Five For Friday: Death Metal 2022

Greetings, Decibel readers!

So for the past two years I’ve been doing an end-of-year roundup of my favorite black metal releases (check out the entries from 2020 and 2021), and I’ll definitely do that again next week. However, death metal had such a great year in 2022 that it seemed like metal-snob malpractice not to make an equivalent entry for the five albums listed below. You’ll find that I agreed with the Decibel consensus about Undeath‘s fantastic album, along with cheering on our heroes in Immolation and Origin.

But don’t sleep on lesser-known death-dealers like Cryptic Hatred and Phobophilic (such a great name). Most of the primary death metal food groups are represented here: tech-death, old-school-style death, death metal that sounds like Incantation, and … I guess Immolation gets to have their own category. They’re just special like that.


Cryptic Hatred – Nocturnal Sickness

So, this slays. There’s not much else you need to say about this young Finnish outfit other than that. They know how to dial in the low end of the EQ to make for maximum impact. And speaking of low end, good God those vocals. If you like good production that keeps the subterranean mud and grit, look no further.

Stream: Apple Music

Immolation – Acts of God

It’s not typical that a long-running band make one of their masterworks this far into their career. But then again, Immolation is not the typical death metal band. I would argue that this album sits comfortably alongside Dawn of Possession, Close to a World Below and Unholy Cult as one of their best. From the riffs, to the drums, to the production, everything comes together perfectly on this album. The band has always managed to capture a particular mood on their albums that no band can truly replicate. On Acts of God, Immolation presents this foreboding aggression at its most pure.

Stream: Apple Music

Origin – Chaosmos

A lot of tech-death heads will probably be mad to hear me say this, but no one does it better than Origin. On Chaosmos, the band’s best offering since Entity, Origin continues to walk the righteous path cleared by technical brilliance but leading to somewhere memorable. The band’s insane rhythmic abilities and picking precision have a target and a purpose: to make mind-bending and crushing death metal. A lot of technical death metal gets lost in its own complexity, while losing the ability to overwhelm the listener with sheer brutality. Origin has never made that mistake.

Stream: Apple Music

Phobophilic – Enveloping Absurdity

Like Incantation and Bolt Thrower running into each other at the bar and coming up with a new drink. It’s got the menacing darkness, but reinforces it with overwhelming firepower. Good on Prosthetic Records for signing these dudes. Drink up.

Stream: Apple Music

Undeath – It’s Time… To Rise From the Grave

The undead will feast, on riffs that is. There’s a reason Decibel put this album at the top of this year’s list, as it hits all the notes we look to hear from a modern death metal band. Through superior skills in writing and composition, the band retains the spirit of old-school death metal while possessing their own energy that moves them from nostalgia act to the top of the corpse pile. I mean, they also have a song called “Head Splattered in Seven Ways,” in case you need more convincing.

Stream: Apple Music