Metal Academy 2022 Awards - The North Edition

The Fallen The Horde The North The Pit
First Post January 07, 2023 02:53 AM

So with the start of a new year it's once again time to have a look at the most important releases from the one that's just passed with the ultimate winner from each clan being announced in early February.

Here are the releases that are currently competing for the prestigious 2022 The North Release of the Year Award (i.e. they have 3 or more ratings) :

  • Wiegedood - There's Always Blood at the End of the Road (2022)
  • Blut aus Nord - Disharmonium - Undreamable Abysses (2022)
  • Deathspell Omega - The Long Defeat (2022)
  • Autonoesis - Moon of Foul Magics (2022)
  • Celeste - Assassine(s) (2022)
  • Nocturnal Triumph - Nocturnal Triumph (2022)

Note that there are other noteworthy releases that only have 2 ratings to date, including albums from Gaerea, Tómarúm, Ultha and White Ward. One more rating will qualify these for album of the year for The North.

Which other releases do you think should come into contention so that our members can check them out prior to the end of month cut-off? Personally, I plan to check out the Autonoesis and Gaerea albums.

January 07, 2023 05:10 PM

I gave that Tómarúm release a go earlier on and was not impressed with it tbh.  What the hell is going on with that bass?  Odd that I have not gelled with that BAN release enough to sit through a full run through.  Will try to rectify that over the weekend as I normally like anything they do but that having been said I was not massively in love with their previous release.  As you will see from my year end list I only got through 9 releases proper this year (at least 9 that were any good anyways) and I soon tire of over saturation from new releases.

January 08, 2023 12:06 PM

I gave that Celeste release a spin last night to settle me into some semblance of sleep mode and it is actually a marked improvement from my experience of the their release 5 years ago.  Not going to say it is amazing but it is one of the most mature records I have heard from last year.

January 17, 2023 01:47 PM

I think that Ultha, White Ward, and Vauruvã's Por nós da ventania are the picks for Atmospheric Black Metal this year, I found all three of them to be stronger than all the current 3 rating albums save for Moon of Foul Magics. 

Véhémence's Ordalies is also a sleeper pick in my opinion, but you have to enjoy the slightly wonky and melodic medieval folk angle. 

January 18, 2023 10:24 PM

Hate Forest - "Innermost" (2022)

The ninth album from this Ukranian black metal artist is fucking superb & should come into contention for the award. It's a clear tribute to the great Norwegian Second Wave of Black Metal records from the early-to-mid 1990's with Immortal & Darkthrone being the main players along with a bit of Burzum here & there. It's a relentless experience with Roman Saenko's signature deeper death metal vocals giving it a point of difference. It compares very favourably to the stronger releases from the bands I mentioned too.

Sonny, Vinny & Ben, you will definitely wanna hear this.


January 23, 2023 09:50 PM

Note that there are other noteworthy releases that only have 2 ratings to date, including albums from Gaerea, Tómarúm, Ultha and White Ward. One more rating will qualify these for album of the year for The North.

Quoted Ben

I'm gonna help you out here Ben as I've just spent the last couple of days checking out White Ward's "False Light" album. I don't mind it but it's probably more up your alley than it is mine to be honest. It's current atmospheric black metal tag is wildly inaccurate in my opinion. I don't think it possesses the structure or texture of post-metal as some seem to think either. It's a progressive black metal record as far as I'm concerned as there's a truckload of classy experimentation on offer & it has a proggy sheen to the production & performances. There's no shoegaze influence left in their sound while the deep jazz sections are very well integrated. There's definitely more than the odd melodic black metal reference which is possibly one of the reasons that I can't buy into "False Light" as much as others seem to. I find some of the lead guitar work to be a little too clean-cut for a black metal record at times too. I tend to enjoy the more savage moments as well as the stripped-back & jazzy parts most. It's certainly not a bad album . It's just probably not something I can see myself returning to much in the future.


January 23, 2023 11:38 PM

I definitely want to check out the Hate Forest album, although it isn't on Spotify dammit. I must confess to having hit saturation point with black metal this year and so I haven't listened to very many new releases at all. I seem to be in a minority of one with being a massive fan of DsO's The Long Defeat, the only other couple of releases I have heard that I would recommend are Wiegedood's There's Always Blood at the End of the Road and Archgoat's All Christianity Ends EP. I think I also probably enjoyed the BaN release more than most too, mainly due to my love of psych metal.

On the downside, the latest Saor was my disappointment of the year and I'm not digging that Autonoesis as much as everyone else seems to be. I found the Celeste to be boring and Scarcity's Aveilut was just horrible. So not a standout year for black metal for me personally I'm afraid - I'll try harder this year!!

February 04, 2023 02:22 AM

Scarcity's Aveilut was just horrible.

Quoted Sonny

Interestingly that record has ended up being my number one metal release of the year & I think it's Ben's too. It certainly requires some investment as it's just so unusual on first listen but ultimately won't be for everyone (as we've seen with the drastic variation in scores across our regular contributors).