Best Metal Albums of 2022

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Top 30 Metal Albums of 2022

As always, the top albums of the year are for full albums (no EP’s or demos) released in 2022. They are new studio albums for the year, not re-recordings, re-releases, cover songs, or live albums. Below the combined top 30 you will find links to each individual staff members’ personal “best of” lists which besides their top albums contains such things as best new band, best DVD/Blu-Ray/Stream, best metal book, disappointments of the year, greatest hopes for 2023, personal metal discovery of the year, and various other categories.


Top 30

The Top 10

1. Kreator – Hate Uber Alles

[Review #1 / Review #2]

When the overall score was tabulated for the top albums, Kreator was so far above of the rest it was clear there was a consensus that this album deserved the best album of 2022 award.

Kreator has had an incredible career since first forming as TORMENTOR forty years ago. Their early albums were some of the best thrash ever written, being one of the earliest bands to include hints of death and black metal in their sound. In 2022 Kreated unleashes upon us Hate über alles, their fifteenth full length release overall. With each album, Mille Petrozza and company let us know that they still have a lot to say.

2. Amorphis – Halo

Amorphis - Halo[Review #1  /  Review #2]

“Amorphis is an institution. Each time they announce a new album, the anticipation rises due to the mere fact that they have been on a roll since the introduction of Tomi Joutsen as their vocalist in 2006. To be this good and making albums this important 32 years and fourteen full lengths into their career shows that Amorphis is a force in metal that is not going anywhere anytime soon.”

3. Queensryche – Digital Noise Alliance


This is the sixteenth studio album from the prog metal masters, Queensryche.

“Once again teaming up with producer Zeuss (Rob Zombie, Hatebreed), “Digital Noise Alliance” not only refracts QUEENSRŸCHE’s past accomplishments but also pushes into the band’s future. It is the band effortlessly moving from strength to strength: immediate and thought-provoking.”

4. Stratovarius – Survive

Stratovarius - Survive[Review]

“Stratovarius are titans of the European power metal world. They are one of the first bands from Finland to make a huge impact on that scene. Their impressive 37 year career has had some ups and downs. 2022 saw the release of their seventeenth full length album, Survive, a monumental achievement in survival in and of itself. After all that this band has endured over the years, they did survive….so it’s not just a catchy title.”

5. Evergrey -A Heartless Portrait (The Orphean Testament)


“A HEARTLESS PORTRAIT is absolutely jam packed with Evergrey’s trademark haunting melodies, poignant lyrics, infectious choruses, and exquisitely crafted solos. The band has been on an unprecedented musical hot streak. They continue to deliver complex progressive metal compositions that contain just enough familiar elements to satisfy their fiercely loyal fanbase, while adding subtle new components that are sure to bring in new listeners. With a newfound artistic spark, Evergrey have actually raised the bar themselves and delivered yet another genre defining masterpiece!”

6. Arch Enemy – Deceivers

Arch Enemy - DeceiversReviews: Sept 2022 / Oct 2022

“Simply put, this current offering is an absolute masterpiece! What Arch Enemy have achieved here is the rare balance of beauty and brutality, melody and ferocity, atmosphere and power. As inconceivable as it may seem, the already stellar musicianship of the band has actually been elevated on this release.”

“There is no denying that Arch Enemy have long been considered titans in the realm of melodic death metal. With DECEIVERS, we are witnessing an awe-inspiring transformation into genuine metal gods. This album delivers on every level. Embrace DECEIVERS and appreciate it for the instant metal classic that it is!”

7. Avantasia – A Paranormal Evening With The Moonflower Society


“With his ninth album, “A Paranormal Evening with the Moonflower Society”, Tobias Sammet invites you to join him on an enchanted journey into his own version of reality, which is full of fantastic events and encounters.

It is a captivating, deeply magical universe that Tobias Sammet has built over the past two decades. Since his debut “The Metal Opera” (2001), the Peter Pan of international rock and metal has romped between metal, classical and rock, beguiling the biggest festivals around the world with his traveling circus and working with the greatest voices in the metal world including Alice Cooper and Scorpions’ Klaus Meine.”

8. Stryper -The Final Battle

“Legendary, long-running heavy metallers Stryper are set to return with a brand new studio album, “The Final Battle”! Firmly continuing the trend established over their last few albums, “The Final Battle” sees the band growing heavier while also maintaining their trademark melodies, virtuoso guitar playing, and air tight rhythms.

“The Final Battle” was crafted during the most challenging time of the band’s career. While they suffered the same setbacks faced by all artists during the course of the global pandemic, the band also had to contend with Oz Fox’s ongoing battle with brain tumors and for Michael Sweet, a detached retina which required multiple medical procedures, the use of an eye patch, and limited mobility for stretches of time. But rather than let the adversity get them down, the band accepted these challenges and channeled it into writing some of the greatest songs of their storied career.”

9. Scorpions – Rock Believer

“Does a band whose musical career will span 50 years from the release of their first phenomenal album success Lonesome Crow to the arrival of Rock Believer in February 2022 still have the bite, the toughness, and the brute force that it takes to create and record one or two dozen brand new tracks? Aren’t their 18 studio albums to date, their platinum and double-platinum awards, garnered around the globe, enough for these relentless musicians? Is there still enough gas in the tank to keep going?” – Clearly many of the staff at Metal Rules believes there is, as this album has placed so highly in the overall charts.

10. Saxon – Carpe Diem


Carpe Diem is Saxon’s 23rd album! Amazing…what an accomplishment. And they sound so good still. Biff’s vocals still have the power and the glory, and the range.

“Let this sink in for a minute: Saxon released their first album in 1979. That means they have consistently graced us with high-quality traditional metal in six different decades! That is almost incomprehensible. And yet, even though they have been around for what seems like an eternity, Saxon have delivered the stunningly fresh and fiery album, CARPE DIEM, forty years into their impressive age defying career.”

#11 to #20

11. Blind Guardian – The God Machine

[Review #1  /  Review #2]

“After a seven year hiatus, BLIND GUARDIAN return with a brand new album, The God Machine. With thirty-five years and eleven studio albums, the fact that this band can still put out albums this great proves that BLIND GUARDIAN are still one of the best bands in the business.”  Blind Guardian - The God Machine

12. VoiVod – Syncro Anarchy

“Closing in on 40 eventful years of existence, VOIVOD now return with their 15th (!) studio album, reaffirming to be one of the most fervently creative bands in the Universe. “Synchro Anarchy” follows 2018’s highly praised and Juno Award winning “The Wake” album as well as 2020’s stellar “Lost Machine – Live” release. The new album was again produced with Francis Perron at RadicArt Studio, features cover artwork once more created by VOIVOD’s Michel “Away” Langevin”. VoiVod - Synchro Anarchy

13. Venom Inc. – There’s Only Black

“Almost 40 years after their inception, the revitalized 1989 – 1992 Venom line-up of guitarist Jeff “Mantas” Dunn and vocalist/bassist Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan and the new addition of drummer Jeramie ‘Warmachine’ Kling have returned with one hell of a follow-up to their acclaimed debut, “Avé,” and show no signs of slowing down.” Venom Inc.

14. Candlemass – Sweet Evil Sun

“Clocking in almost four decades, it’s no stretch to say that Grammy-nominated Swedish epic doom legends Candlemass are still one of the heaviest metal bands on earth. As the godfathers of epic doom metal, the band defined the genre with releases such as Epicus Doomicus Metallicus (1986) and Nightfall (1987). Through their evil riffs, crushing rhythmic attack and dramatic vocals, they changed the landscape of metal worldwide. Reunited with outstanding original vocalist Johan Langquist, the band around founding member Leif Edling finds it’s way back to it’s roots and finally delivers the long awaited, earth-shaking new full-length album, Sweet Evil Sun.” Candlemass - Sweet Evil Sun

15. Hardcore Superstar – Abrakadabra


“Twenty-three years ago, Hardcore Superstar issued their debut album IT’S ONLY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL. As most fans know, that was the modest beginnings of what was to become the massive New Wave of Scandinavian Sleaze Metal movement. ABRAKADABRA is the band’s twelfth studio album and features a return to collaborating with producer, Johan Reiven.” Hardcore Superstar - Abrakadabra

16. HammerFall – Hammer of Dawn


“So the planets are all properly aligned and the universe is saying the time was right for the true return of HAMMERFALL. Their last couple albums showed them capable of writing strong songs again but it’s Hammer of Dawn that truly shows the band returning to the true metal glory that this band is capable of.  I was not expecting this and that makes it all that much better.”

17. Ozzy Osbourne – Patient Number 9


Patient Number 9 is the thirteenth solo studio album by heavy metal legend Ozzy Osbourne. It was released on 9 September 2022 through Epic Records and features a bunch of seemingly odd guest musicians from the non-metal realm yet it all somehow works. Ozzy Osbourne - Patient Number 9

18. Skid Row – The Gang’s All Here

“The Gang’s All Here is the sixth studio album by American heavy metal band Skid Row, released on October 14, 2022. It is the band’s first release with new lead singer Erik Grönwall who replaced ZP Theart in March 2022, and is the band’s first studio album in sixteen years since Revolutions per Minute in 2006. ” Skid Row – The Gang's All Here

19. H.E.A.T. – Force Majeure


“There’s just something about sitting down with a new slab of good old-fashioned guitar-driven melodic hard rock/metal from the Scandinavian area that gets the blood and fists pumping! Time and time again, bands from this hotbed area have delivered high quality, hook laden, good-time music. H.E.A.T are one of the top modern day musical exports from Sweden representing the ever-growing melodic hard rock/metal segment of the region. Returning just two short years after their stellar 2020 release, H.E.A.T II, these supremely talented gentlemen return with their 7th studio album, FORCE MAJEURE.” H.E.A.T. - Force Majeure

20. Dynazty – Final Advent


“Dynazty are, without a doubt, one of the most reliable metal bands around! About every two years, they gift us with their latest collection of stellar melodic power metal. In 2020, we saw the release of the outstanding “THE DARK DELIGHT”. Here we are in 2022 and, like clockwork, their 8th album, “FINAL ADVENT” arrives.” dynazty

#21 to #30

#21. Vampirska – Vermillion Apparitions Frozen in Chimera Twilight

#22. Megadeth – The Sick, the Dying…and the Dead!

#23. Messa – Close


#24. Amon Amarth – The Great Heathen Army

Amon Amarth - The-Great-Heathen-Army

#25. Visions of Atlantis – Pirates

Visions of Atlantis

#26. Autopsy – Morbidity Triumphant

#27. Crashdïet – Automaton

Crashdiet - AUTOMATON

#28. Edenbridge – Shangri-La

Edenbridge - Shangri-La

#29. Sabaton – The War to End All Wars

#30. Nordic Union – Animalistic


Staff Lists



The Elitist Metalhead

Marko Syrjala

Erich Heintzelman

John Haseltine

Arto Lehtinen


Anders Sandvall

Demitri Levantis

Aaron Yurkiewicz

Kieron Hayes

Buddy Hicks

The Flâneur