2022 for me can be summarised into a few points: becoming a dad, figuring out more of my sexuality, committing to a moustache, finally going back to live gigs (yay), but also getting Covid after a solid two-and-a-half-year run of successfully dodging it (nay), and the pure experience that was Elden Ring (GOTY).
22 RELEASES FOR 2022
22. Dir En Grey – PHALARIS (still Japan’s leaders of weird, dark androgynous heaviness)
21. Zeal & Ardor – Zeal & Ardor (one of black metal’s most forward-thinking acts)
20. The Wonder Years – The Hum Goes On Forever (the sickest album title of the year)
19. Greg Puciato – Mirrorcell (Greg knocks it out of the park with his best finest solo offering)
18. Inclination – Unaltered Perspective (metallic, vicious hardcore with a message)
17. fleshwater – We’re Not Here To Be Loved (like a 2000s CD booklet came to life)
16. Gospel – The Loser (progressive-screamo-rock as a religious experience)
15. Greyhaven – This Bright and Beautiful World (please stop sleeping on this band)
14. Their / They’re / There – Their / They’re / Three (love an underdog)
13. Alexisonfire – Otherness (right up there with their legacy records honestly)
12. Royal Coda – To Only A Few At First (their best LP; a terrific replacement for DGD)
11. Anthony Green – Boom. Done. (Anthony, I am inside your walls)
10. Johnny Booth – Storyteller EP (HOW IS THIS BAND NOT BIGGER!?)
9. Pianos Become The Teeth – Drift (a group constantly evolving yet never faltering)
8. Fjørt – Nichts (the German lads back at it and better than ever before)
7. He Is Legend – Endless Hallway (this band literally does not have a bad album)
6. Ithaca – They Fear Us (one of the best level-ups of recent memory)
5. The Callous Daoboys – Celebrity Therapist (“ya like jazz?” Bee Movie, 2007)
4. Denzel Curry – Melt My Eyez See Your Future (OG album was dope but the Cold Blooded Soul version seals the deal)
3. Underoath – Voyeurist (right up there with their legacy records honestly [x2])
2. White Ward – False Light (one of the biggest and best surprises of 2022)
1. Rolo Tomassi – Where Myth Becomes Memory (AOTY)
22 SONGS FOR 2022
22. Circa Survive – ‘Imposter Syndrome’ (come on, it’s Circa Survive!)
21. Harry Styles – ‘As It Was’ (A-Ha-core; still good)
20. Coheed And Cambria – ‘Shoulders’ (just downright massive)
19. Joyce Manor – ‘Gotta Let It Go’ (makes me feel like a kid again)
18. Nickelback – ‘San Quentin’ (Hetfield-worship over huge riffs with silly lyrics, good fun)
17. The Wonder Years – ‘Low Tide’ (as someone growing his hair out, I back this 100%)
16. Gospel – ‘Bravo’ (the only kind of sermon I enjoy)
15. Inclination – ‘Thoughts and Prayers’ (perfect soundtrack to crowd kill 2nd Amendment cultists)
14. Mat Kerekes – ‘Look, I’m A Famous Actor’ (the catchiest thing from Kerekes since ‘I Want To kill You’)
13. Johnny Booth – ‘Deepfake’ (sweet chaos)
12. Ithaca – ‘The Future Says Thank You’ (some of the best metalcore around)
11. Pianos Become The Teeth – ‘Skiv’ (slow dance crier of the year)
10. Royal Coda – ‘We Slowly Lose Hope For Things To Come’ (one of the best ever RC songs)
9. Callous Daoboys – ‘Star Baby’ (insanity; revelatory; excellent)
8. Zeal & Ardor – ‘J-M-B’ (ice cool and utterly ferocious)
7. Greg Puciato – ‘Lowered’ (one of the best hooks of the year)
6. He Is Legend – ‘Return to the Garden’ (unbelievably sick)
5. Blood Command – ‘Saturday City’ (more like Hook City)
4. Rolo Tomassi – ‘Always’ (simply beautiful)
3. also Rolo Tomassi – ‘ To Resist Forgetting’ (aw man that final stretch though!)
2. Rolo Tomassi, again – ‘Drip’ (this is why this band rules)
1. My Chemical Romance – The Foundations Of Decay (welcome back to the GOAT)
TOP 5 ALBUM ART FOR 2022
Cave In – ‘Heavy Pendulum’
Wormrot – ‘Hiss‘
Sweet Pill – ‘Where The Heart Is‘
The Callous Daoboys – ‘Celebrity Therapist’
Alexisonfire – ‘Otherness’
Also on the topic of artworks, rest in power to the one and only Mariusz Lewandowski, you and your nightmarish visions will be sorely missed. (He provided surrealist horror artworks for Lorna Shore, Bell Witch, Psycroptic, Abigail Williams, Fuming Mouth, and many others.) I still love our interview from a couple of years back. His brilliant artwork will live on indefinitely.
BEST GIG YOU CAUGHT THIS YEAR?
Either Good Things Festival recently (Gojira, Jinjer and Paledusk all stole the day), Loathe when they finally made it out here, or Enter Shikari at their Melbourne headliner (despite giving me covid). You can decide which one for me.
FAVOURITE CONTRIBUTION YOU PRODUCED?
Either my review for He Is Legend’s ass-whooping new album, Endless Hallway, or my interview with James Spence and Eva Korman from Rolo Tomassi earlier in the year. Loved how both of those came out. Although, I did receive plenty of great feedback for my review of Northlane’s Obsidian from various music pals and mates of mine, echoing the sentiment that many thought about it, so maybe that one too? Tell ya what, follow those three links, read ’em, and then you can pick the best contribution.
FAV NEW BAND/MUSICIAN DISCOVERED IN 2022?
Probably White Ward. They’re from Ukraine and have been around for a while, but I’ve personally never heard of them until 2022. Though I’m so glad I did! The new album False Light is an incredible hybrid of styles, culminating as a gargantuan avant-garde and experimental, blackened, jazzy metal feast that was overwhelming in a bold and powerful way. Loved it.
NEXT BIG AUSSIE ACTS TO WATCH IN 2023?
I’ve actually got two on my mind. One is The Gloom In The Corner. One of the few truly interesting heavy acts right now within Australia. They’ve got their own narrative and lore, blend any number of dynamics and influences together (and do it well), can pull off some rad features, and have been grinding hard for a minute now. ‘Trinity’ goes alright too. The other is, of course, the gang known as Speed, by far one of the fastest and biggest blow-ups I’ve seen in hardcore. World domination is surely next for them!
WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2023?
There are four big topics that are on my mind for 2023. For music, it’s My Chemical Romance at Rod Laver. It’s been ten years since I saw them last so I cannot wait for that one. For games, the much-anticipated remakes of Resident Evil 4, System Shock, Final Fantasy VII Reunion, and Dead Space all look sick, as well as new IPs such as Atomic Heart or long-awaited sequels like Alan Wake 2. I shall become ungovernable if these are anything less than solid. Then there are films, like the new John Wick, Indiana Jones, Mission Impossible, and of course Dune: Part 2. (I have full confidence that Denis Villeneuve will nail that follow-up!) Finally, there’s my own family; watching my kid have their first birthday. Fatherhood has been one of the most rewarding and touching experiences of my life so far.
Written by Alex Sievers