Best synth pop and genre-related albums 2022

Best synth pop and genre-related albums 2022

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.

At this point I would like to recom­mend the art­icle '10 tips to get your album (or song) reviewed' to all artists and promo agencies.

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

Hatif - Everything Is 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.

Listen to 'Hatif – Everything In Repetition'

9. Zynic – Best Before End

Zynic - Best Before End

Release Date: May 13th, 2022
Label: Zedsdead Records
Discogs: Zynic – Best Before End
Partially sounds like: Beyond Obsession, Solitary Experiments
Rating: 3.75 ★★★★☆

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.

Listen to 'Zynic – Best Before End'

8. Technomancer – Hyperfuel

Technomancer - Hyperfuel

Release Date: November 4th, 2022
Label: Sub Culture Records
Discogs: Technomancer – Hyperfuel
Partially sounds like: Apoptygma Berzerk, Mesh
Rating: 3.79 ★★★★☆

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.

Listen to 'Technomancer – Hyperfuel'

7. Fractal Age – Another Way

Fractal Age - Another Way

Release Date: January 28th, 2022
Label: Scanner
Discogs: Fractal Age – Another Way
Partially sounds like: Depeche Mode, Absurd Minds
Rating: 3.81 ★★★★☆

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.

Listen to 'Fractal Age – Another Way'

6. Faderhead – Years Of The Serpent

Faderhead - Years Of The Serpent

Release Date: January 14th, 2022
Label: Not A Robot Records
Discogs: Faderhead – Years Of The Serpent
Partially sounds like: (Faderhead is unique)
Rating: 3.82 ★★★★☆

'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.

Listen to 'Faderhead – Years Of The Serpent'

5. Aesthetic Perfection – MMXXI

Aesthetic Perfection - MMXXI

Release Date: June 3rd, 2022
Label: Close To Human Music
Discogs: Aesthetic Perfection – MMXXI
Partially sounds like: Marilyn Manson (90s era), New Order
Rating: 3.83 ★★★★☆

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.

4. Eisfabrik – Life Below Zero

Eisfabrik - Life Below Zero

Release Date: February 25th, 2020
Label: NoCut
Discogs: Eisfabrik – Life Below Zero
Partially sounds like: Solitary Experiments, Vanguard, J:Dead
Rating: 3.98 ★★★★☆

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.

Listen to 'Eisfabrik – Life Below Zero'

3. Vanguard – Spectrum

Vanguard - Spectrum

Release Date: July 22th, 2022
Label: Infacted Recordings
Discogs: Vanguard – Spectrum
Partially sounds like: Solitary Experiments, Eisfabrik
Rating: 4.11 ★★★★☆

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.

Listen to 'Vanguard – Spectrum'

2. Priest – Body Machine

Priest - Body Machine

Release Date: July 15th, 2022
Label: Cleopatra Records
Discogs: Priest – Body Machine
Partially sounds like: Depeche Mode, And One, Pet Shop Boys
Rating: 4.25 ★★★★☆

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.

Read the full review of 'Priest – Body Machine' here

1. Blackbook – Confessions Of The Innocent

Blackbook - Confessions Of The Innocent

Release Date: October 14th, 2022
Label: darkTunes Music Group
Discogs: Blackbook – Confessions Of The Innocent
Partially sounds like: Depeche Mode, IAMX, De/Vision
Rating: 4.54 ★★★★★

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.

Listen to 'Blackbook – Confessions Of The Innocent'

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Do you think we missed an awesome album in 2022?

Please leave us a line in the com­ment sec­tion below. We are curi­ous about your favour­ite album(s) in 2022.

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