As the year comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on some of the standout Metal and the Darker folk albums that were released. From brooding black metal to soaring power metal, 2022 saw a diverse range of sounds and styles within the genre. 2022 also featured some incredible folk metal albums, including our choice for folk metal album of the year, which was amazing.
This year we’re also changing up a category, the melodic death metal album category is now becoming the best melodic metal album category. This will ensure a lot of othermelodic albums from other styles can be included.
And we saw a number that’s great dark folk style albums, with acts such as Faun walking a bit on the heavier side with their release . Overall it was an incredible year, and without further ado, here are The Best Metal And Dark Folk Albums Of 2022.
The Best Metal And Dark Folk Albums Of 2022
Album Of The Year - The War To End All Wars - Sabaton
The remarkable thing about Sabaton is they never stop putting out phenomenal new music. The fans have always loved the new material, just as much as anything on the Art of War, or Carolus Rex. And their latest studio effort has delivered exactly what we were expecting.
The War to End All Wars is a direct sequel to the previous Sabaton album, The Great War. There were so many massive stories that weren’t covered on the previous release, which left many fans wondering, where’s the heavy metal lesson on the Christmas Truce? Or the soldiers who have been frozen for 100 years after one of the deadliest avalanches in recorded history? Or Adrian Carton de Wiart? The man who seems to have gotten an unlimited amount of continues in life.
Sabaton decided that yeah, there’s still a lot more to tell from this era, and this album certainly did not disappoint. From one of their most emotional tracks to date, to an 80’s style jam, this was the one album we couldn’t stop listening to this year.
Folk Metal Album Of The Year - Een Verloren Verhaal - Vanaheim
In a year in which we saw some incredible folk metal releases, it wasn’t even a debate. When we were deciding on the best folk metal album of the year, our votes for Een Verloren Verhaal were unanimous. This is a five out of five perfect album, and quite possibly the best debut album from a folk metal band we’ve ever heard. In an industry where it can take multiple albums and years of fine tuning, it seems as if Vanaheim have already found their footing with this record.
Best Pagan Folk Album Of 2022 – Pagan – Faun
Well, this seems wildly appropriate, and well deserving. This year in our Pagan category, we have the album Pagan, from a band on Pagan records as our top choice. It’s not unusual to see Faun on one of our end of the year list, as they have consistently been producing incredible music. But this year, you might notice that they’re over here on the Folk N Metal list rather than the Folk N Rock. There’s been quite an evolution with this band, and this time they did go a little bit heavier, which made for some interesting music. And we’re excited to see where they take this.
Best Dark Folk Album Of 2022 - Ancient Tomes, Volume I: Mother Of Light – Serpentent
And incredible debut for dark folk songstress Anne K. O’Neill. And even more impressive considering for this record taking our top spot is the fact that the Dark Folk category this year was stacked. With its enchanting arrangements and beautiful vocals, Mother of Light instantly won us over it’s one of our top album picks for 2022.
Best Debut Album Of 2022 - Power Paladin – With The Magic Of Windfyre Steel
Power Paladin has burst onto the scene this year with an unbelievable amount of energy. It’s everything we want in a power metal album. It’s nerdy, cheesy, and filled with melodic sing-along tracks. With so many infectious tracks, this record has a ton of replay value and is essential for your power metal playlist.
Best Progressive Metal Album Of 2022 - A Heartless Portrait (The Orphean Testament) – Evergrey
Just when you think Evergrey have released their magnus opus, they upped their game in a new release. This progressive metal act has been putting out incredible releases for years now, and with every single release it seems like they outdo themselves. It’s an album filled with amazingly epic solos, and awesome riffs.
Best Extreme Metal Album Of 2022 - The Resurrection Of Lilith - Defacing God
This album was our favorite discovery for 2022, though the band has been around for quite some time. It’s an album that gives you a brutal combination of symphonic and extreme / death/ metal. The songwriting and the storytelling aspects of this album are fantastic, and the vocals of Gjørtz are on another ungodly level.
Best Celtic Metal Album Of 2022 - Origins - Saor
Andy Marshall has returned with yet another masterpiece with a Scottish blend of metal. It’s not surprising this one top our list, even with an onslaught of great folk metal albums this year, as his other work with Aura and Guardians were also masterpieces, so we’ve come to expect nothing but the best from Saor, and that’s what we got in this release.
Best Modern Metal Album Of 2022 – Ecdysis – Infected Rain
Whenever we see an album get released in the early quarter of the year, it’s always highly debated among ourselves on if we think it’s going to hold on as our favorite, when there’s 11 stacked months ahead of us. When it came to the release of Ecdysis from Infected Rain, we didn’t really find ourselves asking that question this year, because we all had a feeling this one was going to last. This is a band that has evolved so much and continues to impress. When it comes to Modern Metal, Ecdysis is a masterpiece.
Best Metal EP Of 2022 - The Eternal Fanfare - Hulder
Hulder has delivered to us our favorite black metal album of the year. It’s always bittersweet when you come across an incredible EP, because it always leaves us wanting more. This album was no exception to that as it’s just one nonstop banger of a track after another.
Best Heavy Metal Album Of 2022 - Circus of Doom – Battle Beast
One of the most hardworking and talented bands in the industry today, Battlebeast has treated us to an incredible gem this year with Circus of Doom. It is filled with heavy and melodic tracks and Noora’s vocals always impress us. We should also note the bonus tracks are incredible as well. Perfection from start to finish.
Best Death Metal Album Of 2022 – Acts Of God – Immolation
2022 treated us very well with death metal, and it was especially good to us in the form of Immolations latest record, Acts Of God. With over 30 years in the industry, the band keeps pumping out amazing tracks. It features their familiar style, and fantastic hooks.
Best Metal Album From A Solo Artist Of 2022 – Nova – Sylvaine
Born out of a massive amount of work, a pandemic, and various other obstacles, Sylvain has delivered one of the best albums of the year in Nova. It’s also quite possibly one of the most emotional albums that we’ve heard. It truly is a remarkable piece of work as all the songs are fantastic and it’s just all-around A+ work on every single aspect of this record.
Best Power Metal Album Of 2022 - Final Advent – Dynazty
The Swedish melodic power metal act have delivered one of the strongest, and catchiest albums of the year. Final Advent has come out on top for us in a year that we got a ton of incredible power metal releases. Nils Molin did mention that this was going to be an album with no fillers, all killers, and they certainly have delivered on that promise, as we didn’t find a single skippable track on this record.
Best Melodic Metal Album Of 2022 - Emerge – Chaos Magic
It’s been quite the evolution for Chaos Magic with Caterina Nix as their latest album is released just simply under the title of, Chaos Magic. This album features a magic mix of both symphonic and modern melodic power metal elements. From the instrumentation, the arrangements, and of course Caterina ‘s voice, it’s an album filled with standout moments which left quite the impression on us. All around an amazing album with so many memorable moments.
Best Symphonic Metal Album Of 2022 – Pirates – Visions Of Atlantis
I think with full confidence now we can say that Pirates might be our favorite Visions of Atlantis record ever. Which is really saying something because they come from an endless ocean of incredible albums. This is one we found ourselves repeating constantly throughout the year, and literally playing in the background on our first discussion for our top list for 2022. Just an amazing album.