A year of genre-defining, groundbreaking and grand moments, these are some of the best albums of 2022.
What a year, eh?
And rock music continued to show what an incredible community it is via the records that were released. There were career-best albums, instantly iconic debut outings and breathtaking moments from some of the most exciting and exhilarating bands the scene has to offer.
So to celebrate, we have put together a list of some of the essential, top rock and alt. albums of 2022 (in alphabetical order) for you to look over, check out and love.
Here we go…
ALEXISONFIRE – ‘OTHERNESS’
A record 13 years in the making, ‘Otherness’ is the sound of a band loving each other more than ever before. Brimming with as much heart as hurt and possessing some of their most adventurous moments, it feels so good to have Alexisonfire back.
ARCHITECTS – ‘THE CLASSIC SYMPTOMS OF A BROKEN SPIRIT’
Building on what they achieved with ‘For Those That Wish To Exist’ in a raw and rallying way, Architects have never felt more ready for arenas than they do here. Melodic, meditative and monumental, ‘the classic symptoms of a broken spirit’ proved to be a perfect summarisation of modern living.
BAD OMENS – ‘THE DEATH OF PEACE OF MIND’
Hurling everything that they had into 15 diverse and profound pieces of post-hardcore experimentation, Bad Omens showed why they are the future stylishly and savagely. From viral hits to crushing affirmations, ‘THE DEATH OF PEACE OF MIND’ is the new standard in more ways than one.
BLIND CHANNEL – ‘LIFESTYLES OF THE SICK & DANGEROUS’
Proving that they are much more than a Eurovision one-hit wonder, Blind Channel revealed their rowdy and real side with this brash collection of nu metal-speckled wonders. The beginning of something massive? It certainly looks like it.
BLOOD COMMAND – ‘PRAISE ARMAGEDDONISM’
With their first release with Nikki Brumen on vocals, Blood Command doubled down on their strengths and crafted their most joyous work to date. Bursting with songs made to scream at the top of your lungs as much as to take yourself to the nearest dancefloor, ‘Praise Armageddonism’ is the life of every party.
BOSTON MANOR – ‘DATURA’
The first part of an ambitious project, ‘Datura’ demonstrated just how un-categorisable Boston Manor is. Brit pop, post-hardcore and straight-up modern rock battle for your attention via a set of songs that stand head and shoulders above the rest.
THE CALLOUS DAOBOYS – ‘CELEBRITY THERAPIST’
Challenging, crazed and cathartic all at the same time, The Callous Daoboys brought it all with ‘Celebrity Therapist’. A monumental undertaking, but one that they deliver with vigour and vitality. This is the shape of metalcore to come.
COHEED AND CAMBRIA – ‘VAXIS – ACT II: A WINDOW OF THE WAKING MIND’
Not only the second piece of their ‘Vaxis’ story, but also their most accessible, audacious and anthemic record in years, Coheed And Cambria proved once more why they are true masters of their craft.
DAYSEEKER – ‘DARK SUN’
An emotional rollercoaster that brings loss and life together beautifully, Dayseeker’s latest epic was a heart-wrenching as it was heavenly. With vocalist Rory Rodriguez leaving no stone unturned and pushing his voice to extraordinary new places, ‘Dark Sun’ is as much of a shelter as it is a shimmering eulogy for those who are no longer here.
DEAF HAVANA – ‘THE PRESENT IS A FOREIGN LAND’
With their first release as a duo, Deaf Havana confronted both their past demons and the ones that keep them company these days. The result is as spine-tingling, thoughtful and vital as anything else that their back catalogue has to offer.
THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA – ‘COLOR DECAY’
Melding together their frantic past with their thoughtful present, Prada presented an album that felt like their ultimate manifesto. Dark, decadent and delirious in all the best ways, ‘Color Decay’ finds them continuing to guide the way for all who need it the most.
DE’WAYNE – ‘MY FAVORITE BLUE JEANS‘
Picking up where ‘STAINS’ left off and building things higher and higher, DE’WAYNE once again showed what a phenomenon in the making he is. Pain, pleasure and purpose are all explored and exorcised brilliantly on this stunning piece of forward-thinking art.
ELECTRIC CALLBOY – ‘TEKKNO’
Electric Callboy’s finest-ever album is as bludgeoning, bold and brilliantly fun as modern metalcore should be, and proves that they are much more than wigs and synchronised dance moves. If this doesn’t make you smile, then you need to pay more attention.
GHOST – ‘IMPERA’
Taking us hurtling through time in their own flamboyant and fantastical ways, Ghost proved once more why they are utter superstars with his collection of witty, wondrous and wild compositions. Overflowing with whimsy and wicked attitude, it’s impossible not to get swept up by it all.
I PREVAIL – ‘TRUE POWER’
Over 15 vicious, vulnerable and varied tracks, I Prevail showed everything that they are made of and more on ‘TRUE POWER’. Affirming and thought-provoking one minute, guttural and grand the next, this is a band that knows they are approaching the top of their game and are having fun with it.
ITHACA – ‘THEY FEAR US’
Transcending their metalcore roots and delivering a ferocious and fascinating boot to the temple, ‘They Fear Us’ puts Ithaca at the very top of what the UK offers. As uplifting as it is undeniable, all music should make you feel as beautiful and broken as this.
L.S. DUNES – ‘PAST LIVES’
A white-hot and wicked blend of five musical minds, L.S. Dunes’ debut album proved to be much more than just a musical release for its members. Raw, raucous and sensationally real, ‘Past Lives’ feels like the start of something truly incredible.
LIGHTS – ‘PEP’
Looking inwards and finding someone who is powerful, driven and proud, Lights created some career-best anthems with ‘PEP’. Unrelenting, expertly crafted and so, so fun, it was more proof of the superstar that she has always been.
LORNA SHORE – ‘PAIN REMAINS‘
As powerful, potent and punishing as deathcore has been in 2022. One minute triumphantly beautiful, the next brutally desolating, Lorna Shore cemented their place as extreme music’s next superstars with ‘Pain Remains’.
MACHINE GUN KELLY – ‘MAINSTREAM SELLOUT’
Picking up where ‘Tickets To My Downfall’ left off but with the curtains now wide open, Machine Gun Kelly allowed himself to be more vulnerable and candid than ever before on ‘Mainstream Sellout’.
MAGGIE LINDEMANN – ‘SUCKERPUNCH’
From caustic breakdowns to cute love songs, Maggie Lindemann has all bases covered on this dizzying and dark piece of alt brilliance. Showing off her love of the classics as much as creating her own unique sound, ‘SUCKERPUNCH’ shows an artist creating without fear.
MAGNOLIA PARK – ‘BAKU’S REVENGE’
The busiest band in pop-punk delivered their hotly-anticipated debut in 2022, and the result was as fantastic as it was futuristic. Vital and vibrant, whilst also being outrageously fun, Magnolia Park are the new flag-bearer, and few deserve it more.
MALEVOLENCE – ‘MALICIOUS INTENT’
The undisputed kings of the UK underground, Malev ascended to the heady heights with this metal masterpiece. Hard as nails and catchy as sin, turning beatdowns into oblivion-ready anthems, the sky is the limit for Sheffield’s finest.
MODERN ERROR – ‘VICTIM OF A MODERN AGE’
Part anthemic masterpiece, part industrial slow-builder, Modern Error kicked 2022 off with an awe-inspiring bang. A journey into the unknown and looking at the power of technology as both a tool and a crutch, ‘Victim Of A Modern Age’ is what it looks like to aim high and get a direct hit.
MOTHICA – ‘NOCTURNAL’
From TikTok to the world, MOTHICA’s journey stark journey through addiction and acceptance, presented via the most infectiously brilliant pop-rock filter, is the definition of joy. A proud and powerful message, with added moth man for good measure.
MOTIONLESS IN WHITE – ‘SCORING THE END OF THE WORLD’
An ode to the apocalypse as much as a celebration of their community, Motionless In White delivered their most realised vision of who and what they are with ‘Scoring The End Of The World’. Theatrical, thrilling and tribal, this is a one-way ticket to superstardom.
NORTHLANE – ‘OBSIDIAN’
Blurring the lines more and more between electronica and metal, Northlane’s thumping, furious and thoughtful sixth album boldly went where nobody has gone before. A punishing and potent riot from euphoric start to ethereal finish.
NOVA TWINS – ‘SUPERNOVA’
Nova Twins have been everywhere in 2022, smashing perceptions and delivering the goods unlike anyone else. With songs that ensnare and empower, the duo feel utterly unstoppable on ‘Supernova’, showing what it means to be proud and passionate about your art.
ONE OK ROCK – ‘LUXURY DISEASE’
Stepping back into the world of arena-ready rock anthems, ONE OK ROCK showed why they are massive in both the east and the west. As much a tribute to the greats as a summation of exactly why ONE OK ROCK are becoming one of the greats, this is a big one.
PALE WAVES – ‘UNWANTED’
Working with Zakk Cervini to tap into new and exciting parts of their musical psyche, Pale Waves sound more at peace than ever before on ‘Unwanted’. From snappy bursts of pop-punk fury to devastating balladry, new doors are well and firmly open because of the risks they took here.
PARKWAY DRIVE – ‘DARKER STILL’
Parkway Drive continue to create their very own drum to march to the beat of, and ‘Darker Still’ is their most bombastic and bold move to date. Pitch black in approach but bright in ambition, their journey towards the crown continues to be fierce and fascinating.
PALAYE ROYALE – ‘FEVER DREAM’
Their most grand, glittery, gorgeous era to date, Palaye Royale took another massive step to the top with ‘Fever Dream’. As tear-stained as it is tenacious, Remington, Sebastian and Emerson fired on all cylinders from start to finish here.
POLYPHIA – ‘REMEMBER THAT YOU WILL DIE’
Doing things with a guitar that nobody else has ever dared to do, Polyphia made the wait for their new album worth every minute. Featuring everybody from Chino Moreno and Steve Vai to Sophia Black and Lil West, ‘Remember That You Will Die’ represents stretching your wings and flying in the stratosphere in style.
SET IT OFF – ‘ELSEWHERE’
Taking us on a journey into the most colourful, creative and catchy corners of Set It Off’s minds, ‘Elsewhere’ felt like solace for all of us during the darkest moments of the year. At their brightest and boldest, Cody, Maxx and Zach have never looked more comfortable and confident than they do with these songs in their back pocket.
SIMPLE PLAN – ‘HARDER THAN IT LOOKS’
Twenty years in and still able to create pop-punk that ignites and inspires, Simple Plan show off their most robust, rallying and romantic sides with their new effort. Ten unique and unrestrained earworms that feel like home, ‘Harder Than It Looks’ is everything you could ever want from the band.
SPITE – ‘DEDICATION TO FLESH’
One of the most disgusting, diabolical and deafening examples of metallic hardcore to crawl from the swamp this year, Spite took things to a whole other level with ‘Dedication To Flesh’. Delivered with the taste of blood in their teeth and dirt under their fingernails, this is a journey into the depths you won’t be able to stop thinking about.
STAND ATLANTIC – ‘F.E.A.R.’
Inspired by isolation, Stand Atlantic said, ‘Fuck it’ once more and further created their own lane for their spiky and savage pop-rock to exist in. Open, honest and unrelenting in all directions, they continue to be unstoppable.
STATE CHAMPS – ‘KINGS OF THE NEW AGE’
Continuing their ascent to pop-punk royalty, State Champs provided some of the genre’s finest moments this year with ‘Kings Of The New Age’. With guest appearances from stars of the scene and plenty of party-starting choruses, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better example of why pop-punk is brilliant in 2022 than this.
STATIC DRESS – ‘ROUGE CARPET DISASTER’
The culmination of years of world-building, Static Dress’ debut full-length was worth every second of anticipation. Honouring those who have come before them as much as introducing a new generation to an undeniable sound, ‘Rouge Carpet Disaster’ is as potent as post-hardcore gets.
STRAY FROM THE PATH – ‘EUTHANASIA’
A frank and filthy look at the state of the world, Stray From The Path didn’t hold back in demonstrating their disgust at what is happening right now. Delivered with a razor-sharp intensity and wit, it is the perfect soundtrack to the end as much as a motivation to incite change.
WE CAME AS ROMANS – ‘DARKBLOOM’
An album that may never have existed, ‘Darkbloom’ is what resilience sounds like. A celebration of their departed bandmate Kyle Pavone as much as a declaration that they aren’t going down with a fight, this is We Came As Romans’ most crucial moment.
THE WONDER YEARS – ‘THE HUM GOES ON FOREVER’
A record about understanding the importance of the little things whilst the biggest things life has to offer get thrown at you, ‘The Hum Goes On Forever’ is The Wonder Years at their most beautiful, heartbreaking and brilliantly poignant. A collection of songs for the ages from one of the scene’s finest assets.
UNDERØATH – ‘VOYEURIST’
Continuing to push the boundaries of what they are capable of after all these years, Underøath tackled the digital age head-on and came out the other end with a challenging, cathartic and crushing epic of a record.
YUNGBLUD – ‘YUNGBLUD’
As warts and all as he has ever been, YUNGBLUD’S third album welcomed us even more into his heart and soul. With cues to The Cure and a guest appearance from WILLOW, ‘YUNGBLUD’ was a look at where Dom has been, and where he is heading.