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We recently posted 80 albums that we’re anticipating in 2022, but if you’re looking for something a little heavier, here’s 25 metal albums that we’re looking forward to this year. With everything from veterans like Boris, Cult of Luna, Voivod, Crowbar, Obituary, Slipknot, and Cave In to newer bands like Blood Incantation, Vein.fm, Undeath, Dream Unending, Hulder, and Loathe, from death metal to black metal to sludge to doom to post-metal to metalcore and beyond, 2022 already promises to be a great year for heavy music.
There’s obviously going to be way more than 25 great metal albums released this year, and we also tried to keep this to stuff we feel pretty sure is coming out, but of course we’re still excited for those new King Diamond and Mercyful Fate albums, not to mention another Ozzy album is on the way, and much more. What metal albums are you excited for in 2022?
due 1/14 via Gilead Media
Black metal/drone act Mizmor are finally ready to followup their killer 2019 album Cairn. Main member A.L.N. says the new album is “an ode to all those who adopt superstitious and grandiose beliefs about mankind, its ‘spirit,’ and its place within the cosmos. The idea is presented through the lens of our current struggles as a society. I’ve found myself utterly appalled by the increase in willingness and eagerness to accept misinformation, disinformation, alternative facts, conspiracy theorism, cultism, and religiosity in us as a people. I feel this as a depressing weight, having trekked the better part of ten years from Christianity to atheism. ‘Wit’s End’ has multiple meanings here – masses of people have an exponentially decreasing sense of reason, I am at a loss for words witnessing it, and ultimately all understanding will come to an end anyway as we war against our natural fate.”
due 1/21 via Sacred Bones
Last year, Boris self-released their excellent new album NO — their fastest, most direct album in years — and if you were wondering why it ended with a song called “Interlude,” that’s because Boris had planned that track to lead directly into their next album. The album is called W (which, combined with the previous album, spells “NOW”), and it opens with the same melody as “Interlude.” Compared to the thrashy NO, this one is said to “range from noise to new age,” and Wata handles all lead vocals. You can get a taste from lead single “Drowning by Numbers.”
Pre-order it on limited “sea blue with black blob” vinyl.
due 2/11 via Metal Blade
Swedish post-metal vets Cult of Luna have been at it for over two decades and they continue to make some of their best records yet. Lead single “Cold Burn” is as towering and epic as you’d expect this band to be.
Pre-order the new Cult of Luna album on double opaque white vinyl.
due 2/11 via Century Media
Voivod have been making weirdo sci-fi progressive thrash for nearly 40 years, and there’s still no other band in the world who sounds like them. And judging by their new singles, they’ve still got it.
due 2/18 via MNRK Heavy
After spending decades as Sleep’s guitarist and High On Fire’s frontman, Matt Pike is releasing his first-ever solo album, produced by the legendary Billy Anderson, who’s worked with both Sleep and High On Fire. Jon Reid (ex-Lord Dying) is on drums, and other contributors include Alyssa Maucere-Pike (Lord Dying / Grigax), Chad “Chief” Hartgrave, Brent Hinds (Mastodon), Steve McPeeks (West End Motel), Josh Greene (El Cerdo), Todd Burdette (Tragedy), and High on Fire’s Jeff Mat. Judging by the riotous lead single “Alien Slut Mum,” it’s not all that different from High On Fire, and that’s not a bad thing at all.
due 2/25 via Century Media
Technically this album shouldn’t be on this list, as Blood Incantation have revealed that their next record will be an ambient one, but it is still the next release by “Blood Incantation” who are clearly targeting it at fans of their previous death metal releases. “An astute listening to our previous recordings reveals a gradual and deliberate increase of Experimental, Progressive and Psychedelic components,” the band says. “Timewave Zero is the distillation of these elements into a concentrated piece; stripping away the Metal and emphasizing the Dark, Cinematic and exceedingly Cosmic atmosphere our music is known for.”
Pre-order Timewave Zero on orange or black vinyl.
due 2/25 via Perseverance Media Group
Cannibal Corpse are riding high off the release of last year’s genuinely great Violence Unimagined, and frontman George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher is keeping the momentum going with his first-ever solo album. It was co-produced by Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta (who’s releasing it on his new Perseverance Media Group label) and Nick Bellmore, and Corpsegrinder’s backing band for the album includes Nick and his brother Charlie Bellmore. Judging by lead single “Acid Vat” (which current Cannibal Corpse guitarist Erik Rutan plays on), it’s just as nasty as Corpsegrinder’s main band.
due 3/4 via MNRK Heavy
Crowbar have been teasing this album for what feels like forever, and Kirk Windstein recently revealed that it’s actually been done for two years but “it was such a sad time for so many people going through the Covid-19 epidemic and we felt it wasn’t a good time to release any new material.” Now it’s finally coming out, and judging by lead single “Chemical Godz,” this band’s titanic sludge metal is still in fine form.
Pre-order the new Crowbar on limited splatter vinyl.
due 3/4 via Closed Casket Activities/Nuclear Blast
After much teasing and anticipation, Vein.fm finally announced their sophomore album, This World Is Going To Ruin You. They worked once again with producer Will Putney, who also helmed their 2018 debut LP Errorzone, and the album features contributions from Geoff Rickly (Thursday), Jeff Smith, and Bones. Judging by lead single “The Killing Womb,” the band’s experimental metalcore is as intense as ever.
due 3/11 via Svart
Italy’s Messa call themselves “Scarlet Doom,” a melting pot genre that pulls from prog, black metal, punk, dark ambient, jazz, blues, and doom. Their first two albums left us wanting more, and they’re set to release their third album Close this March via Svart Records. Lead single “Pilgrim” — a nine and a half minute storm of ethereal Eastern melodies, fuzzed-out trad-doom, ambient atmosphere, and the soaring clean vocals of Sara Bianchin — has us thinking this is gonna be another hell of an LP.
due 3/18 via Profound Lore
Back in 2018, two members of Flourishing (guitarist/vocalist Garett Bussanick and bassist Eric Rizk) linked up with drummer Ian Jacyszyn (Castevet, Absolute Power, etc) and released their debut EP as Aeviterne, Sireless. Since then, they became a four-piece with the addition of guitarist Samuel Smith (Artificial Brain, Luminous Vault), and now they’ve signed to Profound Lore for the release of their debut album, The Ailing Facade. Judging by lead single “Denature,” this LP promises to be some of the most dizzying technical death metal of the year.
due 4/22 via Prosthetic
Rochester, NY’s Undeath left a big mark with their debut LP Lesions of a Different Kind (one of our favorite albums of 2020), and as they recently told Decibel, the death metal band wasted no time getting started on its followup. They said they were already well into writing the new album by the time Lesions came out, and said people should expect “huge choruses [and] massive riffs that get stuck in your head for days.” This is also the band’s first album as a five-piece, which accounts for it being a “major step up in the playing department.”
due April/May via Relapse
Cave In’s 2019 album Final Transmission was the band’s final album with late bassist/vocalist Caleb Scofield, but not their final album ever. They’ve signed to Relapse, and they’re set to release a new album this year. With shapeshifting lifers like Cave In and with Nate Newton (Converge, Old Man Gloom, Doomriders) now in the band (and his Converge bandmate Kurt Ballou producing), there’s no telling what exciting new direction they’ll take next. “In a way, [making Heavy Pendulum] felt like Caleb was still with us,” Stephen Brodsky told Decibel for their February 2022 issue. “In 2017, he had ideas for writing another album and recording in a proper studio. Final Transmission [was] Cave In attempting to achieve Caleb’s vision before he died, and Heavy Pendulum is the sound of us fulfilling it. The song ‘New Reality’ is about him, and also features one of his riffs; the lyrics to the song ‘Amaranthine’ are mostly his. There were many points where we considered how Caleb might approach something, and with all that, I think his spirit is very much alive on this album.”
Bell Witch haven’t released a proper album since 2017’s hugely beloved Mirror Reaper (and they haven’t released anything at all since their 2020 collaboration with Aerial Ruin, Stygian Bough Volume I), but that looks to finally be changing this year. The band just entered the studio, so hopefully that means we’ll learn more about the new album soon.
TBA via Roadrunner
Code Orange recently put out the Rob Cavallo-produced, very-nu-metal single “Out For Blood” and they’re touring like crazy this year, and while vocalist Jami Morgan said “Out For Blood” is a one-off single, he also mentioned he hopes to work with Rob Cavallo again in the future, and said that the band have about 25 songs in the work and have been demoing some tracks with Billy Corgan.
fall via 20 Buck Spin
Dream Unending, the dream/prog/psych meets death-doom side project of Tomb Mold’s Derrick Vella and Innumerable Forms’ Justin DeTore, released one of our favorite metal albums of 2021 with Tide Turns Eternal, and they’re already eyeing fall of 2022 for a followup. “As I soaked in the finished product, as happy as I was, it made me reflect and think about what else I had to say musically,” Vella told Decibel. “The excitement of finishing it sparked something. I wanted to push the edges out further on the things that make Dream Unending special.
TBA via 20 Buck Spin
Portland, Oregon-based Belgian/American one-woman “dark medieval black metal” project Hulder followed up a run of EPs in 2021 with her first full-length, Godslastering: Hymns of a Forlorn Peasantry, which was deservedly recognized as one of 2021’s best black metal albums. She since signed to 20 Buck Spin and revealed plans to release a new mini-album and a second full-length. No other details yet, but an April NYC show was just announced. Here’s to hoping we hear some new music soon.
TBA via SharpTone
Liverpool metalcore-meets-shoegaze band Loathe put out one of the most buzzed-about breakthrough albums in recent heavy music memory with 2020’s I Let It in and It Took Everything, and the album’s highly anticipated follow-up is expected this year (after the band tours with Code Orange). New single “Dimorphous Display” finds them continuing to push their sound in exciting new directions.
TBA via Relapse
Last year, we wrote: The current wave of OSDM-inspired bands continues to grow, but there are also some actual OSDMers still killing it, like Obituary whose influence can also be heard in some of the most exciting newer hardcore bands. Their last album (their 2017 self-titled LP) was genuinely great, as was their 2019 single “A Dying World.” The album never dropped in 2021, but here’s to hoping 2022 is the year.
TBA via Nuclear Blast
Pallbearer’s great 2020 album Forgotten Days reminded the world that almost nobody makes trad-doom feel as fresh in the 2020s as Pallbearer do, so we were very excited to learn that they’ve recently entered the studio to work on LP5.
TBA via Roadrunner
Slipknot are not a nostalgia act. They continue to innovate, and recent single “The Chapeltown Rag” rivals much of their classic work. The band is expected to put out a new album this year, and frontman Corey Taylor said “we were able to really kind of pull off something crazy” and called it “an expansion of where we were at on We Are Not Your Kind.”
due late spring/summer via Metal Blade
Grindy post-metallers Wake put out two of our favorite metal releases of 2020, the Devouring Ruin LP and the Confluence EP (both on Translation Loss), and now they’ve signed to Metal Blade for a Dave Otero-produced followup, which they tell Decibel is expected in late spring or summer. “We used our Confluence EP to experiment with ideas we had going into this full-length,” they said. “With every album we want to keep things fresh, moving and ever-growing while retaining the ‘Wake’ sound.” The band also mentioned that bassist Ryan Kennedy is contributing additional vocals and playing “a lot” of synth on this one.
TBA via Century Media
Wayfarer’s Profound Lore-released 2020 album A Romance with Violence was one of our favorite metal albums of that year, and the recent news that they’ve signed to Century Media has us excited for their next LP. “We are honored to have a chance to contribute back to this well, and for this next chapter exploring the furthest frontiers of our own sound – Black Metal of the American West,” the band said. Meanwhile we’re quite enjoying the 2021 album by Stormkeep, the melodic black metal band featuring ¾ of Wayfarer including their (and Blood Incantation’s) drummer Isaac on vocals.
TBA via 20 Buck Spin
Voidceremony (whose current lineup includes members of Mournful Congregation, Atramentus, Chthe’ilist, and more) are gearing up for their TBA sophomore album, but first they’ve released a three-song “intermission,” and it’s a very promising offering of progressive, blackened death metal with all kinds of twists and turns.
TBA via Relapse
Sludge metal lifers YOB recently announced a 10th anniversary deluxe reissue of Atma and they’re also gearing up for their first new album since 2018’s awesome Our Raw Heart. We haven’t heard a note of it yet, but YOB have been slaying for over 20 years and we have no doubt the new one will be up to par.
More anticipated albums here.
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