This year in music has had some incredible highs, and some devastating lows. From the passing of greats like Trevor Strnad and Taylor Hawkins, to all the amazing releases and performances that have been done by bands and artist both new and old alike. 2022 was a whirlwind, and in the spirit of such an eventful year, here is my list of 20 of what I consider to be it’s greatest albums! This was a hard decision making process for me, considering there was nothing short of hundreds of releases from all genres, none better than the rest. Nevertheless, I chose 20 albums that I felt had the biggest impact on me throughout the year. This list covers releases in many genres spanning from as extreme as Harsh Noise Wall and Gorenoise, to Smooth Jazz and Alternative R&B. Now, without further ado… my top 20 albums of 2022! (ALL IMAGES ARE CLICKABLE)

Feminizer – Feminizer

(This is an all trans-femme Depressive Suicidal Black Metal project from Seattle, WA, released on the all woman-run feminist label Fiadh Productions, they describe themselves as “transfemme sad girl black metal”, and this album is perfectly grim and heavy from start to Cyndi Lauper cover finish)

Abergaz – Sivoslavija

(This hardcore punk band from Zagreb, Croatia, is turning heads and knocking out Fascists with their danceable, yet very moshable style of punk. Another Trans-femme led band, it’s so great to see queer and trans folks taking back a style of music we literally invented! For those that don’t speak Croatian, the lyrics may be a bit hard to decipher, but there’s power behind the delivery throughout the album, and a clear message of personal and global liberation!)

Yotzeret Sheydim – Returning Home, Machine Gun In Hand

(This has become not only one of my all time favorite harsh noise projects, but also a personal friend that has helped encourage be in my journey into Jewish conversion! This particular album is about her grandfather, a Jewish man that emigrated to America, only to return to Europe during World War 2 where he would…. debate nazis, real hard… with a machine gun… This album is the story of her grandfather, but also a testament about how militant anti-fascism is literally in her blood. A powerful, and deeply important piece of Harsh Noise history was made with this one, and I’m very glad to have it in my collection!)

Chainlink Mistress – Translesbian Love in Bondage

(A Harsh Noise Wall Album by an anonymous Trans-femme artist about kink, BDSM, and absolute love. It’s just such a euphoric and validating album, being a trans girl in a relationship that is very BDSM/kink centered (not always sexually either), the album reminds me that I’m not some enigmatic unicorn to be sought by fetishists, but a delightful, wonderful, beautiful human to be loved completely by someone(s) that have truly earned access to my body and spirit. Absolutely an important album that I will hold near and dear to me!)

Jah Phoenix – Love Letters

(Now I can’t just have extreme metal and noise on my list, I do listen to other genres after all! And I have to say that Jah Phoenix is by far my favorite artist in the realm of what I suppose I would call Alternative R&B! This album is deeply personal, touching on love and loss, heartbreak and joy, and everything in between that someone can feel in relationships regardless of their nature, be they platonic, romantic, familial, there’s a song on this album for it. A few times through this beautifully put together masterpiece, you’ll find yourself wiping away a tear or two, but after the first play through, you will absolutely be singing every single word out loud to the world!)

I Should’ve Been a Lighthouse Keeper – Cover Me in Flowers

(Avant-garde Jazz-Fusioned Atmospheric Black Metal…. it’s definitely real, and ISBALK is the master of the genre! This album, while absolutely being of the Avant-garde persuasion, does touch back on the style of their first album. A bit more grim, but in its own style this album also has such an air of happiness and cheer! Happy black metal, is that even a thing? Well, it is now! And I for one am a fan!)

Thotcrime – D1G1T4L_DR1FT

(The queens of cybergrind returned this year with an explosive new album, and on Prosthetic Records too! This once terminally online multinational cybergrind band absolutely puts the sass in sasscore! Front to back this album is packed with excitement and danceable moments!)

Jisei – Sincerely, Leda & Alexa

(If MySpace era deathcore is your thing, Jisei is the band you’ve been waiting for! This album is absolutely bringing the days of learning html just to add glitter and an unstoppable embedded song to your page! They’re in my top 8 for sure!)

Only Shallow – No Way Out But Death

(An incredibly unique punk band from Rochester, NY, Only Shallow combines Hardcore Punk with Death Rock to bring us an energizing, angry, yet danceable debut album! Danceable seems to be a theme this year in my favorite albums, and I won’t shy away from that fact! I love a band like Only Shallow that can touch on spicy subjects like police brutality, and violence against minority groups, while maintaining a sound that makes you want to get up and two step!)

Your Arms are My Cocoon – Your Arms are My Cocoon

(I showed this album to a friend of mine, and she described it perfectly… this answers the question “what if Steven Universe made a screamo album?”. It’s very cutesy, adorable, and pretty… but a closer look shows struggle, pain and hard to deal with emotions! It’s everything you will find in a late 90s or early 00s screamo or emotional hardcore album, but with the modern twist of adding a sort of chiptune/16-bit vibe to it!)

Blackbraid – Blackbraid I

(Indigenous Black Metal from the Adirondack region of New York. Brilliantly atmospheric, the use of indigenous instruments and the imagery captures in detail a life in the mountains, as well as a spiritual journey one might endure in a life of solitude!)

Cuddle – On That Grind

(You’ve heard of the genre of Powerviolence… now get ready for PowerROMANCE! This album is d-beat to the core, but with a twist… the lyrics are absolutely wholesome and adorable, and I genuinely can’t get enough!)

Dysthymia – Dysthymia

(This DSBM duo from Boston brought one of the greatest doom inspired DSBM albums I’ve ever heard with their debut self titled! It’s haunting, beautiful, grim… it leaves nothing more to be wanted. I can’t wait to see what they do next!)

Homeskin – Each Day Orbital

(Mixing Black Metal with 8-bit/Chiptune and Mathcore? Could be more likely than you think! This album is every bit as unique as it is beautiful and grim!)

Sirenomelia – Metastasizing Adenocarcinoma

(Gorenoise is a new favorite genre for me, and Sirenomelia is one of my favorites in that genre! Crunchy textures, harsh frequencies, and a theme that’s grosser than it’s cousin goregrind! This album gives my brain particles the proper thrashing they desire!)

Teratoma – 40,000 Gigaton Gastric Shattering

(More Gorenoise… but this time, with the unique addition of gabber-style kicks! This is one of the most interesting, and disgusting albums I’ve listened to in a long time, hats off to them!)

Danielle Ponder – Some of Us are Brave

(As seen at the Rochester Jazz Festival this past summer, Danielle Ponder brings soul, smooth jazz, lounge and r&b to a very modern place with her debut full length!)

Organ Failure – Neurologic Determination of Death

(This is such a fun album, and it’s nothing but pure unadulterated goregrind. No gimmicks, no funny business, just… gore and grind!)

Blackpapermoon – Demo 1: Dreams in Moonlit Boughs

(If you’re looking for Raw Black Metal with Dungeon Synth and Dark Ambient influences in the forefront… this is the album for you! An incredibly unique take on black metal for sure in this debut!)

Monolithic Torment Forever – Monolithic Torment Forever: A Tribute to Emily Aideen

(Earlier this year the noise community lost a beautiful soul, someone that became known as the Queen of Harsh Noise Wall. To honor Emily’s memory, over 100 artists came together to produce this compilation that totals to almost 48hrs of noise in her memory. There was a physical pre-order that included two cassette tapes, one with one minute clips of every track on the compilation, and the other was two noise walls never released by Emily’s projects Monolithic Torment and Root Cellar. This collaborative effort raised money for Emily’s family, as well as the National Suicide Hotline. An incredible action taken by those that love Emily, and a reminder to all of us to check on your strong friends, and tell your loved ones you care about them.)


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