Here are Team Louder's favourite albums of 2022

Louder's Best Albums Of 2022
(Image credit: Various)

With Ghost smashing Metal Hammer's critics poll and Def Leppard's Joe Elliot giving some unexpected props to Demi Lovato, it's that time of year where everyone and their grandma is dropping hot takes on the artists that have defined 2022.

With that in mind, what better time for Louder's online team - and some of our key freelancers for the website -  to get stuck in and reveal our own favourite albums of the year? There's no complex voting system or definitive poll here - these are just the records that we've all loved the most across the last 12 months, running the gamut from rock, punk and metal to hip hop, indie and EDM. Quite frankly, if you want any evidence of just how stacked 2022 has been for great music across just about every genre you can think of, you need look no further. Let's get stuck in...

Metal Hammer line break


1. Press Club - Endless Motion
"Crashed my car last week/ Checked the rearview, kept on driving…" This year I mostly listened to Press Club and watched Mr Inbetween: both were fresh, fierce, weirdly familiar but still unformulaic and full of heart. Aussie rules."

2. Hurrah For The Riff Raff- Life On Earth
3. Zach Bryan - American Heartbreak
4. Sylvan Esso - No Rules Sandy
5. Danger Mouse and Black Thought - Cheat Codes
6. Loyle Carner - Hugo
7. Clutch - Sunrise On Slaughter Beach
8. Skinshape - Nostalgia
9. Stereophonics - Oochya!
10. Panda Bear & Sonic Boom - Reset


1. Kendrick Lamar - Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers
"A searing, challenging unwrapping of toxic masculinity, generational pain, human imperfection and familial violence, all brought to life by this generation's most essential hip hop artist. Kendrick's hot streak shows no sign of ending."

2. The Weeknd - Dawn FM
3. Ghost - Impera
4. Little Simz - No Thank You
5. Bonobo - Fragments
6. TSHA - Capricorn Sun
7. Machine Head - Of Kingdom And Crown
8. Loyle Carner - Hugo
9. Danger Mouse and Black Thought - Cheat Codes
10. Rina Sawayama - Hold The Girl


1. 東京酒吐座 ‘月世界遊泳’ (Tokyo Shoegazer - Moonworld Playground)
“Featuring the crystalline vocals of Rie Fu, Moonworld Playground, the first album recorded by the Japanese shoegazers since their 2019 reunification, was ‘created by destroying and reconstructing everything due to the pandemic’, the band say. That’ll be why it sounds like the dawning of a brilliant, beautiful new world, all wide-eyed unsullied innocence, hope and possibility.”

2. FKA Twigs - Caprisongs
3. Meryl Streek - 796
4. Chat Pile - God’s Country
5. High Vis - Blending
6. Dry Cleaning - Stumpwork
7. Fontaines D.C. - Skinty Fia
8. Witch Fever - Congregation
9. The Comet Is Coming - Hyper-Dimensional Expansion Beam
10. Sinead O’Brien - Time Bend And Break The Bower


1. Danger Mouse and Black Thought - Cheat Codes
"Danger Mouse continues to be better than anyone else at bringing out the best in others on an album that's smart, wildly imaginative and an actual, bona-fide masterpiece."

2. Ghost - Impera
3. Loyle Carner: Hugo
4. Fontaines D.C. - Skinty Fia
5. The Mars Volta - The Mars Volta
6. Tedeschi Trucks Band - I Am The Moon
7. Kikagaku Moyo - Kumoyo Island
8. Porcupine Tree - Closure/Continuation
9. Meryl Streek - 796
10. Westside Gunn - 10


1. Mitski – Laurel Hell
"Laurel Canyon goes 80s synth-pop on indie-rock star Mitski’s sixth album. But the epic choruses of Heartbreaker and Love You More mask a weary cynicism that’s pure 2022."

2. Beth Orton - Weather Alive
3. Sudan Archives - Natural Brown Prom Queen
4= Red Hot Chili Peppers - Return Of The Dream Canteen
4= Red Hot Chili Peppers - Unlimited Love
6. Plains – I Walked With You A Ways
7. Suede - Autofiction
8. The Weeknd - Dawn FM
9. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Cool It Down
10. Gang Of Youths - Angel In Realtime


1. Ghost - Impera
"Ghost leader Tobias Forge’s constant strive for perfection becomes its most obvious on Impera, and is undoubtedly the best album by the Swedish occult party rockers to date. Glittering with 80s, sparkling melodies as easily recognisable as any ABBA song, the album is a versatile feast fit for those hungry for something darkly esoteric, yet blazingly bombastic."

2. AA Williams - As The Moon Rests
3. Witch Fever - Congregation
4. Willow - Coping Mechanism 
5. Rammstein - Zeit
6. Nova Twins - Supernova
7. Elder - Innate Passage
8. Heriot - Profound Morality
9. Gaupa - Myriad 
10. Porcupine Tree - Closure / Continuation


1. Ghost - Impera
"Ghost dig into the rock mega-hits of the 80s to produce an album that is joyous, triumphant and gloriously OTT. From the exhilarating charge of Kaisarion through to riffy anthems Call Me Little Sunshine and Hunter's Moon, right out to the frantic wild-eyed Twenties, Impera grabs you be the hoo-has and never lets go."

2. Jamie Lenman - The Atheist
3. Zeal & Ardor - Zeal & Ardor
4. Venom Prison - Eerebos
5. Sabaton - The War To End All Wars
6. A.A. Williams - As The Moon Rests
7. GGGOLDDD - This Shame Should Not Be Mine
8. Rammstein - Zeit
9. Placebo - Never Let Me Go
10. The Interrupters - In The Wild


1. Marillion - An Hour Before It’s Dark
They’ve been mining a rich vein of form for a good decade now, and Marillion’s current high shows no sign of abating on their 20th studio album. Taking a passionate look at the word around them, Steve Hogarth lyrics tumble out with simpatico, fear and a flicker of hope for the future, while around his bandmates concoct a melodic symphony that can both challenge the listener and instil ear worms with ease. A wonderful modern prog album."

2. Porcupine Tree - Closure/Continuation
3. Tears For Fears - The Tipping Point
4. Def Leppard - Diamond Star Halos
5. Scorpions - Rock Believer
6. Arena - The Theory Of Molecular Inheritance
7. Ozzy Osbourne - Patient No. 9
8. Sel Balamir - ( )rphans
9. Von Hertzen Brothers - Red Alert In The Blue Forest
10. Megadeth - The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!


1. Pixies - Doggerel
“Not content being just another part of the nostalgia touring circuit, Pixies continue to release consistently great records. On Doggerel’s pace-setting opener Nomatterday, Black Francis howls “don’t piss in the fountain.” Sound advice, Black, sound advice indeed. And with their eighth studio album, Pixies’ fountain remains refreshingly piss-free. Go on, take a dip – the water’s fine.”

2. Fontaines D.C. - Skinty Fia
3. The Mars Volta - The Mars Volta
4. Clutch - Sunrise On Slaughter Beach
5. Ghost - Impera
6. The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Fire Doesn’t Grow On Trees
7. Interpol - The Other Side of Make-Believe
8. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Cool It Down
9. Arctic Monkeys - The Car
20. Mark Tremonti - Tremonti Sings Sinatra


1. Neptune Power Federation - Le Demon de L’amour
"Punk, blues, stoner rock and the flinty-eyed ghost of Malcolm Young pound breathlessly through these eight anthemic tracks. Throw this on when it’s time to take the party to the next level."

2. Ghost - Impera
3. Kvaen - The Great Below
4. Ginger Wildheart & the Sinners - Ginger Wildheart & the Sinners
5. Jerry Cantrell - Brighten
6. Deathbell - A Nocturnal Crossing
7. Wilco - Cruel Country
8. Gaerea - Mirage
9. Rhett Miller - The Misfit
10. Sidious - Blackest Insurrection


1. The Callous Daoboys – Celebrity Therapist
"Baroque pop choruses, erratic time signatures and lyrics that tear the alt-right a new one make this mathcore's most important album since Dillinger broke up."

2. Cave In – Heavy Pendulum
3. Russian Circles – Gnosis
4. Metric – Formentera
5. Ithaca – They Fear Us
6. A.A. Williams – As The Moon Rests
7. Cult Of Luna – The Long Road North
8. Everything Everything – Raw Data Feel
9. Birds In Row – Gris Klein
10. Health – Disco4 Part II


1. Gang of Youths - Angel in Real Time
"When Gang of Youths frontman David Le'aupepe's father passed away in 2018 the revelation that he was a decade older than he claimed and had an entire other family he had kept as a secret inspired this collection of songs. Those emotions, from pain, confusion, regret, neglect and loss, are beautifully channelled into a movingly touching and anthemic record."

Kendrick Lamar - Mr Morale and the Big Steppers
3. Soul Glo - Diasphora Problems
4. Loyle Carner - Hugo
5. Working Men's Club - Fear Fear
6. The 1975 - Being Funny in a Foreign Language
7. Kae Tempest - The Line is a Curve
8. Moor Mother - Jazz Codes
9. High Vis - Blending
10. Murkage Dave - The City Needs a Hero


1.     Bad Breeding – Human Capital
"Ferociously smart and sonically punishing, Bad Breeding’s extraordinary run of albums continued this year with their best yet. A merciless amalgam of hardcore, anarcho-punk and twisted noise, Human Capital gives the modern day a righteous kicking. The best punk band in the UK, bar none."

2.     Cypress Hill – Back In Black
3.     Petbrick – Liminal
4.     Special Interest – Endure
5.     Off! – Free LSD
6.     Soul Glo – Diaspora Problems
7.     Vinnie Paz – Tortured In The Name Of God’s Unconditional Love
8.     Show Me The Body – Trouble The Water
9.     Black Dresses – Forget Your Own Face
10.  Mugged Off – Divide & Rule 


1. Fontaines D.C. – Skinty Fia 
"On their third album, Fontaines D.C. stripped back their visceral post-punk for something reflective, taut and unabashedly sentimental. Skinty Fia marked three excellent records on the trot for the Dublin quintet and produced their finest moment to date in the tender and agonising, I Love You, a complex, explosive dedication to Ireland."

2. Electric Callboy - Tekkno 
3. Malevolence - Malicious Intent 
4. The Chats – Get Fucked 
5. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Cool It Down
6. Denzel Curry - Melt My Eyez See Your Future 
7. Horsegirl – Versions Of Modern Performance
8. Kendrick Lamar - Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers 
9. Bleed From Within – Shrine 
10. Foals – Life Is Yours 


1.Bob Vylan – Bob Vylan Presents The Price of Life
"Bob Vylan proved themselves as rock’s brightest new stars on their groundbreaking grime-punk album. There’s no one else doing it like them."

2. Fontaines D.C. – Skinty Fia
3. Ezra Furman – All Of Us Flames
4. Yard Act – The Overload
5. Just Mustard – Heart Under
6. Nova Twins – Supernova
7. Witch Fever - Congregation
8. The Linda Lindas – Growing Up
9. The Mysterines - Reeling
10. Big Joanie – Back Home


1. Clutch – Sunrise On Slaughter Beach
"There’s something about getting a new Clutch album that’s kinda like getting a new pair of boots. You loved the old ones, but they’re worn out through constant use, and while the new pair will take a while to wear in, perhaps uncomfortable at first, it won’t be long before you love them, too. Made by master craftsmen!"

2. Cancer Bats – Psychic Jailbreak
3. Stoner – Totally
4. Viagra Boys – Cave World
5. Slipknot – The End, So Far
6. Nebula –Transmissions From Mothership Earth
7. Dub War – Westgate Under Fire
8. Charger – Warhorse
9. The Hu – Rumble Of Thunder
10. Lawnmower Deth – Blunt Cutters 


1. The Afghan Whigs - How Do You Burn?
"No one's into lust, loss and regret quite like Afghan Whigs mainman Greg Dulli. How Do You Burn? could've been an exercise in easy nostalgia, but instead goes for the throat like a lovebite."

2. Darnell Williams - Apocalypse Now
3. Hot Water Music - Feel The Void
4. Wounded Touch - Americanxiety
5. Fletcher - Girl Of My Dreams
6. The Wonder Years - The Hum Goes On Forever
7. Riverby - Absolution
8. Blood Incantation - Timewave Zero
9. Single Mothers - Everything You Need
10. Kae Tempest - The Line Is A Curve


1. Orville Peck - Bronco
"Telling tales of the dusty highway, this masked crooner engulfs the listener with shoegaze dreaminess and good ‘ole mid-Century American rock and roll."

2. Little Simz - No Thank You
3. Loyle Carter - hugo
4. Ghost - Impera
5. The Callous Daoboys - Celebrity Therapist
6. Rina Sawayama - Hold The Girl
7. Bob Vylan - Bob Vylan Presents The Price Of Life
8. Nervus - The Evil One
9. Soul Glo - Diaspora Problems
10. Gang of Youths - angel in realtime.


1. AUA – The Damaged Organ
"Released in the first week of 2022, nearly everyone missed this, but it’s a brilliant synthesis of Krautrock, post-punk and avant pop. Imagine a Radiohead/Broadcast collab, in Leipzig."

2. Michael Rother & Vittoria Maccabruni – As Long As The Light
3. Goat – Oh Death
4. Concretism – The Thetford Beast
5. Loop – Sonancy
6. Kieran Mahon – Morning Brings The Light
7. Milkbone – Milkbone
8. Mythic Sunship – Light/Flux
9. Free/Slope – Blissful Repetitions
10. Astrosaur – Portals


1. Nova Twins Supernova
"Supernova is female empowerment incarnate. The London duo spit blistering lyrics over siren song guitars and sassy bass in a genre-bending battle cry. It's music to rage to."

2. ††† (Crosses)  - Permanent Radiant
3. Vukovi - Nula
4. White Lung - Premonition
5. A.A. Williams - As The Moon Rests
6. Motionless In White - Scoring The End Of The World
7. Witch Fever- Congregation
8. Ghost - Impera
9. Placebo - Never Let Me Go
10. The Birthday Massacre - Fascination


1: The Good the Bad and the Zugly - Research and Destroy
"TGTBATZ are Turbonegro for people who don’t love sperm, The Hellacopters with top meme game. Research And Destroy is the catchiest, boldest display of straight-up Scandi-punk since Turbonegro's Apocalypse Dudes. Skål!"

2. Rammstein - Zeit
3. Porcupine Tree - Closure/Continuation
4. Clutch - Sunrise on Slaughter Beach
5. Blood Command - Praise Armageddonism
6. Watain - The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain
7. Ghost - Impera
8. Zeal & Ador - Zeal & Ardor
9. Sigh - Shiki 
10. Ethel Cain - Preacher’s Daughter

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.