Hello, everyone! Frank here. As the new year approaches, I would like to look back at a year of great music, from artists I’ve long loved who’ve released new studio albums, to new artists I’ve discovered. It was a tough one, as I love so much of the music that 2022 brought us. Here are my Top 10 Albums from a wide variety of artists and the standout tracks of said albums. Check them out before they are sooooo last year.
1. The Anix, Revenge
Futuristic and cinematic electro-rock from L.A., for fans of Julien-K, Orgy, and early Thirty Seconds To Mars. There’s also an instrumental version of this album, for those wild karaoke nights!
Key Track: “My Eyes”
2. Vision Video, Haunted Hours
Beautiful, dreamy, and melodic goth rock from Athens, GA, this is dance music for the end times. Grab a friend and dance yourselves into the ether. Run resistant eyeliner not guaranteed.
Key Track: “Beautiful Day To Die”
3. Soft Kill, Canary Yellow
Portland, OR’s Soft Kill is a special band to me. They inspired me to get a Telecaster, a stacked pedal board, and a tube amp so I can play to my indie-punk-heart’s desire. Cry now, cry later.
Key Track: “Magic Garden”
4. Brutus, Unison Life
All the way from Belgium, Brutus movingly delivers the posts (post-metal, post-hardcore, post-rock) in a very sweeping and euphoric way. There’s a tinge of Deafheaven-esque shoegaze in their sound, so if that’s your thing, check this one out.
Key Track: “Brave”
5. Rammstein, Zeit
Germany’s biggest industrial-metal export, Rammstein triumphantly returns, post-COVID, with a hard hitting bruiser of an album and a sold-out stadium tour that’s taken them to many corners and pockets of the world. Almost thirty years in, Rammstein sees no end in sight.
Key Track: “Zick Zack”
6. Lesser Care, Underneath, Beside Me
Texas fellas, Lesser Care, deliver atmospheric and haunting goth-rock inspired tunes, in a wash of lush chorus and reverbed guitars, hard hitting drums, and personal lyrics; and dare I say they’re the only ones I think doing it absolutely right? Fight me.
Key Track: “Crawling Back To The Sun”
7. Author & Punisher, Krüller
Based in San Diego, CA, one-man band Author & Punisher is the mastermind of mechanical engineer and artist Tristan Shone. This album is the scariest, apocalyptic, industrial doom metal soundtrack, for when the machines rise and Skynet wages war on us.
Key Track: “Drone Carrying Dread”
8. Heilung, Drif
Another German band makes the list, this time with pagan folk collective Heilung. The music is metal as fuck at it’s core and best enjoyed with a stein of mead by a crackling fire, deep in a dark and cold forest. Or your backyard. Take your pick.
Key Track: “Asja”
9. King Dude, Death
From Washington state, King Dude’s Thomas Cowgill traded death metal for finger-picking acoustic folk, and Death is a return to form of sorts, with dark, gritty rock n’ roll that will make Satan himself gladly throw up the devil horns. Fun fact: Cowgill is a member of The Satanic Temple. HAIL STAN!!
Key Track: “Ol’ Darkness”
10. Perturbator and Johannes Persson, Final Light
Dark and heavy industrial synth-wave is what you get here. Imagine driving through Blade Runner-style scenery, in your midnight black Citroën Karin with blood red leather interior, and you have yourself a new movie. This is the soundtrack that accompanies it.
Key Track: “It Came With The Water”
I hope you enjoy the selections I’ve shared with you all. The Rock Talk Happy Hour crew encourages you to also share your personal Top 10 list with us. Have a great 2023!
Spotify Playlist for Frank’s Top 10: