I can't quite convey how happy it makes me to run this list. First, as some of you might know, Elder are one of my favorite bands on the planet right now. I'd need an extra hand or two if I had to count the amount of times that Innate Passage made me cry this year and an even larger (chthonic, perhaps) number of hands if we were to include their entire discography. Secondly, the choices on this list include Dreadnought and every time I see my friends' name on lists like these, it makes me smile. Plus, The Endless is just really that good and deserves all the recognition in the world.
Lastly, the rest of the picks on this list are just excellent, with plenty that I was actually not familiar with but that have caught my heart ever since I listened to them based off of Nick's recommendations. Especially that Pershagen album, with its tasty grooves and winding compositions. There's plenty of psychedelic rock on this list, which is to be expected, but also other, super interesting explorations of the power of guitras and expansive compositions. Make sure to also check out that Sammal album from further down the list for some great, Finnish progressive rock. If you know, you know.
And so, without further ado, here is Nick DiSalvo of Elder's Top 10 of 2022. And if, somehow, for some ungodly reason, you still haven't heard Innate Passage, please do so immediately.
Mark Peters - Red Sunset Dreams
I first heard of Mark Peters via his collaborations with London-based German producer Ulrich Schnauss. Peters’ solo work is highly atmospheric guitar music and Red Sunset Dreams is full of evocative moments. I had this one on repeat while staring out the window watching landscape pass by on our last tours.
Pershagen - Hilma
This one took me completely out of left field. Having never heard of this relatively obscure Swedish band and pulled in by the cover artwork, I was pleasantly surprised to find an album of instrumental music somewhere between post and psychedelic rock with subtle folk influences. Excellent melodies and instrumentation that sometimes flow gently by and sometimes hammer into your head with repetitive and groovy rhythms.
Dreadnought - The Endless
We had the fortune to tour for 6 weeks with Dreadnought this past summer while they played exclusively tracks from their fantastic new album. This is progressive metal that doesn’t feel cheesy or contrived but truly experimental, and you can feel a story unfolding across the long cuts of The Endless. Otherworldly melodies and hauntingly beautiful vocals.
Papir - 7
I only wish Papir would play live more often so that I could see them more. I guess I’ll have to make do with the never-ending slew of fantastic releases they keep throwing our way. I’d describe the band for those who have never heard them as ‘atmospheric rock’, while some albums tend toward the riffier, 7 is my favorite version of the band, oscillating between blissed out krautrock and dense ambient soundscapes.
Dungen - Är För Mycket och Tusen Aldrig Nog
Dungen is one of my all-time favorite bands. I won’t say this is my favorite record they’ve ever done, but it’s still a Dungen album, which means it makes it to my end of year list. Ringleader Gustav Ejstes shows he’s not afraid to reinvent his take on psychedelic rock after over 20 years, drawing in influences from genres as far flung as drum n’ bass.