2023 has already come and gone. With SO much new music released this year, we here at This Day in Metal wanted to each share our list of our favorite albums of the year. Here is my list of my favorite albums of 2023. This is not a top ten list, just a list of my favorite albums of the year. Which bands made your list of the best of the year? Let us know in the comments of our social media page.
Panopticon "The Rime of Memory"
One of the newest albums on this list, Kentucky's Panopticon have created a sonic soundscape of longing, sadness and anguish in their new album. This one man project, led by Austin Lunn, is just a complex and diverse album of symphonic strings, raw black metal, folky bluegrass guitar sections, funeral doom and drone atmospheres that makes this record such an entrancing and enthralling deep dive into the band that is pushing the idea of what black metal is musically, lyrically and aesthetically. If you aren't hooked on the almost twenty minute sonic journey of the track "Winter's Ghost" I don't envy you since that song is just a complex and mesmerizing track.
Mind Control "Elements"
These Italian prog-deathers returned after an almost ten year gap from their previous album Heptagon. With a new vocalist and bassist, a more progressive and djent style sound, the band took their time with this release and it shows. With strong songs like "Rage" and "Air" showcasing the band's modern metal sound, the record encapsulates the direction and focus the band took with this record. The musicianship and the beautiful combination of growls and cleans from Stefania Salladini make the album a strong return for this band and a band that needs to be checked out.
Cryptopsy "As Gomorrah Burns"
Canadian tech-death metal act Cryptopsy returned in October of this year, with their first new album in over ten years. An impressively strong record. A return to the sound the band made famous on their first two records, along with the band's self-titled album in 2012. Matt McGachy's vocals are on point and fit the band so well, along with drummer Flo Mounier's impressive technical skills, adds to the mighty list of amazing death metal releases this year. With a tight run-time, complex and technically proficient guitars and insane drumming, the record is Cryptopsy coming back with a fiery vengeance and I am ready for the heat.
Cannibal Corpse "Chaos Horrific"
Cannibal Corpse dropped their new album this year, and they sound as violent and angry as ever with this album. Corpsegrinder and company delivered a sonic assault of brutal death metal. The addition of Erik Rutan on dual vocals on certain songs of this album, added new elements to the band's sound. Along with his impressive riff machine like playing he showed off on the previous album Violence Unimagined. Seeing these songs performed live on their most recent tour with Mayhem showed the fanbase is digging these songs and is one of the band's best albums to date.
Uada "Crepuscule Natura"
Pacific Northwest black metal act Uada released an atmospheric, foreboding and overall bleak record with their new album. The band's fusion of black metal and traditional heavy metal was beautifully mixed well on this record. Vocalist Jake Superchi's banshee like shrieks and wailing cries add such emotional weight to the album's dark themes and tribulations. Uada has gotten more impressive and distinct in their sound, showing the band deserves all the praise and attention that they get record after record. Showcasing the band's talent and the ability to hold up against any of the major Scandinavian heavyweights of black metal.
Suffocation "Hymns From The Apocrypha"
The first record without front man Frank Mullen, the fanbase was hesitant on how the band's new vocalist Ricky Myers would hold up and stand against the legacy Mullen left with the band. Myers did not disappoint. Sonically, a heavy and brutally technical record. The vocal performance from Myers sounds almost like Mullen, while adding his own energy and feel in his performance. The entire band does not skip a beat, from chugging guitars and thumping blast beats, the band is not showing their age and sound just as good as the Effigy of The Forgotten-era of the band. One of the strongest death metal releases this year. Showing that after thirty five years, these death metal titans still now how to chug and destroy the competition.
Ringworm "Seeing Through Fire"
Ohio's Ringworm have been a band I have been following for awhile. I was stoked to hear they would be releasing a new album in 2023, and I was not disappointed AT ALL. Ringworm's Seeing Through Fire is just thirty minutes of punch something, high octane, fight energy style metalcore/thrash metal. The song channels that energy of anger and visceral fury of Pantera's Vulgar Display of Power, but like cranked to eleven and punching anyone getting near the knob to turn it down. This band is PISSED, and the vocals of James "Human Furnace" Bulloch is unmatched and one of the most distinct voices in metal. His intensity and screams are just daunting and horrifying at some parts, that add to the visceral aggression and power the band delivers on this thrash classic.
Dying Fetus "Make Them Beg For Death"
2023 was the year of death metal, and Dying Fetus' new album adding to the mountain of amazing death metal releases this year. The band is just delivering unmatched aggression and technical proficiency in their playing on this record. With chugging, frantic fast paced into chugging guitars and blast beats. Even channeling a nostalgic early days sound with the grindcore/thrash fusion of the song "Throw Them in The Van". Vocalist John Gallagher delivers his trademark gurgle vocals with such gusto, not showing age or strain in the delivery. This was a return to form with this record, delivering an audio stabbing of intense death metal that puts this as one of the best death metal albums of the year.
Unearth "The Wretched, The Ruinous"
Unearth released The Wretched, The Ruinous this year that delivered that nostalgic 2000's metalcore sound I loved, but in the modern era. The chugging and heavy guitars, syncopated with those metalcore trademarks that Buz McGrath delivered on the record is so heavy and done so well on this album. Vocalist Trevor Phipps' voice has not aged a day and almost sounding stronger than ever. With a classic metalcore sound, mixed with modern day production, and intensified heaviness on the record, this album's is one of the band's best. Almost on the level of their most popular record in 2004's The Oncoming Storm.
Cattle Decapitation "Terrasite"
Tech-grind act Cattle Decapitation had so much hype going into 2023 with the release of Terrasite. And HOLY CRAP did they deliver. The band is just getting better, stronger and heavier with every single release. Vocalist Travis Ryan's vocal transformations from goblin shrieks, guttural lows, ear-piecing highs and all in one song is just impressive. Musically, the band is just astounding in it's performance, especially drummer David McGraw, who really is the stand out of the record. With almost machine-like precision drumming, unthinkable speed, and technical playing, he made the record even heavier on an already heavy record to begin with. Definitely my favorite album of 2023.
Fires in The Distance "Air Not Meant For Us"
My favorite death/doom album of this year was the morbid and melancholic sound of Fires in The Distance's new album. The perfect doom and gloom record that you can hear the inspiration of bands like Insomnium on, but done almost better then their predecessor who also released a new album this year. Guitars drowned in atmosphere and vocals delivering that ominous, melancholic and downtrodden feel to the album is just so strong and well produced. With an atmospheric and brooding sound, the band delivers the sound that is perfect for that feeling of loneliness and isolation of the fall and winter months.
In Flames "Foregone"
Like a lot of fans of In Flames, I was hesitant when I heard they were coming out with a new record this year. Nervous if we were going to get another lackluster record like their two previous albums. But DAMN, did they blow us out of the water with their new record Foregone. The addition of legendary guitarist Chris Broderick into the band, almost added new vigor and attitude to the band. Songs are heavy, aggressive, and scratch that Whoracle/Colony itch that a lot of In Flames fans have missed. Definitely showing that the band still has a lot left in the tank and has gotten a lot of fans excited for the next record.
Dawn of Ouroboros "Velvet Incandescence"
California's Dawn of Ouroboros released their second record this year. With an album that is hard to put in any specific genre. Featuring elements of post-black metal, shoegaze, progressive metal and death metal. The album is just all over the place with the band pushing into avant-garde in certain parts. Vocalist Chelsea Murphy's beautifully haunting clean vocals into glass shattering screams, fits the band's dynamic and diverse record and I am excited to see where this band will take their sound on the follow up.
Western Canada's largest mountain mosh pit Armstrong MetalFest has launched early bird weekend passes for their 2024 lineup being held on July 12th and 13th at the Hassen Arena in Armstrong, BC with the beautiful backdrop of the Okanagan Valley.