WORDS FROM THE TEAM – Martin’s Top 10 Albums of 2022

There has been a whole plethora of releases this year and so many amazing ones too! As always, it has been incredibly challenging condensing these down into my Top 10 albums of 2022.

10: ConfidentialDevil Inside

This is a fantastic debut offering by CONFIDENTIAL who are a Norwegian Symphonic metal band founded by lead vocalist Astrid K Mjøen and features twelve tracks which includes guest vocals from Jake E (CYHRA, Ex-AMARANTHE), and Madeleine Liljestam and Rikard Ekberg from ELEINE. All of the lyrics are of an incredibly personal level from Astrid expressing her experiences and her own mental health which are incredibly relatable and inspire one to open up about their own demons too.

Check out the track: Salvation

Find CONFIDENTIAL on Facebook.


9: Arjen Anthony Lucassen’s Star One – Revel In Time

Featured a whole plethora of songs based on the concept of time travel which were inspired by both film and tv. The veil of time was pierced and as I said when I reviewed the album: “There is no TARDIS required for the journeys in time featured throughout

You can read the full review here.

Check out the track Lost Children of the Universe featuring the mighty Roy Khan on vocals.

Find ARJEN ANTHONY LUCASSEN’S STAR ONE on Facebook.


8: FuryBorn to Sin

I had the pleasure of reviewing this album earlier in the year and I feel my overall summary still stands true: Situated somewhere between Alice Coopers Welcome to my Nightmare album and the best tracks that Jim Steinman composed, this album is enjoyable throughout and I love it. Whilst there were mixed feelings about the bands last offering (no issues from me for the record being an F1 fan!) what FURY have done with this release is returned to the genre’s origins, mythos, and legend, spinning a tale that is recognisable but refreshing at the same time. I have found myself returning to this album throughout the year.

You can read the full review here.

Check out the track: Shadows and Dust

Find FURY on Facebook.


7: KiaraArchangel

This is the second solo album from Anna “Kiara” Moiseeva from IMPERIAL AGE. This further builds on the first solo album Storyteller but spices things up too. Would you normally expect blast beats akin to Death and Black Metal on a Symphonic metal release? No? Well with this album you are treated to such delights! The vocals from Anna are also of stellar quality too, you can tell that she has pushed herself further for her operatic and symphonic siren songs throughout the 11 tracks presented and there are also five bonus tracks which consist of three instrumentals and two sung in Anna’s native Russian too. Anna is certainly keen to experiment and push the boundaries of the genre and this album is proof of such!

Check out the Track: God of War

Find KIARA on Facebook.


6: Visions Of AtlantisPirates

Pirates, is the eighth album by Austrian power-symphonic metal masters VISIONS OF ATLANTIS. Featuring the dual vocalists of Clementine Delauney and Michele Guaitoli there is further unison at work here building upon the successes of the previous two albums (The Deep & The Dark and Wanderers). I was fortunate enough to see the band on their recent UK Tour and to hear a whole plethora of the new songs in a live setting helped ingrain this album into my psyche even more! There is, as always, some strong nautical themes which were reinforced visually in the whole Pirate regalia worn by the band. My favourite song from the album is Clocks which is not only incredibly catchy but also reminds oneself to seize the day, and to carve out a piece of the world as your own: “Time as you know, make it go with the flow. Make a golden play, out of every day, As the tick-tick-tock from the clock is never-ending”

Check out the Track: Clocks

Find VISIONS OF ATLANTIS on Facebook.


5: Fallen SanctuaryTerranova

If you missed the awesome amalgamation of Georg from SERENITY and Marco from TEMPERANCE where the hell have you been? This melodic power metal offering is a masterpiece from start to finish and well worth a listen if you are a fan of either/both bands! I was very fortunate to receive my copy of this album earlier than its release date due to participating in the crowdfunder campaign and what a delight this is.

Check out the track: Broken Dreams

Find FALLEN SANCTUARY on Facebook.


4: SaxonCarpe Diem

I knew from first hearing and reviewing this album back in February that this would undoubtably be amongst my Top 10 albums for the year. It is an incredibly strong offering from the Barnsley Battalion who set the benchmark by laying down the gauntlet for this years releases. There was a mix of historical events referenced alongside modern-day affairs with a delicate touch of symphonic included too.

You can read my full review of the album here.
 
Check out the song: Age of Steam

Find SAXON on Facebook.


3: VictoriusDinosaur Warfare Part 2 – The Great Ninja War

After the recent and shocking passing of Jason David Frank this album has stayed in my head even more than it already was. It pays homage to all things Power Rangers, classic Godzilla, Jurassic Park and retro video games and is a lot of fun from start to finish!

You can read my review of the album here.

Check out the Track: Mighty Magic Mammoth

Find VICTORIUS on Facebook.


2: AvantasiaA Paranormal Evening With The Moonflower Society

There have been touches of brilliance on the past couple of AVANTASIA releases but this one feels like a good mix between those first Metal Opera albums, touches of EDGUY and the Post-Scarecrow era of AVANTASIA too. As always there is a strong supporting cast to the mastermind that is Tobias Sammet and features some new additions to the AVANTASIA family and some returning stalwarts too such as the magnificent Bob Catley (of MAGNUM who also released an impressive offering earlier this year!), Michael Kiske (Helloween), and Floor Jansen (NIGHTWISH). Nothing here that fully reinvents the wheel but what is an offer is a refined reflection of Tobi’s past and utilising it to reinvigorate the current AVANTASIA sound.

Check out the Track: The Moonflower Society

Find AVANTASIA on Facebook.


1: Woods Of Wonders Lost: The Metal Opera

This is my number one album of 2022. I will admit; between this and AVANTASIA, it was incredibly close and a very difficult choice!

Upon seeing the posts about all the guest vocalists and musicians taking part I knew this was going to be simply magical! WOODS OF WONDERS is a Metal Opera created by Gideon Ricardo and heavily inspired by the likes of AVANTASIA and JEFF WAYNE’s War of the Worlds. Featuring no less than thirty guests this first chapter of the WOODS OF WONDERS saga is enough to inspire everyone to shape your own destiny and pierce the veil to discover new realms of adventure. There are lots of amazing Metal Opera’s that have been unleashed to the world as of late, but this phenomenal debut has already carved its name into the history of the genre.

Check out the track: Inside a Dream

Find WOODS OF WONDERS on Facebook.


Let us know what you would have chosen for your top ten in the comments below.

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