Like every beginning of the year, the editorial staff of Desert-Rock offers you a look in the rear view mirror on the past year to identify the best records that have worn out our turntables.
This ranking is the synthesis of all the team’s opinions, reflecting the variety of genres that you are used to finding with us (click on each to read the detailed review of the disc published on the site when it is released):
1) My Sleeping Karma – Atma
During the seven years following the superb Mokshathe musicians of My Sleeping Karma have lived through the worst: death, serious illness, divorce, COVID… They come back, very much alive but terribly scarred, with this Atma which exudes emotion, brilliantly alternating light and shade. Not just the Resilience Disc, Atma is simply a large disc.
2) Mantar – Pain Is Forever and This Is The End
Incredible live and now unstoppable on album, Mantar’s blackened sludge takes the reasons for anger even further. Essential.
3) Elder – Innate Passage
With Innate PassageElder continues to evolve his heayv/psych while maintaining the progressive and massive aspect of a Reflections of a Floating World. The result is close to perfection, each trip in the album is a powerful and subtle trip, in short, we can’t wait to see what it will be like live between the band’s key pieces!
4) Wo Fat – The Singularity
The kings of Texas jam are back and they don’t really like the way our planet is being treated. They send us messages with great wah wah blows. Their best album since The Black Code ?
5) King Buffalo – Regenerator
Third opus of the group’s COVID saga, this seven-part galette has a taste of heavy psyche that mixes soaring atmospheres and prog rhythms, all spiced up with a delicious boosted impulse. Another triumph for King Buffalo, who proves with this masterpiece his position as king in the world of cosmic and progressive stoner. Not to be missed.
6) Crowbar – Zero and Below
Crowbar never disappoints, it’s the prerogative of bands with good money, but sometimes, once every 10 years maybe, they are angrier than usual. Well that was this year. From riff box to slap box there is finally only one step.
7) Sasquatch-Fever Fantasy
The COVID will have made us wait for this Fever Fantasy more than two years after its recording, but it was worth it: these too rare lords of the Californian stoner offer a new excellent disc of fuzzy standards, which comes to raise the level of their irreproachable discography. 22 years old and still all her teeth! One day Sasquatch will finally get the recognition they deserve.
8) Color Haze – Sacred
It’s not 22 years of existence nor a change of bassist that will have stopped Color Haze in its trajectory. With Sacred the group has renewed its contract as icon of the genre and leaves in its discography a piece of humility and balance.
9) Friends of Hell – Friends of Hell
First album for this “super group” (with huge quotes) more doom than the most doom of your girlfriends. Only tubes, only pleasure. For fans of Wizards, Reverend Bizarre or anyone with good taste.
10) The Great Evil – II
Sadly little known (and shamefully absent from all the concert scenes outside the UK), The Grand Mal is perhaps the best English stoner band… just that! Their second album, a lazy record (less than thirty minutes excluding “interludes”), nevertheless offers some of the most exciting classic stoner tracks of the year! At the end of 2022, the group announced that it was going on hiatus for personal reasons… When it doesn’t want to…
11) Earthless – Night Parade Of One Hundred Demons
The votes from the Desert-rock team weren’t enough to put Earthless on the podium this year. May a hundred demons come and haunt them through the night for this mistake. Earthless has released an exceptional album, let yourself be enchanted.
12) Nebula – Transmissions From Mothership Earth
Never stingy with cosmic fuzz, but not always as inspired as his great past masterpieces, Nebula tumbles with an album Charged pure psychedelic banderillas that touched our hearts. And not on the edges but well To The Center.
13) Red Sun Atacama – Darwin
Rage in the belly and sharp fangs, Red Sun Atacama gives to hear with Darwin its full pest potential. A vigorous album built in the purest of Stoners. But make no mistake, if the group knows its classics, it’s a wind of change blowing on each track of the cake.
14) Barabbas – Death Calls All Living
Barabbas offers the best of English classic doom from the end of the 20th century, but they started at the wrong time (early 2000s) and in the wrong place (France, imagine!). Anachronistic? Not even: at ease in their time, the group offers an amazing disc, honest and honest… and even sung in French! A treat for doomsters.
15) Conan – Evidence of Immortality
The last production of the English will not have shocked us: Conan makes Conan… and even better than on his previous albums! The group reinforces its basics and synthesizes at the same time its last years of musical adventures. Evidence of Immortality does honor to their discography and won unanimous support this year. Not revolutionary but very good.
16) Naxatras – IV
This fourth opus from our Greek friends seals the arrival of the last thief Pantelis Kargas. A reorganization which necessarily transforms the band’s music, which here reveals a hushed rhythm section, a funky guitar and a beguiling synth, without an ounce of distortion. However, the groove remains, the writing remains impeccable and lets the spectral magic of Naxatras bewitch us as always.
17) Clutch – Sunrise On Slaughter Beach
The Clutch liner has been moving forward and avoiding pitfalls for a long time. Sunrise On Saughter Beach is luxurious and robust. Even if it is not the most beautiful adventure of the group, the plaque inevitably attracts attention and we can only praise it both for its good workmanship and for what Clutch represents as a group.
18) Early Moods – Early Moods
What could be more quirky and strange than a quintet of young Californians who are totally dedicated to traditional doom metal, tinged with hard rock from the 70s and 80s. It’s dated, of course, but with the knife between the teeth, the passion in the integrity transpiring from the slightest riff, Early Moods takes us by the hand to immerse itself in a record that will be difficult to get rid of!
19) Hallas – Isle Of Wisdom
Unclassifiable, iconoclastic, barred, as heavy as psychedelic, Hällas could only hatch in Sweden in the end. Even if the group seems set to run forever behind the incredible freshness of its album Excerpts From A Future Pastlet’s not sulk our pleasure with this Isle Of Wisdom of a very fine quality.
20) Ecstatic Vision – Elusive Mojo
The Americans offer us yet another disc of their irresistible grub, made of hypnotic and frenetic kraut psych rock, where groove and energy once again make for the most beautiful combination. Their best album? Probably, just like their previous ones.
Like every year, we have pushed the ranking up to 20 records, which means that high quality records are not left in the shadows…
However, we find other superb records at the bottom of the ranking: Mudweiser, High Tone Son of a Bitch, Deadly Vipers, Valley of the Sun, Freedom Hawk, Carson, Messa, Sonic Flower… It was not bad this year 2022 finally ! 32 discs were mentioned by our team of columnists in the best of this year.
We are now waiting to see what 2023 will have in store…
Translated from French