15 Hardcore Punk & Crust Records You Might Have Missed in 2022

Welcome to another roundup of what's new, thrilling and punk af.

The year may slowly be wrapping up but we’ve got an extra special, another end-of-year list with a hefty batch of deafening noise, ear-splitting crust and fist-pumping punk rock before you put away your favorite travel mug and spend the holidays listening to awful Christmas songs with your family.

Keep in mind this article is NOT ABOUT THE BEST hardcore punk & crust releases of 2022. By the time of publishing this piece, we already have more than a thousand publications on the site. If I were to write my “best of” list, I would include a lot of records already reviewed throughout the year. I don’t want to repeat myself and I want to cover as many diverse things as possible. The list below features either records that were slated for review but weren’t because I haven’t had the inspiration or the time to, or were just recent findings that I’ve decided to include at the last moment.

Now enjoy the noise and have a smashing holiday season!

1 Deadform – Self-Titled Demo

Deadform – Self-Titled Demo

“Dino isn’t rich or famous. He is much more than that. He’s a living legend.”, reads a YouTube comment under a recent video interview with Dystopia, Asunder, and Noothgrush drummer and vocalist Dino Somesse. In 2022, Dino returned on drums and vocals in a new project called Deadform, along with other ‘90s legends like bassist Brian Clouse (Stormcrow) and guitarist Judd Hawk (Laudanum). “Still at war. Constant threat of death. Fear fuels preservation. You follow orders. You are expendable.”, Dino begins his opening salvo on “Still At War”. Deadform’s demo consists of five desperate and ponderous tracks showcasing a fierce blend of crust, death metal and doom—the extreme genres that have been engraved into the very flesh and soul of the three musicians residing in Oakland. Taking musical nods to classics such as Hellbastard, Bolt Thrower and Aus-Rotten, this demo caters to some dark and desolate places. Don’t get your hopes up, ‘cause life is still shit and there’s no light in the end of the tunnel.

2 Sorrow – Black Crow

Sorrow – Black Crow

Sorrow is a new band from Poznań, Poland, featuring scene veterans involved with cult acts as Next Victim, Mind Pollution and DYYM. The heart of the sound is the heavyweight stenchcore with all the grinding death metal and cavernous delivery that entails, but there isn’t a servile devotion to one particular band or even the style as a whole. This time my favorite Polish vocalist Gosia stands behind the drumkit, but her vocals are still there as all three members share the vocal duties on this album. In a massive year for stenchcore lovers, Sorrow’s Black Crow stands out as one of the most blown-out and staggeringly impressive releases to emerge from Europe. The stenchcore/crust debut of the year!

3 ENSA – ア​ラ​ガ​ウ

ENSA – ア​ラ​ガ​ウ

Japanese band ENSA brings us 15 tracks of bleeding raw, intense and brooding emoviolence. Imagine if a band like Shikari or Louise Cyphre tightened up a bit and threw in some Acme and Mörser influences. Then add a hint of Ekkaia’s unchained neocrust, Japanese lyrics and a sick grindcore artwork and you would be somewhere in the ballpark of this band. I haven’t been following much of the screamo scene this year, but this album right here is on a league of its own. The B side of the LP contains demo songs and live recordings. Absolutely sick record.

4 G.A.Z.E. – Living The Life EP

G.A.Z.E. – Living The Life EP

Here comes the sophomore EP from these Finnish Burning Spirits worshippers! Just what you expect after their debut EP, only I think the new songs are even faster and wilder. It ranges from blistering hardcore thrash to unhinged guitar solos and storm-tossed vocals. G.A.Z.E. are one of the wildest, unorthodox and weird hardcore punk bands out there and if you also love the Japanese band Paintbox (check out their Trip Trance and Travelling LP, if you haven’t already) as much as I do, you’d also LOVE this band from Finland. I can’t wait to see a full-length from these guys.

5 Mižerija – S/T EP

Mižerija – S/T EP

A group of ex-Yugo punks affiliated with the Nigdjezemska (Neverland) squatted autonomous space in Zadar, Croatia, updated the post-punk sound of the ‘80s by incorporating politically engaging and danceable elements for the new dark ages. The record was originally released on cassette in October 2021 and received the vinyl treatment through Doomtown Records in July 2022, with the additional track “Gradski cvjetovi”. With vigorous energy, Mižerija takes on lyrical subjects revolving around living isolated and fragmented lives within the capitalist systemfrom environmental devastation to resisting the patriarchal chains and commercialism. Featured on Bandcamp Daily, it’s a real pleasure seeing a Croatian anarcho/peace punk band making it into end-of-year charts for best punk of 2022!

6 Bombardement – Le Futur Est Là

Bombardement – Le Futur Est Là

More relentless d-beat from Bombardement! A more powerful, bloodcurdling guitar sound and absolutely raging vocals in French, thanks to their new singer Oriane (ex-Barren?), drive the band forward while the drums deliver a menacing rumble over everybody’s favorite beat. The d-beat scene in Bordeaux is still top-notch and just as the local legends Gasmask Terrör, Bombardement switched the lyrics from English to French for good. Le Futur Est Là is one of the most cohesive, invigorating and perfectly executed Discharge-worshiping records of the year. If I could recommend just one release for anyone who wants to hear some excellent d-beat in 2022, it’s certainly this Bombardement record.

7 Armored Flu Unit – The Mighty Roar

Armored Flu Unit – The Mighty Roar

Armored Flu Unit’s 2019 Crusading Nations 10-inch promised great things, but holy guacamole did their new LP The Mighty Roar more than deliver. The Mighty Roar is an intense, immediate and critically important political punk album in a time of environmental destruction and right-wing authoritarianism. Part traditional UKHC like Varukers and Broken Bones, part classic anarcho-punk with a modern twist, this album is a stampeding beast front to back. Even though many anarcho bands follow a similar route in terms of style and aesthetics, Armored Flu Unit seems to have developed their own distinct sound and a penchant for brilliant political lyricism. I would urge everyone to pay special attention to this rager because the message is just as important as the music.

8 La Fraction – De L’Autre C​ô​té

La Fraction – De L’Autre C​ô​té

Now this record took me by surprise! La Fraction is a legendary punk rock band from Paris formed in 1992. Their previous full-length La Vie Rêvée was released in 2006 and to this day remains among my favorite French punk records in my vinyl collection. Yup, La Fraction released a two song EP in 2013 (both songs featured in the new LP) but I never imagined seeing a full-length from them in 2022, and now that it is on the shelves the band does not disappoint in the slightest bit. This is ten new tracks of your favorite chanson-punk brimming with creativity and rage. The singer Magali is still on top of the game with her brilliant vocals and along with the magnificent guitars and pounding rhythm section, De L’Autre C​ô​té is another gem for a band with an impressive discography spanning over thirty years. La Fraction is a truly unique band that you can’t mistake for anyone else. A breath of fresh air amidst the sea of black-clad noise mongers and metallic releases this year.

9 Dårligt Selskab – H​æ​gtet Af

Dårligt Selskab – H​æ​gtet Af

Following on a tradition of the militant punk scene based around the Ungdomshuset autonomous space in Copenhagen, comes Dårligt Selskab. The band has been going strong for most of the past decade and their latest album H​æ​gtet Af is a riot in and of itself. Their message is of total resistance and smashing the system. The perfect delightfully unhinged and urgent punk rock that boasts a stomping groove, rocking power chords and an array of killer vocals in both Danish and English. Whilst I didn’t spend too long looking at who is in the band, I could hear sonic clues: Skarpretter, Paragraf 119 and Assassinators easily come to mind when listening to these eight riotous tunes. Hecking good punk through and through.

10 ORGAN-ISM – Nací Muerto EP

ORGAN-ISM – Nací Muerto EP

This Milwaukee’s band debut cassette consists of nine short and punchy tracks of noisy, distorted, and violently aggressive hardcore that leaves no prisoners in its ferocious path. All tracks, except the stomping anthem “Pudre Por Me”, clock in under a minute and a half each. Lyrics are in Spanish and the whole EP reminds me of other noisy d-beat bands like Orden Mundial, Vaaska, Sudor, etc. Never letting go of the tension it creates, Nací Muerto leaves no space for useless filler and sophisticated bullshit.

11 Mock Execution – Killed By Mock Execution

Mock Execution – Killed By Mock Execution

Following on the heels of their ferociously good Reality Attack EP, Chicago’s Mock Execution are back with another raw, gritty banger in the form of their debut full-length, Killed By Mock Execution. Formed in late spring 2018, the band is made up of two members who are immigrants from Asia. The guitarist/vocalist Spawn is originally from Nepal and the bass player Thaib is from Singapore. The drummer Joey is the only member who actually grew up in Illinois. While the aforementioned 2019 EP has a distinct Finnish influence (they even covered Kaaos), Mock Execution have developed their own ravening sound throughout these nine songs of brutal ferocity. Fans of Japanese crust like Gloom, Defector and Abraham Cross will also enjoy this relentless sonic savagery.

12 EXIL – Mercenary EP

EXIL – Mercenary EP

Stockholm city rockers EXIL return with another sick 7-inch release, following in the footsteps of their brilliant Warning LP. There are former members of DS-13, E.T.A., and The Vicious playing in this band, and you shouldn’t expect anything less than a classic Poison Idea riff-galore. Four new songs crammed to the top with the stuff that I bet you’d love to stomp and mosh to. “Chaos” is one of the finest hardcore punk tracks I’ve heard in 2022. The closing track “Can’t See Your Face”, on the other hand, has some darker, even creepy-crawly vibes to it.

13 Agariik – Reality is Hierarchy

Agariik – Reality is Hierarchy

I stumbled upon this obscure record on the internet and was instantly drawn to listen to it multiple times. This three piece from Portland, OR, crank out six tracks of doom-laden anarchist crust on this digital-only release. Musically, lyrically and aesthetically Agariik draws inspiration from the ‘90s, namely from bands like Dystopia, Unruh or Axiom. The songs are thematically connected to each other, getting their message across with bold titles like “Reality is Hierarchy”, “Hell is Hierarchy”, “Slavery is Hierarchy”, “Reproduction is Hierarchy”, “Meat is Hierarchy”, and finally “Love is Anarchy”. If you crave haunting, Dystopia-inspired crust with a real thin, home recording production that actually sounds pretty great, I guess this is the record for you. I wish I could write a longer review for this but I’m absolutely stunned.

14 Kataxnia – Ν​ι​α​ο​ύ​ρ​ι​σ​μ​α τ​η​ς Γ​ά​τ​α​ς

Kataxnia – Ν​ι​α​ο​ύ​ρ​ι​σ​μ​α τ​η​ς Γ​ά​τ​α​ς

Thessaloniki’s Kataxnia plays a dark, metal-laden crust with lyrics in Greek. The band’s latest album Ν​ι​α​ο​ύ​ρ​ι​σ​μ​α τ​η​ς Γ​ά​τ​α​ς features eight mid-tempo tracks that bring forward the distinct dark and desperate sound of Chaotic End, Hibernation, and Forgotten Prophecy crossed with the newer generation of d-beat driven, melodic sound (Tragedy, Sarabante, etc). Similar to the band’s previous releases, Kataxnia shows us that you don’t need to be super fast, brutal or relentless to create a heavy album and evoke a certain type of dark atmosphere. The lyrics are really personal and it’s great to see them being translated in English. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

15 Uncross – Demo 2022

Uncross – Demo 2022

Salt Lake City’s Uncross self-released their three-song demo in April 2022. Though the band has been around for less than a year, they are all in their late forties to early fifties and still into DIY punk since their teen years. The first thing that comes to my head when listening to this record is that they sound like a cross between raging Dystopia-laden sludge crust and doom metal. The band takes a traditional formula but adds their own character to make this a real heavy and exciting listen. It’s really great to feature them in this article as it starts with the new band of Dystopia’s Dino Somesse and finishes with a band like Uncross, composed by older folks who are still into the genre after decades into the scene. The CD comes with a patch and a sticker. I would love to have this record on a 7-inch vinyl as well. It’s pretty short but highly recommended.

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