The 50 best metal songs of 2022 (as voted by you)

Ghost/Sabaton/Babymetal/Slipknot/Voice Of Baceprot
(Image credit: Press)

Well folks, here we are: the final stretch of 2022. With the brand new issue of Metal Hammer celebrating the year that was, we've been getting into the spirit with lists galore (thrash, prog metal, power metal, melodic death metal, death metal, doom, black metal - we've covered as many bases as we can!) and of course asking you to help us pick out some lists of your own, so we can find out exactly what ruled your year. 

But first, the results of last week's weekly vote (the last of 2022, no less). The new releases were still piling up as we approached Christmas, but there could only be one winner: Steel Panther took the crown, taking a strong lead over the dead heat between Avatar and Within Temptation.

Which brings us to this, the big round-up of this year's greatest songs. Every week (since May, at least), we've asked you to tell us what the best new song of each week is. Then, a couple weeks back we asked you to weigh in on a massive songs of the year vote. And boy oh boy, did you. Over 132,000 votes have helped us officially crown the best metal song of 2022, as chosen by you, our readers. 

So, with no further ado - below you can find write-ups for the top 10 metal songs of 2022, while the rest of our list can be found below. Merry Christmas and here's to 2023 being another fantastic year of music!

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1. Ghost - Call Me Little Sunshine

Not everyone was thrilled when Ghost's Impera was voted as the critics' choice for Metal Hammer's album of the year, but as it turns out, a lot of you were backing it. Call Me Little Sunshine arrived right at the start of the year on January 20th and hasn't left most of our ears ever since, its seductive mix of pounding riffs and massive hooks exemplar of why Impera is such a brilliant album. 

2. Ghost - Spillways

Yep, another Ghost song in the top ten. No major surprises though, considering just how insidiously catchy Impera is. Ghost have always had a touch of Abba-style catchiness to them, and Spillways is so on the nose about it you'd think it'd just spent its life's savings on rhinoplasty, opening with keys straight from the Money Money Money book. 

3. Slaughter To Prevail - 1984

There have been no shortage of bands condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022, and Russian deathcore band Slaughter To Prevail went right for the throat with 1984. A parting shot at the country (and government) they had left behind in the wake of the invasion, the band's natural brutality perfectly unperinned the anger and frustration expressed in the song's lyrical content. 

4. Sabaton - Soldier Of Heaven

Sabaton aren't exactly known for their subtlety, but Soldier Of Heaven trades in the band's usual sense of OTT bombast for a darker, more driven tone. It's still impossibly catchy of course (and even chucks some 80s style guitar towards the end), but its a perfect showcase that there's so much more to Sabaton than just being "that tank band" and when they hit Europe in early 2023 with an arena tour we'll see just how well these songs translate to massive arenas. 

5. Babymetal - Divine Attack (Shingeki)

Babymetal have always had one of the most passionate fanbases on the planet, but Divine Attack drove home just how much that band mean to people. Their big comeback after a 12-month hiatus, Divine Attack was the world's first taste of the band's upcoming fourth record The Other One and underpins their iconic J-metal sound with a healthy dose of symphonic elements that really betray the sense of ambition and scale that makes Babymetal so special. We can't wait to see what else they have in store... 

6. Babymetal - Monochrome

If Divine Attack was all about showcasing Babymetal's increased sense of grandeur, Monochrome is about translating that into a massive metal anthem. Blast-beats mix with subtle symphonic swells, which give way to the kind of arena rock guitars and vocal melodies that ruled the airwaves in the 80s. Expect this one to absolutely explode when Babymetal hit the road again in 2023. 

7. Rammstein - Zeit

Considering the decade-long wait for their untitled seventh album, Zeit was a total surprise when it appeared in March. Even more surprising was the more morose, mournful tone the band were taking with their new album's eponymous lead single, its video packed with symbolism about the passage of time. It was an impactful and poignant introduction to their new album, a powerful reminder that Rammstein aren't just about flames and controversy. 

8. Rammstein - Dicke Titten

If Zeit was all about exploring the passage of time, then Dicke Titten was a massive "nee-nah" to anyone who thought Rammstein were maturing. Literally translating to "big boobs", the song is a bawdy ode to the midlife crisis, chucking in some traditional German oompah brass for an extra dose of surrealism. 

9. Rammstein - Adieu

Considering the sheer cinematic scope of Rammstein's music videos, its no wonder that each single as part of the Zeit cycle has felt like its own entity. Fittingly, Adieu sends Rammstein's eighth album off in style, its stomping Led Zeppelin style riff and stunning sci-fi video feeling utterly enormous. 

10. Slipknot - The Dying Song (Time To Sing)

Slipknot's new record The End, So Far has proven to be somewhat divisive for its experimental tendencies, but there's no denying the band have still produced some worldbeating anthems. The Dying Song (Time To Sing) is just that, a pummelling, snarling beast with an oh-so catchy chorus that we can't wait to hear live next summer. 

The 50 best metal songs of 2022 (as voted by you):

11. Voice Of Baceprot - PMS
12. Slipknot - Yen
13. Metallica - LUX ÆTERNA
14. Nightwish - Noise (Live At The Islanders Arms)
15. Lorna Shore - The Pain Remains I: Dancing Like Flames
16. Bloodywood - Dana Dan
17. Bloodywood - Aaj
18. Lorna Shore - Sun//Eater
19. Avatar - Dance Devil Dance
20. Jonathan Young & Caleb Hyles - Wolf Within
21. Avatar - Valley Of Disease
22. Tarja - Eye Of The Storm
23. Ozzy Osbourne - Patient Number 9
24. Gojira - Our Time Is Now
25. Korn - Forgotten
26. Megadeth - We'll Be Back
27. The Hu - Black Thunder
28. The Hu - This Is Mongol
29. Alter Bridge - Pawns & Kings
30. Zeal & Ardor - Death To The Holy
31. Floor Jansen - Storm
32. Watain - We Remain
33. Alter Bridge - Silver Tongue
34. Lamb Of God - Omens
35. Vended - Overall
36. In Flames - State of Slow Decay
37. Electric Callboy - Hurrikan
38. Blackbriar - Crimson Faces
39. Alter Bridge - This Is War
40. Arch Enemy - The Watcher
41. Finger Finger Death Punch - IOU
42. Motorhead - Bullet In Your Brain
43. Disturbed - Hey You
44. Alter Bridge - Sin After Sin
45. In Flames - The Great Deceiver
46. Blind Guardian - Blood of The Elves
47. Amon Amarth - The Great Heathen Army
48. Arch Enemy - In The Eye Of The Storm
49. Epica - Sirens - Of Blood & Water
50. In Flames - Forgone Pt. 1

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Rich Hobson

Staff writer for Metal Hammer, Rich has never met a feature he didn't fancy, which is just as well when it comes to covering everything rock, punk and metal for both print and online, be it legendary events like Rock In Rio or Clash Of The Titans or seeking out exciting new bands like Nine Treasures, Jinjer and Sleep Token.