Wall of Sound Presents: “2022 Year In Review” – Ravin’ with Writer KJ Draven

Things got back to normal but it was a ‘new’ normal as we pretended the pandemic was over.

The good news was gigs were back, proper gigs with full capacity, full crew and international bands touring again. Record wise it was a bumper year, especially for Australian artists with Parkway Drive obliterating all expectations and Northlane confirming their ascendancy. We got killer, incredibly well-put-together debuts from Windwaker and Nicholas Cage Fighter, plus the sheer audacity of The Gloom in the Corner’s Trinity and Saviour’s Shine & Fade. Extreme metal was also shit hot: I couldn’t find room for Revocation, Watain, Nocturnal Graves, Cabal, Lorna Shore, or Enterprise Earth in my picks below. Slash, Alter Bridge and Halestorm all dropped killer rock records too, full of soaring vocals and sharp solos. All these are worthy of your precious time. 

I also finally got to celebrate turning 40 the week before I turned 41, which was nice. 

TOP 10 RELEASES OF 2022

10. Meshuggah – Immutable
9. Denouncement Pyre – Forever Burning
8. Greg Puciato – mirrorcell
7. Northlane – Obsidian
6. Architects – the classic symptoms of a broken spirit 

5. Ibaraki – Rashomon
4. Arch Enemy – Deceivers
3. Machine Head – ØF KINGDØM AND CRØWN
2. Parkway Drive – Darker Still
1. Ghost – Impera 

TOP 10 SONGS OF 2022

10. Nicholas Cage Fighter – ‘Shrine of Wire’
9. Decapitated – ‘Cancer Culture’
8. Fit for an Autopsy – ‘Far From Heaven’
7. Zeal & Ardor – ‘Death to the Holy’
6. The Gloom in the Corner – ‘Ronin’

5. Behemoth – ‘The Deathless Sun’
4. Lamb of God – ‘Ditch’
3. Slipknot – ‘The Dying Song (Time to Sing)’
2. Make Them Suffer – ‘Doomswitch’
1. Gojira – ‘Our Time is Now’

BEST MUSIC USED IN TV OR MOVIES IN 2022 

5. Cast performance of ‘War Pigs’ in Metal Lords

4. Parkway Drive on Australian Story

3. Guns n Roses – ‘November Rain’ in Thor: Love & Thunder

2. Airbourne – ‘Runnin’ Wild’ in Cobra Kai

1. Metallica – ‘Master of Puppets’ in Stranger Things 

BEST GIG YOU CAUGHT THIS YEAR?

Aussie Band

Psycroptic / Denouncement Pyre / Werewolves at Max Watts, Melbourne

A full range of death metal sounds on a cold August night with the more traditional Werewolves warming things up for the blackened death of Denouncement Pyre. DP were riding high on the recently released Forever Burning, playing a furious set of new and old songs. Psycroptic were launching their new album Divine Council but packed the set with songs from across their history. The end result was an entirely satisfying celebration of excellence featuring some of the best bands in the scene. 

International Band/s

Bring Me the Horizon, Gojira, Jinjer, Sabaton at Good Things Festival – Review coming soon!

Honourable mention to The Hu who rocked 170 Russell with their brand of Mongolian metal. 

FAVOURITE CONTRIBUTION YOU PRODUCED?

The bossman let me do a bunch of stuff this year outside of album reviews, for which I am eternally grateful. The KJ Playlists were fun, as was the colossal 66 Songs of Satanic Splendour. But my favourite this year was the EuroSound Contest 2022. It was a ton of work on the back end to make it a success so thanks to everyone who voted and shared. Electric Callboy was a worthy winner. Keep an eye out for it again in May 2023. Feel free to hit me up on socials to nominate potential songs.  

Now to convince Browny that Crimes Against Rock should be a thing. 

FAV NEW BAND/MUSICIAN DISCOVERED IN 2022

[REDACTED] 

The last two years I nominated two bands (Wartooth and Minus Life) that broke up the next year. I am not making that mistake again. 

NEXT BIG AUSSIE ACT TO WATCH IN 2023

Gut feeling is that Knotfest Australia is going to be really good for Northlane to grab some new fans. But I think 2023 will all be about Make Them Suffer. With new keyboardist/vocalist Alex Reade on board with her keytar and new single ‘Doomsday’ being a banger they are ready to break big. 

WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2023

The next lot of challenges for Wall of Sound is pretty exciting. I had a big year personally with a massive house move and changes in my day job so next year will be a little more settled and I’m open to whatever the new year will bring. 

Plus Metallica still owe us a tour…

Written by KJ Draven (Twitter and Instagram

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