemed as another neo-prog rock album was actually a pleasant drop of Canterbury Progressive Rock. Cheesy cover art and lyrics aside, it was a great listen, with top notch musicianship, pristine production and great ideas.
Genre: Country [Canada]
Orville Peck has taken the "gay cowboy" image that lurked in our collective unconscious and has given it flesh and blood, releasing albums that are so heartwarming and catchy, it's ridiculous. The masked man has done it again.
|57||Melody's Echo Chamber|
Genre: Psychedelic / Indie Rock
Melody Procher releases an album of immense beauty, with hazy soundscapes, bass riffs, orchestral elements, and ethereal vocals. It's pretty short, but it's deeply emotional, exploring her new identity as a mother
With Regards From Home
Genre: Math / Pop Rock
A shiny and criminally underrated debut album that sounds as if someone is playing Avril Lavigne over Mars Volta. Addictive!
Genre: Psychedelic / Indie Rock
Japanese rockers offer an album that seems to explore musical themes and atmospheres without the pressure to impress, and put a fulstop to their highly successful career
Genre: Singer / Songwriter [Mexico]
A jaw dropping sophomore album of a highly talented musician, stripped down and left to breathe in the afternoon sadness
|53||Father John Misty|
Chloe and the Next 20th Century
Genre: Indie Rock [USA]
A complex theme that is clothed into cozy, and heartfelt music, exlpores the feeling of human relations and disappointments, while wondering about the turmoils of the century, in a manner that is inspired by the '50s.
Genre: Feminist Experimental Pop [Norway]
Almost missed this when it came out, an impressive album of deconstruction [musical, and feminist], taking classic objects of the everyday life, musical theory, and sexual relations, and turning them on their heads.
Revelations of the Mother Harlot
Genre: Avant-Garde [Norway]
An impressive second album by the dark cinematic prog rockers, with theatrics, long instrumentla passages, and a complex to the point of nonsense concept. Several artists featured here, all picked from the top shelf.
First half is a banger, then it kind of loses steam, but still has some great songs.
Genre: Pop / Synth [Russia]
The protesting femminist group returns with an album completely different from what you may have heard in the past, and deliver queer/feminist synth tunes with attitude and political vile
Genre: Progressive Metal [Croatia]
Unexpectedly good, this eclectic prog album distills the best things of your favourite prog/death artists and pours it into six imacculate and atmospheric compositions.
Genre: Art Pop [Iceland]
Bjork is one of the most important artists of her time, and her idiosyncratic music is perhaps difficult to handle, but definitely is unmatched. "Fossora" is way more accessible than "Utopia", remembers the early days of rave parties, blands new with old elements, and moves with its concept of loss, womanhood, and life/death
As The Moon Rests
Genre: Post / Doom [UK]
A new dark singer/songwriter that so far has showcased amazing talent, returns with her sophomore album. Bigger in scope, but less impressive, "As thw Moon Rests" is hard-hitting and the perfect soundtrack for automn
Genre: Experimental / Noise Rock [USA]
A mysterious duet that combines jazz/blues with black and noise rock, conjuring images of a Lynchian dystopia
Genre: Pop [Sweden]
A queer pop album which I find immaculate. Perhaps her magnum opus, filled with bangers and moving ballads.
Genre: Dark Rock [Germany]
Atmospheric and melancholic without losing its edge. Not without its flaws, yet highly entertaining
Violate Consensus Reality
Genre: Progressive Metal / Post Metal
The Belgian group moved the waters with their debut a few years ago, and on their sophomore album they fire on all cylinders once again, albeit this time more focused and having trimmed all the fat. They could definitely drop the psuedophilosophical lyrics, and try to experiment more with their own sounds, but still, they released an awesome album in '22
We Salute You, You and You
Genre: Post Rock [Sweden]
It's cool, it's decent post rock, does everything right, but won't leave a lasting taste to the mouth
|40||David Maxim Micic|
Genre: Djent [Serbia]
The latest enstalment in the Bilo series is as good as we would wish it to be, and a lot better than the last album the Serbian guitar virtuoso released. Orchestral, fragile, cozy, and all around beautiful
Genre: Krautrock [UK]
A project that started as a love letter to '70s progressive rock, has taken a left turn and experiments with synths, loops, bass lines over steady drums
Genre: Progressive Metal [USA]
Wilderun have gone a long way in this last decade, and their latest album is a bit different from what came before. First 20 minutes could easily be scrapped, but the rest is not bad at all.
Genre: Criminal Punk Jazz [Equador]
A frenetic and delirious record of aggressivre jazz, that leaves nothing off the table, without sounding bloated or pretentious
Genre: Pop [UK]
I love Twig's work, and this mixtape came out of nowhere early in '22. More streamlined, refined, though still immaculate, it may be a tad better than "Magdalene".
Genre: Progressive Rock [Finland]
A mostly unknown progressive rock band, that writes music cinematic in scope, bursting with creativity, colorful, and spell-binding. None of their albums is less than steller.
I'm Not Sorry, I Was Just Being Me
Genre: Psychedelic / Indie Rock [UK]
It's a nice album, memorable enough, but lacks distinctive personality. Wouldn't mind listening to it in the afternoon.
There Is No Zero
Genre: Proto-Metal [USA]
It's a small album, but the groovy sounds, the doomy vibes and the awesome female vocals made it compelling enough to stick in my mind
The Zealot Gene
Genre: Progressive Rock [UK]
The old geezer(s) return with a very decent album at the sunset of their career. It might have taken them 20 years, but it was worth it.
|31||Black Folks Don't Swim?|
For the Source
Genre: Jazz [USA]
Winter jazzy album, orchestral and funky. I know close to nil about jazz, but I loved this one.
Genre: Black Metal [Afghanistan]
Similar identity to Violet Cold, with oriental flourishes
Neither Moth nor Rust
Genre: Dark Rock [Finland]
Katatonia's unknown cousin put out a decent EP. Nothing extraordinary, but still ideal for a rainy afternoon, especially if you like the genre.
Genre: Thrash [Canada]
Something I listened to for a while back in February, liked it a lot, and somehow never returned to afterwards. Still, a great old school thrash metal album, and the singer is a beast with her guttural vocals.
Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You
Genre: Indie Rock [USA]
Great album, awesome atmosphere, can't remember shit from this gargantuan setlist
The Gods We Can Touch
Genre: Pop [Norway]
First time ever listening to a full album by Aurora, outside of individual songs, and I can say I'm more than impressed by the ideas, the production, the cohesion, and the genreal atmosphere
And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow
Genre: Indie Pop / Chamber Pop [USA]
Sputnikmusic's beloved musician carries the goods again, with an album not shining as bright as her "Titanic Rising" magnum opus, but still glowing heartingly in the dark.
Stand in Your Light
Genre: Post / Progressive Rock [UK]
Seasoned musicians and former members of Crippled Black Phoenix on their debut album sound stellar and complete. Not anywhere close to innovation, but spot on as far as delivery is concerned
|23||Titan to Tachyons|
Genre: Progressive Metal / Jazz [USA]
The instrumental jazz/prog trio returns with another mind-bending album, composing dissonant melodies that could well work as a soundtrack for a space horror film.
The End, So Far
Genre: Alternative Metal / Nu Metal [USA]
I was stoked for 2019's "We are not your Kind", but this fell flat. I have not given "The End, So Far" enough spins, and I can definitely see merits in it, but in the end this failed to grab me. Still, Slipknot are a huge household name, and there's some standards of quality
Genre: Traditional Rock [Germany]
I had very low expectations for the new album, as the last decade was lukewarm for one of my favourite bands. Yet, with "Rock Believer", the Scorps deliver some of their best ideas of the last decade, looking eye to eye (lol) with "Unbreakable" and "Sting in the Tail", of course not surpassing "Humanity, Vol.i"
The Death of Death
Genre: Progressive Metal [Netherlands / Greece]
Playgrounded were generally unknown before their third album, "The Death of Death", but it seems like the tide is changing. With bass sounds, rhythmic patterns, drone effects, and a great vocalist, their music is atmospheric and their sound is huge.
Never Let Me Go
Genre: Alternative [UK]
Most people would say "a return to form", and although I can share the opinion, I was still happy with their last two albums that are not highly acclaimed. Still, Placebo do what they do best, we got great new songs, and that's pretty much it.
Genre: Progressive Rock [UK]
We wished for it to be good, it came out the blue, Harridan was jaw-dropping, the rest was fine but over-all disappointing.
Genre: Black / Sudge [Italy]
I rarely check out black metal bands, but this one was just too good to ignore. It's harsh, it's guttural, it's perhaps the duet's finest output.
Genre: Progressive Rock [Norway]
They never seem to stop, do they? After a late-career highlight that the "All is One" was, a [let's admit it] b-sides collection, the trio return with another bunch of fine and explosive compositions, stirring the wheel in ways only they know how.
|15||Ode and Elegy|
Ode and Elegy
Genre: Classical / Hardcore [USA]
One of the first gems that were dug out in 22, is an album-long track with immense depth, and tremendous beauty. Reminded me of a mellower "None But a Pure Heart Can Sing", if it was heavier on the classical side, and way less so on the jazzy one.
Will of the People
Genre: Alternative Rock [USA]
The band people love to hate come back with a heavy banger, leaving behind the synth experimentations of "Simulation Theory", Highly addictive and enjoyable, sure to entertain during live shows. They're unapologetic till the end, and I'm here for it.
The Sick, the Dying... and the Dead!
Genre: Thrash Metal [USA]
I couldn't be bothered to listen to it more than a few times, but I have to admit it's at least good while it lasts. Honest work.
|12||Lack the Low|
Genre: Art Pop [Australia]
Most prog bands wouldn't dream of the structures, the intricacies, and the melody-weaving found on this EP. Lack the Low follow up to the 2016 debut album is nothing sort of amazing, with some truly touching moments.
|11||Hammers of Misfortune|
Genre: Progressive Thrash [USA]
Hammers of Misfortune are chameleons, constantly genre-hopping. On "Overtaker" we find influences of space thrash, in a relenting bunch of songs. Did I mention that drummer Blake Anderson, previous member of Vektor, is on here too?
Genre: Hardcore [USA]
After one of the most amazing albums of 2021, "Year of the Horse", Fucked Up return to the muddy waters of hardcore and deliver a face-hitting old school EP to water our appetite for what's to come in 2023.
Secular Works, Vol. 2
Genre: Progressive / Avant-Garde [USA]
A splendid album that took some time to unveil its secrets to me. Demanding, yet rewarding, has some of the most intricate song-writing choices I've heard in a while
The Alchemy Project
Genre: Symphonic Metal [Netherlands]
Epica seem to never stand still, always having a little something to give their fans. To celebrate their 20th anniversary, they collaborate with some friends to mix things up. Sometimes they hit, some they miss, but they always remain entertaining.
Genre: Post Rock [Greece]
Greek post rockers are inspired by the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, and write a serene EP that sounds like a fading memory of distant sunsets.
Night Parade of One Hundred Demons
Genre: Psychedelic / Jam Rock [USA]
Three 20-something minute songs of endless soloing sounds like a chore, but this band is pro and makes it sound compelling and intriguing. Top notch.
|5||Crippled Black Phoenix|
Genre: Post Rock / Progressive Rock [UK]
"Ellengaest" was a great start to the decade, and "Banefyre" keeps up the good work. Of course it could trim some of its fat, of course it's not "I, Vigilante Pt.II", however, it's still a great album, with some of their finest work.
Genre: Progressive Metal [UK]
Haken's Charlie Griffiths checks the waters outside his main project, invites some renown friends, and releases a notable prog gem.
Genre: Indie / Singer-Songwriter [New Zealand]
A bubbly, quirky, and still sensitive album by Aldous Harding. Not as good as her previous ones, yet still delivers some amazing tunes. Her vocal range and styles are magnificent.
Bacchus - Epiphanies Of The Crazy God
Genre: Black Metal / Folk [Greece]
Hymnal black metal telling the story of Bacchus through ancient greek lyrics, chanelling Rotting Christ's "AENAON" spirit at times. Two editions, one with harsh vocals, one with clean ones.
Genre: Progressive / Black (Avant-Garde) [Greece]
Aenaon blend black with progressive metal, add saxophones to the mix and this time more electronic elements. A step lower than their 2016 "Hypnosophy", yet still pretty good on its own.