Looking back on 2022

I bet this time last year none of had thought this year to be come up with these challenges. All the more important to us at obscure.eu it is to focus on the bright side and the virtual save harbours music offers.

We all come from very different ends of the metal spectrum so that voting for a top whatever of the year would end up in a large group of songs, albums, gigs and whatnot with each no more than two votes at max. This traditional song/album of the year picking was once supposed to be the cherry picking. But then it promotes usually only the songs and bands anyway each of us would know. So our idea is more to stick with the noteworthy releases.

We took all those songs in our playlist hoping you will enjoy it. There is pretty much something for every metal taste from brutal over symphonic to acoustic including fun stuff from the disco and humppa side of the metaliverse. It comprises some of the big names from Amon Amarth to Megadeath and Rammstein but mostly less-selling gems such as April Art, Frostide or Detset which would be known rather in their home countries. Noteworthy would also be solo projects like the latest release from Ville Laihiala (former Sentenced vocalist) or Jani Liimatainen (exSonata Arctica).

Obscuro’s list most of noteworthy albums 2022

Ville Laihiala & SaattajatEi meillä ole kuin loisemme



Arch EnemyDeceivers

Amon AmarthThe great heathen army

Anal StabwoundReality Drips Into the Mouth of Indifference

Epica  – The Alchemy Project

April ArtP.O.K.E.R.F.A.C.E.


WolfheartKing Of The North

Darko US ONI

AutopsyMorbidity Triumphant

BrymirVoices in the sky

MegadethThe Sick the Dying and the Dead

Dawn of SolaceFlames of Perdition

Jani LiimatainenMy Father’s Son

SepticfleshModern Primitive


Satyricon & Munch

This list comes without any particular order. It is what happened when I asked my fellows at the editorial group to give me their favourites of 2022 and a brief explanation for their selection. Naturally I received very different types of responses as you will see soon. Some sent only titles and names, some really gave details. Find your inspiration there perhaps while giving the playlist of our favourite songs 2022 a spin.  

Martin’s focus on the extremer side of metal

Martin’s albums of the year

Darko US – ONI

From all deathcore releases this year this has stuck with me the most. Darko US (online) was founded by former Emmure drummer Josh Miller and current Chelsea Grin vocalist Tom Barber. I’m a sucker for Emmure and this sound reminds me of them quite a bit. It’s pumped up, abrasive and in your face – in other words something that wouldn’t be out of place on an “Extreme Metal Workout” playlist. Catchy bounce riffs, electronica elements, hard breakdowns and some nu-metal influences on top. The music can be so harsh and intense to the point of causing sensory overload, but it is counterbalanced by some atmospheric, tuneful moments throughout the album. There are even ‘soft’, almost post-hardcore like songs on the album. I dig the sound, which I find more interesting than what many other deathcore bands are doing these days. This album will definitely stay on my playlist. 

Autopsy – Morbidity Triumphant

There were many releases from big-name death metal bands this year. We’ve got new Immolation, Obituary, Exhumed, Bloodbath LPs and more. I wouldn’t have expected that among these I would enjoy the newest effort of California gore mongers Autopsy. Don’t get me wrong, I love “Severed Survival” and “Mental Funeral” and consider them absolute legends, but I didn’t have any big expectations for the album. And although there is nothing wrong with the other anticipated releases, Autopsy sounds just much more inspired than anything I’ve heard from the other death metal legends. The record is full of raw energy and doesn’t sound formulaic. Sometimes the songs have an almost punk kind of rawness and drive, and the classic doom metal riffs have become more prominent, but overall everything fits together nicely. It’s great to see these guys doing what they love and having fun at it (check out the album here). 


Anal Stabwound – Reality Drips Into the Mouth of Indifference

Our boy Nikhil Talwalkar is back with a sophomore Anal Stabwound (AS) album. AS is the solo project of this multi-instrumentalist and also talented jazz drummer, who gained recognition for his music at the tender age of sixteen or thereabouts (read our interview with the young man here…). His music shows marked progress since his first release, on this LP he’s really leaning into the tech/jazz side of things. AS is moving decisively into the brutal/tech territory, which will please fans of bands like Defeated Sanity. The intensity and controlled insanity of the songs will make your head spin. It’s not an accessible release, but I came to really enjoy it once I’ve got a grip on what’s going on. I enjoyed a number of brutal death releases this year, let me name at least Emasculated Vituperation, Cerebral Incubation, Sijjeel and Spineless Fucker. But this one takes the cake as far as I’m concerned (check out the album here). 

Martins Top songs 2022


I know this is barely a metal song – this particular song could be described as industrial disco perhaps – but most people know that Turmion Kätilöt is music by metalheads for metalheads. This is just a fun catchy song that I like to jam. It sticks in your head and also evokes feelings of nostalgia for the glory days of industrial rock/metal/EDM etc. Looking at my list you’d probably think I’m some kind of maniac who listens only to balls-to-the-wall extreme music, but I like a lot of light-hearted music too. It’s just that nothing else has caught my interest enough this year. 



Suicide Silence is making Suicide Silence great again and I’m here for it! “The Cleansing” is an absolute milestone in hard music for me. It brought back the right kind of energy when regular death metal was getting a bit stale. Of course the rawness is hard to recreate fifteen years later, but I just love how much the latest Suicide Silence singles sound like “The Cleansing” era. Hearing this single makes me excited for the new album, which is not something I’ve felt about Suicide Silence releases before. 



Just listen to how ridiculously brutal this is. Emasculated Vituperation are a Taiwanese band that plays no-frills, hard-hitting, just like God Almighty intended it to be. You could compare them to bands like Cerebral Incubation or Abominable Putridity. The music hits hard, Larry Wangs gutturals sound absolutely filthy and the production ties everything together nicely. Just listen to those freaking bass drops! Songs like this one would often put a smile on my face throughout this whole year.

Friend X’s top 2022 picks

Top 3 albums

Epica  – “The Alchemy Project” because it just perfect and stands for diversity as nothing else.

April Art“P.O.K.E.R.F.A.C.E” because they are the Rising Star in Germany’s Metal scene and strengthened and raised their position to the next level

KiaRA “Archangel” because it is a lovely effort from a most talented singer.

Top 3 Songs well, actually my Top 5 songs

This is more difficult and there is no clear number one. But: “The Sky is the limit” by April Art because it sets a mark and comes with a message. Take the time to really read the lyrics.

“The Monster” by July15th is a great extreme metal song originating from the underground and written as well as performed by a lovely band I know personally.

 “Sirens – of blood and water” from Epica’s “The Alchemy Project” album is featuring Charlotte Wessels and Myrkur. The vocal power of this female trio all together in one perfect song leaves a man a mere and helpless addicted – that’s what sirens do.

“Requiem for the immortality” by KiaRa because it is a duet and a neatly arranged storytelling between harsh male and clean female vocals.

And before I forget to mention “Königsmord” by Manntra.

Muumi Katja’s Picks

Looking back on the past year, I can’t really think of my favourite songs but some most noteworthy albums and some unforgettable gigs.

Most noteworthy Albums 2022

Satyricon & Munch

The innovative one-track album is strictly instrumental, filled to the top with dark emotions, spherical soundscapes, and a complex diversity on multiple layers. The album deserves to be vastly acknowledged even far beyond the borders of the metaliverse as it makes the perfect soundtrack to the Munch exhibition. Surprisingly few drum parts, and many slower passages.

Wolfheart – King Of the North 

A melodeath metal masterpiece, diverse, full of surprising elements, heavy harmonies and an exquisite package of featuring artists. My favourite song is “Skyforger” – a perfect opening track mind the clean vocals and be surprised by the performer.

Epica – The Alchemy Project

A celebration of diversity and joint efforts to push far beyond the comfort zones, experimental change of roles, setting new standards for the symphonic death metal genre.

Hjartastjaki – Isafjørd

Right after spending a couple of days in Iceland in October I read a post by Aðalbjörn Tryggvason about his project and new album. This. Metal or not may be dicussed, however, this music perfectly feels like the heavy clouds in the Icelandic fjords or the squeezing emptiness of the Icelandic landscape.  

My top gigs 2022

Eleine – @ Columbia Theater Berlin

Can there be Metal without distorted guitars? Perhaps check out “Enemies” from their EP “Acoustic in Hell” before you rush to a “No” you might regret later.

What is metal? 25 years after Apocalyptica the Swedish combo Eleine sets a new standard with their infernal acoustic metal show as special guest of Sonata Arctica’s Acoustic Adventure MMXX I tour. They are simply breath-taking!

Let me thank the amazing Sonata Arctica. Over the years I have seen them with numerous unforgettable acts announced as mere support or special guest. While many bands would see themselves in competition with the other band(s) in their tour package, they don’t. Other headliner avoid to be outplayed by their support act.  But a tour is no competition in-between the touring package. Sonata Arctica very obviously simply want to deliver the best program to their fans! This is admirable team spirit and underlines their open-minded attitude. This is the role model we do need right now. 

 Zornheym @MOA Büßfeld

It takes more than talent and passion to deliver a convincingly gloomy, creepy show on a boiling hot and blindingly sunny afternoon that pulls you into a true black-death metal atmosphere. No doubt hell cannot be any hotter as it was during the MOA festival this year and yet the idyllic setting in the rural countryside, the smell of flowers and maturing grain nails an all but infernal atmosphere into your mind. Zornheym came to shatter this, pull you into the grandeur of insanity. An unbelievably grand performance!

Inspired by Scott

Metal artists and editors have in common that neither of us is anything without you, appreciated reader. Therefore we asked one of our most loyal readers, Scott, for his favourites 2022. By the way, thank you Scott for joining us here on this.

Albums vs playlists

Humble him he did not see his opinion fit to be told to the world. And so we got into an interesting conversation. He pointed out that he would not listen to entire albums but a more or less random mix of songs ending on his playlists. I don’t see what is wrong with that as it is just what we all do, right? Then again it reflects the short attention span of the millennials. They never learned to follow a story evolving carefully or to listen the whole story told by a metal album resulting from the order of songs. This being down to playlists and single songs determining whether or not we like a band is symptomatic. Although perhaps in metal we do cling more to the traditional album more and more artists have changed to releasing single tracks or short EPs rather than entire albums. As album sales have declined in all genres it is a logical consequence to limit the expenses for the production and deliver to the apparent demands of the market.

A matter of taste

Additionally Scott would rarely know or care when a song was released that ends on his playlist. The number of metal bands is uncounted. With all the cool newcomers the new release of band you actually love can easily slip your notice. Yet, Scott still was not convinced his opinion could matter. He argued that his opinion was no more than what he simply liked neither based on extraordinary musical skills shown in the pieces nor proficient expertise on his side. How could that be of interest to anybody else? I wish this honesty was to be found in the uncounted reviews especially in the big fish among the metal magazines. But strategic considerations too often determine which album is presented in a review that is declared objective when no one can rule out his or her subjective opinion. In general, what we like or not is perhaps supported by excellence but not determined. Our instincts run deeper than any logic or knowledge. Should excellence in one part seem to make all the difference it will still not convince if all the rest was opposing to one’s liking. This is no more or less but human. Not a big deal? Quite the opposite. It is perfectly fine if it is clearly marked what is a matter of taste and what is objective. But this is what there is usually missing and that is the one little detail that really makes all the difference. Too often subjectiveness and opinions are sold as facts. This has become close to omnipresent in our lives so it is hardly questioned anymore!

Out of time

Back to Scott who admitted that he had not bought any album for years. Although this could be understood as mere ‘sign of the times’ it comes as consequence of just this. I mean, be honest: where do you buy your music? The close-to-nothing margins artists make from Spotify & co cannot be understood “buying” music, not to speak of all the illegal platforms. However digitalisation has pushed local record shop and music departments in larger facilities towards extinction. This is what happened to Scott. As old-school metal guy he used to go to ‘his’ record shop that simply does not exist anymore. There are the merch stalls on shows, of course now that touring really resumes sort of normally. Not even this can compete to scanning the shelves full of vinyls or CDs in an actual shop, picking a piece that looks interesting, reading the booklet or back, admiring the cover art and giving the piece a spin on the station on the cash desk. No form of digital sales can ever match this experience. Sadly enough, the younger half of us has no idea what I speak of.

2023 approaching

In a few hours 2022 will turn into past and history. In 2023, some amazing packages are about to tour, and great new music is to be released soon – that’s just the way it is each year in late December. Still, when I began editing this piece I had no idea where it would take which reflects the course of events of 2022 quite well.  A happy and peaceful New Year to all of us!

Thank you all dear readers. Thank you all at the labels, agencies, festival crews and bands whom we had the pleasure to work with. We are all looking forward to see you again in 2023.

Thank you all my dear fellows @obscuro.eu!

A note to our visitors

This website has updated its privacy policy in compliance with changes to European Union data protection law, for all members globally. We’ve also updated our Privacy Policy to give you more information about your rights and responsibilities with respect to your privacy and personal information. Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our updated privacy policy.