30 Best Rock Albums of 2022


Halestorm, Mark Tremonti and Disturbed are pictured.

Story by Anne Erickson / Halestorm by Anne Erickson, Mark Tremonti by Chuck Brueckmann, Disturbed by Travis Shinn

From Alter Bridge to Red Hot Chili Peppers to Mark Tremonti, here are Audio Ink Radio’s 30 Best Rock Albums of 2022

Who says rock is dead? All one has to do is look at the long list of high-caliber rock releases from 2022 to see that rock is very much alive and well. This year saw some highly-anticipated releases from the likes of Alter Bridge, Jack White, Ghost and Red Hot Chili Peppers, as well as some fresh faces, such as Dorothy. Read on for Audio Ink Radio’s 30 (okay, it’s 31) Best Rock Albums of 2022, in alphabetical order.

Alter Bridge, “Pawns & Kings”

Alter Bridge is on album number seven, “Pawns & Kings,” and they continue to impress record after record. The latest set features some very classic sounding Alter Bridge songs alongside unique cuts, making this a very diverse record.

Ann Wilson, “Fierce Bliss”

Ann Wilson of heart released her first solo album of original material in “Fierce Bliss.” The set features incredible songwriting and some guitar excellence from Kenny Wayne Shepherd.

Black Veil Brides, “The Mourning EP”

Black Veil Brides released a brand new EP this fall, “The Mourning EP,” and it’s a fasinating listen. The set features the band delivering huge, bold sonic textures and dramatic concepts, which is very much true to their style.

Bush, “The Art of Survival”

“The Art of Survival” marks the ninth studio album by Bush. Considering the guys have been rocking since the ’90s, it’s incredible to see them still releasing new music and touring the globe. “The Art of Survival” brings that traditionally Bush sound, with gritty alternative rock.

Clutch, “Sunrise on Slaughter Beach”

Clutch are the statesmen of hard rock with a metal kick, and they’re hard workers, too. Now, the guys are back with their 13th studio album, “Sunrise on Slaughter Beach,” featuring that raw, guttural Clutch sound that fans still lap up.

Collective Soul, “Vibrating”

Collective Soul’s 11th studio album, “Vibrating,” is so good that you’ll want to listen to each track more than one time through. Years after the band’s ’90s hits, “Vibrating” shows Collective Soul are still evolving and embracing modern rock.

Disturbed – “Divisive”

David Draiman, Dan Donegan and Disturbed are on album number eight with “Divisive.” The record’s songs are passionate and rousing, with only one ballad and the rest offering heavy, hard rock that leaves the listener wondering, “What just happened?”

Dorothy, “Gifts From the Holy Ghost”

Dorothy is one of the hottest acts on the rock circuit right now. With powerful vocals and sharp production, her new album, “Gifts From the Holy Ghost,” offers a hard rock sound that’s melodic enough to appeal to a wide range of music fans. She also brings some big guests on this album, including former Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Jason Hook, Breaking Benjamin’s Keith Wallen and Trevor Lukather.

Eddie Vedder, “Earthling”

Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam is known for his unique vocal style, and that really shines on his latest solo album, “Earthling.” The collection shines with a team of producer Andrew Watt, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith and ex-guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, his daughters Olivia and Harper as background singers, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Ringo Starr and more.

Five Finger Death Punch, “Afterlife”

Las Vegas’ Five Finger Death Punch released a new set of hard rock songs in 2022, “Afterlife.” The album is the first without guitarist Jason Hook, and while Hook’s absence is missed, the album still churns out some solid rock tunes.

Ghost, “Impera”

Ghost may hail from Sweden, but the band’s appeal is international. They’re one of the most in-demand rock bands in America right now, and that fanfare is only growing with the band’s 2022 album, “Impera,” featuring rock hits such as “Hunter’s Moon” and “Call Me Little Sunshine.”

Grey Daze, “The Phoneix”

Phoenix band Grey Daze released a new LP, “Amends,” in 2020, featuring the vocals of the late, great Chester Bennington of Linkin Park. Now, they’re back with another new album, called “The Phoenix,” out last June.

Halestorm, “Back from the Dead”

Lzzy Hale and Halestorm followed up 2018’s “Vicious” with a rousing set of straight-ahead hard rock in “Back from the Dead.” Lead single “The Steeple” shines with strong songwriting and powerful vocals and sets the listener up for the rest of the record.

I Prevail, “True Power”

Detroit-area rockers I Prevail rose to fame with a metal cover of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space,” but they’ve come a long way since then. “True Power” is the band’s third studio album, and it offers a straight-ahead rock sound with a definite young, modern edge.

Jack White, “Fear of the Dawn”

Detroit-bred Jack White of The White Stripes returned with two new albums in 2022: “Fear of the Dawn” and “Entering Heaven Alive.” Both are worthy of top-albums status, with imaginative songwriting and unique instrumentation.

Korn, “Requiem”

It’s wild to think that Korn have been making so-called nu-metal for nearly three decades, but it’s true, and they keep getting better album after album. Korn’s latest, “Requiem,” featuring Jonathan Davis’ tortured vocals and dropped-D guitars to great accord. “Start the Healing” was a stellar choice for a single off the set, with that classic Korn vibe.

Mark Tremonti, “Mark Tremonti Sings Sinatra”

“Mark Tremonti Sings Sinatra” features the Alter Bridge, Creed and Tremonti musician covering Sinatra’s songs to great accord. The release is also for a good cause, as proceeds benefit the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS).

Motionless in White, “Scoring the End of the World”

There’s no denying that Motionless in White enjoy a cult following of fans who love their gothic-industrial sound and presentation. “Scoring the End of the World” marks the sixth studio album from the Chris Motionless-fronted metalcore group, and it offers bits of nu-metal, synth-pop and deathcore.

Nickelback, “Get Rollin'”

Rock fans love to hate on Nickelback, but truth be told, the band is popular globally for their melodic, very radio-friendly rock songs. “Get Rollin'” is no exception, with easy-to-listen-to rock songs that will likely strike a chord with mainstream rock and pop music fans.

Papa Roach, “Ego Trip”

Papa Roach are the guys behind the perennial hit “Last Resort,” but here some 20-plus years later, they’re still cranking out solid rap-rock. “Ego Trip” marks the 11th studio album by Papa Roach, and it features that catchy nu-metal that fans still crave.

Projected, “Hypoxia”

Projected brings together Sevendust members John Connolly and Vinnie Hornsby, along with Alter Bridge and Creed drummer Scott Phillips, and former Submersed and current Tremonti guitarist Eric Friedman. The band’s latest album, “Hypoxia,” is a triumphant set of rock that should appeal to a broad range of fans.

Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Unlimited Love” and “Return of the Dream Canteen”

Not many bands are able to release two new albums in the same year, but Red Hot Chili Peppers aren’t most bands. “Unlimited Love” and “Return of the Dream Canteen” show that the Peppers are just now hitting their stride, with excellently-crafted songs that sound like they could have appeared on one of the band’s early albums, a la “Blood, Sugar, Sex Magik.” These two albums also mark the first ones guitarist John Frusciante has been on since 2006.

Scorpions, “Rock Believer”

The Scorpions have been rocking it for more than 50 years, which is mind-blowing. “Rock Believer,” their latest album, features the same fun, in-your-face hard rock upon which the band has built its legacy.

Serj Tankian, “Perplex Cities EP”

System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian released a new collection of new solo material this year with “Perplex Cities,” the follow-up EP to 2021’s “Elasticity.” The five-song collection shows off his fantastic range and detailed songwriting, making this way more varied than the usual rock fare.

Shinedown, “Planet Zero”

Shinedown are the kings of crafting a rock radio hit. The band released their seventh studio album, “Planet Zero,” this year, taking on some serious commentary about the pandemic, cancel culture and more. Regardless of the themes, “Planet Zero” offers the same catchy rock that always catapults to the top of the rock chart.

Smashing Pumpkins, “ATUM (Act 1)”

“Atum: A Rock Opera in Three Acts” is the new, 12th studio album from Billy Corgan and the Smashing Pumpkins. “Act One” is classic Pumpkins, with atmospheric textures and breezy sonics. “Atum: Act Two” is scheduled for a Jan. 31 release, and “Atum: Act Three” is set for an April 23 release.

Smith/Kotzen, “Better Days…and Nights”

Smith/Kotzen release “Better Days…and Nights” this year, offering five previously unreleased live tracks from the duo’s Trans-Atlantic 22 Tour, as well as four studio tracks featured on their sold out “Better Days” vinyl EP. These guys simply make magic together.

Ted Nugent, “Detroit Muscle”

Ted Nugent might be known for his rambunctious personality and passion for politics, but first and foremost, he’s a musician. Nugent shines on “Detroit Muscle,” an alum paying tribute to his hometown with incredible songs and guitars.

Three Days Grace, “Explosions”

“Explosions” marks the seventh studio album by Canadian rockers Three Days Grace. It was released on May 6, 2022 through RCA Records. The album marks the band’s third to feature Matt Walst as lead vocalist and it features the mainstream rock that fans expect from the group.


Willow Smith is known for her imaginative alterative rock, and she took a heavier route with this year’s “COPINGMECHANSIM.” The album takes a darker, harder direction with some heavy rock and metal, showing a different side of Willow that’s just as inspiring as her previous work.

Posted by Anne Erickson | Features, Music, Rock