Albums of the year by Simon

Cave In - Heavy Pendulum

Favorite track: Blinded by a Blaze
Release date: 20 May 2022 | Bandcamp

Cave In Heavy Pendulum – It is almost ridiculous to think that a band many thought they’d never see play again has made the best album of their long and storied history. It takes all of the facets of what makes them great and coalesces it into one glorious whole. It boggles my mind how they made this brilliant album sound like a whistle stop tour of everything they’ve achieved in their careers, and then have the audacity to improve on it, its brilliant.

Hundred Year Old Man - Sleep in Light

Favorite track: I Caught A Glimpse of Myself on Fire
Release date: 17 Jun 2022 | Bandcamp

Hundred Year Old Man Sleep in Light – To me, HYOM are the best post metal band in this country. They continue to release some of the finest music I’ve ever heard, and I will continue to shout about them until they are raised up and celebrated as the phenomenal band they are, this is a simply stunning album with so much to discover that I am still finding new things to unearth in it after months of listening, incredible.

Zola Blood - Black Blossoms

Favorite track: The Way it's Gone
Release date: 01 Apr 2022 | Bandcamp

Zola Blood Black Blossoms – A glitchy electronic album along the lines of Kid A or later years Radiohead. This is the follow up to the brilliant Infinite Games and leans further into the jagged off kilter rhythms found on their previous album. It’s a meditative album which has blossomed into my go-to album for those times when I’m feeling introspective, this album should be on everyone’s radar regardless of musical tastes.

Mountainscape - Atoms Unfurling

Favorite track: Atoms Unfurling
Release date: 21 Oct 2022 | Bandcamp

Mountainscape Atoms Unfurling – My favourite post rock album of the year. Honestly, it was incredibly close between this album and the Russian Circles album but Atoms Unfurling just about pips it due to being more dynamic. An utter joy from the first note to the last, this meandering journey is chock full of emotional beats which hit just as hard as the heavier segments to produce a wonderous record which keep in getting better the more I listen to it.

Chat Pile - God's Country

Favorite track: Pamela
Release date: 29 Jul 2022 | Bandcamp

Chat Pile God's Country – This is one pissed off record, almost antagonistically so. It’s not so much a music album but a fever dream of a broken America, one where you wake up sweating in the middle of the night and realise that real life sucks, hard. But, after saying all of that, there is something about this record which keeps pulling me back, its sense of anguish is so palpable it’s hard not to get affected by it, like poking your tongue down into a broken tooth, you know you shouldn’t, but you can’t help yourself, this album is a work of genius but be warned, its not for the faint hearted!

Further recommendations

Tuskar - Matriarch : How much noise can two people create? Well, if those two people in question are guitarist Tom Dimmock and drummer/vocalist Tyler Hodges then the answer is a lot, like, really a lot. The raw strength of their music, whilst undeniably powerful is backed up by the most wonderful sense of melody and restraint. Listen to this album and marvel at how two people can create something this bloody good!

Elder - Innate Passage : If this album had been released a month earlier, it would have been nailed amid the top 3 in my album of the year list. For a band at this stage of their career to be making an album this good, arguably the best in their exemplary back catalogue says everything you need to know about it, it’s glorious.

King Buffalo - Regenerator : This band are a new find for me and have been an absolute revelation. I had no idea that Stoner Rock could be this free. It’s like if all the groove and playfulness, found at the fringes of this sometimes too serious genre, were to be condensed into a crystalline state this is what it would sound like. But the magic part is, they still sound like a stoner metal band, they just seem to be doing it better than almost everyone else to my ears.

Russian Circles - Gnosis : Everything I want to say about this album can be read in my review from earlier in the year. This is one angry album and when it comes to Russian Circles, it means they can let themselves rip, which to the rest of us means we end up with an album of fireworks and riffs for days, glorious.

Playgrounded - The Death of Death : I’m not usually the biggest fan of prog metal, it can be a little too ‘twee’ for my tastes (before you scream at me, yes I know that it’s not all liike that but I prefer things a little more crunchy) but every so often an album comes along which makes me sit up and pay attention. This album did just that as got the perfect mix of electronic elements and heavier sections which combined with the lush vocals hit me in just the right way, it’s spectacularly good.