Bidding farewell to 2023 we also decided to share with you our top 10 albums of this year. While exploring the shadowy realms of the 90s fanzine world, we never stopped listen to Metal that's being freshly forged all year round! As you can see we have a quite different tastes, the spectrum ranges from Death, Thrash, Doom, Grind and Punk (Mindaugas) to Melodic, Progressive, Black and Avantgarde (Giedrius). So read on and find some gems that you may have missed in 2023!
Top 10 of 2023 - Mindaugas Lapinskas
10. GO AHEAD AND DIE "Unhealthy Mechanisms"
Max and Igor Cavaleras with Zach Coleman on drums recorded a true beast of crusty Punk/Hardcore soaked in thrashing Death Metal! Even better than their debut, which also kicks ass!
9. BRUJERIA "Esto Es Brujeria"
This band can't do wrong, and after a long wait the album just smashed my skull like a thousand machettes! Grinding mexican madness at its deadliest!
8. TILL THE DIRT "Outside The Spiral"
Kelly Shaefer (ATHEIST) recorded this strangely absorbing album with the help of his current bandmates from ATHEIST and few guests. It was also produced by Scott Burns, who came out of retirement for this.
7. SADISM "Obscurans"
Pure, blazing, aggressive Death Metal from Chileans SADISM who add their South American rage to the cauldron full of boiling MORBID ANGEL, VADER and GOREFEST induced riffs.
6. FUGITIVE "Blast Furnace b/w Standoff" EP
These Texans with Blake Ibanez (ex-POWER TRIP) on Guitar deliver razor sharp, knucklebusting Death/Thrash, I can't get enough of these two tracks!
5. ENFORCED "War Remains"
One more slab of aggressive and crusty Death/Thrash from the Virginian band, all their releases are fucking great, you better believe me!
4. OVERKILL "Scorched"
OVERKILL always deliver solid, ass kicking Thrash and this time they delivered best Thrash album of the year for me! "Scorched" just burns holes in your brain with slicing riffs, insane tempos and those mad screaming vocals! I've been playing it a lot this year and it never stops delivering!!
3. VENOMOUS CONCEPT "The Good Ship Lollipop"
VENOMOUS CONCEPT changed couple members on this album, Shane Embury and Kevin Sharp are still there, joined by John Cooked (NAPALM DEATH) on guitars and Carl Stokes (CANCER) on drums. This is not what one would expect from them at all after the first 4 albums. Here you have some weird yet catchy amalgam of Punk and melodic Hardcore, I'm not an expert, it reminds of BAD RELIGION a little maybe, but in their own very specific interpretation. Love this CD, it's been on the constant rotation this year.
2. ATROCITY "Okkult III"
Seems like many have forgotten about ATROCITY, at least I had, but these veterans of Germany's Death Metal scene going back to the 90's, released killer album "Okkult III" at the beginning of the year and it shows kids how to play murderous, intense Death Metal with catchy hooks slicing the listener in brutal and sinister fashion. There are many different and original elements in each song, but they never distract from pummeling Death Metal onslaught, and that's what keeps an album interesting!
1. STREET TOMBS "Reclusive Decay"
STREET TOMBS from Santa Fe, New Mexico after 3 demos finally released a debut album and it's a brain ripper! 6 tracks of thrashing, punky Death Metal done just right! It always balances on the verge of descending into madness but keeps on the good old rotten Death Metal rails laid down by NIHILIST, AUTOPSY and GG ALLIN. This is hands down my favorite Death Metal band and album of this year! STREET TOMBS rules!
Top 10 of 2023 - Giedrius Slivinskas
10. DGM "Life"
A blend of progressive/power metal with melodic hard rock - more focus on songs than clinical virtuosity.
9. DØDHEIMSGARD "Black Medium Current"
Avant-garde black metal with Peaceville's mark of approval.
8. SUBSIGNAL "Poetry of Rain" Mellow yet captivating prog rock featuring two ex-Sieges Even members. 7. TEMIC "Terror Management Theory" An excellent progressive metal debut aiming at the league of later-era prog metal bands like Leprous, Haken, and Caligula's Horse. 6. ENSLAVED "Heimdal" Strong, solid, and dark in its Nordic ways, as usual. 5. TesseracT "War of Being" 10/10 - Not for innovation this time, but for perfectly hitting the bar with top-class progressive metal and djent. 4. AVENGED SEVENFOLD "Life Is But a Dream..." Despite the love/hate sentiment regarding this band, this is a very well-crafted, versatile rock/metal album that traverses many boundaries.
3. Einar Solberg "16" The solo debut from Leprous' singer is an entity on its own, featuring very varied and creative songs with lots of vocal acrobatics in a progressive metal style and beyond.
2. THE ANCHORET "It All Began With Loneliness" The mood of this debut album from the Canadian band reminds me of mid-era Opeth but with its own distinct mark and sound. The Anchoret arrived there from a prog rock (not death metal) starting point.
1. KATATONIA "Sky Void of Stars" My favorite Katatonia album with lots of diverse and catchy songs.