SPOILER: Here Are Decibel’s Top 40 Albums of 2022

Most readers and subscribers do not have the January 2023 issue of Decibel yet. But every year, that doesn’t stop some enterprising dork from obtaining an early copy of our year-end issue and posting our annual Top 40 Albums of the Year on a number of message boards (yes, those still exist), blogs (those, too) and virtually every social media platform. For the last eight years, we’ve been forced to beat them to the punch. So, if you’re actually a Decibel subscriber and prefer remaining in suspense until the USPS gets their shit together, please read no further!

For the rest of you still here, there are two key things to consider since we began this annual tradition 18 years ago: 1) The list is still a reflection of the diverse tastes of nearly three dozen members of the Decibel staff, and 2) at least one of your favorite albums from this past year is likely not included. I can confidently state the second point because a couple of my favorites aren’t here either. Unlike me, at least you can complain about it on the internet. Anyway, here we go!

40. Temple of Void, Summoning the Slayer, Relapse

39. Gaerea, Mirage, Season of Mist

38. Sigh, Shiki, Peaceville

37. Still/Form, From the Rot Is a Gift, Hex

36. Midnight, Let There Be Witchery, Metal Blade

35. Doldrum, The Knocking, or the Story of the Sound That Preceded Their Disappearance, Katafalque

34. Amorphis, Halo, Atomic Fire

33. Imperial Triumphant, Spirit of Ecstasy, Century Media

32. Black Anvil, Regenesis, Season of Mist

31. Municipal Waste, Electrified Brain, Nuclear Blast

30. Castrator, Defiled in Oblivion, Dark Descent

29. Daeva, Through Sheer Will and Black Magic…, 20 Buck Spin

28. Ripped to Shreds, 劇變 (Jubian), Relapse

27. Mother of Graves, Where the Shadows Adorn, Wise Blood

26. Eight Bells, Legacy of Ruin, Prophecy

25. Tzompantli, Tlazcaltiliztli, 20 Buck Spin

24. SpiritWorld, Deathwestern, Century Media

23. Escuela Grind, Memory Theater, MNRK

22. Vanum, Legend, Profound Lore

21. Satan, Earth Infernal, Metal Blade

20. Mizmor + Thou, Myopia, Gilead Media

19. Dream Unending, Song of Salvation, 20 Buck Spin

18. Phobophilic, Enveloping Absurdity, Prosthetic

17. Negative Plane, The Pact…, The Ajna Offensive

16. Sumerlands, Dreamkiller, Relapse

15. Terror, Pain Into Power, Pure Noise

14. Voivod, Syncro Anarchy, Century Media

13. Chat Pile, God’s Country, The Flenser

12. Wake, Thought Form Descent, Metal Blade

11. Oceans of Slumber, Starlight and Ash, Century Media

10. Mortuous, Upon Desolation, Carbonized

9. KEN mode, Null, Artoffact

8. Kreator, Hate Über Alles, Nuclear Blast

7. Nechochwen, Kanawha Black, Bindrune

6. Soul Glo, Diaspora Problems, Epitaph

5. Immolation, Acts of God, Nuclear Blast

4. Blackbraid, Blackbraid I, self-released

3. Sonja, Loud Arriver, Cruz Del Sur

2. Cave In, Heavy Pendulum, Relapse

1. Undeath, It’s Time… to Rise from the Grave, Prosthetic

Now, if you’d actually like to read editorial on these releases (for, you know, context), interviews with the artists who rank near and at the top of the list as well as dozens of entertaining, contributor-conceived year-end Top 5 lists, a cover story on Undeath and the new wave of American death metal bands that dominated the year, and a Hall of Fame on Hammers of Misfortune’s  progressive metal classic The Locust Years, you can grab a copy of the full issue here. It comes with an exclusive new Sanguisugabogg flexi disc.