Acknowledging that we couldn’t possibly have heard every single grindcore album released this year, these are our 5 Greatest Grindcore Metal Albums of 2022.
These are the 5 grindcore albums that blew us away, the albums that warranted endless spins, the albums that prompted involuntarily head-banging and generally put a big fuckin’ smile on our grumpy ol’ faces!
5. Escuela Grind – Memory Theater [USA]
Released: September 30th, 2022 via MNRK Heavy
Escuela Grind channeled the nihilistic nastiness of death metal, hardcore, power violence and, of course, GRINDCORE to gift us 21 minutes of brutally-focused grind on their sophomore full length album, Memory Theater!
Escuela Grind‘s Memory Theater was very much a modern grindcore album, but one with enough of a handle on grind’s foundations to appeal to the old-school crowd. With crusty ol’ beats, groove and metallic hardcore bangers throughout, the likes of “All Is Forgiven” and “Forced Collective Introspection” hit hard and hit fast.
PPOOWWEERVVIIOOLLEENNCCE and GGRRIINNDCCOORREE…. it was all here and all neatly wrapped up in the most hideously beautiful noise imaginable! Big things to come from this band. Big things.
4. Helpless – Caged In Gold [UK]
Released: March 25th, 2022 via Church Road Records
These UK anarchists fucked us up hard with 2017’s debut, Debt. Fast forward to 2022 and we finally had a follow-up to savour and Caged In Gold was just as incendiary and just as short, sharp and sonically devastating as its illustrious predecessor.
You don’t enjoy Caged In Gold, you experience it, you give in to its glorious chaos and acknowledge that this level of cathartic rage is not only good for the soul, it’s fucking mandatory!
Dripping with malevolence throughout, it’s when Helpless occasionally slowed down – such as on the crushing metallic hardcore meets sludgy doom of “Wraiths Of Memory” – that Helpless ushered in a new age of grinding intensity.
Nasty. as. Fuck.
3. Knoll – Metempiric [USA]
Released: June 24th, 2022
From a lyrical and conceptual perspective, there’s an intelligence at play here that confounds this writer. But, taken as a purely visceral experience we feel like we’re on firmer ground and Knoll‘s Metempiric was as shockingly abrasive as they come.
Following up 2021’s debut Interstice so quickly may have appeared hasty but Knoll weren’t resting on their laurels, not when there was this much aural depravity to gift to the world. While “Whelm” overwhelmed with the sheer weight of its elephantine groove, ultimately it’s nigh on impossible to put into words just how damn uncomfortable the entirety of this album can make you feel.
With intermittent bursts of jarring brass instruments only adding to the overall feel of maddening claustrophobia, Knoll‘s ability to leave you shaking uncontrollably in the corner of the room was virtually unsurpassed in 2022.
Discordant rabid grind from potential leaders of the grindcore scene; Metempiric was teeth-gnashingly explosive on every level!
2. Cloud Rat – Threshold [USA]
Released: October 7th, 2022 via Artoffact Records
Via fast and frenetic bursts of coruscating grind, this outstanding trio upped the ante once again, improving on 2019’s Pollinator by further experimenting with grindcore’s often self-imposed confines and delivering one of the most angular, angry and downright antagonistic albums of 2022!
Economical and efficient, Cloud Rat maximised each and every pulverising second on Threshold, with the band tossing off rapid-fire bursts of hardcore riffing amidst Madison Marshall’s ferociously feral shouts and screams.
Razorblade sharp and devoid of mercy, Threshold‘s barely-controlled chaos masked Cloud Rat‘s distinct and satisfying knack for penning varied and ever-interesting songs. Songs that were throat-slashingly vicious, yet ‘songs’ nonetheless; a series of meaningless blasts of noise Threshold most certainly was not.
On this evidence, Cloud Rat are currently America’s finest purveyors of hideous grindcore. No question!
1. Wormrot – Hiss [Singapore]
Released: July 8th, 2022 via Earache Records
These big Daddy’s of grind returned with a bang in 2022 and while ‘newbies’ like Knoll and relatively experienced grinders such as Cloud Rat are pushing grindcore onwards and upwards, sometimes it takes true veterans of the scene to remind us all how this shit should be and can be done – and it should be done like this!
6 years between albums was a long time to wait but Wormrot‘s return was well worth testing our patience over. Taking an ever-more experimental approach to their grinding malevolence paid dividends, with Hiss showcasing a more hardcore approach – alongside some clean singing(!) from now departed frontman Arif, who’s alternating screeches, gutturals and hardcore barks remained as unhinged as ever.
With water being a main theme, it was no surprise to find Wormrot‘s undulating ebb and flow shifting seamlessly between old-school blasting and a more modern – ‘accessible’ even – approach to the genre. As dangerous and unpredictable as the seas, Hiss threatened to drown listeners beneath the suffocating weight of its compositions, but with such diversity on display (including groove, punk and avant grade jazz), coming up for air was not only achievable, it was positively encouraged.
Another distinctive release from one of the most important bands grindcore has to offer!