25 Best Albums of 2022

Video of Ghost – Spillways (Official Music Video)

1. Ghost – Impera

It’s been a massive year for Ghost, complete with AMA wins, MLB first pitches, viral TikToks and other mind-blowing career milestones. But it all started with March’s Impera, the Swedish occult-rock juggernaut’s majestic fifth full-length. Amid all the hoopla and hijinks of 2022, Papa Emeritus IV and the Nameless Ghouls also became bona fide US arena headliners this year, and fittingly, Impera is their arena-rock album, full of huge, sing-along, Andrew-Lloyd-Webber-gone-Eighties-metal anthems, from the ABBA-on-steroids thrill ride “Spillways” to the gothic power ballad “Darkness at the Heart of My Love.” It’s ambitious, delirious, biting at times (“Griftwood” skewers Trump VP Mike Pence), fun all the time. Impera might be a concept album about the fall of empires, but Ghost’s own empire is rapidly expanding — and rightfully so.

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