Getting It Out's Best Of 2022
I've put this off as long as I can. But now it's January 1st, 2023 and I am finally attempting to narrow down my list of favorite records released in 2022.
I always think this is going to be an easy task. The truth is, I complicated it way back in January when I created a "2022" playlist to try to keep track of the records I liked throughout the year. I added a lot of records over the previous months, but often forgot about the practice. So the whole thing is unreliable, because there are too many, and not enough albums at the same time!
I obsess over listening to each week's new releases. Each Friday, I provide a list of what's coming out with the This Week's New Releases column. It's a simple, but effective list with embeds to listen, and links to buy. Still, I miss new records with regularity. I am going to miss worthy records in the list below. A LOT OF THEM. However, the following twenty five are what immediately come to mind when I think of the releases I enjoyed most in 2022.
End It - Unpleasant Living (Flatspot Records) - Buy It
This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone familiar with Getting It Out. END IT had been thriving on the strength of their demo and debut EP One Way Track, but Unpleasant Living have launched them to the top of bills and "End Of Year" lists just like this one. They are no doubt, wearing the crown as Baltimore hardcore kings and deservedly so. Although we are still waiting for a proper full length, End It may have set the bar impossibly high with their output so far. Though they've left no reason to suggest they won't continue to deliver.
L.S. Dunes - Past Lives (Fantasy Records) - Buy It
A supergroup featuring members of My Chemical Romance, Thursday, Circa Survive, and Coheed & Cambria, does not sound like something that would appeal to me. Honestly, I probably wouldn't have given L.S. DUNES a shot had I not known Coheed guitarist Travis Stever was involved. That would have been a massive mistake. Past Lives absolutely floored me from the first time I heard the opener "2022." This is expertly crafted post-hardcore or whatever the fuck you want to call it.
King Buffalo - Regenerator (Self Released) - Buy It
Catchy, intelligent, psychedelic, doom, engaging, progressive, fucking awesome. All of those words describe KING BUFFALO on all of their albums, but especially on their 2022 masterpiece Regenerator. I got lost in this record several times since it's September release date. I unconsciously slip into a meditative state of rock and roll for it's 44 minute run time. Head bobs and toe taps are my only sign of life while I ingest this offering. Simply leave me alone if you hear it.
Cave In - Heavy Pendulum (Relapse Records) - Buy It
CAVE IN made a triumphant return this year with their first album in over a decade in Heavy Pendulum. The fourteen song epic produced by Kurt Ballou at God City, is a comprehensive taste off all of the band's sounds since their inception. Notably, the record features the debut of bassist Nate Newton as a full time member due to the passing of original bassist Caleb Schofield.
When trying to determine my favorite record of the year I simply thought, "How can it not be this?" as the twelve minute closer "Wavering Angel" wrapped up.
Damokles - Nights Come Alive (Vinter Records) - Buy It
After several 2021 singles, DAMOKLES debut full length Nights Come Alive was a highly anticipated record. The Norwegian post-punk project featuring members of Dunderbiest and fronted by the inimitable vocals of Gøran Karlsvik, deliver track after track throughout the record. Nearly every song features a bombastic chorus nestled into a brooding and truly emotional journey. "Miniature Gardens" and "Dead Don't Care" will live in my mind for years to come.
Brutus - Unison Life (Sargent House) - Buy It
Belgium's BRUTUS first caught my attention with their debut album Burst in 2017. Then I became borderline obsessed with their sophomore effort Nest in 2019. I regularly return to that record four years later and I don't imagine that stopping. So, when they started releasing singles "Dust", "Liar", and "Victoria" halfway through 2022 I was preparing for my personal album of the year. Unison Life did not quite meet my lofty expectations, but Brutus certainly earned a spot on this list. The depth and intensity of this trio is unmatched and this record is another enveloping addition to their discography.
Vomit Forth - Seething Malevolence (Century Media Records) - Buy It
Connecticut death metal heathens VOMIT FORTH made the major label leap from Maggot Stomp to Century Media Records and delivered in a big way. Seething Malevolence is as vicious as it is bouncey. There's some audible connections to the members hardcore past, but the players are as adequate as those long established in the death metal world. There is no questioning the legitimacy of these guys.
Ashenspire - Hostile Architecture (Aural Music) - Buy It
I don't know where to begin when trying to explain ASHENSPIRE's Hostile Architecture. "Avant garde" is the term most used, but that's vague and complicated all at once. The Scottish ensemble based out of Glasgow blasts a combination of noise rock, jazz, black metal, prog and more. Suddenly avant garde seems like the right words to use. Alasdair Dunn's vocals standout through all the madness on this record that somehow teeters between exquisite and unsettling.
Be Well - Hello Sun (Revelation Records) - Buy It
BE WELL set an impossibly high bar with their debut LP The Weight And The Cost. Remarkably, they met the unfair expectations I put on them on the Revelation Records debut EP Hello Sun. Once again, vocalist Brian McTernan delivered powerful lyrics especially relatable to the grown up "hardcore kids" doing their best to fit in. Read Getting It Out's full review RIGHT HERE.
Gridiron - No Good At Goodbyes (Triple B Records) - Buy It
Few hardcore records seemed to have as much universal appeal as GRIDIRON's full length debut No Good At Goodbyes. Historically, mixing hip hop and hardcore has been butchered so horribly that E.Town Concrete is often considered the only band to get it right. The Pennsylvania/Detroit product somehow avoided the typically corny combination on the strength of hard riffs and Matt Karl's flow and lyrical cadence. Extra points awarded for calling out Ben Simmons.
SpiritWorld - Deathwestern (Century Media Records) - Buy It
I've gone on record that SPIRITWORLD's 2017 demo is my favorite demo of all time. When Stu Folsom mentioned taking the band in a "death metal direction" I was intrigued, but less than enthused. Then came the debut full length Pagan Rhythms, a record so nice, they released it thrice (via self release, Safe Inside Records, and Century Media Records). All my concerns for naught. Deathwestern takes the Vegas project one step further into the metallic hardcore realm, drenching Holy Terror in Slayer riffs. The speed and precision on this record is only matched in vigor by the South West aesthetic the band leans heavily into. You'll headbang your ten gallon hat straight into the dirt when that first riff hits.
Chat Pile - God's Country (The Flesner) - Buy It
This is the record that is on every list and I'm not quite sure how. CHAT PILE deserves all the praise, but it's a surprising album to transcend in the way it has. Though misanthropic noise rock has had it's breakthrough moments in the past, so why not another. The standout track is undoubtedly "Why" as the quartet directly questions the crisis of homelessness in America. It's an uncomfortable listen to sit through all nine tracks, but that's part of the appeal too.
Ruby The Hatchet - Fear Is A Cruel Master (Magnetic Eye Records) - Buy It
RUBY THE HATCHET are not a new band, but their fourth studio album Fear Is The Cruel Master may be their finest moment yet. Their album marks their first record in five years and their debut release for Magnetic Eye Records. From the opening riff of "The Change" confirms the wait was worth it. The New Jersey based psych rock unit delivers eight catchy and compelling tracks over 42 minutes. Charismatic vocalist Jillian Taylor leads the way, but equal credit is due to the rest of the band. Especially Sean Kahn Hur on keyboards and organ adding an extra something that allows the quintet to standout among the crowd.
Life's Question - World Full Of... (Triple B Records) - Buy It
Hardcore doesn't always translate well to a full length LP format. The explosive nature of the music is difficult to sustain outside of a few tracks, so EP's are typically the way to go. LIFE'S QUESTION are the rare exception of a hardcore band excelling at writing expansive and engaging songs, that break the three minute mark. World Full Of... showcases the band's ability to channel crossover and a safe technical proficiency that doesn't alienate them from hardcore. This LP is atypical in it's engaging and almost progressive song writing.
Firebreather - Dwell In The Fog (Riding Easy Records) - Buy It
Gothenburg doom trio FIREBREATHER released Dwell In The Fog in late February, continuing their ground shaking streak of albums started with 2017's self titled debut. The six song effort, their second for supreme stoner label Riding Easy Records reeks of dank riffs and grooves. Easy comparisons can be made to High On Fire thanks to the sludge laden guitar tone and the gruff vocals of Mattias Nööjd. This is 39 minutes of potent doom and maybe the genres best in 2022.
Terror - Pain Into Power (Pure Noise Records) - Buy It
TERROR did not have anything left to prove, but they did it anyway. Pain Into Power blew the fucking doors off the old jalopy of hardcore. Former guitarist Todd Jones assisted on the songwriting and the brevity and ferocity of the record is the evidence. Not since Lowest Of The Low have the reigning kings of hardcore sounded so fierce.
Ripped To Shreds - 劇變 (Jubian) (Relapse Records) - Buy It
Andrew Lee is something of a heavy metal savant as evidenced by his various bands and projects. RIPPED TO SHREDS is no doubt the banner he flies the highest, and rightfully so. 劇變 (Jubian) delivers a scathing death metal performance including aspects of grind, melodeath, and classic heavy metal. Lee has also continued to incorporate his Chinese heritage into his art, creating a truly unique visual and lyrical death metal experience. Read our full album review HERE.
SpellBook - Deadly Charms (Crus Del Sur Music) - Buy It
SPELLBOOK entered Kevin Bernsten's Developing Nations Studios in Baltimore, MD with a revamped line-up to record the follow up to 2020's Magick & Mischief. The results is Deadly Charms, a modern day proto-metal masterclass in kicking ass! Les Yarde and Patrick “Patty” Benton debut as the twin axe attack and immediately prove themselves as worthy additions. Led by vocalist Nate Tyson, the band is as theatric on record as they are in person. Fans of 70's rock like Deep Purple and UFO take notice.
Mutually Assured Destruction - Ascension (Triple B Records) - Buy It
You can call MUTUALLY ASSURED DESTRUCTION a hardcore band. For several reasons, that's true, but the least of which is their sound. That's not to say they aren't, because they are, and always will be. Is this confusing? It won't be if you've listened to Ascension, their debut LP on Triple B Records. It's heavy metal rock and roll reminiscent of subgenre straddling acts like Corrosion Of Conformity, Only Living Witness, and Life Of Agony. Several bands born out of the hardcore scene have tried to nail this sound, but only M.A.D. have got it right.
Castrator - Defiled In Oblivion (Dark Descent Records) - Buy It
This shit rips! Straight up death metal that would fit nicely in the 90's Florida scene so revered by the genres faithful. The women that make up CASTRATOR allow no room for interpretation on their main theme as they attack misogyny throughout this debut full length. There was considerable hype on the band from their No Victim debut, but Defiled In Oblivion prove the razzmatazz was worth it. Read xRickx's full review RIGHT HERE.
Cloakroom - Dissolution Wave (Relapse Records) - Buy It
Space western-themed stoner-emo played by former pop-punkers sounds like a personal nightmare. I'm thankful I did not hear that description prior to listening to Dissolution Wave, the third long player from CLOAKROOM. The mid-west trio dropped this aural odyssey all the way back in January, yet it remained in rotation throughout 2022. That type of staying power is unheard of in the era of short attention spans, but the charming shoegaze on display, packs enough punch to stay engaging for the long haul.
Rejection Pact - Can We Wait? (Safe Inside Records) - Buy It
The surging hardcore scene of Boise, Idaho has been an endearing thing to witness from the other side of the country. REJECTION PACT have emerged as the de facto leaders of cause and have proudly played the role. 2022 saw the November release of their debut LP Can We Wait? courtesy of Safe Inside Records. Largely a straightforward hardcore punk record, Rejection Pact are on attack from moment "Hollow Ethos" kicks off. Pointed lyrics on political and social issues are abound throughout the record. Even when they let up for a more melodic approach on tracks like "Western Glitch" the sentiment remains. "Boise on top" indeed.
Sonja - Loud Arriver (Cruz Del Sur Music) - Buy It
I distinctly remember the afternoon of September 16th when I first heard SONJA and their debut Loud Arriver. I put on the album as background noise while sitting at my cubicle and half way through the record I was Googling for more. The Philadelphia three piece led by Melissa Moore rides straight through your heart on a steed called rock and roll. Cruz Del Sur Music is the label behind the release and the perfect home for this embodiment of slick, Dan Kishbaugh/Arthur Rizk co-produced heavy metal.
The Otolith - Folium Limina (Blues Funeral Recordings) - Buy It
THE OTOLITH were formed out of the remnants of Salt Lake City's SubRosa. It's worth mentioning because it is largely the same line-up and an expansion of their sound under that moniker. However, the band make it clear throughout Folium Limina that they are bigger and better. Opener "Sing No Coda" quite literally says it all. These artists will not be put out to pasture and intend to continue anew. The record is weaved with symphonic doom metal and avant garde darkness. It's a weighty listen and wrought with depression, but there remains a light ahead for The Otolith.
Great American Ghost - Torture World (MNRK Heavy) - Buy It
GREAT AMERICAN GHOST have been an unrelenting force in American metalcore for nearly a decade. Torture World features the band, led by consummate front man Ethan Harrison, pummeling through four tracks as they dip and dodge through several extreme music subgenres. As unrelenting as the EP is, they still manage to work in catchy choruses and memorable hooks. The devil-may-care approach serves the band perfectly and makes for an as impactful EP as there was in 2022.
Brain Tourniquet - Brain Tourniquet II
Frank Turner - FTHC
Almighty Watching - Doubtless
Salvation - Mock
Skinhead - Self Titled
JIRM - The Tunnel, The Well, Holy Bedlam
No/Mas - Consume/Deny/Repent
Excide - Deliberate Revolver
Combust - Another Life
Besvarjelsen - Atlas
Wrong War - Once Upon A Weapon
Fostermother - The Ocean
Eight Bells - Legacy Of Ruin
Rotten Mind - Unflavored
Soul Glo - Diaspora Problems
Inerth - VOID