This year brought some brilliant singles; whether they were in the lead up to release or promoting a current one, here are my top ten singles of 2022.
10: Heidevolk – Klauwen Vooruit
When HEIDEVOLK announced a new album and a new single, I was naturally excited. Their epic folk music with powerful dual vocals have always caught my attention. When I first heard their latest single Klauwen Vooruit (The Hunter’s Claw), I wasn’t sure but the more I listen to it, the more I grow to like it. It looks at the pact between wolf and raven, predator and scavenger. Ravens alert the wolves nearby that the wolves respond to. The wolves kill the prey, eat their share and leave the carcass for the ravens to feast on. Knowing this fact really brings this track to life, the tones in the songs keep you on the edge and to keep a look out for those hunters.
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9: Avantasia feat. Bob Catley – The Moonflower Society
AVANTASIA are a band I came across when I first came across Symphonic and Power metal. Whilst the album A Paranormal Evening With The Moonflower Society was a great album, this single they released in the lead up caught and kept my attention. It has a very eighties tone about it that are uplifting and bring a smile to your face. It does all this whilst keeping to the core of their sound that drew so many fans in and there is a great deal of symphonic greatness in this track.
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8: All For Metal – All For Metal
I first heard about ALL FOR METAL when receiving a press release about their self-titled single. Like many of us, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I wasn’t expecting to take to it as quickly as I did. I watched the video first so was quickly made aware of the gimmick and silliness of this track, these aspects both work in this track’s favour. They have already been compared to MANOWAR and BROTHERS OF METAL so this band are already making waves. If you’re looking for something serious, ALL FOR METAL may not be for you. If you like silliness and gimmicks, then give it a whirl and see where it takes you. Make sure you have war paint and battle axe of choice nearby; it wouldn’t hurt to have drinking horn handy as well.
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7: Serenity feat Clementine Delauney – Legacy Of Tudors (Acoustic Live)
SERENITY are currently on my radar as they produce great music but I am still getting to know them. I came across this on YouTube not that long ago and fell in love with the melody instantly. Every time I listen to this, I imagine a large banquet hall in a castle. The rich folk feasting as the bards provides the entertainment. I ought to mention that I love how the lyrics about if there is betrayal off comes their head told in a jolly and celebratory manner. I hadn’t heard the original before this so this was a great introduction, this acoustic version performed live worked heavily in this tracks favour.
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6: dArtagnan feat. Zora Cock – My Love’s In Germany
I had come across DARTAGNAN only last year and they have been favourites since then. In the lead up to their release of Felsenfest, they released a version of My Love’s In Germany. My Love’s In Germany (My Luve’s In Germanie) is a poem written by Hector Macneill and is the lament of a Scottish woman for her lover. There have been folk renditions of this and DARTAGNAN do a great job with this song. They keep the best parts of previous renditions whilst sticking to their core sound which works perfectly for this song. This also features BLACKBRIAR’s Zora Cock whose strong vocals do a great job communicating that sadness.
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5: Ad Infinitum – Upside Down
Since their release of Chapter I: Monarchy, AD INFINITUM have become solid favourites of mine. They are due to release Chapter III: Downfall, the third album in their saga and Upside Down is one of the tracks from it. It’s bouncy, it’s symphonic and it’s brutal; they think outside the box and with a solid record of single releases giving a glimpse into what we can expect from the rest of the album, this is already looking promising for the rising stars of modern metal.
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4: Jonathan Young feat. Caleb Hyles – Wolf Within
I was aware of Jonathan Young due to his infamous heavy metal covers of Disney songs. It was this year I came across his original material and was highly impressed. One thing was clear, he knows how to write gripping melodies that will catch and keep your attention. The latest example is Wolf Within featuring fellow vocalist and frequent collaborator Caleb Hyles. I was already taken with the melody of this track and when I listened carefully, the lyrics told an important tale too. I related to when I am having a bad time with anxiety, and it is like having something inside you that won’t let go of the bad things.
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3: Battle Born – Fire Storm
Since the release of their debut EP in 2020, BATTLE BORN have gained recognition and fans from across the metal sphere. They are due to release their debut album next year and this is the latest single from it. Fire Storm has been performed each time I have watched them live and every time it brings me joy and makes me feel like I can conquer anything that comes my way. It also reminds me of those times I caught them live, at Power Metal Quest Fest this year and being able to enjoy it with great company. If the rest of the album sounds just as great as this new single, more warriors will be joining the clan.
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2: HEAT – Back To The Rhythm
H.E.A.T are one of my go to bands when I need that morale boost. They released Force Majeure with their original vocalist this year and this opening track caught and kept my attention. It’s one I have had on loop since I came across it. Most of you know, I love 80s sounding stuff and this is what this track gives us. The urge to head bang and shake your hips? Check. Singing along to the chorus at the first listen? Check. That feeling of elation and confidence? Check, check, check. The rest of the album is also worth a listen so if you like this single, I recommend listening to that.
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1: Dark Sarah – Warning Sign
DARK SARAH are coming back with a new album Attack Of Orym and the taster they have given us is remarkable. If NIGHTWISH were an eighties band, Warning Sign will give you a strong idea of what they would sound like. For those who don’t know, DARK SARAH’s albums follow a story, and each song is a chapter. The song Warning Sign is a powerful one that contains the message to fight back against ones who wish harm on you. In the album storyline, the protagonist Luna chooses a weapon of bewitched flowers to fight against the villain Orym. This storyline and message are communicated through the pumping rhythms and synths backed by the majestic orchestrations. If this sets the rest of the tone for the album, I am incredibly pumped.
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What songs grabbed and kept your attention? Let me know in the comments below.