BEST OF 2022: Runners Up

I always feel stupid saying this, and I’m probably talking to an echo chamber of one on this, but the four records we are presenting as runners up to the top 40 are awesome pieces of work. I love all five of them, and I would recommend anyone reading this trade some money for them. I just always worry the records in this piece will come off as not as worthy, and that’s not at all the case. Just look at these fuckers!

HIGH COMMAND, “Eclipse of the Dual Moons” (Southern Lord): From the time I came to know of them, thrashers High Command checked off all the boxes, delivering a sound that feels transported from the ’80s heyday but with their own edge and a world they created that is the center point for their music. Their second record “Eclipse of the Dual Moons” is a massive late-year treasure, an eight-track, 48-minute excursion into the world of Secartha (the concept is similar to Immortal’s Blashyrkh) and the events and chaos abound in that place. It’s aggressive, it’s nasty, and it has a fantasy element that explodes from the seams and reminds you thrash isn’t dead, and it lives with High Command. (Nov. 25)

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/HighCommand

To buy the album, go here: https://southernlord.com/store/high-command-eclipse-of-the-dual-moons/

For more on the label, go here: https://southernlord.com/

IN THE WOODS…, “Diversum” (Soulseller): Long-running Nordic force In the Woods… have had their fair share of revolving door chaos, which is going to happen to any band that managed to stick around for three decades. Their latest full-length “Diversum” is a product of further disruption in their ranks with only one member still here from their “Heart of the Ages” days, though that hasn’t stopped them from continuing to create thought-provoking, stimulating material. “The Coward’s Way” starts dreamy before taking on an Enslaved-style edge, new vocalist Bernt Fjellestad immediately flexing his pipes, which are formidable. “Redemption, exemption, it’s just a blade away,” Fjellestad wails over the very effective chorus as the playing soars, and the seeds embed themselves into your bloodstream. It’s a high point as is “We Sinful Converge,” “The Malevolent God,” and heart-slaying “Your Dark.” Hoping this version of the band sticks it out. (Nov. 25)

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/inthewoodsomnio

To buy the album, go here: https://soulsellerrecords.aisamerch.com/

For more on the label, go here: https://www.soulsellerrecords.com/

KREATOR, “Hate Über Alles” (Nuclear Blast): Classic German thrash masters Kreator made one of their best records four decades into their career with the fire-breathing “Hate Über Alles,” their 15th long player overall. Not that Kreator ever lacked for energy and power as they’ve always had it in spades, they explode from the gate on this one, putting a dagger in the ground with the awesome title track, where vocalist/guitarist Mille Petrozza howls, “Hate is the virus of this world!” There are more killer blasts with “Killer of Jesus,” “Strongest of the Strong,” “Become Immortal,” and Demonic Future” that could be staples of their live sets for years to come. (June 10)

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/KreatorOfficial/

For more on the label, go here: https://shop.nuclearblast.com/en/shop/index.html

To buy the album, go here: https://label.nuclearblast.com/en/label/index.html

SCARCITY, “Aveilut” (The Flenser): “Aveilut,” the debut record from Scarcity, makes me think of fight or flight, and it certainly led my brain in that direction over some of the subject matter with which I can identify. This project is helmed by multi-instrumentalist Brendon Randall-Myers, who began to write this record after processing the loss of two people close to him and while caught in lockdown in Beijing in 2020. Randall-Myers, leader of Glenn Branca Ensemble ever since Branca’s passing, worked with vocalist Doug Moore (Pyrrhon, Weeping Sores, etc.) to add a volcanic, unhinged element that increases the misery and devotion to the void. Black metal, doom, noise, ambiance, you name it, all is represented, and it all feels like a trip to the center of devastation. (July 15)

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/scarcity.noise

To buy the album, go here: https://nowflensing.com/collections/scarcity

For more on the label, go here: https://nowflensing.com/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.