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 of extreme metal released this year.
Check out our hand-picked choices below including Indian symphonic tech-death, Polish groove-death, and Israeli black-folk metal. More lists incoming soon including Best Metalcore, Best Progressive Metal, Best Folk Metal, Best Experimental Metal, and more!
Also, be sure to see who won the Readers’ Vote awards.
Extreme Metal Album of the Year (Gold Tier)
Demonic Resurrection – Decades of Darkness
It’s nearly unbelievable to come to terms with the fact that Demonic Resurrection are back with an official release this year considering the five-year gap since the masterpiece, Dashavatar. I had been eagerly anticipating new material as this project was formidable to my discovery of the Indian metal scene. Demonstealer‘s vocals and guitarwork are at their menacingly heaviest. While only four tracks (with the same songs as instrumentals included), the material packs a goddamn punch of symphonic technical death metal. Additionally, the lineup is impressive: Aditya Swaminathan (Kill the King), Misstiq (Earthcaller), David Diepold (Obscura, Cognizance), Kevin Paradis (Benighted), Pratika Prabhune (Wild Wild Women, Chronic Phobia). It’s grandiose and compellingly heavy. Most importantly, it’s everything you’d want from this legendary band.
Decades of Darkness by Demonic Resurrection is awarded Extreme Metal Album of the Year (Gold Tier) for 2022
Favorite Songs: “Non Serviam,” “The Mask,” “The Eye of Eternity“
For Fans Of: Behemoth, Dimmu Borgir, Carach Angren…
Extreme Metal Album of the Year (Silver Tier)
Decapitated – Cancer Culture
Released via Nuclear Blast
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 and politics. 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 Extreme Metal Album of the Year (Silver Tier) for 2022
Favorite Songs: “Cancer Culture,” “Hello Death (ft. Tatiana Shmayluk),” “Last Supper”
For Fans Of: late Cattle Decapitation, Allegaeon, early Gojira…
Extreme Metal Album of the Year (Bronze Tier)
Arallu – Death Covenant
Released via Hammerheart Records
“Death Covenant kicks ass. It’s more different than any other Arallu album, but not to a point where they sound desperate to appeal to a separate audience. It’s different because the band evolved and took their style to a new level. This is easily one of the best albums they’ve ever released, and an amazing comeback from the rut they’ve been stuck in for the last few years. No honest black metal head should miss out on this one.” [Full Review]
Death Covenant by Arallu is awarded Extreme Metal Album of the Year (Bronze Tier) for 2022
Favorite Songs: “Empire of Salt,” “Under Jerusalem Temple’s Mount,” “Prophecy of the Dead”
For Fans Of: Melechesh, Dark Funeral, Mayhem…
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