Screamo is a great soundtrack for dire times, so it makes sense that we've been in the midst of (another) screamo revival for a few years now, and the genre has very much been thriving in 2022. This year brought two major reunion albums that were well worth the wait (Gospel and City of Caterpillar), not to mention Saetia's reunion shows, and so many comparatively newer screamo bands dropped heavy-hitting records this year too. We included a good chunk of screamo on our list of the 50 Best Punk Albums of 2022, but we wanted to highlight even more of this year's releases within that vast genre, so here's a list of 15 great screamo and screamo-adjacent post-hardcore albums from 2022. Screamo is a very international genre, and this list admittedly leans a little US-centric, so we're probably missing some gems, but these are 15 that we loved this year that we wanted to shine an extra spotlight on.

Read on for our list, unranked and in alphabetical order, and let us know your favorite screamo albums of 2022 in the comments...

Birds In Row
loading...

Birds In Row - Gris Klein
Red Creek Recordings

Birds In Row have been floating between screamo, post-hardcore, and other hardcore offshoots for over a decade, and with each new release, they find themselves more and more treading their own waters, brushing up against familiar genre tropes but rarely sticking with any in particular. That's truer than ever on Gris Klein, one of the most intense records to come out of this world all year. Gris Klein embraces satisfying melodies, danceable drum patterns, and other elements that open Birds In Row up to a wider audience, but always with a coarse, serrated edge. It can be some of the most emotionally and physically taxing music of the year, and there's beauty even in its most clamoring moments. When Bart Hirigoyen opens his mouth to sing, he sounds like the world might end any second, and his lyrics are equally desperate. "What to tell to a world on the verge to collapse?," he shouts over the kinetic backdrop of "Confettis." This album's got some answers.

Blind Girls
loading...

Blind Girls - The Weight of Everything
Zegema Beach

The Weight of Everything is a great name for a screamo album that literally sounds like it's carrying the world's burdens on its shoulders. "Does it make you sick waking up each day to the same old thing? To the streets that built you? The people who broke you?", Sharni Brouwer asks with a throat-shredding shriek on "Dissociating While Driving," before adding, "Nothing ever changes." Those are the kinds of sentiments that come through in the Australian band's sophomore album, which is darker and heavier than their 2018 debut, and among the most intense screamo records released this year.

Chalk Hands
loading...

Chalk Hands - Don't Think About Death
Dog Knights

A lot of music in this realm can feel claustrophobic and antisocial, but if you're looking for something a little more personable, don't miss out on UK band Chalk Hands' debut album Don't Think About Death. They're less about shredding their vocal cords and more about passionate shouts that you can yell along to, especially when they bring in the gang vocals, which sound ready-made for audience-wide shoutalongs. Their lyrics are vivid and poetic, and the music is full of range, incorporating elements of heavy post-hardcore, climactic post-rock, fidgety math-rock, and a few softer, melodic indie rock parts too. It's a remarkable record and really stands out from the rest.

City of Caterpillar
loading...

City of Caterpillar - Mystic Sisters
Relapse

For their first album in 20 years (and second ever), guitarist/vocalist Brendan Evans said City of Caterpillar's goal was to "make it show that 20 years have passed, but also make it seem like this record could’ve come out right after the other one," and that's exactly what Mystic Sisters does. City of Caterpillar always thought a little more outside the box than many of their screamo peers, with long, experimental songs that incorporated bits of post-rock, noise, and a style of songcraft that looked beyond basement-dwelling screamo, and Mystic Sisters has that same M.O. But it also never sounds like City of Caterpillar Pt. 2; you can tell from listening how much the members of City of Caterpillar grew as musicians in their time apart from one another. Reuniting has allowed City of Caterpillar to re-capture the chemistry of their debut LP and early splits, but it's also allowed each member to bring new musical and life experiences with them, and all of that comes through on Mystic Sisters.

Crowning Naedr Rayau
loading...

Crowning & Naedr - Rayau
Left Hand Label / Zegema Beach

One of this year's best splits comes from Singapore's Naedr and Chicago's Crowning, who contributed three and four new songs each, respectively. Both bands bring their own vibes to the table, and they go together perfectly. Crowning are more in the dark, heavy realm with atmospheric production, while Naedr go harsher, rawer, and more in a post-rock direction, at least until their riffy, metallic closing track "Ascension." Together, they've crafted 16 minutes of the year's most suspenseful extreme music.

Foxtails Fawn
loading...

Foxtails - Fawn
Skeletal Lightning

"Is this what it's like to grow up? To realize everything's fucked up? To realize dreams are delusions of youth?" Blue Luno Solaz screams on the first track of Foxtails' best album yet, Fawn, and that realization of bleak hopelessness informs the remaining 40 minutes of this LP, an album that sounds like it's ready to collapse at any second. Blue's gripping delivery varies between the harsh shrieks of '90s screamo, airy dream pop melodies, and Kim Gordon-esque speak-singing, and the band's acidic post-hardcore is made even more suspenseful by violin parts that sound like Godspeed You! Black Emperor at their most ominous. Is Fawn what it's like to realize everything's fucked up? It certainly sounds like it is.

Gillian Carter
loading...

Gillian Carter - Salvation Through Misery
Skeletal Lightning

If it wasn't clear from song titles like "Life Is Hell, Hell Is Fucked" and "Forced Into A World of Shit," Salvation Through Misery is Florida screamo greats Gillian Carter's darkest, angriest record yet. It's a record fueled by depression, anxiety, and hopelessness, and even if you can't always make out Logan Rivera's lyrics, you can feel the pain in his earsplitting screams. Adding to the dismal themes and the sonic fury are dense guitar patterns that provide a sense of haunting, gorgeous melancholy. Even for an album with lyricism as skin-crawling as this one, the climactic instrumental passages speak volumes as loud as the actual words.

Gospel
loading...

Gospel - The Loser
Dog Knights

17 years after releasing their prog-screamo classic The Moon Is A Dead World, Gospel re-emerged with a followup that picks right up where this band left off and pushes them in even more atypical directions. As on their debut, Gospel spend the duration of The Loser finding ways to fuse harsh '90s screamo with the most far-out corners of '60s/'70s prog and psych, heavily incorporating organs, guitar solos, and atmospheric passages that take you on the long strange journey between King Crimson and Saetia. Even with 17 years and a growing number of prog-friendly post-hardcore bands, I haven't really heard anyone pull this sound off the way Gospel does, which makes The Loser even more triumphant. One of the strangest bands in screamo is back to prove they're still unparalleled.

Massa Nera
loading...

Massa Nera - Derramar | Querer | Borrar
Zegema Beach

Like many of the best screamo bands, Massa Nera sound like they're going to implode at any moment. On their long-awaited sophomore album Derramar | Querer | Borrar, they sound grand and ambitious but still intimate enough to set up on the floor at a basement show. The record is a concept album that critiques the corruption and oppression within American capitalism from a place of personal experience, and it's the kind of album that needs to be heard from start to finish, with songs that segue directly into each other, a drone at the beginning and end of the album that loops it seamlessly if you listen on repeat, and a genuinely awesome deep house midsection that breaks up all the fury. Massa Nera's raw, abrasive songs are fleshed out with string arrangements and post-rock passages that add beauty to all the madness. With a screamo record this majestic, it makes sense that even some of the architects of the genre were floored.

Overo
loading...

Overo - Waiting For The End To Begin
Middle-Man Records

Right in between screamo and Midwest-style emo lies Houston's Overo. On their sophomore album Waiting For The End To Begin, guitarist/co-vocalist Brendan Stephens dishes out the harsh shrieks and roars while guitarist/co-vocalist Lindsay Minton (who also fronts indie/emo band football, etc) brings in soaring clean vocals. The unique dual vocal approach is matched by an instrumental backdrop that weaves between heavy post-hardcore, noodly emo, post-rock parts, and acoustic parts, and they top things off with strings, horns, and a spoken word guest vocalist.

Piri Reis
loading...

Piri Reis - Ritma
Zegemea Beach/Moment of Collapse

Since dropping a split with Coma Regalia in 2015, Malayasian band Piri Reis did a series of other splits and compilation appearances before finally releasing their debut album Ritma this year. It does a ton of justice to late '90s / early 2000s style screamo, channelling the raw fury of that era with pure authenticity and working in just the right amount of quieter parts to make the loud ones feel even louder.

Sonagi
loading...

Sonagi - Precedent
Get Better

Sonagi are a screamo band who put feeling over everything. There are no frills or embellishments on their debut album Precedent, just a bare, skeletal recording of fuzzed-out guitars, reckless drumming, and the pained shouts of Ryann Slauson and Harim Jung. If you set up one mic to capture one of Sonagi's live shows, it probably wouldn't sound all that different. Ryann (who also fronts Closer) sounds like they're putting every ounce of their being into these songs, like they were overcoming physical and emotional pain just to deliver the message they needed to deliver. That's how a lot of the best screamo came to be; it's not about having the best production or being the best players or getting the most flawless take, it's about being as human and present and as real as possible.

Soul Glo
loading...

Soul Glo - Diaspora Problems
Epitaph

Having grinded in the underground hardcore and screamo scenes for nearly a decade, Soul Glo are ready for the world. They've leveled up in just about every way with Diaspora Problems, from their songwriting to their production to the record's truly awesome music videos; this is what it looks like when an already-great band manages to defy every high expectation that was set for them. Across the boundary-pushing, genre-defying Diaspora Problems, Soul Glo offer up the most life-affirming hardcore punk songs you'll hear all year, the controlled chaos of '90s screamo, industrial-rap that's loud and booming enough to fill a stadium, and chilled-out, permastoned boom bap. Often, they combine elements of three or more of these things in the same song. More than any prior Soul Glo release, the songs on Diaspora Problems are full of space and air, blaring through your speakers with the energy of Soul Glo's live show while maintaining the rounded edges of a well-produced rock record. (The album was produced in-house by Soul Glo bassist GG Guerra in the band's practice space, and later mixed and mastered by Turnstile/Code Orange/Title Fight collaborator Will Yip.) Pierce Jordan's lyrics are full of intent, dealing with internal issues like mental health and suicidal thoughts and external issues like the corrupt voting system and the left's reluctance to militarize with the same intense, personal passion. Guests like underground rappers Mother Maryrose, lojii, McKinley Dixon, and Zula Wildheart, and Kathryn Edwards of Nashville hardcore band Thirdface, add their own fire to the album, and help keep things even more unpredictable than it would've already been without them. It's a great punk record, a great rap record, and a great rock record. It's innovative, honest, purposeful, and as catchy as it is abrasive. And it's a record that really makes you feel something, from the moment that first snare hit strikes you like a bolt of lightning to the album's horn-fueled fade-out.

Trophy Hunt
loading...

Trophy Hunt - The Branches On Either Side
Zegema Beach/Middle-Man

One minute, The Branches On Either Side finds NYC band Trophy Hunt offering up grindy, blackened screamo in the vein of Portrayal of Guilt; the next, they're dishing out clean-sung emo that recalls Waiting-era Thursday. Elsewhere, they can be found either dishing out distorted noise tracks, technical math rock, or passages of post-rocky clean guitar. They've clearly got insane chops, as well as a knack for creating suspense, and vocalist Ashe Kilbourne's grating-yet-charismatic screams give Trophy Hunt a personality that separates them from bands who might seem similar on paper.

Yearning
loading...

Yearning - MMXXII
No Funeral

Yearning's debut release offers just seven songs in nine minutes, but any more than that and it just might've been too overwhelming. The Montreal band works in the occasional melodic or post-rocky part, but for the most part, MMXXII is screamo at its most fat-trimmed and furious -- all blood-spitting shrieks, earth-shaking drums, and fast-moving guitar parts that result in pure chaos.

--

SEE ALSO:

* 50 Best Punk Albums of 2022

* 15 Great Screamo Albums from 2021

More From Brooklyn Vegan