Heavy Moves Heavy 2022 – AMG’s Ultimate Workout Playlist

Before I was press-ganged into the Skull Pit, I began curating an exercise playlist named Heavy Moves Heavy. For nearly a decade, I alone reaped the benefits of this creation–many were the hours spent preening aboard my Squat Yacht, mixing oils so that I could marvel at the glistening gainz unlocked by the list. Well, my indentured servitude is your good fortune, because a new and improved version of the Heavy Moves Heavy playlist is now available to all readers of AMG in good standing.1 The lifters among us have spent countless hours in the Exercise Oubliette testing these songs for tensile strength and ideological purity. Enjoy–but don’t listen if you are being screened for PEDs in the near future. This music will cause your free testosterone levels to skyrocket even as it adds length and sheen to your back pelt.

Four mighty contributors shaped Heavy Moves Heavy 2022. Ferox, Thus Spoke, Holdeneye, and Steel Druhm each chose the ten songs released this year that dominated our respective workouts. The resulting playlist is appended to this article. Play it straight through or set it to shuffle; HMH is designed to work either way. If you prefer individually curated suffering, each contributor’s list is available separately via AMG’s Spotify account.

If you fancy yourself worthy, add your suggestions in the comments. They will be subjected to a remorseless testing process we call The Winnowing, and those that survive will be added to the master list.

To the list!


Ferox Obliterates His Inner 98-Pound Weakling:

“Götterdämmerung” // Zeal & Ardor (Zeal & Ardor) – This is fancy-pants for such a hairy-knuckled playlist, and I’m suspicious of myself for choosing it. Do I even lift? “Götterdämmerung” is a jolt of pure energy, though, four scoops of high-test pre-workout distilled into musical form.

“Necrobionics” // Undeath (It’s Time… to Rise from the Grave) – “Torn apart… and reassembled!” Undeath’s groove-infected take on death metal makes just about any track playlist-worthy, but the message here cuts to the heart of the Heavy Moves Heavy ethos. Tear yourself apart. Reassemble!

“Galleries of Morbid Artistry” // Revocation (Netherheaven) – “Descending down this skeletal staircase, deeper into the catacombs…” Revocation’s brutal but literate ripper describes the plunge into the hellish section of a workout perfectly, all while the dynamic riffs push, prod, and taunt you.

“Noose of Thorns” // Immolation (Acts of God) – The massive highlight of a massive album, “Noose of Thorns” tears the sky open and commands you from on high to do its bidding. Its bidding is for you to get swole.

“Crescent Horn” // Bastard (Rotten Blood) – Nonsense chorus of the year right here. Why do the crescent horns have a gaze, let alone a black one? STOP ASKING QUESTIONS AND LIFT.

“Hollow” // Strigoi (Viscera) – As bleak and hopeless as the middle of your workout. Don’t think, just let the stomping, nasty riffs keep you going.

“More Torment” // Midnight (Let There be Witchery) – The official anthem of the Skull Pit, played at gigavolumes while n00bs try to steal some sleep. The sleazy mid-paced riff at the heart of this song will whip you into action while the chorus teaches you to get comfortable in the uncomfortable.

“Reduced to Liquefied Mass”  // Cryptworm (Spewing Mephitic Putridity) – You should be past the point of coherent speech by now, which is the perfect time to lean on something primordial. We don’t need words where we’re going, at least not the kind you can understand.

“Kenosis” // Hath (All that was Promised) – The Song of the Year doubles as a killer workout companion. The brutal and the melodic work in tandem here, spotting you and shouting encouragement as you go for that last rep.

“Let the Beast Run Wild” // In Aphelion (Moribund) – You made it; just the finisher to go. Here’s a meloblack morsel to flood your earholes while you grab those giant fucking dumbbells, stand up tall, and take them for a walk.


Holdeneye Lifts the Whole Damn Gym:

“Fertilize the Soil” // Wachenfeldt (Faustian Reawakening) – At times plodding, at times thrashing, “Fertilize the Soil” has every musical nutrient the body needs to get swole.

“Medieval Cowboys” // Hell Fire (Reckoning) – This brief thrasher’s devil-may-care attitude is contagious. If music raises your heart rate, does that count as cardio?

“The Ruins” // Becoming the Archetype (Children of the Great Extinction) – A Christian metalcore fan’s wet dream (sorry, God!), this simple groover features Demon Hunter’s Ryan Clark and oozes with swagger. The lyric ‘every breath is a prayer’ often resonates with me while training.

“Cage of Resentment” // Wayward Dawn (All-Consuming Void) – I could have used this album as my entire list and not been wrong. These guys make some of the most gym-friendly death metal around.

“Arena at Dis” // Daeva (Through Sheer Will and Black Magic) – After an extremely violent intro, this track settles into a Satanic little groove as it tells its story of cage fighting in Hell’s octagon. Play this during training, and you’ll soon be tipping back non-gender-specific brotein shakes with the devil himself.

“Rose Fire” // The Offering (Seeing the Elephant) – Civil unrest sound effects combine with nu-metal angst to deliver one of the most intense tracks, and one of the most memorable choruses, of the year.

“Kingdoms Turned to Sand” // Miseration (Black Miracles and Dark Wonders) – If these guys ever put out an entire album of this quality, it might be the album of that year. One of Älvestam’s greatest tracks to date. The self-aggrandizement on display in the lyrics here pretty much engorges my muscles on its own.

“This Ends with the World in Ruins” // Graceless (Chants from Purgatory) – Mournful and bludgeoning, this monster channels Bolt Thrower bigly, and the weights pretty much lift themselves while its playing. “This Ends with the World in Ruins” is what I’ve been known to say to myself during a particularly terrible squat set.

“A Funeral Within” // Ironflame (Where Madness Dwells) – Every workout playlist needs some traditional metal, and this track’s simple riffing and emotive vocals can hold their own against any death metal number on this list.

“Omniscient Flail of Infamy” // High Command (Eclipse of the Dual Moons) – Epic spoken-word quest instructions? Check. Uncompromising thrash? Check. Story about acquiring a magical weapon made from the skull of an enemy so it can be used to crush more skulls of more enemies? Check. Strength +1 while playing.


Thus Spoke vs the Skippers of Leg Day:

“Scorched Earth” // Mass Worship (Portal Tombs) – You can do your set at pretty much any time during this song and it’ll do the trick. But I personally find timing the intake of breath and subsequent lift in the little fake-out near the start before the heavy guitars and drums kick in is the best.

“Wings of Deliverance” // Carrion Vael (Abhorrent Obsessions) – Use the intro to psych yourself up and get ready if need be, then let the furious energy and awesome solo take you through.

“Death Complex” // Hath (All that was Promised) – The perfect balance of heavy and melodic to take you through one of those leg press or pendulum squat sets that feel like they’ll never end. Such a banger.

“Self-Help Book-Burning” // Werewolves (From the Cave to the Grave) – That brilliantly sardonic sample with it’s final renunciatory “oh fuck it,” followed by the vocalists’ growls of “fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you,” is why this is here.

“From Ruin…We Rise” // Shadow of Intent (Elegy) – Strong, straightforwardly motivational stuff. Also the ‘now rise, now rise’ lyrics in the chorus applies quite neatly for trying to lift a barbell off the floor, or yourself, or lift yourself with a barbell on top of you.

“An Ocean of Blood” // Strigoi (Viscera) – Perfect rhythm, sounds evil, has a great solo for when you need to push through the sticking point. What more do you want?

“The Contemptor” // Devenial Verdict (Ash Blind) – Stomping and heavy as shit. Gnarly guitar. Perfect for rage channeling by chucking around far too much weight.2

“Red Dot Sight” // To the Grave (Red Dot Sight) – Another wild one to make you feel like a hard-as-nails lifting machine. Just try and tell me that buzzsaw noise in the first verse doesn’t give you a little shivery jolt of adrenaline.

“Deluge” // Gaerea (Mirage) – Pure intensity. It’s got slow bits for you to be all dramatic with your big lifts, and it’s also got stirring, all-enveloping fast bits for you to be all dramatic with all your other big lifts. (Those bits are my favourite).

“Withering Fire” // Vital Spirit (Still as the Night, Cold as the Wind) – You can use this for lifting. But better if you use it for the cardio session you’ve been putting off forever and find you’ve sprouted wings. Because this is audial adrenaline.


Steel Druhm Sez Taste the Floor:

“Final Frost” // Autopsy (Morbidity Triumphant) – If a song sounds as if the members were being forced to lift heavy shit, it helps me lift heavy shit. Chris Reifert sounds greatly stressed and burdened here and the riffs creak under a heavy load.

“Blood of the Serpent” // Doldrey (Celestial Deconstruction) – Low-fi d-beaty Swedeath set to 13 is a no-brainer for gym antics and Doldrey bottled pure testosterone and horse piss on this one. Sip deeply 1 minute before testing your mettle, but keep a bucket handy.

“Saxons and Vikings” // Amon Amarth (The Great Heathen Army) – Viking-core is a natural selection for lifting, and every Amon Amarth album has one or two cuts perfect for it. This one gets the blood up and helps wield the steel like a remorseless wargrinder.

“Embalmed in Concrete” // Katakomba (Katakomba) – More low-fi Swedeath? Fook yeah! This one screams strain and pain and this is The Way. Feel the heft of the riffs. These are not for casual gymmers.

“Of Human Frailty” // Maul (Seraphic Punishment) – Mammoth, crushing grooves and a feeling of immense, unmoveable mass, it’s all here. This thing was tailor-made for leg day or deadlifts. It’s a marriage made in Hell (9th Level).

“Can You See the Pale Horseman in the Distance” // Grave Infestation (Persecution of the Living) – Wordy title but this is a straight-up hammer-fest of ugly riffs and oppressive drumming. This thing could charge up a corpse and get it striving for personal bests. Think what it could do for the living.

“United” // Circle of Silence (Walk Through Hell) – A classic heavy metal tune on a beefbrained gym playlist? When it channels this much of Manowar’s famously toxic masculinity, there can be no other choice. This will get you fired up to lift and then fight a group of randos in the parking lot after. War is life.

“A Call to Arms” // Jungle Rot (A Call to Arms) – Jungle Rot have essentially been auditioning for the house band spot at the AMG liftorium since they were formed, and low-brow, hairy knuckle odes to violence and force like this one keep them in the running. Feel the arms race.

“Fallen Mountain” // Demonical (Mass Destroyer) – The album title says it all, right? This is a grinding, heavy beast well suited for grinding, beastly days in your power dungeon. Lift that mountain!

“The Eyes of Dread” // Sentient Horror (Rites of Gore) – Marrying Swedeath with Bolt Thrower-grade riffs can do no harm, unless you use it to fuel a brutal workout. You should do that and see what happens next. We are not liable for mishaps or mayhem.


Show 2 footnotes

  1. To clarify: No AMG reader is, or could ever hope to be, in good standing. But you can access the playlist anyway.
  2. Disclaimer – Angry Metal Guy does not condone ego lifting and are not responsible for any injuries you may suffer as a result of going too hard.
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