2022 was a hell of a year for heavy metal with plenty of new artists jumping on the wagon with new releases and legacy acts putting out killer albums deep into their careers. We had albums from Coheed and Cambria, Rammstein, Ozzy, Megadeth, Ghost, Slipknot, Scorpions, and plenty of other artists. It was impossible to narrow it down to just the five best, but here are the Top 5 Metal Albums for 2022.

Honorable Mentions:

Rock Believer by Scorpions

Electrified Brain By Municipal Waste

Immutable By Meshuggah

Of Kingdom And Crown By Machine Head

Carpe Diem By Saxon

5. Patient Number 9 By Ozzy Osbourne

After Ozzy’s 2020 album Ordinary Man, we didn’t have to wait long for new music with Patient Number 9. Ozzy is as introspective as it gets on this album drawing from decades of experience. It might seem like these tracks would be more depressing and darker as the Prince of Darkness gets older, but those moments of darkness are equaled by the moments celebrating friendship and the power of music on tracks like “Immortal”.

Patient Number 9 was a hugely collaborative effort with Osbourne and plenty of artists on the thirteen tracks on this album. It features songwriting credits from Duff McKagan, Robert Trujillo, Chad Smith, and Taylor Hawkins, and has appearances from Zakk Wylde, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Mike McCready, and Tony Iommi.

4. The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead! By Megadeth

Megadeth‘s 2016 album Dystopia is among the best late-career albums any of the Big 4 of Thrash Metal have put out. They equaled that output with 2022’s The SIck, The Dying… And The Dead! It’s like a greatest hits of the career of Megadeth with some of the tracks calling back to their previous albums. With a title like The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead! that’s a huge callback to So Far, So Good… So What!.

You can check out THS’s full review of the album below. Some of the highlights include “We’ll Be Back”, “Night Stalkers”, “Life In Hell”, and the title track.

3. Leather Terror By Carpenter Brut

Now for an artist that some might not consider heavy metal in the textbook definition of the genre, but Carpenter Brut is very much a heavy metal artist. He bridges the gap between synth and metal with Leather Terror perfectly. It’s got ’80s stylings with a new synth sound.

For fans of horror movies, this album is an even bigger treat. And like we’ve said before, heavy metal and horror movies go hand in hand. Tracks like “Day Stalker”, “Night Prowler”, and “Straight Outta Hell” all show off how well the synth sounds and metal go together.

2. The God Machine By Blind Guardian

Blind Guardian returned to form with The God Machine in 2022. It’s the heaviest album they’ve made in years and calls back to classic albums while not sounding like they’re just trying to copy that sound. It’s not just nostalgia, especially with tracks like “Secrets Of The American Gods”, “Deliver Us From Evil”, and “Architects Of Doom”. For a band that’s been around for 35+ years in the power metal sphere, Blind Guardian could only have made this album now.

1. Impera By Ghost

I knew it would be tough to top this album when it was released all the way in March of 2022. Ghost is the new biggest band in the entire world for heavy metal, and their meteoric rise to superstardom has been fascinating to watch. For a band that writes many songs about Satan and other unsavory things (to some people), they’re coming into mainstream success. Impera is the perfect bridge between that mainstream success and what they normally play. It’s refreshing to hear such a cheery and happy metal song like “Kaiserion” mixed in with more progressive-sounding tracks like “Respite In The Spitalfields” and “Griftwood”.

You can’t get any better than Impera in 2022 and it easily takes the top spot as the Metal album of the year for 2022.

Check out my review of Impera below:

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