Tuonela Magazine’s Annual Staff Picks 2022: Jana De Boeck’s Edition

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Now that the year 2022 is coming to a close, we at Tuonela Magazine, want to share what releases we enjoyed the most. Each of our staff members will share their own lists, here is the list of Jana De Boeck.

2022 was a year of highs and lows for me, but when it comes to music, one of the best I have had in ages. There were so many releases that I either highly anticipated, or was unexpectedly blown away by. Consequently, these lists were hard to make, and you shouldn’t take the order of them too seriously, since each and every band I have listed deserves at least a song’s worth of your attention. I honestly couldn’t have wished for more, but I do hope 2023 keeps this trend going.

Top 10 International albums

10. Revocation – Netherheaven

9. Bleed From Within – Shrine

8. Ghost – Impera

7. Sabaton – The War to End All Wars

6. Evergrey – A Heartless Portrait (The Orphéan Testament)

5. Rammstein – Zeit

4. Zeal & Ardor – Zeal & Ardor

3. Slipknot – The End, So Far

2. Electric Callboy – Tekkno

1. Parkway Drive – Darker Still

I have to be honest with myself and admit that I have had “Darker Still” on repeat regularly since it came out. Is it objectively speaking the best album of 2022 to me? Definitely not. Does this album speak to me personally and gets me through hard days? Hell yes. So there you have it.

Honorable mentions: Arch Enemy – Deceivers, Chelsea Grin – Suffer in Hell, Memphis May Fire – Remade In Misery

Read more: REVIEW: Ghost – Impera — REVIEW: Sabaton – The War to End All Wars — REVIEW: Evergrey – A Heartless Portrait (The Orphean Testament) — REVIEW: Slipknot – The End, So Far — REVIEW: Electric Callboy – TekknoREVIEW: Parkway Drive – Darker Still

Top 10 Finnish albums

10. Seremonia – Neonlusifer

9. Flat Earth – High on Lies

8. As I May – Karu

7. Stratovarius – Survive

6. Oddland – Vermillion

5. Horizon Ignited – Towards the Dying Lands

4. Dirt – Deadbeat

3. I Am The Night – While the Gods Are Sleeping

2. Brymir – Voices In The Sky

1. Amorphis – Halo

AMORPHIS never disappoints, whether it be on a record or live. They have been gaining momentum over the years, and at this point, I am always excited to see their name on another festival poster. “Halo” continues where “Queen Of Time,” an album I absolutely adore, left off, but the refined attention to detail on this last one is breathtaking.

Read more: REVIEW: Flat Earth – High on Lies — REVIEW: Oddland – Vermilion — REVIEW: Horizon Ignited – Towards the Dying Lands — REVIEW: Dirt – Deadbeat — REVIEW: Brymir – Voices in the Sky — REVIEW: Amorphis – Halo

Top 3 EPs

3. World Without – Bleeding

2. Epica – The Alchemy Project

1. WHEEL – Rumination

I feel like last year’s effort “Resident Human” has really put WHEEL on the map. This EP wastes no time getting into punchy grooves and intoxicating melodies. If you haven’t listened to this band yet, this serves as the perfect opportunity.

Read more: REVIEW: Epica – The Alchemy Project — REVIEW: Wheel – EP: Rumination

Most promising act

LORNA SHORE. Even though this band is not really my cup of tea, I have to admit they have put out some kick-ass material lately. Not to mention their vocalist, Will Ramos, is simply out of this world when it comes to brutal vocal technique. That said, I simply cannot leave ORBIT CULTURE out of this. If there is one band I am rooting for to make it big in the years to come, it’s them.

Top 5 music videos

5. Rammstein – Adieu

4. Sabaton – Race To The Sea

3. Trollfest – Dance Like A Pink Flamingo

2. Electric Callboy – Hurrikan

1. Parkway Drive – The Greatest Fear

Top 5 international songs

5. Electric Callboy – Spaceman

4. Sabaton – Soldier of Heaven

3. Slipknot – Hivemind

2. Zeal & Ardor – Götterdämmerung

1. Parkway Drive – Darker Still

When I first heard “Darker Still,” I almost burst out laughing because it seemed so unlike PARKWAY DRIVE. Surprisingly though, by now it has become my favorite song of the album. The build-up is so powerful, and the cathartic guitar solo by Jeff Ling at the end just tugs at all the right heartstrings.

Read more: REVIEW: Sabaton – The War to End All WarsREVIEW: Slipknot – The End, So Far — REVIEW: Electric Callboy – TekknoREVIEW: Parkway Drive – Darker Still

Top 5 Finnish songs

5. Balance Breach – Untouchable 

4. Luna Kills – BULLET

3. WHEEL – Blood Drinker

2. Brymir – Voices in the Sky

1. Amorphis – The Moon

When AMORPHIS just released “The Moon,” it was stuck in my head for days on end. The main riff is undeniably catchy, but it’s Tomi Joutsen’s versatile, emotional vocals that do it for me.

Read more: REVIEW: Wheel – EP: Rumination — REVIEW: Brymir – Voices in the Sky — REVIEW: Amorphis – Halo

Top 5 best last-minute songs

5. Katatonia – Austerity

4. Temnein – The Architect and the Devil

3. Avatar – The Dirt I’m Buried In

2. Ne Obliviscaris – Equus

1. Zeal & Ardor – Firewake

Top 5 cover art

5. Malevolence – Malicious Intent

4. Fit For An Autopsy – Oh What The Future Holds

3. Bleed From Within – Shrine

2. Monuments – In Stasis

  1. 1. Chelsea Grin – Suffer in Hell

Best collaboration

Papa Roach feat. FEVER 333 & Sueco – Swerve.

PAPA ROACH is the epitome of nostalgia to me, and FEVER 333 one of the most refreshing bands I have discovered in recent years. This fun and catchy collaboration has turned into a guilty pleasure of mine to blast in the car. No regrets!

Best concert

Parkway Drive – While She Sleeps – Lorna Shore, 12 September 2022, Vorst Nationaal, Brussels, Darker Still European Tour 2022. Even though the acoustics at Vorst Nationaal never seem to do metal true justice, these bands tore the roof off nonetheless, giving me one of my fondest memories of 2022.

Top 5 most anticipated releases of 2023

5. Powerwolf – Interludium

4. August Burns Red – Death Below

3. Ne Obliviscaris – Exul

2. Bury Tomorrow – The Seventh Sun

1. In Flames – Foregone

That’s it for my top picks of 2022. What a year, and we already have so much to look forward to in 2023. Now all that’s left for me to do is to wish all of you a very metal Christmas and a heavy new year! (Cheesy, I know, but who doesn’t like a good raclette?)

Want to share your lists with us? Comment below with your lists.

The whole Tuonela Magazine team wishes you an inspirational 2023 filled with a lot of new music to discover. We hope to see you back next year!