Best Metal Around the World: May 2022 (Decapitated, Ignea, Ou, Solum…)

There is so much heavy, extreme, and beautiful metal music being conjured all around the world that it can be overwhelming. Fortunately, Metal Has No Borders has curated the best of the best, from Poland and Ukraine to Kazakhstan and China as well as everything in between.

Enjoy our hand-picked favorite albums, singles, and videos for May 2022 below. Enjoy and share which bands you were headbanging to this month in the comment section!

Gold Album of the Month

Solum – Solum

Poland

Nostalgia is a dangerous drug, but in the same breath, the most satisfying high. The alt-metal riffs paired with confident vocalizations throughout Solum‘s self-titled record shine in a similar light as late 90’s / early 2000’s heavy-hitters Chevelle or System of a Down. Thankfully, this Polish act isn’t functioning exclusively off the styles of decades past, shown when they unearth a profound and more modern diversity deeper in the tracklisting. Elements of groovy metalcore and Opethian prog take the spotlight while proudly standing on the aforementioned alternative foundation. I’ve found an addiction building up in my brain to the razor sharp riffs, earworm vocal melodies, and bombastic dynamics displayed in this absolutely fantastic release.

Solum by Solum is awarded Gold Ranking Album of the Month for May 2022

Favorite Songs:Przebudzenie,” “Asfiksja,” “A Trip to the Moon

FFO: Textures, Tool, Riverside


Silver Album on the Month

Ou – One

China

The term “progressive” sure gets passed around in music circles quite a lot nowadays, almost to the point to where it has lost its luster. In an effort to revive the unmistakable boundary-breaking quality of the term, Ou emerges. Vocalist Lynn Wu unveils a delivery that is so uniquely innovative that pioneers Kraftwerk or Radiohead would blush in envy. Her lush, yet syncopated melodies coexist in an alluring musical landscape, boasting the balance between modern grooves with eccentric ambience. A dreamy aura surrounds extremely clever songwriting, allowing for the subtle death metal riffs to find an impossible harmony with electro-pop glow.

One by Ou is awarded Silver Ranking Album of the Month for May 2022

Favorite Songs:Mountain,” “Travel,” “Prejudice”

FFO: King Crimson, The Contortionist, Leprous

Purchase Here


Bronze Album of the Month

Decapitated – Cancer Culture

Poland

Initially, the album title felt a bit off-putting and uncomfortably edgy considering how it tongue in cheek gestured to cancel culture, a now nauseating buzzword in American media. After taking a step back and examining the full picture of the album’s themes (the literal culture of the fatal disease, cancer: substance abuse, self-grief, science communities clashing with religious forces, and different angles of death, conceptually), the songs in Decapitated‘s eighth record felt so purposeful in its heaviness. The history of the Polish act runs deep with an impressive lore boasting their debut album being written when band members were merely at ages 15 – 18. With musical maturation and lineup changes (RIP Vitek), their identity has gracefully transitioned from tech-death to groove metal. To much deserved praise, their roots are not fully buried in Cancer Culture, with plenty of truly impressive, technical guitar licks intertwine with the groove.

Cancer Culture by Decapitated is awarded Bronze Ranking Album of the Month for May 2022

Favorite Songs:Cancer Culture,” “Hello Death (ft. Tatiana Shmayluk),” “Last Supper”

FFO: late Cattle Decapitation, Allegaeon, early Gojira

Purchase Here


Other Notable Releases:

Seven Sins – My Triumph

Kazakhstan

There’s always been such an unnecessary divide between the trio of death, doom, and black metal. Seven Sins pioneers an impressive, mesmerizing blend between the aforementioned three subgenres.

Listen to “Slipknot

Purchase Here

Katharos XIII – Chthonian Transmissions

Romania

Once in a blue moon, I stumble upon a metal album that is so unearthly sounding. Chthonian Transmissions is the perfectly titled album as the music showcased is so frighteningly pleasant in those most foreign, curious way.

Listen to “Neurastenia

Purchase Here

Heterochrome – From the Ashes

Iran

With triumphant riffs and a superb sense of dynamics, Heterochrome proved that political progressive, symphonic, and death metal can mesh together for strangely fascinating experience.

Listen to “Badbadak (The Flight)

Purchase Here

Check out All Recent, Upcoming, and Past Notable Releases by Clicking Here


Best New Single / Video

Ignea – “Magura’s Last Kiss”

Ukraine

Their sophomore full-length album, The Realms of Fire & Death, fully convinced me that the Ukrainian metal scene is worth paying attention to. Ignea‘s certainly distinct menagerie of symphonic death, prog, and folk metal continued onto their 2021 split release with Ersedu. “Magura’s Last Kiss,” the second track off the aforementioned EP, excels through a remarkable balance between seductive melody and brash heaviness. The simple, yet pointed visuals in the new music video present a meaningful message in the current Russian invasion of Ignea‘s home.

“Magura’s Last Kiss” by Ignea is awarded Best Single / Video of the Month for May 2022

Other Notable Singles / Videos:

The Hu – “This is Mongol”

Mongolia

Genuinely, the most iconic track released by these powerful and folksy groove metallers; listen here

Demonic Resurrection – “Necromancer”

India

The Indian symphonic death metal legends continue their reign of singles this year with a churning, compelling piece featuring David Diepold (Obscura, Cognizance, etc.) and Misstiq (Earthcaller); listen here

Parallel Horizons – “Asylum”

Hong Kong

Featuring Loisey, Zerron Qym, and SaiKong, this war between modern rappers on a noisy metalcore battleground makes for a liberating experience; listen here

Kekal – “The Ascending Collective”

Indonesia

Six minutes of unexplainable off-the-walls wacky, experimental metal bliss; listen here


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s