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The 50 most anticipated metal albums of 2022

31. Disturbed - Album #8?

Disturbed made a return to the stage in September 2021, releasing a cover of Sting's If I Ever Lose My Faith In You that same month. Details about the follow-up to 2018's Evolution have been pretty scarce, but David Draiman did reveal some things in an interview with HardDrive Radio in November 2021. "It's on in a big, big, big fucking way. It really, really is. I mean, we are so genuinely excited," he told host Lou Brutus. "We pumped out six new Disturbed songs. They are rhythmic, they are anthemic, they are polysyncopated... It's somewhere between The Sickness and Ten Thousand Fists." Draiman also alluded to the fact that the band were planning to record in the New Year and that "we're probably not gonna put out something in the traditional full-length; we're probably gonna be doing two separate releases", suggesting some interesting new directions the band might be taking. Quite how that will shape up remains to be seen, but we're fully on-board. 

Release Date: TBA [likely no earlier than Autumn 2022]

32. Megadeth - The Sick, The Dying... And The Dead!

For a while it looked like we might get Megadeth's 16th album before the end of 2021, especially seeing as most of the record seemed to be completed before the summer. Bassist David Ellefson exited the band in May 2021 and shortly after it was announced that his bass tracks on the album were to be re-recorded, vocalist Dave Mustaine offering an update in November that the album is due to be released "early" 2022. Actual details of how the record will sound are thin on the ground, but if its anything like the sleek power of Dystopia we can't wait to hear it.

Release Date: TBA (expected early 2022)

33. Ozzy Osbourne - Album #13 (Sony Music)

The more we hear about Ozzy Osbourne's upcoming 13th solo album, the more we can't wait to hear it. A star-studded list of guest musicians has already been announced, including Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins and Jeff Beck, as well as a host of former - and current - bandmates including Zakk Wylde, Rob Trujillo and Tony Iommi. If that's not enough to get us excited, the fact it will also be produced by Andrew Watt, who produced Ozzy's stunning 2020 release Ordinary Man clinches the deal, considering just how great that album was. Eagled-eyed fans spotted that Ozzy was listed among artists who were expected to release new albums within the next six months by Sony, so it could be we're getting album #13 before Spring truly hits.

Release Date: TBA (possibly March 2022)

34. Rammstein - Album #8

Rammstein have been teasing a new album ever since their world tour was put on hold by the pandemic in 2020. The band shared a video from the studio in October 2020, confirming that they had recorded a new album in an interview the following February. Subsequent updates have been sparse, but the band did mention they were hoping to have the album out before their 2022 world tour kicks off, meaning there is a strong possibility we'll be getting the album before summer arrives. 

Release Date: TBA (Expected before/around Summer 2022)

35. Higher Power - Album #3 (Roadrunner)

Hardcore might just be at its most culturally potent since the 80s, the likes of Turnstile, Knocked Loose and Code Orange all pushing the genre towards the mainstream whilst not diluting the pure aggro energy at its heart. Not content to just let the moment slip by, UK bruisers Higher Power have been making waves of their own, their debut album Soul Structure so good it attracted the attention of Roadrunner Records, who then put out the excellent 27 Miles Underwater in 2020. Just before Christmas the band released new single Fall From Grace and while they haven't officially announced a new album, the fact they've got some sizeable shows lined up (following festival appearances at both Download Pilot and Bloodstock last year) means the wait for a new album can't be too long.

Release Date: TBA

36. Heriot - Profound Morality (Church Road)

The songs already shared on Heriot's Bandcamp page should be all the persuasion you need to understand why Swindon-based metalcore troupe Heriot made our list of '12 new metal bands to watch' in December. Seismic grooves colliding with a sense of visceral brutality, Heriot's music is exactly the kind of aggro-infused outpouring we've come to love of the British underground, leaving us gagging for a full-length release. The double-single Near Vision/Enter The Flesh is a devastating example of just what this band can do - and adds more fuel to the excitement of seeing them on the road with Rolo Tomassi and Pupil Slicer in Feb. 

Release Date: April 29

37. Conjurer - Album #2 (Nuclear Blast)

Surely, surely 2022 must be the year we receive the new Conjurer record. We caught up with the band in the studio in February 2021, but with one thing and another no second Conjurer album materialised that year. Even so, the band weren't shy about playing some of the new songs in their sets, colossal appearances at Download Pilot, Bloodstock and Damnation each asserting the fact that the new Conjurer record is likely to be very, very fucking good. Considering just how much of a splash the band made with Mire back in 2018, we honestly can't wait to see how people react for album #2 - we're thinking Scanners.

Release Date: TBA

38. Ithaca - Album #2 

With their debut album The Language Of Injury, Ithaca primed themselves as one of the UK's hottest new metallic hardcore bands, frontwoman Djamila Azzouz a force of primal fury and fiercely cutting incisiveness. While they haven't been able to tour during the pandemic they have been no less active - from contributing to the fundraiser The Tours That Never Were, to releasing a cover of Thrice's Hold Fast Hope, the band have kept us ticking over with new developments whilst working towards their second full-length release. On Boxing Day 2021 we received a belated gift - a 17-second teaser for something called They Fear Us (new single? New album? we don't know!), getting us plenty excited for what's to come. 

39. Judas Priest - Album #19

While we may never have gotten a full headline tour for 2018's superb Firepower, time waits for no man and even the Metal Gods have to move on at some point. An utterly storming set at Bloodstock in 2021 showed just how vibrant and powerful the band still are after half a century, getting us good and excited at the prospect of receiving the band's 19th studio album. The band's surprise decision to tour as a 'relentless four-piece heavy metal band' came as a shock (not least to touring guitarist and producer Andy Sneap), but also suggests that they are keen for post-production work to wrap up so that their new record will be ready before the year's end. So long as it has those iconic twin-guitar assaults in place we suspect it'll be brilliance as ever from one of heavy metal's most iconic groups.

Release Date: TBA

40. Devin Townsend - Lightwork

In December 2021 Devin Townsend released The Puzzle and Snuggles, a pair of ambient records that marked his 19th and 20th solo releases, respectively. In doing so, he continued to assert himself as one of rock and metal's most maverick forces, an unpredictable creative energy whose sonic inclinations can take almost any shape. Fans disappointed that the albums lacked Heavy Devy's usual bombast can take heart though as he has promised a more 'traditional' release (so far as that word can be applied to any Devin Townsend album) in Lightwork. With the atmospherics now out of his system, we're expecting Lightwork to be utterly bonkers, from start to finish - and we wouldn't have it any other way. 

Release Date: TBA

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.