As (almost) every January, Electrozombies comes around the corner with the 'Best of' lists. Many of my esteemed author colleagues already start in December, but the December releases are then no longer taken into account. I always find that a bit of a pity, but everyone has their own concept. In 2022 there were again some excellent albums to listen to and the first place is not only a newcomer, but for me also a total surprise with a fantastic dream rating.
Unfortunately, I can hardly link any albums in this list to the full review, although every album in this list deserves a great review. The main problem is that most of them just don't manage to send us the promos in time. I don't know if this is a new trend or that especially the super independent artists don't take promotion that seriously anymore. I find this development at least quite a pity and hope to be able to write more reviews in 2023.
BTW: 'Beborn Beton' have done it right. The new album is available for us to review, 8 weeks in advance.
Here are the best albums 2022
10. Hatif – Everything In Repetition
Release Date: September 30th, 2022 Label: Town And Towers Records Discogs: Not available yet Partially sounds like:Depeche Mode, Sisters Of Mercy, Front 242, Camouflage, Beborn Beton Rating: 3.72 ★★★★☆
The Swedish band 'Hatif' is one of the bigger new discoveries of 2022, although I had already published the first songs in our Discover section in 2021. I became aware of the dark wave band via SubmitHub and learned to love the songs.
Hatif's songs are all crisp and beautifully dark and melancholic. And the oriental touch, mixed with cool synthesizer sounds, have established to me since 'Love Is A Shield' from 'Camouflage' as very listenable.
Probably the poppiest entry in this list is the 2022 album 'Best Before End' by 'Zynic'. The album is already about 75% soft, gentle electro pop and 25% crunchy synth pop. But that is not meant in a judgmental way. I like the album very much. My two absolute favourites on the album are the songs 'I Am Z' and 'My Darkness'. Those would be my recommendations if you haven't heard the album yet.
I have to admit that the album 'Hyperfuel' by 'Technomancer' is rather patchy. Another person might express it more positively and say that the album is extremely varied. Both statements are true and it is certainly in the eye of the beholder which is more accurate. Without any doubt, the album is fantastic, otherwise it would certainly not be among the 10 best albums of 2022 at Electrozombies.
Of course I love the great cover version of the Depeche Mode classic 'Puppets'. Another catchy tune and my favourite song on the album is 'Ecstasy' which Technomancer recorded together with Jonas Groth (Apoptygma Berzerk / Piston Damp). But I was also carried away by the last song 'Lovecrime'. The album doesn't have to hide in our niche and I think the eighth place is justified.
First of all, the album rating does not include the last remix versions on the album. The EBM / synth pop album 'Another Way' by the German band 'Fractal Age' made it to 7th place. The album contains many danceable songs for the club, but also some emotional compositions.
The song 'Home' was my access to the soundscape of the band and is also my highlight on the album. The song is beautifully harmonic and catchy. Furthermore, the song 'No Response' convinced me with its crisp beat, 80s charm and relatively simple structure.
'Years Of The Serpent' is the 'Faderhead' album that simply and 100% sounds like Faderhead. Our son from Hamburg (Germany) is musically a hard working animal. Not only is there a constant stream of new releases, I think Faderhead is getting better and better. Except for the recently released acoustic EP 'Therapy For One'. The die-hard fans will surely like it, but it's not my cup of tea.
But back to the topic. The album 'Years Of The Serpent' contains once again brute club hits and also a few emotional, captivating tracks in the midtempo range. The mixture is very well balanced here. At this point I would also like to praise the black / white album cover concept. You do a good job here.
According to Daniel Graves the album 'MMXXI' should not exist at all, because he doesn't want to produce classic albums anymore. So from that point of view 'MMXXI' by 'Aesthetic Perfection' is rather a single compilation from his project "12 songs in 12 months" from the year 2021. The songs are very, very different in style and quality. Various guest artists were involved in the creation of the songs. There are to name: Sebastian Svaland who has pulled out the brutal heavy metal guitar on some tracks, Jinxx, Moris Blak and Isaac Howlett from Empathy Test.
From 12 songs only two songs convinced me in the end and are worth 5 stars to me. One is the lovely dark wave track 'Bark At The Moon' and the duet with Isaac Howlett in the song 'Save Myself'. At the lower end of the rating is the song 'Lonesome Ghosts'. Just not my cup of tea. But despite the wild mix, the 'compilation' still made it to #5 in the 10 best albums of 2022. Congratulations.
Fans of 'Eisfabrik' were richly gifted by the band in 2022 with the album 'Life Below Zero'. The album is a double album with 20 new songs. Wow and hats off for it. Apart from the enormous achievement to produce so many songs with high quality, the fans get the album also in different great limited editions offered. You are simply great from the fan's point of view.
Of course, there are no musical surprises or blatant twists on the album 'Life Below Zero', but that shouldn't interest the fans either, because where 'Eisfabrik' is written on it, 'Eisfabrik' is also in it. With the rating for the album the band lands on the 4th place in our ranking, as already in 2020. The rating is slightly weaker than the previous album 'Kryothermalmusik aus der Eisfabrik', but still in the very high value range.
The Swedish duo 'Vanguard' is obviously playing it safe in 2022 with their album 'Spectrum'. Why is that? The album contains only 9 crisp future pop songs with a lot of blast and without compromise. Freely according to the principle: "Only killers, no fillers". And this pays off in an excellent rating of 4.11 stars on average.
The DJs of the scene has probably pleased the album as well as caused gray hair. Just the question of which club hit of the 9 songs to include in the set is certainly not easy. With Vanguard I also recognize with each album the steady development and that pleases me very much and wish the band one day to stand in our best albums of the year at number 1.
The third studio album 'Body Machine' by 'Priest' simply thrilled me in the summer of 2022 and received an absolutely gorgeous review for it. 'Priest' belongs for me already since the debut single 'The Pit' to one of the most innovative bands of the electronic Goth scene. Through my various concert visits I can confirm that the band performs live and convinces. The band always reinvents itself and its sound. The changes are always very minimal and subtle to feel respectively to hear, but the constant development I feel as extremely positive.
Just keep doing what you're doing and the fans, as well as Electrozombies, will remain loyal to you. I'm sure that you'll take a prominent and permanent place in synth pop history.
There has never been anything like this in Electrozombies history. A debut album that sounds like a 'best of' album! With their debut album 'Confessions Of The Innocent', Blackbook not only took first place in the 'Best synth pop and genre-related albums 2022', but is also my personal number 1 when it comes to new discoveries. The darkTunes Music Group has a very hot iron in the fire with this amazing band. Without building up pressure, I hope to see many more albums from the band in the coming years please.
The songs on the album have so many references to 80s synth pop / new wave classics that my heart wants to scream with joy. All the songs are simply grenades and catchy tunes. If I have to make any recommendations to listen to, I would recommend the songs 'My Beautiful Witch', 'Nobody Home', 'My Darkest Memory' and 'Emergency Love'. This is definitely the album that every synth pop fan must have on their CD shelf! Unfortunately I haven't seen the band live yet, but it's high on my bucket list.