Tuonela Magazine’s Annual Staff Picks 2022: Katha’s Edition

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

Back in 2021, one could have gotten the impression that every band on this planet released new music, but somehow musicians managed to release just as many new album as ever and still keep an incredibly high quality. The return of live music made things even more exciting, especially as there was often a reawakening of enthusiasm, in front of and on stage.

While over previous years, there was always one album that stood out for me, it is now nearly impossible to pick an album of the year, as the top three are so close together, all different, and brilliant.

One thing that turned out to be special in 2023 were all those instrumental projects and bands showing up with wonderful variety among them, with offerings from mesmerizing violins, keyboard-focused prog-metal, space-themed journeys, to powerful-yet-virtuosic cyber shredding. There is an extra top-10 list here just for them!

Top 10 International albums

10. Charlie Griffiths – Tiktaalika

9. Children of the Sün – Roots

8. Beneath the Silence – Black Lights

7. Morton – Horror of Daniel Wagner

6. Nicklas Sonne – Resonance

5. Parius – The Signal Heard Throughout Space

4. Michael Romeo – War of the Worlds, Pt. 2

3. Threshold – Dividing Lines

2. Darkane – Inhuman Spirits

1. Xaon – The Lethean

Top 10 Finnish albums

10. Rioghan – Different Kinds of Losses

9. Worldburn – Beholder

8. Blackment – Plains of Oblivion

7. Superdeathflame – Dead is Dead

6. Amorphis – Halo

5. Somehow Jo – Scales and Details

4. Stratovarius – Survive

3. Oddland – Vermilion

2. Clamoris – Opus Limbonica

1. Edge of Haze – The Convoy Of Ruin

Bonus: Top 10 Instrumental Albums

10. Karfagen – Land of Green and Gold

9. Karl Sanders – Saurian Apocalypse

8. Etrange – Enigme

7. Syndrone – Neogenesis

6. Luca di Gennaro – The 2nd Coming

5. Cydemind – The Descent

4. Morgan Reid – Terran

3. Andy Gillion – Arcade Metal

2. Gerald Peter Project – Incremental Changes Pt.2

1. Mendel – Equilibrium

Top 3 EPs

3. Mother of Millions – Orbit

2. Theandric – Flight Among the Tombs

1. Prehistoria – Cursed Lands

Most promising act

Nicklas Sonne – after having shown excellent skills as singer, guitarist, composer, and producer with his bands DEFECTO, THEORY, and and a variety of other projects, the Danish multi-talent went the next step by releasing his debut solo album, “Resonance,” and again fires on all cylinders. Better keep an eye (and ear) on his work.

Top 5 music videos

5. Andy Gillion – 1988

4. Neverus – Lazarus

3. Morgan Reid – Goliath Online

2.XAON – If I Had Wings

1. Nicklas Sonne – Spit out Your Pride

Top 5 international songs

5. Michael Romeo – Maschinenmensch

4. Nicklas Sonne – Open Fire

3. Threshold – Complex

2. Xaon – And Yet I Smile

1. Darkane – Conspiracies of the Flesh

Top 5 best last-minute songs 

5. Souldrainer – Departure

4. Megaton Sword – Power

3. Ashen – Cursed Rebirth

2. Dystopia A.D. – Fields of Carrion

1. Ne Obliviscaris – Equus

Top 5 cover art

5. Ardarith – Home

4. Geezer – Stoned Blues Machine by Ryan T. Hancock

Geezer - Stoned Blues Machine by Ryan T. Hancock

3. Borealis – Illusions by Remedy Art Design

2. Jade – The Pacification of Death by Adam Burke

Jade - The Pacification of Death by Adam Burke

1. Nightbearer – Ghosts of a Darkness to Come by Juanjo Castellano

Nightbearer – Ghosts of a Darkness to Come by Juanja Castellano

Best collaboration

Star One – Revel in Time ft. Brandon Yeagley

Best concert

Swedish proggers VULKAN on October 2nd in Baarlo (NL) during Progpower Europe. The whole festival was absolutely fantastic!

Top 5 most-anticipated releases of 2023

5. Neverus – Burdens of the Earth

4. Ne Obliviscaris – Exul

3. Noveria – TBA

2. Poem – TBA

1. Symphony X – TBA

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!