January 15, 2023

Trevor Proctor's Top 25 Albums of 2022.


Year end lists aren't for everyone, as I've mentioned previously some love them while others hate them but whether you like them or not there's no doubt they're a useful way of hearing new music and catching up on releases you may have missed during the year.

I think 2022 turned out to be one of the best years of recent times for releases with the underground proving to be in a very healthy state which made my selection and placing of albums on this listing very hard with very little between each release in terms of quality and how much I enjoyed them. As always I have a three way tie for the top position with three exceptional albums I found impossible to separate or rank. For a number of reasons I've had much less spare time this year than before and haven't been able to post as much during 2022 as I'd initially hoped so it's very encouraging to see our readership continue to grow and I hope to get more posted this year.

This is the seventh consecutive year where I've been responsible for all posts so I would like to thank every band, promoter, label and anyone else who has supported The Lair in the last year, all of your support is very much appreciated by me. Cheers also to Jude for continuing to trust me with the site.
My complete thanks also go to you, the reader, for continuing to support The Lair during 2022, every read, like and share mean a lot to me and without your support there wouldn't a be a Lair of Filth - you have my complete gratitude.

As always my eternal thanks and appreciation go to my wife, Audrey, for being a constant rock and source of encouragement during another eventful and tricky year.

Whilst I've supported the Kolkata underground for many years it's good to see Kolkata bands starting to get more recognition from other channels, reviewers etc. - it's about time our underground fully realised the never ending amount of talent within this unique city - Jaya Kalikshetra! 
I would also like to personally thank the members from Kolkata Inner Order Propaganda who I've been in touch with on many occasions during the year, your support and our correspondence mean a lot to me and is greatly appreciated.

My Top 25 Singles, EPs, Splits and Demos listing for 2022 was published here so give it a read as there's even more outstanding music to be streamed.

Also, please keep checking back to The Lair of Filth as in the coming weeks I'll be publishing a guest Top 10 release listing from one of Kolkata's greatest bands - Brahmastrika.

23.  SS-18 -  Lost Warheads - War Vellum / Independent.

'Lost Warheads' was initially recorded in 2006 but was only released last year when one of the most important up-coming labels of recent years, War Vellum, released it in conjunction with SS-18. The band belongs to the Stavropol Nekrodivizion which includes several bands, including Misanthropic Art, Horthodox, Deathmoor and Lashblood
SS-18 refers to the name of a Russian strategic missile which was also known as Satanas.

22. Thulsa DoomA Fate Worse than DeathInvictus Productions.

Formed in Italy during 2017 this is Thulsa Doom's second release, their previous being the 2018 EP, 'Realms of Hatred.' The press release for 'A Fate Worse than Death' stated, "At long last, Thulsa Doom deliver their debut album, A Fate Worse Than Death. Picking up right where they left off, the band's first full-length brims with the same hellfire and mystery that made the late '80s such a classic period in the underground, and then adds caldronous atmosphere that only heightens their extreme aggression that much more. In fact, with a righteously robust production that's powerful and era-exemplary, one could argue that A Fate Worse Than Death is stylistically the perfect middle point between Abominations of Desolation and Altars of Madness..."

21. Abysmal LordBestiary of Immortal HungerHells Headbangers Records.

Released on the 30th of December Abysmal Lord's third album may have slipped your attention, don't let this be the case as it's pure quality from start to finish.

20. Chthonic Cult - Become Seekers for DeathPutrid CultFallen Angel Distro.

Chthonic Cult's second album which is their first new material in seven years - their previous album was 'I Am the Scourge of Eternity.'

19. Imprecation In Nomine DiaboliDark Descent Records.

Imprecation's second album which follows 2013's 'Satanae Tenebris Infinita.' 
"Tendrils of pure evil will engulf the listener with Satanic hymns that recall the greatest days of Deicide and Morbid Angel. Imprecation's own version of this venerable death metal tradition brings forth moments ranging from blistering and relentless to crushingly heavy, and all shall yield in their wake. Do not mistake this for "old school death metal"; this is death metal the way it was always intended - powerful, malevolent, and uncompromising. Give yourself over in the name of the Devil to experience Imprecation at the height of their powers." (Dark Descent's bandcamp description.)

18. HelvellynThe Lore of the Cloaked AssemblyPurity Through FireWulfhere ProductionsWorship Tapes.

Debut album from the U.K.'s Helvellyn. The press release for 'The Lore of the Cloaked Assembly' was published here and stated, "Theirs is a deliberately (and proudly) traditional style of black metal set somewhere around 1995; the paradigmatic works of earliest Dodheimsgard, Gorgoroth, and especially Darkthrone as well as later gatekeepers like Armagedda and Sweden's Craft keep the parameters pure and cold. Indeed, to say The Lore of the Cloaked Assembly could've come out on Malicious Records back in the mid '90s should be viewed as the highest of compliments, so cryogenically authentic is Helvellyn's attack here." 

17. Father BefouledCrowned in VeneficumEverlasting Spew Records.

'Crowned in Veneficum' is the first new album from Father Befouled since 2017's 'Desolate Gods.' With a total of five albums along with a vast range of  EPs, splits etc., released since their formation in 2006 there's no doubting Father Befouled's quality of music and contribution to Death Metal.

16. Bones - Sombre OpulenceInvictus Productions.

First rate music continues to come from Belgium, this time in the form of the debut album from Bones whose previous 2020 EP 'Gate of Night' featured on my Top 25 EP listing for that year.

15. SS-18Cryoholocaust Thou Shalt Kill! RecordsIndependent.

The second SS-18 album to feature in this listing, 'Cryoholocaust' is another album that's definitely worthy of your attention. Despite the music for five tracks being written between 1997 and 2002 the album was only recorded between October 2019 and January 2021 with a release date of November 2022.

14. Wampyrinacht -  Night of the Desecration - Iron Bonehead Productions.

Second album from Wampyrinacht which follows their debut, 'We Will Be Watching: Les cultes de Satan et les mystères de la mort' which was released in 2017. The press release for 'Night of the Desecration' perfectly summed up this sublime release, "Night of the Desecration burns with a fire that flickers in myriad directions - rising, falling, cresting, flowing, all-consuming at every turn across the album's deceptively epic 43-minute runtime - but always focused, always finessed. Leading the charge is Necrolord's guitar work here, ably balancing stout 'n' strident riffing with emotive 'n' bone-chilling leads; the heavy metal spirit at the core of classic Greek black metal pulses proudly, but Wampyrinacht doubtlessly put their own shadowy twist on it. Night of the Desecration is thus a work steeped in the ancients whilst retaining a freshness of approach that should span generations of black metallers: actual songwriting is king, now more than ever."

13. V.E.I.N.Blood OathsEternal Death.

Completely lethal debut album from start to finish and Death Fiend released this independently. Do not let this fantastic release slip under your radar - only available on digital formats and a 12" vinyl edition which was limited to a quantity of just 100. Hopefully 'Blood Oaths' will receive a thoroughly deserved higher profile release on further formats in the near future.

12. Negative Plane - The Pact - Invictus ProductionsThe Ajna Offensive.

With this being Negative Plane's first album in eleven years it was easily one of the year's most anticipated releases, and one that doesn't disappoint. An interview with Negative Plane regarding 'The Pact' was conducted with Bardo Methodology and can be read by following this link.

11. Goatsmegma -  Goat Separatist MovementGodz ov War Productions.

10. Coscradh -  Nahanagan StadialInvictus Productions.

Debut album from Ireland's Coscradh, yet another Irish band that goes from strength to strength with each consecutive release. Prior to the release of 'Nahanagan Stadial' Coscradh had released a demo and two EPs, all of which appeared in my Top 25 EP listings. 
The press release for 'Nahanagan Stadial' stated, "From bestial explosions to quicksand whirlpools to old-fashioned asskicking thrust, the quartet give a masterclass here in timeless death energy, imbued with a wild-eyed sturm und drang that's blanching to behold. And the fact that they don't hide behind miles of murk only heightens the strength of their songwriting across this five-song / 41 minute plunge into eldritch depths."

9. OsTehom - Iron Bonehead Productions / Godz ov War Productions.

Tehom is Os' second full length album, their first being, 'Stationes Viae Mortis' which was released in 2020. Tehom is the band's biggest profile release to date with Iron Bonehead Productions releasing digital, LP and CD formats and Godz ov War Productions releasing it on cassette. This high profile release is thoroughly deserved at Tehom is a stunning album from start to finish.

8. Corpsessed - Succumb to RotDark Descent RecordsMe Saco un Ojo Records.

Finland's Corpsessed celebrated their fifteenth anniversary in the strongest of ways by releasing their fourth full-length, 'Succumb to Rot' in April. Corpsessed's music has featured a number of times at The Lair of Filth and you can access previous articles by following this link. This is also the third time Corpsessed has appeared in my Top 25 album listings - in 2014 they were placed at number one with their debut album, 'Abysmal Thresholds' and in 2018 they were placed at number three with their second album, 'Impetus of Death.'

7. Cadaver CoilsOfferings of Rapture and Decay - Iron Bonehead Productions / Rat King Records.

It's amazing this album is the first release by Cadaver Coils from Greece and what makes the album even more outstanding is everything was written and performed by the extremely talented Naos. The press release for 'Offerings of Rapture and Decay' stated, "Hailing from Greece, Cadaver Coils took shape on Athenian soil during the winter of 2021. The work of one mysterious man, Offerings of Rapture and Decay is the band's first recording, right after its formation. Sublimely simple and straightforward, Cadaver Coils don't pretend to be anything they're not nor try to "progress" anything that doesn't need progressing in the first place. Rather, this pure 'n' proud old-school DEATH METAL, suffused with the stench of doom and blackened with an atmosphere most sinister."

6. CryptwormSpewing Mephitic PutridityMe Saco un Ojo RecordsPulverised RecordsExtremely Rotten Productions.

Debut album from the U.K.'s Cryptworm who improve from release to release. This is their first new material since their 2020 EP 'Reeking Gunk of Abhorrence' which I placed at number eleven in my Top 25 EP listing for that year.

5. Immolation Acts of GodNuclear Blast.

Follow up to their 2017 album, 'Atonement.' Thirty one years since their debut album, 'Dawn of Possession,' Immolation further cement their status as one of the greatest Death Metal bands of all time.

4. Eggs of Gomorrh - WombspreaderGodz ov War Productions.

Second full-length from Eggs of Gomorrh, the first of which was 'Rot Prophet' which was released in 2016. In 2022 Eggs of Gomorrh also released a split with Weregoat entitled, 'Orgiastic Rape of Resurrected Remains' that featured at number four in My Top 25 EP listing which can be accessed by following this link.

3. AbhorSex Sex Sex (Ceremonia Daemonis Anticristi) - Iron Bonehead Productions.

Eighth full-length from Italy's Abhor and follow up to their 2018 album 'Occulta Religio' which I placed at number thirteen on my Top 25 Album listing for that year. The press release for 'Sex Sex Sex (Ceremonia Daemonis Anticristi)' was published here and stated, "Truly titled, Sex Sex Sex brings a spooky sensuality to Abhor's trademark style of olde-worlde black metal. With both Hammer Horror organs to the fore and a macho headbanging stomp, the Italians create a canvas of arcane mysteries and ancient metal might, foregoing so much of the fluff that's characterized post-"second wave" black metal and striking true(r) to the sound of the Old Gods: Celtic Frost, Mortuary Drape, Varathron, Samael, and even very earliest Mayhem."

2. Misþyrming Með hamriNorma Evangelium DiaboliVánagandr.

Flawless Black Metal from Iceland's Misþyrming and their first album since 2019's 'Algleymi' which I placed at number eight in my Top 25 Album Listing for that year. With reference to 'Með hamriMisþyrming stated, "Authentic and genuine, entirely devoid of gimmicks, Með hamri is a celebration of violence and excess. Arrogant, vitriolic, and with contemptuous disregard for your every sensibility, this album is our statement against all that is false and vain in today’s underground scene. With the timeless values of true metal woven into its very fabric – unironic and unapologetic – this is the Devil’s music made manifest. There is plenty of room for nuance and subtlety in Black Metal, but the hammer leaves no room for interpretation."

1. Black Cilice -  Esoteric Atavism - Iron Bonehead Productions.

Sixth album from Black Cilice and the third time in as many years to appear in my year end listings - the 'Tomb Emanations' 7" EP was placed at number two in my Top 25 EP listing last year, and the last album prior to this, 'Transfixion of Spirits' was placed at number ten in my Top 25 album listing in 2019. With a total of twenty six releases since 2009 there's no doubting the importance of Black Cilice within our underground.

1. Aparthiva RaktadharaAdyapeeth Maranasamhita (আদ্যাপীঠ মরণসংহিতা) - Iron Bonehead Productions.

A thoroughly deserved top spot for Aparthiva Raktadhara with their debut album, which is also only their second physical release, following their phenomenal 'Agyat Ishvar' EP which appeared at number four in my Top 25 EP listing in 2018
Earlier this year I was give the honour of interviewing nāḥāš the vocalist in Aparthiva Raktadhara - the full interview can be accessed by following this link
When describing the sound on 'Adyapeeth Maranasamhita (আদ্যাপীঠ মরণসংহিতা)' nāḥāš stated, "Adyapeeth Maranasamhita, being our debut album, demanded a sharper and more pummeling soundscape but without losing any of traces of intimidation, hostility and the oppressive nature that a death metal record should inherit. Our style, which is heavily speed-induced needed a proper treatment with the mixing and mastering as it's unbelievably challenging to maintain the both of these - velocity and a general clarity. So a great deal of attention had to be paid in both our recording and mixing/mastering sessions but the outcome was highly successful in our opinion." 
At the start of this listing I thanked Kolkata Inner Order members who I've been in touch with during the year so I'd like to take this opportunity to personally thank nāḥāš for both the interview and also for his other support and contact during 2022, all of which are very much appreciated by me.

1. Grand Belial's KeyKohanic CharmersWeltenfeind.

'Kohanic Charmers', is the band's first new album since 2005 and seemed to appear from nowhere in April, with very little publicity and no promos but then again when you're a band like Grand Belial's Key with an album as accomplished as this you don't need publicity.  
'Kohanic Charmers' features the same line-up since Grand Belial's Key re-formed in 2009 and was recorded in Mäkelborg during 2016.

At the time of writing no official streams of 'Kohanic Charmers' were available online but you can listen to it in full and purchase on digital formats by following this link.

Like The Lair of Filth Facebook page to keep up to date with future articles.

No comments: