By Anand Venkitachalam
New Delhi: 2021 saw some stellar rock albums coming out, and it certainly left the coming year with a stiff competition. Though, it may be safe to say that 2022 will be even more unique as we have some top-notch bands returning to the fold after a long time. With such an interesting roster, it is hard to predict what will follow, but one thing is for sure, that 2022 will certainly be an interesting year for rock’ n roll.
Here are some of the top most awaited rock albums of the year:
1. Magnum – ‘The Monster Roars’
The legendary English progressive hard rock band is certainly unique due to their rather unorthodox sound. For one many have argued if they even should be called prog, though no one has doubted their brilliance. Secondly, the band has never really received the attention it deserves. Coming with a unique combination of hard rock, progressive rock, AOR and symphonic rock, Magnum are innovative songwriters to say the least who know how to capture the ear instantly with their simple yet absolutely thrilling use of melody. They have continued to go strong since the late 2010s with ‘Escape From The Shadow’, ‘Sacred Blood “Divine” Lies’, ‘Lost On The Road To Eternity’ and their latest the 2020 ‘The Serpent Rings’. Magnum released their 2022 album titled ‘The Monster Roars’ on January 14, 2022.
2. Jethro Tull – ‘Zealot Gene’
Named after the 18th century British agriculturist, the legendary English progressive rock band needs little introduction. Coming to the scene with their unique blend of hard rock, progressive rock, blues, folk rock, jazz fusion, art rock etc, Jethro Tull’s importance in the world of rock and metal cannot be overstated. Changing their sound from hard rock to progressive rock to contemporary folk and art rock and jazz fusion, Jethro Tull has been a musical treasure trove, and as a band have never been afraid to experiment with a unique blend of sounds. It is their eclectic nature that has been their biggest identification mark. The band will be releasing its 22nd studio album, ‘The Zealot Gene’, more than 19 years after their 2003 release ‘The Jethro Tull Christmas Album’.
3. Alter Bridge – (To Be Announced)
Formed after the break up of Creed, with Myles Kennedy as the vocalist and guitarist, Alter Bridge has been a massive success story. Possibly the best modern day hard rock band, Alter Bridge evolved from standard 2000s post grunge into a musical force to be reckoned with. One of the most innovative modern rock bands, Alter Bridge have become a driving force behind rock today. Though the band members are working on their own separate projects, Myles with Slash and Tremonti on his own band, the group are geared to get themselves to the studio into the spring this year and begin recording their seventh album and work on their ideas.
4. Porcupine Tree – ‘Closure/Continuation’
Reforming after eleven years in 2021 after their break up in 2010, the legendary prog rock outfit is back. Porcupine Tree need little introduction for they are among the few prog bands ever to garner mainstream attention. Starting from space and art rock and moving to alternative rock to eventually even expanding their scopes into metal, Porcupine Tree has it all. Without question they will have something new planned in ‘Closure/Continuation’, which is their eleventh album after the 2009’s ‘The Incident’. With the first single ‘Harridan’ released on November 1, 2021, the album is scheduled to be released on June 24, 2022.
5. Ghost – TBA
A band known for diversity and theatricality above all, Ghost is always certain to grab the headlines. With their unique Satanic outfit, lyrics and music combining various styles such as heavy metal, doom metal, hard rock, progressive rock, arena rock and pop rock, Ghost are something all their own. While their previous albums saw the band keeping to their metal side, their fourth album ‘Prequelle’ released in 2018 saw them shifting to an almost pop rock, arena rock style mixed with hard rock while maintaining their Satanic look. Though we have yet to know what the band has in store, it has been confirmed that Ghost have indeed begun working on their next album and Tobias Forge has a concept in place for the album.
6. Clutch – TBA
Clutch are pretty much one of the greatest things to happen to ’90s rock that has often gone unnoticed in light of the whole grunge movement. Quite hard to really pin down in one category as they have often wavered between metal and rock, it is best to simply call Clutch a metal influenced rock band and leave it at that. Clutch is a mix of many things, blues, hard rock, space rock, southern rock, alternative rock, hardcore punk, heavy metal, doom metal, stoner rock etc. Sick riffs, brilliant writing, heaviness, bluesy notes, and above all consistency are a defining mark of Clutch, and it has worked out very well for them. The band has announced that they have written material for their thirteenth studio album and that it will most likely be ready to drop somewhere in early 2022. Their last album titled ‘Book Of Bad Decisions’ was released on September 7, 2018.
7. Halestorm – TBA
Simple, raw, hard edged and attitude filled, Halestorm is pure rock. With a strong female lead in Lzzy Hale, Halestorm is musically a simple band packed with metallic grit, aggression, cool riffs, snarl and all the rawness that you would want in a hard rock band. The band released its fourth album ‘Vicious’ in 2018 and is expected to released its fifth album somewhere in 2022.
8. Muse – TBA
One of the most experimental bands in rock, it is very hard to describe Muse. Progressive rock, space rock, alternative rock, art rock, hard rock, heavy metal, progressive metal, electronic, pop, classical, Muse throughout their career combined various styles and created a new product. An eclectic band, Muse is not for everyone, but they are certainly one of the most creative bands out there. Throughout their career Muse have changed their sound, starting from a harder sound more reminiscent of alternative metal, they further combined that sound with other styles such as space rock before embracing other styles such as prog and art rock. Muse released their latest single ‘Won’t Stand Down’ for their upcoming 2022 album on January 13, indicating a return to their older heavier sound.
9. Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and the Co.Conspirators- ‘4’
Slash needs little introduction. The Guns‘N Roses and Velvet Revolver lead guitarist and one of the most renowned rock guitarists of all time, Slash has been touring with his band since 2008. With singer Myles Kennedy from Alter Bridge and a door of session musicians, ‘4’ is the upcoming fifth album scheduled for release on February 11, 2022. The last album ‘Living The Dream’ was released in 2018.
10. Red Hot Chilli Peppers – TBA
One of the most commercially successful rock bands of all time, RHCP is also one of the weirdest bands in mainstream rock. While they never fully became part of the whole movement given their diverse influences, they were certainly one of the most important groups in the whole funk rock-metal movement alongside bands like Incubus, Mr, Bungle, Rage Against The Machine, Primus, Faith No More etc, with their combination of various styles such as alternative rock, funk, punk, rap, hard rock and metal. RHCP’s unique style of music which was funky, raw, weird somehow also ended up having a good bit of the mainstream touch which appealed to the standard listener. The band’s eleventh album ‘The Getaway’ came out in 2016, and drummer Chad Smith has revealed that the band has nearly completed the recording process for their twelfth album to be released in 2022.