10 EPs from 2022 worth giving a spin

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With the end of the year approaching, it’s only natural that we start to think about which songs and albums we liked best throughout the year, especially with our streaming recaps coming out at the end of November. While most of us keep up-to-date with the latest albums, many EPs slip out without us noticing. Since my personal list only had room for a top-3, I wanted to share a larger list of EPs that were worth a quick listen this year, in case you missed them!

10. R3vo – “Fireflies”

If you had pitched an album to me with vocals that sound like a blend of that which you find in PARAMORE and THE MARS VOLTA, I’d be intrigued if nothing else, so naturally, when editing the review of R3VO‘s new EP, Fireflies,” and this description was included, I had to give it a spin. While I admittedly hate when bands stylize their names with umlauts and numbers, this stylistic faux pas does not stop their music from being surprisingly excellent and worth testing out.

9. Oceans – “Hell is Where the Heart Is, pt. II: Longing”

Much like with R3VO, this album (and ultimately, its pt. III followup, “Clarity”) came to my attention when I was editing the review. OCEANS suffer from an unfortunately generic name that makes them very hard to stand out from other artists like …AND OCEANS, OCEANHOARSE, and OCEANS OF SLUMBER, but despite this unfortunate setback, the band puts out pretty solid material, so be sure to check out one or both of these EPs, or better yet, check out the full “Hell is Where the Heart Is” album, which is also out now!

8. Starquake Synthmaster – “Space Ranger”

When not making heavy metal music for VANSIDIAN, Matti Meri-Huhti likes to spend his time making synthwave tracks under the name STARQUAKE SYNTHMASTER, heavily inspired by old video game sounds. Admittedly, he also released an album this year, which I have shamefully not yet listened to, but the Space Ranger EP that came out in the spring was absolutely worth giving a listen!

7. Everfrost – “Frostbites”

EVERFROST knocked our socks off with 2019’s Winterider,” but the band has gone through extensive lineup changes since its release. During the intermission between Mikael Salo leaving and Eveliina Tuulia joining as their new vocalist, they recorded an EP with four covers of anime opening theme songs, including the iconic Pokemon theme, with the rest of their new lineup. If that’s not reason enough to listen, the album features guest vocals from Mikael Salo, ShiroNeko, and Ron Lundgren.

6. Bernth – “When it Rains”

Sometimes the stand-out albums and EPs from a year are discovered completely by accident, like when BERNTH‘s new release, When it Rains,” was recommended by my Spotify algorithm. Not being familiar at all with the artist, this specific brand of guitar wankery mixed with pleasant synthwave was very pleasing to the ear and comes recommended for anyone who likes artists who solo overtop of interesting backing music.

5. Within Temptation – “Don’t Pray for Me”

WITHIN TEMPTATION have been on an interesting ride when it comes to their musical style. Their latest release, “Don’t Pray for Me,” is an EP that shows a strong continuation and evolution of the sound from their latest album, Resist,” from 2019. Made up of four songs that you may recognize as recent singles – the title track, “Shed My Skin,” “The Purge,” and “Entertain You” – alongside instrumental versions of the same, this album has done nothing but get us hyped up for their next release in 2023!

4. Ember Falls – “Experiments”

Everyone knows that I love pretty much everything EMBER FALLS does, so it goes without saying that I looked very much forward to their EP made up of cover songs from this year. This release has covers of “Cloud Connected” by IN FLAMES, “Avalanche” by BRING ME THE HORIZON, and “Over My Dead Body” by BLIND CHANNEL, as well as an instrumental version of “Cloud Connected.” If you’re looking for a band who really takes a song and makes it their own when they do a cover, look no further than “Experiments”!

3. Pihka is My Name – “The Dance Forbidden”

If we step away from the heavier end of music, you may remember that one of my favorite albums from last year was Everything Is in Between by PIHKA IS MY NAME. This electronica duo released an EP this year called “Dance Forbidden” that continues their unique and delightful sonic journeys through their fantastic soundscapes, so definitely check it out if you liked their previous material!

2. Wheel – “Rumination”

Everyone knows that WHEEL are nothing if not consistent at releasing really strong progressive tracks. With their sophomore album, Resident Human,” having come out during the pandemic, that meant that 2022 would get an EP. Rumination came out not long ago, so in case you missed it, make sure that you don’t miss out on new material from one of Finland’s hottest up-and-coming heavy progressive bands.

1. Where’s My Bible – “Circle”

In case you don’t follow heavy metal in social media, you may have missed the whole Come to Latin America contest. The winners were extreme metal outfit WHERE’S MY BIBLE, who likewise released an EP, “Circle,” this year. This is the most guilt-inducing entry for me, because I never reviewed the release… I can’t help it, I’m so new to extreme metal that I don’t know enough about it to give this review justice. However, I can say that this is a band that overwhelmed any of my preconceptions about the genre with sheer talent and an ability to shake things up, so whether you’re a long-time fan of extreme metal or you’re interested in dipping your toes in, I do recommend trying out “Circle” by WHERE’S MY BIBLE. Even more though, I recommend you check them out live.

Written by Bear Wiseman