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The 50 most anticipated metal albums of 2022

11. Hangman's Chair - A Loner (Nuclear Blast)

Six albums and 17 years into their career,  Hangman's Chair are something of a well-kept secret in France's doom metal scene. An appearance on the closing track of Perturbator's decidedly gothic-inspired Lustful Sacraments helped thrust the band towards the (much deserved) spotlight, but A Loner should be the final push needed to bring their 80s-tinged goth-doom brilliance to the masses. If you fell head over heels for Unto Others or Grave Pleasures, just wait till you get a load of this. 

Release Date: February 11


12. Amorphis - Halo (Atomic Fire)

Now on their 14th studio album, Finland's melodeath masters Amorphis have no shortage of brilliance to call upon when celebrating 30 years of prog-tinged excellence. Lead single The Moon catches the band at their most atmospheric, incorporating symphonic elements alongside decidedly 70s-style prog keyboards to hone in on the cinematic quality that has made them a mainstay of the metal scene, delivering the quality and ambitiousness fans have come to expect.

Release Date: February 11


13. Pike Vs The Automaton - Pike Vs The Automaton (MNRK Heavy)

Between his work in Sleep and High On Fire, Matt Pike has more than earned his spot as stoner metal royalty. While the wait for a follow-up to High On Fire's Grammy-winning 2018 album Electric Messiah continues, Pike is stepping out under his own name with Pike Vs The Automaton. Pike isn't turning his back on the genre he helped shape; rather Pike Vs The Automaton is an expenditure of excess energies, a way to keep the artist engaged in the sludge-soaked sonics of his past while his other projects took a rest during the pandemic. With song-titles like Alien Slut Mum, we expect it to gloriously daft and brilliant in equal measure.  

Release Date: February 18


14. Bloodywood - Rakshak (Self-released)

It's hard to believe that almost four years have passed since Bloodywood went viral with Ari Ari and we still haven't had a full-length album from the Indian metal group as yet. Rakshak will bring that long wait to a close, the band's debut album arriving just a month before they embark on a headline tour of the UK. Mixing elements of groove, folk and rap metal as well as a healthy dose of Bhangra, Bloodywood's sound remains one of the most unique things to emerge from the metal scene in recent years and promises plenty of excitement on release.

Release Date: February 18


15. The Hu - Album #2 (Eleven Seven)

While we're talking about getting off the beaten track, it makes perfect sense to talk about perhaps one of the biggest surprise sensations of the metal world in recent years. Hammer caught up with The Hu towards the tail end of 2021 to talk album #2 and while they played their cards close to their chest in terms of what we can expect of the new album, they did reiterate that their experiences playing to fans around the world had helped shape their sound going forward. With the band due to tour UK arenas with power metal heroes Sabaton in March, we're hoping to hear some massive new tunes in the set and maybe even an album release announcement. 

Release Date: TBA


16. Scorpions - Rock Believer (Universal Music/Spinefarm)

50 years on from their debut and Scorpions are still keeping the faith with album #19, Rock Believer. Back in November, the band unveiled the first single from the album, Peacemaker blasting out the gates to reiterate just what it means to have conquered the upper echelons of rock and metal stardom. With a massive world tour planned to celebrate their return post-pandemic, Rock Believer looks to have all the triumphant energy fans could hope for, a shining example of what it means to be true rock legends 

Release Date: February 25


17. Corpsegrinder - Corpsegrinder (Perseverance Media Group)

With Violence Unimagined, Cannibal Corpse reasserted themselves as one of death metal's most legendary names, still setting the standard for gut-churning heaviness three decades on from their emergence, earning a spot on the best death metal albums of 2021 in the process. Frontman George 'Corpsegrinder' Fischer isn't about to rest on his laurels however, announcing his first-ever solo album for release in early 2022. Lead single Acid Vat effectively confirmed that the growler-in-chief is largely sticking to the tried-and-true routes of gore-spattered DM, which is perfectly fine with us considering just how damned good he is at it. 

Release Date: February 25


18. Sabaton - The War To End All Wars (Nuclear Blast)

Sabaton's entire career has been an effective exercise in the notion of 'go big or go home' and the band's tenth studio album isn't about to see them dial things back. Back in November, Hammer were sent out to Belgium for a listening party at the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History in Brussels, where we got to grips with what may very well be Sabaton's biggest production to date. A somewhat sequel to 2019's The Great War, The War To End All Wars focuses on the battles, heroes and tactics of World War 1 to create something akin to a theatrical heavy metal take on a big-budget Hollywood war epic, just in time for the band's planned UK arena tour in March.

Release Date: March 4


19. Abbath - Dread Reaver (Season Of Mist)

Black metal legend Abbath's first two outings with his solo band were an exercise in majestic, furious black metal and we're expecting nothing less for his third record, Dread Reaver. Since breaking away from Immortal Abbath has played things fairly straight in terms of putting the speed metal and Motorhead influences front-and-centre and we hardly expect him to stray from that path now, but are very open to the idea of receiving a reiteration of why Abbath is so revered in the first place.

Release Date: March 25


20. Bob Vylan - Bob Vylan Presents The Price Of Life (Ghost Theater)

2021 was a big year for Bob Vylan, the release of  We Live Here helping to catapult the  duo onto the consciousness of the rock and metal world with a unique mix of grime, punk and alt. rock that bridges the lineages between Crass, Rage Against The Machine and Fever333. Appearances at both Reading and Leeds and Alt+LDN planted the notion Bob Vylan belong on bigger stages, but this was really driven home when the band opened for The Offspring on their arena tour of the UK in November. Bob Vylan Presents The Price Of Life arrives a month before the band embark on a UK tour and looks likely to be one of the most caustic and thrilling debuts of 2022 (We Live Here effectively being an expanded EP). 

Release Date: April 22

Rich Hobson

Writer for Metal Hammer, Classic Rock and Louder, 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. Passionate about seeing the spread of metal on a global scale, Rich has spent the last decade seeking out emerging acts from around the world, covering everyone from Alien Weaponry and The Hu to Kaoteon, Nine Treasures and Jinjer, whilst also re-examining rock and metal history with bands like Faith No More, Sepultura and Ozzy Osbourne, alongside legendary events like Rock in Rio and the 1991 Clash Of The Titans tour.