Luke's Top Albums of 2022
In no particular order here are some releases that really moved me in 2022. I'm sure I overlooked something, but I feel it's a solid list regardless of how the reader may feel.
01. Night Terrors 'Zenith' CD/Cassette (Collapse Structures Jan/2022). What a way to ring in the new year with the crushing return of Night Terrors. Their hemorrhage-inducing all out barrage of sonic savagery captivated me all the way to the everlasting hellfire of creation. The artists also did a great job with physical designs on the cassette and CD that are certainly worthy of your adoration.
02. Night Sins 'Violet Age' LP (Born Losers Records June/2022). I have been a big fan of Night Sins over the years. 2019 gave us the album ('Portrait In Silver on Funeral Party Recs.) I thought it would never be topped. How wrong I was. 'Violet Age' is just a continuation of what Kyle Kimball has been doing for years, but like always, raises the bar each time to deliver a collection of the most lovable dark entries directly from the heart laced with extremely addictive dark wave post punk brilliance. Every song holds its own, every song is the best song.
03. Vandal Moon 'Queen Of the Night' LP (Starfield Music 2022). Vandal Moon is another act that keeps finding ways to climb higher with every new offering .'Black Kiss' from 2020 became my go to during the early stages of the pandemic. It was a coping mechanism that wouldn't get me in trouble. As 'Queen Of The Night' hit my turntable, I was completely blown away again. Another masterpiece of Gothy cure-tinged darkwave with a neon-soaked synthwave appeal.
04. Aeon Rings 'Enemy' CD (Negative Gain Productions Oct/2022). After hearing the first three tracks upon my inaugural spin of 'Enemy', I knew Aeon Rings had changed their delivery into something even more wonderful than their early synthpop days. Hopefully 'Enemy' is not a brief foray into heavier EBM influences. This is an awesome evolution of sound. https://aeonrings.bandcamp.com/album/enemy
05. Shibuya Station 'Always Waiting At Shibuya Station' 10" (Polytechnic Youth Dec/2022). A sad yet inspirational theme revolving around a dog built into a minimal synth slab of wax that will certainly catch the ear of the analogue addict. I was impressed that all tracks were from compilations and never to my knowledge meant to be compiled into an album. With that in mind and knowing who is involved with the project it is no surprise how well this worked out.
06. Nightfeeder 'Cut All Of Your Face Off' LP (Self-Release July 2022). Nightfeeder blew my mind not only with this album but with everything prior as well. This was not a work in progress project. Nightfeeder surged toward us with a wealth of experience playing an intense, incendiary style of hardcore-thrashing with relentless precision. This left me in a happy place and continues to do so.
07. Paradox Obscur 'Morphogenesis' CD (Metropolis May 2022). I know I always gush about Paradox Obscur. Toxic Razor and Kriistal Ann seem to always find ways to raise the bar with each every subsequent release. 'Morphogenesis' is packed with great songs revealing how seriously the artists take their craft. This is the very reason I love Paradox Obscur. Appetite sated, desire indulged!
08. Skelesys 'Epsilon' 12" (Oraculo Records Jan/2022). I missed this when it first came out, and thankfully a few friends recommended it and WOW! was I impressed. Four tracks the blur the boundaries of synthpop, darkwave and new beat in a way that keeps it fresh with a modern machination tethered delicately to an earlier time. Too bad it's only four tracks, but those four tracks left a solid impression on me!
09. Schedule's 1 'Schedule 1' 12" (Dirt Cult Records Jan/2022). Another January release that left me in good place. Schedule 1 plays a melodic punk that is done in such a way it will certainly appeal to not only punks but the post punk crowd as well. The garagey (I made this word up) twangy guitars that infiltrate each and every track bring me back to that DIY feel that was so prevalent back in the 80's. Schedule 1 has plenty of melody built into their furious approach.
10. Savageheads ' Service To Your Country' LP (Social Napalm Sept/2022). The record blew me away with it's strong ties to the early 80's hardcore punk. Bands like Skeptix, The Partisans, GBH and Discharge come to mind. The album rages from start to finish. I was so impressed when I heard this, I drove from northern New Jersey to Brooklyn to see them live, and once again they blew me away. I am at point in my life where the aggression is my sustenance with music.
11. Visitor / XTR Human 'Technofossil / G.O.L.D. Remixes LP (Braid Records March/2022). Two artists I adore on one record, what a treat. Years back, I saw the video for "Wie Ein Gott' and it was that moment I fell in love the dark humor and dark beats of XTR Human. Visitor released 'Technofossil' a few years back and that was a blissful dive into the realm of Canadian EBM. With remixes from Qual, Kontravoid, Xarah Dion, Sarin and several others this does not disappoint!
12. Blacklist 'Afterworld' LP (Profound Lore Records Oct/2022). Seeing Blacklist live over the years was always a pleasure. Blacklist hits on all levels from deep political and philosophical themes that challenge the listener to explore deeper and see things from another perspective. Blacklist always found ways to entice the listener with furious instrumentation set to melodic vocals that had a rock feel in post punk gothic chassis. 'Afterworld' was a maturation of sound. The old Blacklist was still there, however a more refined sound shook us cold leaving a lasting higher order of respect for the NYC rockers that captured the hearts of so many. Blacklist should be on your list.
Feb 04 2023
Part time reviewer since 2012 with over 140 contributions with reviews, interviews and news articles.
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