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  • Writer's pictureEmil

2022 TOP 100 ROCK ALBUMS

Updated: Jan 16, 2023

Hard Rock, Glam Metal, Sleaze, Southern & AOR ... everything goes!

2022 was by far the best year for rock music in the last three decades. If we were to bow and listen to the false prophets of today's "mainstream" music, rock was long dead and buried ... On the contrary, in recent years rock as a genre has continued to evolve, and why not, reinvent itself, churning out hundreds upon hundreds of legit rock albums in the process, some by scene veterans, but most by newcomers. All of it is driven by an unextinguishable burning passion for rock and roll! Our unconditional support for these acts is imperative and will continue to provide the fuel to keep the flame ablaze!


So make yourself comfortable, take off your pants, put on your silky robe, pour yourself an adult beverage of choice, and let's begin ...

Rock Ain't Dead! ... far from it!


100.

ROAD RATT

Going To Eden

Sweden


Released on November 21

Studio album #2

Poppy, sleazy hard rock. 27 years in the making.



99.

YET AGAIN

Revival

US


Released on June 11

Debut album

Alternative hard rock. Groovy with lyrics reflecting current social affairs.



98.

TARRASKA

Tarraska

UK


Released June 17

Debut album

Alternative hard rock, post-grunge. Strongly influenced by the music of Mark Tremonti.


97.

STREETLIGHT CIRCUS

Super Fine Sugar

US


Released on September 23

Studio album #3

Hard rock, rock & roll




96.

LAZARUS DREAM

Lifeline

Germany


Released on June 17

Studio album #2

Hard rock, AOR, with prog elements.




95.

VOODOO ANGEL

First Spell

France


Released on June 3

Debut album

A dynamic mix of 80s sleaze and mainstream, melodic hard rock.



94.

SICKNOTE

Deadbeat Way

Finland


Released on June 18

Studio album #2

Hard rock. An original brand of dark rock 'n' roll, heavy and well-paced.



93.

CELLAR STONE

Rise & Fall

Greece


Released on July 1

Studio album #2

Hard rock. Thought-provoking lyrics dealing with our current collective state of affairs.


92.

RUXT

Hell's Gate

Italy


Released on May 29

Studio album #5

Hard rock, hard 'n heavy. A new lineup and a hardened sound! Heavy, gritty hard rock.


91.

AMERICAN JETSET

Cat's Got Your Tongue

US


Released on May 5

Studio album #3

Hard rock, glam/sleaze. Heavily influenced by the 1980s Sunset Strip scene.



90.

SKILLS

Different Worlds

International


Released on May 13

Debut album

Hard rock. Vocalist Renan Zonta, with Brad Gillis, Billy Sheehan & David Huff.



89.

LIPS TURN BLUE (LTB)

Lips Turn Blue

US


Released on May 6

Debut album

Hard rock. NY state's DDrive has regrouped and returned with a new name and a brilliant debut effort!


88.

SHIRAZ LANE

Forgotten Shades Of Life

Finland


Released on August 12

Studio album #3

Glam/sleaze metal. Band's heaviest effort to date.



87.

RECKLESS

T.M.T.T.80

Italy


Released on April 29

Studio album #3

Glam/sleaze metal. Take Me To The 80s! Fans of Poison, Britny Fox, Ratt, and Cinderella: get into the Countach!


86.

D'OR

Veni Vidi Ignis

Switzerland


Released on March 11

Debut album

Hard rock, hard 'n heavy




85.

BONEDRYVER

Valley Of Bones

US


Released on April 29

Studio album #2

Hard rock, hard 'n heavy. In your face, American, greasy southern hard rock with shredding powerhouse vocals!


84.

JET BLACK ROMANCE

Rock and Roll Riot

US


Released on March 30

Debut album

Modern glam/sleaze metal FFO: Confess, Santa Cruz, Black Veil Brides, Crashdiet.



83.

MASQUE OF ART

Masquerade

Sweden


Released on June 17

Debut album

Melodic hard rock, AOR. Greatly influenced by the classic rock of the 60s, 70s, and 80s.


82.

SQUARED

Strange Affairs

France/Sweden


Released on May 13

Debut album

AOR. Excellent debut effort by the co-led project. Inspired by the late 80s AOR with a crafted sound to match!


81.

BAD SISTER

Where Will You Go

Germany


Released on November 25

Studio album #4

Melodic hard rock, AOR. Excellent comeback effort by the female-fronted Hamburg rock collective!


80.

SANDNESS Play Your Part

Italy


Released on May 20

Studio album #4

Glam/hard rock. Heavily 80s influenced, singalong fun hard rock with power pop sensibilities.


79.

HARDCORE SUPERSTAR

Abrakadabra

Sweden


Released on March 25

Studio album #12

Modern glam/sleaze metal




78.

TURKISH DELIGHT

Volume One

International


Released on October 21

Melodic hard rock, AOR. Volume one by the project/brainchild of Escape Music co-owner Khalil Turk and one of the most comprehensive casts of rock musicians!


77.

JOHN NORUM

Gone To Stay


Released on October 28

Studio album #8

Hard rock. Top-tier new studio solo effort by the incredible Scandinavian guitarist!




76.

SUCKERPUNCH

Redneck Gasoline

Denmark


Released on March 4

Studio album #2

Hard rock; dirty, laid-back southern rock




75.

XANDER AND THE PEACE PIRATES

Order Out Of Chaos

UK


Released on May 6

Studio album #2

Blues/soul rock. Xander bros & mates captured perfectly their new message to humanity. Beautiful fluid music for peace!


74.

GHOSTS OF SUNSET

No Saints In The City

US


Released on March 4

Debut album

Melodic hard rock, glam




73.

TSAR

Acte I

France


Released on March 15

Debut album

Fusion groove rock/metal, with prog elements.



72.

CITY OF LIGHTS

Before The Sun Sets

International


Released on February 11

Debut album

1980s-rooted melodic hard rock, AOR.




71.

TEN Here Be Monsters

UK


Released on February 11

Studio album #15

Melodic/hard rock. A very enjoyable record.



70.

MOTOR SISTER

Get Off

US


Released on May 6

Studio #2

Hard rock. Long-awaited follow-up album by the birthday-bash tribute act turned Supergroup!


69.

SIDEBURN

Fired Up

Switzerland


Released on June 10

Studio album #9

Hard rock. Straight-up classic hard rock!




68.

VYPERA

Eat Your Heart Out

Sweden


Released on June 17

Debut album

A sweet blur of melodic hard & heavy FFO: Dokken, Icon, King Kobra, Europe, and Triumph.


67.

HOLEČEK & MARCEL PROJECT

Light Up Your Fire

Czechia


Released on June 23

Debut album

Blues/southern/hard rock. An excellent mix of originals and eclectic renditions, wonderfully captured!


66.

L.A. COBRA

Superstition

South Africa


Released on June 24

Studio album #3

Sleaze/glam/hard rock. Laidback, proper sleazy glam rock, and a sound to match. Hot guitar licks and singalong choruses!


65.

FM

Thirteen

UK


Released on March 18

Studio album #13

Melodic hard rock.




64.

RUST N' RAGE

One For The Road

Finland


Released on March 11

Studio album #3

Melodic hard rock, glam/sleaze metal




63.

CROSS EYED LOVER

Blonde Zombie

Australia


Released on March 4

Debut album

Glam/hard rock




62.

THE JOCKERS

Rock And Roll Bones

UK


Released on November 4

Studio album #4

Glam/hard rock with a slight southern tinge.



61.

ABOUT US

About Us

India


Released on November 11

Debut album

Melodic hard rock. The Indian rock newcomers offer serious potential & further development.


60.

CORELEONI

III

Switzerland


Released on May 20

Studio album #3

Hard rock. New singer, vintage hard rock vibe, organic sound.



59.

HYDRA

Point Break

Sweden


Released on August 12

Debut album

Westcoast AOR, melodic hard rock, power pop.



58.

TREAT

The Endgame

Sweden


Released on April 8

Studio album #9

Melodic/hard rock, AOR. Slick guitar work, excellent melodies & sound production.



57.

VOODOO MOONSHINE

Bottom Of The Barrel

US


Released on February 4

Studio album #2

Sleaze/glam/hard rock, with a bluesy groove.



56.

CLASSLESS ACT

Welcome To The Show

US


Released on June 24

Debut album

Glam/hard rock. Down 'n dirty rock & roll by the L.A. newcomers.



55.

DRIVE AT NIGHT

Echoes Of An Era

Sweden


Released on June 17

Debut album

Melodic hard rock, glam. Rooted in the 80s mainstream rock w/ great melodies, huge keys, and singalong choruses!


54.

PAINTED SKY

Somber

Sweden


Released on March 18

Debut album

A melodic mix of 70s blues/hard rock and 80s sleaze rock.



53.

LIPSTICK

Inner City

Spain


Released on March 18

Studio album #4

Glam/hard rock. A great blend of Sunset Strip glam mixed with some Detroit attitude, and modern production.


52.

DIRT

Deadbeat

Finland


Released on June 3

Debut album

Heavy/hard rock, post-grunge. Heavy, groovy rock, FFO: STP, Velvet Revolver, Alice in Chains, King X.


51.

AUTUMN'S CHILD

Zenith

Sweden


Released on January 14

Studio album #3

Melodic hard rock, AOR. Catchy tunes.




50.

ELECTRIFIED

My World On Fire

Greece/Germany


Released on May 20

Debut album

Hard rock, glam, AOR. A mix of melodic hard rock w/ radio-friendly, keyboard-driven melodies w/ catchy vocals lines.


49.

WILDNITE

Symphony Of Apathy

Norway


Released on May 6

Studio album #2

Hard rock. UK-style hard rock mixed with US sleaze metal, and belting vocals, similar to Herbie Langhans'.


48.

CHARCOAL FIRE

Dystopia

Germany


Released on February 20

Debut album

Heavy alternative rock. Melodic.



47.

TEMPELHEKS

Renegade

Norway


Released on January 21

Studio album #4

1980s melodic heavy metal, hard rock, AOR. FFO Night.



46.

LOSING GRAVITY

Headed South

Germany


Released on April 29

Debut album

Melodic/hard rock, mainstream/arena rock. FFO 90s Bon Jovi.



45.

TRISHULA

We All Fall Down

UK


Released on October 1

Studio album #3

UK rock crew led by guitarist Neil Fraser. Quality melodic hard rock.



44.

CAPTAIN BLACK BEARD

Neon Sunrise

Sweden


Released on October 7

Studio album #6

Melodic hard rock, AOR. FFO: Journey, Foreigner, The Night Flight Orchestra.



43.

DRAB

Drab

US


Released on January 1

Debut album

Moody, menacing alternative/hard rock.




42.

THE ELECTRIC ALLEY

Apache

Spain


Released on October 14

Studio album #4

Hard rock with blues/southern traits.




41.

CAUGHT IN ACTION

Devil's Tango

Sweden


Released on April 22

Debut album

1980s melodic hard rock, AOR, and power-pop. Excellent modern sound production.


40.

RADIANT

Written By Life

Germany


Released on April 22

Studio album #2

Proper hard rock by the German act fronted by the powerhouse vocalist Herbie Langhans! Honest, powerful, and melodic.


39.

ALTZI

All Eyes On Me

Sweden


Released on March 25

Debut album

Solo debut album by rock vocalist Rick Altzi (Masterplan, Gathering Of Kings). Melodic hard rock, AOR, hard 'n heavy.


38.

CHEZ KANE

Powerzone

UK


Released on October 21

Studio album #2

Melodic hard rock. With Danny Rexon (Crazy Lixx): all instrumentation, recording, mixing, and production.


37.

WICKED

The Last American Rock Band

US


Released on March 11

Studio album #3

Glam/melodic hard rock




36.

MIDLAKE

For The Sake Of Bethel Woods

US


Released on March 18

Studio album #5

Indie alternative/folk rock, prog rock




35.

SARAYASIGN

Throne Of Gold

Sweden


Released on May 27

Debut album

Melodic hard rock. Layered cinematic hard rock with great vocals and strong melodies. Spotify


34.

FØSS

These Voices

Norway


Released on March 19

Studio album #2

Groovy melodic/hard rock, hard 'n heavy.



33.

JOLLY JOKER

Loud & Proud

Spain


Released on February 4

Studio album #4

Hard rock, glam/sleaze metal




32.

WHITE RAVEN DOWN

Don't Shoot The Messenger

UK


Released on April 7

Debut album

Modern hard 'n' heavy




31.

DEVIL'S TRAIN

Ashes & Bones

Germany


Released on June 24

Studio album #3

Pure hard rock. The band is fronted by RD Liapakis (Mystic Prophecy, Steel Prophet) w/ Dan Baune (Lost Sanctuary) on guitar.


30.

ICONIC

Second Skin

US


Released on June 17

Debut album

Hard rock. Supergroup: Michael Sweet, Joel Hoekstra, Marco Mendoza, Tommy Aldridge & Nathan James.


29.

CAPRICORN

For The Restless

Sweden


Released on March 25

Studio album #2

Electrifying rock n' roll, 70/80s mainstream/hard rock.



28.

BOMBER

Nocturnal Creatures

Sweden


Released on March 25

Debut album

Blends raw edge NWOBH sound with 80s hard rock, and a hot touch of glam.



27.

A RISING FORCE

Eclipse

US


Released on June 3

Studio album #2

Hard rock. The Minnesotans blend their commercial hard rock with a wee bit of glam.


26.

COLLATERAL

ReWired

UK


Released on October 21

Debut album*

Melodic hard rock, pop-rock. Re-release of their debut album (2/20). Re-mixed, re-mastered, with special guests! Spotify


25.

DEAD CITY RUINS

Shockwave

Australia


Released on September 16

Studio album #4

Meaty hard rock! New vocalist.




24.

RADIOACTIVE

X.X.X.

Sweden/International


Released on March 11

Studio album #5

Melodic hard rock, AOR. Multi-instrumentalist Tommy Denander with guest vocalists.


23.

DERAPS

Deraps

Canada/Australia


Released on June 17

Debut album

Hard rock. The young rock power trio is deeply rooted in the 70s Sunset Strip hard rock, focusing on the mighty Van Halen.


22.

BLACK SWAN

Generation Mind

International


Released on April 8

Studio album #2

Hard rock. Robin McAuley, Reb Beach, Jeff Pilson, Matt Starr - no further introduction necessary.


21.

FORGET-ME-NOT

Featuring Jane Gould

UK


Released on April 15

Debut album

Melodic hard rock. Top-tier 1980s AOR. FFO: Chez Kane, Saraya.


20.

CLOUDS OF CLARITY

Superficial Society

Sweden


Released on December 9

Debut album

Alternative/funk/pop rock. A loose concept based on the modern world and society. Well produced.


19.

SHAMAN'S HARVEST

Rebelator

US


Released on March 11

Studio album #7

Melodic modern southern hard rock. Chug & twang!



18.

AUDREY HORNE

Devil's Bell

Norway


Released on April 22

Studio album #7

Alternative hard rock. Powerful, heavy, melodic, in-your-face hard rock!



17.

WHITE SPIRIT

Right Or Wrong

UK


Released on July 29

Studio album #2

Pure 80s melodic hard rock, AOR. Crème de la crème cast! Excellent sound production. 42 years comeback!


16.

VANTE

Vante

US


Released on June 17

Debut album

Hard rock. New rock/metal act fronted by singer/multi-instrumentalist Brian Troch (Cyclone Temple). Heavy. Current issues.


15.

BLACK MAP

Melodoria

US


Released on February 18

Studio album #3

Alternative hard rock.




14.

CYANIDE 4

Amalgama

Greece


Released on May 20

Studio album #3

The greeks are offering a mix, hence the title, of different rock elements, resulting in a highly poisonous concoction!


13.

DARE

Road To Eden

UK


Released on April 1

Studio album #10

Melodic hard rock, AOR. Beautifully crafted.



12.

91 SUITE

Back In The Game

Spain


Released on June 21

Studio album #3

Melodic hard rock, AOR. It will equally satisfy fans of Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, and Bryan Adams. Splendid.


11.

GINEVRA

We Belong To The Stars

Sweden


Released on September 16

Debut album

Melodic hard rock. Project driven by Magnus Karlsson, and fronted by Kristian Fyhr (Seventh Crystal)!


10.

GATHERING OF KINGS

Enigmatic

Sweden


Released on July 29

Studio album #3

Melodic hard rock, AOR.



9.

MANIC SINNERS

King Of The Badlands

Romania


Released on February 18

Debut album

Hard rock. Talented rock power trio, the first Romanian act signed to the Frontiers label!


8.

STONEGATE

Set In Stone

Canada


Released on June 10

Debut album

Alternative/hard rock, dynamic w/ charged lyrics FFO: RHCP, Stone Sour, Shinedown.



7.

DEGREED

Are You Ready

Sweden


Released on February 11

Studio album #6

Melodic hard rock. Band's best effort to date!



6.

SPACE ELEVATOR

Persona Non Grata

UK


Released on February 25

Studio album #3

Melodic eclectic rock. Catchy and complex.



5.

PERFECT PLAN

Brace For Impact

Sweden


Released on October 14

Studio album #3

Top-tier melodic hard rock, AOR. A delectable combo of Europe and Whitesnake!


4.

POETS OF THE FALL

Ghostlight

Finland


Released on April 29

Studio album #9

Epic melodic/symphonic rock!




3.

JUNKYARD DRIVE

Electric Love

Denmark


Released on May 13

Studio album #3

Hard rock. Top-tier rock and roll! Another splendid example of hard rock's rising trajectory! Fitting sound production.


2.

SKID ROW

The Gang's All Here

US


Released on October 14

Studio album #6

The recent addition of lead vocalist Erik Grönwall reignited the band's flame! Resulting in a splendid hard rock effort, rooted in Skid Row's classic sound and vibe! All links


1.

GUNSHINE

Gunshine

US


Released on June 24, 2022

Debut album

Glam/hard rock


Perhaps not a huge surprise for most who follow me on social media, and since GUNSHINE had the rock's pole position ever since their self-titled debut effort was released at the end of June 2022. The Pensacola, FL hailing act has spent most of 2020 and 2021 writing and recording what turns out to be one of the best rock albums of the last 30 years! Whilst the band recalls the edge and swagger of rock royalty (AC/DC, Boston, Guns 'N Roses), with the addition of modern twists, and analog sound production to match, resulting in an original, high-energy sleazy rock 'n roll masterpiece. In a world where it is commonplace to play it safe and not “rock the boat” musically, GUNSHINE offers a breath of fresh air and throws the rule book out the window. No tricks, no frills, no BS. This is the rock n roll you’ve missed! 2022 Rock album of the year.




© 2023 by Emil Chiru

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