25 Finnish albums from 2022 that we’ll still listen to in 2023

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Ah! In the blink of an eye, 2022 has passed. Every year, hundreds of metal and rock acts release new material and this year was no different. We had to check out which albums from the epicenter of heavy metal (re: Finland) are albums that we’re going to take with us to 2023. Here are 25 albums that we’re still going to be listening to next year and the years afterwards…

Brymir – Voices In The Sky

Napalm Records nowadays is home to another gem in the Finnish metal machine: melodic death metal unit BRYMIR. Formed in 2006, the band has become a true staple of the Helsinki metal scene and in 2022 got to present their music to a bigger metal audience with their latest album, Voices in the Sky,” released on August 26th, 2022. (LT)

Wolfheart – King of the North

Finnish vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Tuomas Saukkonen is one busy musician, that’s for sure, as WOLFHEART’s sixth studio album, “King of the North,” is his third release of 2022. The first two came from melodic doom act DAWN OF SOLACE in the form of the full-length “Flames of Perdition” in January followed by its acoustic counterpart, the EP “Notes of Perdition (Unplugged Studio Live)” in May. I guess there really is no rest for the wickedly creative, since the follow-up to the highly acclaimed Wolves of Karelia (2020) was released on September 16th, 2022, via Napalm Records. (AC)

Amorphis – Halo

AMORPHIS was always high on my must-listen list, but it somehow took the release of “Queen of Time” (2018) for me to fully appreciate their music and dive deep into their discography. It took them a few years to unleash a new record, but at last, the time has come! Their new album, Halo,” was released on February 11th, 2022, via Atomic Fire Records. With “Circle,” “Under the Red Cloud,” and Queen of Time,” AMORPHIS have been putting out excelling records for quite some time now, and “Halo” too passes the test of time. (LT)

Kuolemanlaakso – Kuusumu

The Finnish doom squad, KUOLEMANLAAKSO, released their first album in 8 years via Svart Records. The new outing is their third full-length studio offering, titled “Kuusumu,” and it was due out on March 4th, 2022. The recording break stretched rather long – but in doom metal, there is no rush! (JL)

Horizon Ignited – Towards the Dying Lands

One of Finland’s newest melodeath acts, HORIZON IGNITED, was recently touring along with the mighty HYPOCRISY. On top of that, these lads recently released their sophomore effort, Towards the Dying Lands,” via the legendary heavy metal label Nuclear Blast; an undeniable must-listen in 2023! (LT)

Frozen Factory – Of Pearls & Perils

At a glance, you might be tempted to think that bands such as PINK FLOYDIRON MAIDENALICE IN CHAINS, and DEPECHE MODE have nothing in common, maybe except for the fact that all of them are spectacularly good at their signature craft. However, the Helsinki-based alternative-rock outfit, FROZEN FACTORY, claims this “big four” to have been their biggest influences when crafting their sophomore studio album, Of Pearls & Perils,” released independently in September 2022. (JL)

Sonata Arctica – Acoustic Adventures – Volume I & II

Acoustic renditions are not a one-size-fits-all -type of deal. They come in many shapes and forms depending on what the artist wants to convey emotionally and musically. Acoustic doesn’t mean just vocals and one instrument (usually acoustic guitar or piano), but can employ many different instruments so as to create many layers without burdening the main melody. What SONATA ARCTICA have done on “Acoustic Adventures – Volume I” and “Acoustic Adventures – Volume II” is take songs from their back catalog and re-arrange them into an acoustic format. Both albums were released via Atomic Fire Records in 2022. (AC)

Lähiöbotox – Itä-Metal

Some 2 years ago, LÄHIÖBOTOX, the rap-metal outfit hailing from the Helsinki “east side,” released their debut album, “Rikkinäinen Suomi,” and it raised a bit of fuss in the metal circles too. Even the music establishment took notice: the Emma Awards jury nominated this funky posse in the Newcomer of the Year category. The band’s sophomore effort, “Itä-metal,” came out on April 22nd, 2022, via Fullsteam Records. (JL)

Oddland – Vermillion

ODDLAND just released their third studio album, Vermilion,” via their new record label, Uprising! Records, on March 11th, 2022. Six years after their predominantly djenty sophomore album, “Origin” (2016), these prog magicians seem to return to the sonic realms of their debut – but with all the newfound songwriting wisdom acquired over the years. (JL)

Dirt – Deadbeat

DIRT‘s much-anticipated debut full-length, titled Deadbeat,” hit the brick-and-mortar record stores as well as the online bazaars on June 3rd, 2022. Released via Ranka Kustannus, the band’s brilliant entrée goes to show that their take on grunge is multilayered with all sorts of different flavors, ranging from the tradition-savvy hard rock to straight-up metal riffage, and to psychedelic desert rock even.

Egres – Introspection

Founded in 2020, EGRES is a cinematic progressive metal band from Helsinki. They recently released their debut effort, “Introspection,” independently. The album explores concepts such as the beauty and pain of humanity and was surely an interesting listen for any fan who enjoys progressive metal. (LT)

The Hirvi – Violence Strays in Fashion

Originating from the late ’80s but reborn during the late 2010s, Helsinki-based speed/thrash metal quartet, THE HIRVI recently released their new album, “Violence Strays in Fashion.” Recorded in Finland throughout the last 2 years, mixed in Berlin by legendary Harris Johns in Spring 2022, the album is a definite thrash feast! (LT)

Somehow Jo – Scales And Details

Finnish progressive metal band SOMEHOW JO released their third studio album, “Scales And Details,” on September 16th, 2022, via Inverse Records. The album’s base material is largely the best ideas selected from the band’s jamming sessions, which they consequently worked into songs, transforming this release into an undeniably great prog release! (LT)

Devenial Verdict – Ash Blind

While DEVENIAL VERDICT has been around at least a few years, they finally were able to release their debut effort, “Ash Blind“; a brutal first peek into one of the most talented newcomers Finland has to offer in the death metal scene. (LT)

Numento – The Vile Entity

After winning the Tuska Torstai- band competition and consequently performing at Helsinki’s biggest metal festival, progressive metal act NUMENTO released their second album, “The Vile Entity.” There’s a reason these guys won that competition, as they certainly are rising stars in the progressive metal scene in Finland. (LT)

Rioghan – Different Kinds Of Losses

Finnish artist Rioghan is a charming and off-the-beaten-path presence in the country’s ever-expanding metal scene. This solo project was founded in 2019 in Lapua, Finland, and it offers a delightful combination of Gothic melancholy and progressive intricacies. Her new album, “Different Kinds of Losses” was released early December 2022 via Inverse Records. (JL)

Pahan Ikoni – Ikonoklasti

Another excellent thrash attack was released earlier this year by PAHAN IKONI. The Helsinki-based band released their album, “Ikonoklasti,” an instant classic for anyone who likes thrashy riffs in their life, as the guitar-heavy album will certainly not disappoint! (LT)

Stoned Statues – Stoned Statues

Progressive metal trio STONED STATUES seemingly came out of nowhere, but they’re here to stay! The Finnish Grammy-nominated act released their self-titled debut album in 2022, which brought them to some of the biggest stages in Finland: Rockfest, Knotfest, you name it! We’re sure the future looks bright for them. (LT)

Stratovarius – Survive

7 years after the release of “Eternal,” power metal act STRATOVARIUS has returned! They recently released their latest album, “Survive,” this year. Next to a lot of killer power metal tunes, the band even has some interesting twists and turns. Have you ever wondered what STRATOVARIUS would sound like if they played MESHUGGAH? The answer can be found in “Survive”! (LT)

Spiritraiser – Ciklos

Bands that are difficult, if not impossible, to put a definite label on are the best, for listening to their music will never get boring. The alternative rock outfit, SPIRITRAISER, hailing from the shores of Helsinki and Rio de Janeiro, is one of those bands that refuse to be hastily categorized into a neat little box. With the personnel having gathered mileage in bands such as PROFANE OMEN and SLEEP OF MONSTERS, they certainly have a knack for writing robust and heavy riffs – but this posse is about something much more. You could sense it already on their debut album, “Inspiral,” a few years ago and it becomes even more apparent on their new album, Ciklos,” which was released on March 25th, 2022. (JL)

Flat Earth – High on Lies

When seasoned musicians get together to create new music, good things are bound to happen, no? That’s generally the reasoning behind such collectives as Sweden’s THE HALO EFFECT or Finland’s FLAT EARTH that get people excited about their songs. Since the latter Helsinki-based unit features bass player Niclas Etelävuori (ex-AMORPHIS), guitarist Linde Lindström (ex-HIM), and POLANSKI singer Anthony Pikkarainen, the expectations were reasonably high. But here’s the thing about FLAT EARTH: don’t expect any HIM or AMORPHIS -sounding songs, as they play good old-fashioned rock music. Even if their debut album, “None for One,” was released in 2018, this aspect of their sound is worth mentioning because people sometimes tend to judge based on associations. After releasing the single, “Draining by Your Flame,” in March 2020, their sophomore album, “High on Lies,” was finally released on September 2nd, 2022, via Cargo Records/AWAL. (AC)

Lost Society – If the Sky Came Down

Music is therapy both for the artist as well as for the listener, and that is an undeniable fact of life. There have been countless musicians who have channeled all their anger, pain, depression, and frustration into their music, and countless fans who found comfort and solace in those lyrics or the aggressiveness of that music. We see this scenario unfolding once more, this time with Finnish modern metal outfit LOST SOCIETY, whose newest album, “If the Sky Came Down,” is pretty much a sonic diary of frontman Samy Elbanna’s life experience during the last couple of years. The album was set for release on September 30th, 2022, via Nuclear Blast Records. (AC)

Dawn of Solace – Flames of Perdition

Many artists have claimed, in one way or another, that writing music is cheaper than going to therapy because they can express themselves better by putting their feelings into songs and lyrics. I guess the same applies to Finnish musician Tuomas Saukkonen (WOLFHEARTBEFORE THE DAWN). His musical project DAWN OF SOLACE released their third album, “Flames of Perdition,” on January 28, 2022, through Noble Demon, and is offering doom and gloom as only proper Finns can deliver. (AC)

Shape of Despair – Return to the Void

After over 6 years of waiting, funeral doom experts SHAPE OF DESPAIR released their new album, “Return to the Void” on February 25, 2022. The delay is understandable due to its members’ other projects such as FINNTROLLIMPALED NAZARENETHROES OF DAWN, and others. Their last album, “Monotony Fields,” was received well internationally, so this album has been highly anticipated. Jarno Salomaa has mentioned that he started writing “Return to the Void” shortly after “Monotony Fields” was released. If you learn anything from SHAPE OF DESPAIR’S music though, it is not to rush anything. The album has six tracks, which would normally sound short, but due to the long song lengths, the album is almost an hour long. (SDW)

I Am the Night – While the gods are sleeping

In recent years, the ’90s black metal scene in Finland made revival with bands such as …AND OCEANS and DARKWOODS MY BETROTHED. While those bands are mostly known for their symphonic black metal, a brand new black metal act with a strong focus on ’90s traditional black metal saw the light during the pandemic. I’m talking of course about I AM THE NIGHT, who recently released their debut album, “While The Gods Are Sleeping.” (LT)

Article by Laureline Tilkin