It’s already been a bumper year for red hot new releases.
But if you need a quick refresher look no further. 
Here are Rushonrock’s Best Albums Of 2022….so far.

10. Def Leppard — Diamond Star Halos (UMC/Mecury)

Hot on the heels of Hysteria as the greatest Def Leppard album of all time?

That was the word on the street.

Diamond Star Halos was good…but not quite that good.

It was a typically sparkling set of glossy pop rock that proved Sheffield’s finest are still in a league of their own when it comes to crafting radio friendly anthems.

And the twin axe attack of Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell never sounded better.

Take What You Want, Fire It Up, Kick and This Guitar are already fixtures on The Stadium Tour setlist as the Lepps blaze a trail across the US.

That they fit this summer’s Greatest Hits celebration like a glove says it all. Simon Rushworth

Read the full review here

9. Immolation — Acts Of God (Nuclear Blast)

Immolation have nothing left to prove. 

But the Yonkers veterans continue to astound.

And on Acts Of God, the quartet once again harnessed the primordial power of death metal… and bent it to their will.

Immolation’s 11th album shuddered, twisted and blasted its way into 2022, fuelled by dark, infernal energies and an unrelenting sense of purpose.

Fifteen tracks of titanic DM, forged by one of the best bands in the business? It doesn’t get much better than that. Rich Holmes

Read the full review here

8. Chemia — Something To Believe In (Absolute Label Services)

If fans of expansive hard rock needed Something To Believe In at the start of another tough year then these powerful Poles delivered.

Chemia’s unlikely alliance with former Duran Duran guitar hero and soon-to-be Rock And Roll Hall Of Famer Andy Taylor paid rich dividends.

And the producer who captured Thunder at their best on the band’s brilliant debut repeated the trick to cast Chemia as future stars.

Frontman Luke Drapala took on a range of vocal styles…and won.

But it was flamboyant guitarist W’s rich versatility that frequently elevated Something To Believe In.

Check out standout The Best Thing. Did what it said on the tin. SR

Read the full review here

7. Arð — Take Up My Bones (Prophecy Productions)

Inspired by the story of Saint Cuthbert, a seventh century monk and the patron saint of Northumbria, Take Up My Bones was a majestic, windswept vision of ‘monastic doom’, brought to life by Northumberland native and Winterfylleth member Mark Deeks.

A highly respected musical director, composer, pianist and arranger, Deeks brought the full scope of his talents to bear on Arð’s debut.

And he weaved Saint Cuthbert’s tale into six dramatic, beautifully crafted songs.

Culminating in the breathtaking Only Three Shall Know, Take Up My Bones took doom to new places… and ancient lands. RH

6. Conner Smith — Didn’t Go Too Far (The Valory Music Co.)

Viral hit I Hate Alabama paced this six-track introduction to one of country’s fastest rising stars.

And Smith never veered too far from that winning formula on a bright and breezy statement of his future intent.

Making yourself heard above the constant chatter of Music City’s saturated market is no easy task.

But Smith emerged as an endearing surprise package at the turn of the year.

The only criticism?

Didn’t Go Too Far didn’t go far enough and left fans of nu-bro country wanting more.

New single Summer On Your Lips — released earlier this month — went some way to satisfying demand. SR

Read the full review here

5. Undeath — It’s Time…To Rise From The Grave (Prosthetic Records)

Infectious riffs, skin-flaying rhythms and a healthy splattering of gore… yep, Undeath’s second opus was a savage demonstration of old school death metal.

And it was also a step up from their head-turning debut, Lesions Of A Different Kind – our 2020 death metal album of the year

On It’s Time…, the Rochester, NY crew gifted us catchier choruses, sharper songwriting and a more muscular production… yet the record was still anchored in noxious DM sonics and mired in rotting flesh.

Undeath’s rise continues… RH

Read the full review here

Check out our interview with Undeath here

4. Thunder — Dopamine (BMG)

Luke Morley’s magnum opus cemented British rock royalty Thunder as true masters of their craft.

More than 30 years since the band dropped hit-laden debut Backstreet Symphony, expansive double album Dopamine raised the bar.

And it revealed songwriter Morley to be in the form of his life as the band’s traditional blues rock jostled for position with soul, Americana and jazz.

Such was its stunning diversity, at times Dopamine sounded like four records rolled into one.

But painstaking attention to detail ensured the album’s various creative twists and turns never really jarred.

Not for the first time in their 50-year relationship, Morley provided Thunder frontman and best friend Danny Bowes with the perfect platform to blossom.

Even If It Takes A Lifetime took on extra special meaning as Dopamine hit its stride: this remarkable record was the culmination of a career steeped in quality control. SR

3. Eric Gales — Crown (Provogue)

Bullish bluesman Eric Gales often jokes that he’s sick of playing second fiddle to big pal Joe Bonamassa.

Forget the second fiddle. 

As long as he’s playing his trusty guitar, who cares?

And Crown was the triumphant call to arms from a fabulously gifted musician making up for lost time.

Produced by Bonamassa, this was all killer and no filler from a Memphis legend reborn.

Gales — AKA Raw Dawg — gambled big on this expansive long player.

But his 19th album proved to be his best as it landed in top spot on the Billboard Blues Album chart.

Lead single I Want My Crown, featuring that man Bonamassa, screamed supreme self-confidence. 

The hype was justified. SR

Read the full review here

2. Satan — Earth Infernal (Metal Blade)

Satan worshippers rejoiced when Earth Infernal landed back in April. 


Because the NWOBHM legends somehow managed to top 2018’s Cruel Magic with a 10-song salvo of steely melodies and blistering fretwork.

The Tyneside quintet’s incisive songcraft shone brightly on the likes of Burning Portrait and The Blood Ran Deep.

And singer Brian Ross delivered an imperious performance which further cemented his status as one of heavy metal’s greats.

Four albums into their post-reunion career, Satan still reign. RH

Read the full review here 

Check out our interview with Satan here

Ghost — Impera (Spinefarm)

Does modern rock (with masks on) get any better?

The world’s most gripping Ghost story took a frightening new twist in 2022 as Impera established Cardinal Copia as the man with the masterplan.

A typically flamboyant and shamelessly excessive record oozed retro cool as pop metal’s reassuringly cryptic collaborative scaled colossal new heights.

But Impera was the sound of a new generation of creative geniuses speaking to a pandemic-ravaged, war torn and economically shot world.

Copia whipped the masses into a frenzy on the splendid Spillways.

And the glorious Griftwood paid tribute to the late, great Eddie Van Halen.

But Respite In The Spitalfields revealed Copia’s true inspiration as Ghost evoked Cardinal Coverdale at his late 80s best.

Brilliant stuff from start to finish. SR

Read the full review here