Best Rock & Metal Releases of September 2022

I usually try to get my monthly “Best Of” posts out within a week of the month ending, but for right now I’ll settle for just within a month. (Literally.)

September was an odd month, in my opinion. It had a lot of albums that I was not expecting whatsoever. Most of my top weekly albums were from bands that were completely new to me. We did receive some good installments from a few prominent artists such as Megadeth, Ozzy Osbourne, Slipknot, Parkway Drive, and Drowning Pool. However, it was the smaller, lesser-known bands that really impressed me including First Signs Of Frost, Ghost Wish, Initia Lux, The Wonder Years, and Traitors Among Us. We were blessed with lots of stellar metalcore and deathcore releases too, and you all know how much I love the “core” music. Releases like Darko US, Miss May I, Novelists FR, Aviana, and Within Destruction are just a few standout albums. I also encountered one of the only black metal releases that I’ve enjoyed this year, ‘Mirage’ by Gaerea.

With such a stacked month it was a bit of a challenge narrowing down by top three, but after much deliberation I finally made up my mind. Here are my top albums of the month followed by all of the albums and EPs that I thought were worth mentioning.

My Top 3 Albums of September

‘Punishing Myself Before God Does’ by Confessions of a Traitor

I had never heard of Confessions of a Traitor until this release and it totally took me by surprise. Besides some fun breakdowns, chunky riffs, and great vocal performances, what struck me most about this album was the songwriting and lyrics. The honesty and emotional content of the lyrics really struck home with me. They touch on themes such as loss, redemption, and hope. It made me feel like the artist was bringing me into their own personal journey, experiencing their struggles and sharing in their pain. Perhaps the lyrics just hit close to home for me personally, but either way, for a sophomore album, COAT did a fabulous job.

‘Color Decay’ by The Devil Wears Prada

Metalcore as a whole can often feel like a stale subgenre, yet The Devil Wears Prada always seems to be a step above. To be honest, even though TDWP has been around for over 15 years, I only got into them last year with their impressive ‘ZII’ EP. ‘Color Decay’ slows the pace down from ‘ZII’, but the songwriting on this album is bar none. The vulnerability and beautiful imagery created by the lyrics caused me to pause several times while I listened to this album. That hasn’t happened for me in awhile. On top of this, Mike Hranica’s distinctive vocal performance and Jeremy DePoyster’s unique guitar tones are instantly recognizable. I also love the fact that they don’t rely on the overly-done djent style to make their breakdowns and riffs heavier (though I love djent). Their guitar leads and tones say just what they want them to say. There is no other way to express my feelings for ‘Color Decay’ except that it just hits different.

‘Empyrean’ by Fallujah

I don’t know what it is this year, but technical death metal has just been hitting the right spot with me. Bands like Fit For An Autopsy, Becoming The Archetype, and now Fallujah have been scratching that trinity itch of heavy, melodic, and groovy, all while offering s lyrical feast. Sometimes tech death can feel so packed with sound that it feels inaccessible, but Fallujah somehow finds the fine line that makes the summation of blast beats and intricate guitar work more than just a series of notes, but a musical journey. As a bass player, I also appreciate how well the bass stands out in the mix. In all, ‘Empyrean’ is a progressive masterpiece.

Best of September

Week of September 2nd

Top 5:
First Signs Of Frost – ‘Anthropocene’ [post hardcore/metalcore]
Gallia – ‘Obscura’ [cinematic/symphonic metal]
Ghost Wish – ‘Dimension’ [progressive metalcore]
Initia Lux – ‘SAMSARA’ [post hardcore/metalcore]
Oceans Ate Alaska – ‘Disparity’ [progressive metalcore]

Honorable Mentions:
156/Silence – ‘Narrative’ [hardcore/metalcore]
Aeternam – ‘Heir Of The Rising Sun’ [symphonic death metal]
Alchemists – ‘More Love’ [progressive metalcore]
Andy Gillion – ‘Arcade Metal’ [instrumental arcade metal]
Countervail – ‘Parallels’ [metalcore]
Dim Gray – ‘Firmament’ [prog/post rock]
Fear Disease – ‘Floodgates’ [death metal]
Feather Mountain – ‘To Exit A Maelstrom’ [prog/alt/post rock]
Goodbye Misery – ‘Lazarus’ [metalcore]
King Buffalo – ‘Regenerator’ [psychedelic/stoner rock]
Last Kind Words – ‘The Ascent’ [metalcore]
Megadeth – ‘The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!’ [thrash metal]
Miss May I – ‘Curse Of Existence’ [metalcore]
Reddstar – ‘R3N3GADE MUSIC, Vol. 1’ [hard rock/rap rock]
Sobriquet – ‘Apotheosis’ [post hardcore]
Time & Eternity – ‘The Face of Death EP’ [metalcore/deathcore]
Waco – ‘Rock Spirit Absolute Joy’ [indie punk rock]

Week of September 9th

Top 5:
Berried Alive – ‘Our Own Light’ [progressive/trap metal]
Fallujah – ‘Empyrean’ [tech death metal]
Smash Into Pieces – ‘Disconnect’ [modern hard rock]
Taboo – ‘Taboo’ [heavy metal/modern hard rock]
Until I Wake – ‘Inside My Head’ [metalcore]

Honorable Mentions:
Abrams – ‘In The Dark’ [psychedelic hard rock]
Allen/Olzon – ‘Army Of Dreamers’ [symphonic metal]
Apnea – ‘Sea Sound’ [post grunge/stoner rock]
Armor for Sleep – ‘The Rain Museum’ [alt rock/post hardcore]
Chase the Pancake – ‘Black EP’ [metalcore/electrocore]
Cian – ‘Surefire’ [metalcore]
Desolance – ‘All That Is Left to Believe EP’ [metalcore]
Eat Your Heart Out – ‘Can’t Stay Forever’ [alt rock/pop punk]
Ends With a Bullet – ‘I’m Still Standing’ [metalcore/modern rock]
Flight Paths – ‘American Renaissance’ [alt/modern hard rock]
Flogging Molly – ‘Anthem’ [celtic punk rock]
Grief Ritual – ‘Spiritual Disease EP’ [blackened hardcore]
Holy Fawn – ‘Dimensional Bleed’ [shoegaze]
I Am – ‘Eternal Steel’ [death metal]
Notedead – ‘Separate Paths’ [metalcore]
Our Last Nights – ‘Decades of Covers’ [post hardcore/metalcore]
Ozzy Osbourne – ‘Patient Number 9’ [hard rock]
Parkway Drive – ‘Darker Still’ [modern hard rock]
Paul Bartolome – ‘Reflections, Pt. 2 EP’ [post hardcore/metalcore]
Shadow of Intent – ‘Elegy (Deluxe Edition)’ [symphonic death metal]
Stray From the Path – ‘Euthanasia’ [hardcore]
Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown – ‘Shake The Roots’ [blues rock]
Warforged – ‘The Grove | Sundial’ [tech death metal]

Week of September 16th

Top 5:
Confessions of a Traitor – ‘Punishing Myself Before God Does’ [metalcore]
The Darling Fire – ‘Distortions’ [alt rock/post hardcore/shoegaze]
Destrage – ‘SO MUCH. too much.’ [progressive metal]
The Devil Wears Prada – ‘Color Decay’ [metalcore]
Traitors Among Us – ‘Perceptions’ [metalcore]

Honorable Mentions:
Anti-Clone – ‘Human’ EP [industrial nu metal]
Fault Lines – ‘Quiet Sickness’ [metalcore]
For the Likes of You – ‘Pain Perspective’ EP [metalcore/deathcore]
Ghosther – ‘Immersion’ [alt metal]
Harmed – ‘The Everchanging Gap Between Life and Loss’ [metalcore]
Irist – ‘Gloria’ EP [progressive metal]
Lybica – ‘Lybica’ [progressive instrumental rock]
Omega Diatribe – ‘My Sphere’ EP [metalcore]
Reliqa – ‘I Don’t Know What I Am’ [alt progressive metal]
Sublation – ‘The Path To Bedlam’ [tech death metal]
Subscale – ‘The Last Submission (Remaster)’ [groove metalcore]
Wolfheart – ‘King Of The North’ [melodic death metal]

Week of September 23rd

Top 5:
As Paradise Falls – ‘Madness/Medicine’ EP [deathcore/metalcore]
Aspen Way – ‘Return to Source’ EP [progressive metalcore]
Novelists FR – ‘Déjà Vu’ [metalcore]
Space Of Variations – ‘Imago’ [metalcore]
The Wonder Years – ‘The Hum Goes On Forever’ [pop punk]

Honorable Mentions:
Drabik – ‘Mannequin’ [alt metalcore]
Eternal Closure – ‘At The Center Of It All‘ [progressive death metal]
Gaerea – ‘Mirage’ [post black metal]
Kid Kapichi – ‘Here’s What You Could Have Won’ [alt rock]
Tyson Motsenbocker – ‘Milk Teeth’ [indie rock]
Art of Attrition – ‘The Void Eternal’ [blackened deathcore]
Eva Under Fire – ‘Love, Drugs & Misery’ [hard rock]
Our Last Night – ‘Empires Fall (Deluxe)’ [post hardcore]
SiM – ‘Beware’ EP [reggae hardcore]
Wolves at the Gate – ‘Eulogies (Live Sessions)’ [live metalcore]

Week of September 30th

Top 5:
All Else Fails – ‘The Incident At Black Lake’ EP [progressive metalcore]
Amongst the Giants – ‘Desolate Minds’ EP [metalcore]
Aviana – ‘Corporation’ [metalcore]
Darko – ‘Oni’ [deathcore]
Within Destruction – ‘Lotus’ [deathcore/trapcore]

Honorable Mentions:
Aura – ‘Underwater’ [post rock/progressive metal]
Clifford – ‘Soulless’ [progressive deathcore]
Dark Divine – ‘Halloweentown’ EP [modern hard rock]
Dark Forest – ‘Ridge & Furrow’ EP [heavy metal/power metal]
The Dead Daisies – ‘Radiance’ [southern hard rock]
Drowning Pool – ‘Strike A Nerve’ [heavy metal/nu metal]
Graves End – ‘Call of the Void’ EP [metalcore/deathcore]
Hunting Giants – ‘Mythos’ [progressive hard rock]
Regulate – ‘Regulate’ [hardcore]
Resist The Ocean – ‘In Death We Are Equal’ [metalcore]
Slipknot – ‘The End, So Far’ [heavy metal/nu metal]
Tell You What Now – ‘Tell You What Now’ [metalcore]

I’m sure that there were several albums from September that I missed, but these are all of the ones that stuck out to me. Feel free to share your favorite albums and EPs from the month. Soon I’ll have my favorite releases from October out as well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: