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MMA Best of 2023 - Staff Picks

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Nightfly View Drop Down
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    Posted: 27 Jan 2024 at 7:08am
Metal Music Archives
Best of 2023
Staff Picks

Welcome to the Best of 2023 as chosen by MMA Admin and Collaborators. The albums aren't an official ranking as such but listed in order of most comments and then alphabetically.


Blood Ceremony - The Old Ways Remain

Heavy Psych

It had seemed for a long time that Blood Ceremony had fallen off the face of the Earth, with The Old Ways Remain closing a lengthy gap between studio albums. But they're back and it's as if they never went away, picking up where 2016's Lord of Misrule left off and with their retro sound, prove that the old ways really do remain (and remain bloody good!)

adg211288, Admin, Folk/Viking Metal, Power/Neoclassical Metal and Prog/AG Metal Teams

The most disappointing thing about the latest from Blood Ceremony is that it took so long to get here. It was 2016 that they gave us Lord of Misrule but with The Old Ways Remain it's like they never dropped off the map for a while. It's catchy, fun, folksy and full of riffs and this time they've even got some jazzy sax going at one point. A superb comeback.

666sharon666, Retired Admin, Black Metal, Heavy/Glam Metal and hard Rock Teams

Blood Ceremony made us wait seven years for this one but The Old Ways Remain sees the band once again in excellent form. An album full of great riffs and strong melodies mining a similar rich vein as Lord Of Misrule. Anyone who’s enjoyed their past work is unlikely to be disappointed with this heavy psych masterpiece.

Nightfly, Admin, Death Metal, Doom/Stoner/Drone Metal, Thrash/Speed/Groove Metal Teams

Enslaved - Heimdal

Progressive Metal

Upon conclusion it´s nothing less than amazing that a band like Enslaved with their sixteenth full-length studio album still sound as relevant as they did in the early 90s, when they first hit the scene. Successful musical changes throughout the years, and minor tweaks to their their sound have probably kept them alive and relevant all these years, and it´s not neccesarily a formula which works for all artists. Enslaved obviously have an open minded audience though, or have grown one over the years, who accept that they´ve grown and don´t play the same version of viking black metal they initially did. If they keep releasing quality music like this, I can't see them stopping in the near future, and hopefully we can look forward to many, many more releases from them.

Umur, Retired Admin, Collaborator, Errors & Omissions Team

Enslaved are of those acts that show themselves to be among the most consistent releasing metal today. Heimdal may be their 16th studio album, but the Norwegians show no signs of slowing down and is yet another offering to the Norse Gods that could easily be counted among their finest. 

adg211288, Admin, Folk/Viking Metal, Power/Neoclassical Metal and Prog/AG Metal Teams


 Lovebites - Judgement Day

Power Metal

Possibly THE power metal band of the last few years, Lovebites may have suffered a blow by losing one of their founders, Miho, which resulted in a brief hiatus during which they recruited Fami as their new bass player, who already leaves her mark on the band's first album with her, Judgement Day, which has many claims to being their strongest yet. The musicianship is so high level and even if you don't care for power metal you'd find it hard to not be impressed by how strong a unit Lovebites are. 

666sharon666, Retired Admin, Black Metal, Heavy/Glam Metal and hard Rock Teams

Easily my most played album of 2023, having spun it no less than 22 times within its year of release. While it is fair to say I have been in awe of this Japanese power metal act's prowess since they first appeared on the scene in 2017, I do believe they may just have delivered their finest work to date in Judgement Day. 

adg211288, Admin, Folk/Viking Metal, Power/Neoclassical Metal and Prog/AG Metal Teams

Tomb Mold - The Enduring Spirit

Death Metal

Tomb Mold from Canada have been a pretty solid death metal act since day one, but their style started to take a more technical turn on 2019's Planetary Clairvoyance, which has evolved into a progressive death metal take on The Enduring Spirit. Excellent stuff!

adg211288, Admin, Folk/Viking Metal, Power/Neoclassical Metal and Prog/AG Metal Teams

There can be few bands in death metal that have shown the growth that Tomb Mold have from one album to the next. The Enduring Spirit sees them adding prog to the mix. They may have sacrificed some of their raw heaviness in the process but the end result is their most inventive and diverse work so far.

Nightfly, Admin, Death Metal, Doom/Stoner/Drone Metal, Thrash/Speed/Groove Metal Teams

Not being familiar with their earlier work prior to listening to this (based on an MMA recommendation), I was bowled over by the release. It’s progressive in that’s words truest sense, and eminently listenable.

Bosh66, Admin,  Metalcore, Hardcore, Sludge Metal, Post Metal and Noise Rock Teams


Obituary - Dying Of Everything

Death Metal

Eleven albums and by now many years into their career, and Obituary have still got it. "Dying of Everything has all the ingredients which make up a good Obituary album, but they still manage to challenge themselves and their audience with some minor twists.

Umur, Retired Admin, Collaborator, Errors & Omissions Team

Apart from a break for a few years Obituary have been churning out top quality groove infused death metal albums since 1989. It’s testament to their greatness that not only can they still cut it in 2023 but with Dying Of Everything have released one of the greatest albums of their career.

Nightfly, Admin, Death Metal, Doom/Stoner/Drone Metal, Thrash/Speed/Groove Metal Teams


Anubis Gate - Interference

Progressive Metal

The long awaited first album of original material since 2017's Covered in BlackInterference is an album that even from the first spin stood as a contender to be Anubis Gate's best so far. It may yet take some time before I can confirm such a claim due to my great attachment to the, err, The Detached, but it's undoubtedly up their with their best.

adg211288, Admin, Folk/Viking Metal, Power/Neoclassical Metal and Prog/AG Metal Teams

The Danish masters of melodic progressive metal Anubis Gate have arguably one of the strongest catalogues out there for a band that many people don't seem to actually know about. But even in such strong company, Interference stands out as being one of their best so far. And as their last album was a (surprisingly excellent) covers album, it also feels longer awaited than it really has been between albums, but delivers in every respect imaginable.

 666sharon666, Retired Admin, Black Metal, Heavy/Glam Metal and hard Rock Teams


Autopsy - Ashes, Organs, Blood And Crypts

Death Metal

Some things never change, one being Autopsy who have been releasing raw sounding old school death metal albums injected with doom for years. Like most bands they’ve had their ups and downs and this one may not be their best, but  due to it being packed full of great riffs is up there in the top tier of past albums. 

Nightfly, Admin, Death Metal, Doom/Stoner/Drone Metal, Thrash/Speed/Groove Metal Teams

Other than that this is Autopsy exactly how they´ve always sounded and if you´re in the mood for some infested, gory, and old school death metal, look no further. Autopsy are one of the originators of this style, and there is a reason they are considered death metal legends. They understand the dynamics of a good old school death metal tune. The brutality, the gore, the impact of the death-doom sections, and the morbid leads and harmonies...all spiced up by Reifert´s depraved growling vocals, which sound as demented as ever.

Umur, Retired Admin, Collaborator, Errors & Omissions Team


Immortal - War Against All

Black Metal

Immortal are the Motorhead of black metal – they know what they’re gonna do, you know what they’re gonna do, and everyone is pleased with the end result. “War Against All” doesn’t push boundaries or attempt to reinvent anything, but it doesn’t need to.

Vim Fuego, Admin, Death Metal, Thrash/Speed/Groove Metal, Grindcore, Various Artists Teams

Immortal in the 2010s and 2020s isn't the same band as we knew in their 1990s heyday. Abbath is long gone and the band is pretty much a solo vehicle for Demonaz these days. Even Horgh hasn't returned since Northern Chaos Gods. There's been legal disputes between the members, which is sad, considering Abbath and Demonaz always seem one of the most solid partnerships in metal. What's not sad is War Against All, another fierce black metal album that shows that no matter which of them is playing, Immortal will always be good at what they do. 

 666sharon666, Retired Admin, Black Metal, Heavy/Glam Metal and hard Rock Teams


Alien Fucker - Gimplanet

Pornogrind

Don’t listen to this if you’re eating. Alien Fucker’s music is absolutely revolting, combining bargain basement Casio-core keyboards with gut churning porno-grind and thoroughly perverted lyrics about well… fucking aliens.

Vim Fuego, Admin, Death Metal, Thrash/Speed/Groove Metal, Grindcore, Various Artists Teams


Ascension - Under The Veil Of Madness

Power Metal

One of the most instrumentally focused power metal albums I've heard in quite some time, with pleenty of super flashy, highly technical solos that rival or even surpass classic Dragonforce at times, while the singer has a unique high register which may take some getting used to, but he does a fantastic job overall. Songwriting is varied, with plenty of classic, up-tempo power metal, as well as an album ending three part sequence which throws in quite a few curve balls, and parts of it truly have to be heard to be believed, with just how bizarre and out there they get.

DippoMagoo, Collaborator, Power/Neoclassical Metal, Progressive/Avant-Garde Metal, Symphonic/Gothic Metal Teams



Birdflesh - Sickness In The North

Grindcore

"Sickness in the North" was quite a a surprise when it arrived as Birdflesh had been considered a spent force. However the band persevered recording this album at various times since 2020, and managed to put together a masterwork of grindcore gory good humour.

Vim Fuego, Admin, Death Metal, Thrash/Speed/Groove Metal, Grindcore, Various Artists Teams


Boris & Uniform - Bright New Disease

Sludge Metal

Uniform are not perhaps the best known band in metaldom but they have been around since 2013, releasing albums that explore industrial metal, noise rock and sludge. Boris should need no introduction for metal fans and the fact that they’ve elected to release a collaboration with Uniform hardly surprising given their previous output. And this collaboration draws on all that make these bands great. We have Japanese hardcore, noise rock,  industrial beats, thrash riffs and some ambient electronics, all mixed into a combination of chaos and calm. It’s short, had some mixed reviews but I think it’s brilliant.

Bosh66, Admin,  Metalcore, Hardcore, Sludge Metal, Post Metal and Noise Rock Teams


Cannibal Corpse - Chaos Horrific

Death Metal

Since their debut over 30 years ago Cannibal Corpse have had their ups and downs but never strayed from their gore infested brutal old school death metal path. Recent years have found them on a roll of quality releases and Chaos Horrific continues that trend. Another winner that fans of the band will no doubt love.

Nightfly, Admin, Death Metal, Doom/Stoner/Drone Metal, Thrash/Speed/Groove Metal Teams


Conjureth - The Parasitic Chambers

Death Metal

Busy, complex and often sounding like it’s on the verge of falling apart at any moment, Conjureth manage to hold it all together on an album that reels off riff after riff that takes time to fully absorb due to the ever shifting compositions but well worth persevering with. A truly remarkable slab of death metal that I never get bored with but those wanting at least a hint of melody might want to look elsewhere.

Nightfly, Admin, Death Metal, Doom/Stoner/Drone Metal, Thrash/Speed/Groove Metal Teams


District 97 - Stay For The Ending

Progressive Metal

District 97, a prog band that first caught my attention more than a decade ago with the excellent Trouble With Machines, dropped their fifth and arguably most metal album to date with Stay for the Ending in 2023, as well as sounding more experimental and avant-garde than before on top of it. It feels criminal that so few people seem to know about them yet. 

adg211288, Admin, Folk/Viking Metal, Power/Neoclassical Metal and Prog/AG Metal Teams


Dying Fetus - Make Them Beg For Death

Brutal Death Metal

Another veteran death metal act are out with a great quality release. Dying Fetus sound unmistakably like themselves and therefore "Make Them Beg for Death" is another hard hitting, skull crushing, brutal and technical death metal release.

Umur, Retired Admin, Collaborator, Errors & Omissions Team


Enforced - War Remains

Crossover Thrash

"War Remains" features a raw, sharp, and brutal sounding production job, which suits the material perfectly. Upon conclusion it may not be an album adding much new to the style or showing much development from Enforced since "Kill Grid", but it´s one of those relentlessly aggressive and powerful releases, which have the power to make you head bang and you body move, despite that not being your plan.

Umur, Retired Admin, Collaborator, Errors & Omissions Team


Frozen Soul - Glacial Domination

Death Metal

Frozen Soul's second album "Glacial Domination" carried on exactly where "Crypt of Ice" left off. It's laden with massive leaden riffs which hark back to old school Obituary, Benediction, Pestilence, and of course, Bolt Thrower.

Vim Fuego, Admin, Death Metal, Thrash/Speed/Groove Metal, Grindcore, Various Artists Teams


Gama Bomb - Bats

Thrash Metal

Northern Ireland’s best known and battiest thrash metal outfit are back with more high-speed insanity. This time round the lads have been penning tunes about robotic mummies, Hollywood zombies, speedy funerals, and bats in your hair.

Vim Fuego, Admin, Death Metal, Thrash/Speed/Groove Metal, Grindcore, Various Artists Teams


Gloryhammer - Return To The Kingdom Of Fife

Power Metal

New Vocalist? No problem! Yep, the band begins a new era in top form, with the same kind of epic, bombastic, comedic symphonic power metal they've always played, with some incredibly fun and catchy songwriting, mixed with absolutely brilliant narration, which very much has a classic Saturday morning carttoon feel to it, in the best way possible. The new vocalist may take time to adjust to, but he does a great job overall, and fits in perfectly.

DippoMagoo, Collaborator, Power/Neoclassical Metal, Progressive/Avant-Garde Metal, Symphonic/Gothic Metal Teams


Great Falls - Objects Without Pain

Metal Related

With its first release back in 2009, Great Falls have been around for a while with their noise-rock informed post-hardcore and their dalliance with sludge. Objects Without Pain seems Great Falls back in the noise rock camp with a release that at times is both bleak and angry. We move from the trudge to crescendo in Dragged Home Alive to the full scream of Trap Feeding. The album continues until the closing light and dark opus Thrown Against The Waves that brings all the elements of the album nicely together. A strong release.

Bosh66, Admin,  Metalcore, Hardcore, Sludge Metal, Post Metal and Noise Rock Teams


Great Master - Montecristo

Power Metal

The band's most epic album to date, masterfully retelling the classic tale with very effective lyrics and vocals, while musically it maintains some of the epic folk and symphonic elements of their other more recent releases, as well as having some of their most intense, fast-paced power metal tracks in quite some time. It's an album that does have great standalone tracks, but is most effective when listened to as a whole, due to how well it all comes together.

DippoMagoo, Collaborator, Power/Neoclassical Metal, Progressive/Avant-Garde Metal, Symphonic/Gothic Metal Teams


Grymheart - Hellish Hunt

Melodic Death Metal

Despite the name, listening to this album is certainly not a grim, nor hellish experience, lol Jokes aside, this is the kind of folk adjacent MDM I love, very much influnced by Ensiferum, but also filled with plenty of the band's own sound, as well as lots of melodies and guitar work that bring band leader Gabriel Blacksmith's former band Wisdom to mind. Overall, it's a high energy MDM album with plenty of cinematic symphonic elements, bits of folk, and some excellent clean vocals on a couple tracks. 

DippoMagoo, Collaborator, Power/Neoclassical Metal, Progressive/Avant-Garde Metal, Symphonic/Gothic Metal Teams


Ken Mode - Void

Metal Related

The second part perhaps to 2022’s Null release, Void is noisy, heavy, and dark as fuck. It’s venomous and relentless at times with its hardcore delivery but does have moments of beauty too, with post-metal interludes serving to help the fury more intense.

Bosh66, Admin,  Metalcore, Hardcore, Sludge Metal, Post Metal and Noise Rock Teams


Khanate - To Be Cruel

Drone Metal

Three 20 minute tracks of drone metal are included on this, Khanate’s fifth full-length studio release. The music is minimalistic at times, dissonant and discordant, with a melancholy overlain with Alan Dubin’s screamed vocals. Not a sing-along album by any means, and all the better for it.

Bosh66, Admin,  Metalcore, Hardcore, Sludge Metal, Post Metal and Noise Rock Teams


KK's Priest - The Sinner Rides Again

Heavy Metal

It’s hardly surprising that when KK Downing returned in 2021 with KK’s Priest that their debut album sounded very much like early 80’s Judas Priest. After all, he’d spent almost 40 years in that band. On The Sinner Rides Again the comparisons remain but this time it’s heavier and more akin to late 80’s Priest. It’s also better and what’s not to like if you love classic heavy metal, after all, KK is a master of it. KK’s rightful place is in Judas Priest but if that’s not to be two Priests have got to be better than one right?

Nightfly, Admin, Death Metal, Doom/Stoner/Drone Metal, Thrash/Speed/Groove Metal Teams


Legion Of The Damned - The Poison Chalice

Thrash Metal

It´s safe to say Legion of the Damned didn´t spend the years since "Slaves Of The Shadow Realm" inventing a new style or developing their core sound much. The lead guitar parts are maybe slightly more melodic than usual, but otherwise you get exactly what you expect from "The Poison Chalice". Good quality thrash metal in the aggressive end of the spectrum. It features the right amount of furious intensity and powerful playing to force you to bring out your bullet belts and studded wristbands, and head for the mosh pit.

Umur, Retired Admin, Collaborator, Errors & Omissions Team


Majesty - Back To Attack

Power Metal

Following a decent but not entirely succesful attempt at modernizing their sound, these Manowar worshippers are "Back, Back, Back to Attack!", and in top form, returning to their classic 80's style heavy/power metal sound, with great results. While I often gravitate to the power metal tracks on this kind of album, these guys have always left me equally impressed with their slower, more heavy metal infused tracks and even their ballads, and that's very much as true as ever on this album, with "In the Silence" in particular being possibly their best ballad ever.

DippoMagoo, Collaborator, Power/Neoclassical Metal, Progressive/Avant-Garde Metal, Symphonic/Gothic Metal Teams



Metal Church - Congregation Of Annihilation

Heavy Metal

Metal Church had released two excellent albums to match their earlier classics since the return of vocalist Mike Howe. It’s testament to the bands greatness that after Howe’s sad and untimely death they can bounce back with new vocalist Marc Lopes and produce another strong album of classic Metal Church riffage with hooks galore. 

Nightfly, Admin, Death Metal, Doom/Stoner/Drone Metal, Thrash/Speed/Groove Metal Teams


Ne Obliviscaris - Exul

Progressive Metal

Anyone who still pines for extreme progressive metal of the kind Opeth used to play may do well to start paying Ne Obliviscaris some attention. The Australian band sound nothing like the Opeth of yore, but their extreme take on progressive metal will surely scratch an itch and Exul is the fourth in a line of excellent records from them. 

adg211288, Admin, Folk/Viking Metal, Power/Neoclassical Metal and Prog/AG Metal Teams


Nemesis - False Reality

Thrash Metal

Originality is all well and good, but sometimes just doing the basics and doing them outstandingly well is just as effective as a new take on things. Nemesis’ debut album has all the raw energy, verve and conviction of the early days of thrash, channelling the violence of early Exodus and technical skill of a young Megadeth.

Vim Fuego, Admin, Death Metal, Thrash/Speed/Groove Metal, Grindcore, Various Artists Teams


Overkill - Scorched

Thrash Metal

Overkill are veterans of the thrash metal scene, and if there´s one thing you can always be sure of, it´s that a new Overkill albums sounds very similar to the last couple of Overkill albums. They develop at snail pace, but that´s what their fans appreciate. "Scorched" is no different. It´s just another good quality Overkill album in a long line of great releases.

Umur, Retired Admin, Collaborator, Errors & Omissions Team


Prong - State Of Emergency

Groove Metal

Perpetually under-appreciated and overlooked, Prong just keep on keeping on. "State of Emergency" is a slab of Prong's usual tried and true industrial groove metal, which still manages to sound fresh and original.

Vim Fuego, Admin, Death Metal, Thrash/Speed/Groove Metal, Grindcore, Various Artists Teams


Pupil Slicer - Blossom

Mathcore

Mathcore band Pupil Slicer hit the headlines with its debut attack, Mirrors. Blossom is different. We still have the mathcore grounding, but it’s more varied and experimental than the opener. It’s no less brutal though. Mathcore can be exhausting and Blossom indeeds moves you from grindcore fury, math complexity, black metal, sludge and groove elements to dream pop that gives you chance to breathe and brings to mind Rolo Tomassi.

Bosh66, Admin,  Metalcore, Hardcore, Sludge Metal, Post Metal and Noise Rock Teams


Ray Alder - II

Heavy Metal

Compared to "What The Water Wants", "II" is a more diverse and dynamic release because of the increased heaviness and sometimes darker tone of the material, but it´s just as sophisticated featuring clever and powerful rhythm work, intriguing guitar riffs (clean and distorted), leads, and harmonies, and of course Alder´s strong vocals in front. "II" is definitely a worthy follow-up to "What The Water Wants" and it´s great to hear that Alder still has more to say and isn´t content to release the same album twice.

Umur, Retired Admin, Collaborator, Errors & Omissions Team


Rexoria - Imperial Dawn

Power Metal

Super catchy modern melodic metal, somewhat along the lines of Amaranthe but with no harsh vocals, and barely any male vocals, instead being carried by the powerful, yet super smooth voice of  Frida Ohlin. While trance elements are very prominent and used effectively, the album also has a ton of power metal influence, which is the big thing that seperates them from other bands of this type. Songwriting is varied, super catchy and everything is fantastic the whole way through.

DippoMagoo, Collaborator, Power/Neoclassical Metal, Progressive/Avant-Garde Metal, Symphonic/Gothic Metal Teams


Riverside - ID.Entity

Metal Related

I will be the first to admit that although I have always liked Riverside I have never loved Riverside...until ID.Entity came along. I truly believe this to be among the best things they've ever released and it's changed me from a guy with a passing interest to being a fan. 

adg211288, Admin, Folk/Viking Metal, Power/Neoclassical Metal and Prog/AG Metal Teams


Shepherds Reign - Ala Mai

Heavy Metal

Covering a whole spectrum of genres from hard rock to thrash metal, Shepherds Reign second album "Ala Mai" is a revelation. It makes a powerful statement while incorporating traditional log drums and uncompromising Samoan lyrics about domestic violence and other societal problems.

Vim Fuego, Admin, Death Metal, Thrash/Speed/Groove Metal, Grindcore, Various Artists Teams


Static Abyss - Aborted From Reality

Death Metal

"Aborted from Reality" is a good quality sophomore studio album from Static Abyss, although it is very similar in songwriting and production style to "Labyrinth Of Veins". I do hope they´ll think of something new for the next release. You can´t play it safe for too long when playing this type of music. Otherwise it´ll become stale, tired, and one-dimensional.

Umur, Retired Admin, Collaborator, Errors & Omissions Team


Suffocation - Music From The Apocrypha

Some people have been saying that Hymns From The Apocrypha is a “return to form”… “Best album in years”. Well the last few have been fine for me, maintaining Suffocation’s usual high standards but this one is up there with them and another strong addition to the bands enviable back catalogue. Brutal death metal at its very best from one of the orginals.

Nightfly, Admin, Death Metal, Doom/Stoner/Drone Metal, Thrash/Speed/Groove Metal Teams


Tempashot - Certified Dangerous

Thrash Metal

Just when you think you’ve heard it all, someone comes along and surprises you with something left-field and new. Tempashot mashes together rap/grime style vocals and sharp thrash riffs for a fresh new take on thrash, but might be a bit of an acquired taste for some.

Vim Fuego, Admin, Death Metal, Thrash/Speed/Groove Metal, Grindcore, Various Artists Teams


Temperance - Daruma's Eyes Pt.2

Power Metal

Easily the band's most ambitious album to date, being their first ever concept album, and it's one filled with great guest performances, most notably from Ayreon mastermind Arjen Lucassen himself, who provides narration throughout the album. It's also by far their most cinmatic, symhponic infused album to date, while still having plenty of catchy, high energry power metal, a bit of folk and a pretty wide variety to the tracks, as always.

DippoMagoo, Collaborator, Power/Neoclassical Metal, Progressive/Avant-Garde Metal, Symphonic/Gothic Metal Teams


Theocracy - Mosaic

Power Metal

The best Christian power metal band in the world delivers once again, with possibly their best album to date! New guitarist Taylor Washington adds a bit of a thrash edge to some of the tracks, which can get surprisingly heavy at times, while the lyrics are occasionally much darker than expected, though obviously there's still plenty of uplifting, melodic moments as well. There's a mix between more straight-forward power metal and epic prog, with the closing 19 minute epic in particular being one of the band's most complex track to date, and the ballad "The Greatest Hope" features Matt Smith's best vocals to date, so there's a bit of something for everyone here.

DippoMagoo, Collaborator, Power/Neoclassical Metal, Progressive/Avant-Garde Metal, Symphonic/Gothic Metal Teams


Twilight Force - At The Heart Of Wintervale

Power Metal

After three excellent but slightly flawed albums, the band has finally made the album I've always wanted from them, with excellent vocals, greatly improved production over the past couple of albums, and some at times more adventurous and cinematic songwriting, to go along with their usual brand of epic, super catchy symphonic power metal. The use of narration on the final track in particular is light years ahead of what they attempted on previous albums.

DippoMagoo, Collaborator, Power/Neoclassical Metal, Progressive/Avant-Garde Metal, Symphonic/Gothic Metal Teams


Voivod - Morgoth Tales

Technical Thrash Metal

The idea to re-record some of the classics from Voivod´s back catalogue isn´t a bad one. Personally I prefer the originals (except for the re-recordings of the early track, which are pretty great) but these versions are generally both well performed and arranged too. I have a minor issue with the way the drums are produced as they sound a little thin and clicky, but that´s probably an aquired taste. Other than that "Morgöth Tales" is a good quality release.

Umur, Retired Admin, Collaborator, Errors & Omissions Team


Vomitory - All Heads Are Gonna Roll

Death Metal

Vomitory albums are a rare thing in this day and age – well they did split up in 2013. All Heads Are Gonna Roll is their first since reforming in 2018 and it’s like they never went away. 10 tracks of old school death metal, raw, fast and brutal as it usually is at its best. The breaks clearly done them good as I don’t think I’ve ever heard them sounding better and if you know their past work then you’ll know it’s up against some stiff competition when I make that claim.

Nightfly, Admin, Death Metal, Doom/Stoner/Drone Metal, Thrash/Speed/Groove Metal Teams


Xandria - The Wonders Still Awaiting

Symphonic Metal

Xandria are back with another new album and another new line-up to go with it, with only Marco Heubaum returning from 2017's Theater of Dimensions. Things have changed a bit with their sound thanks to new vocalist Ambre Vourvahis, who relies less on the operatic range for a varied approach that even includes dropping some death growls here and there. 

adg211288, Admin, Folk/Viking Metal, Power/Neoclassical Metal and Prog/AG Metal Teams


Zorn - Zorn

Black Metal

Not to be confused with John Zorn the avant-garde saxophonist, Zorn released a self-titled debut album bristling with crust punk chaos and black metallic evil. It’s lo-fi, filthy, rough around the edges, and utterly perfect.

Vim Fuego, Admin, Death Metal, Thrash/Speed/Groove Metal, Grindcore, Various Artists Teams



Edited by Nightfly - 10 Feb 2024 at 5:05am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2024 at 6:42am
Clap Nice one again Paul; quite a few here I don't know. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bosh66 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2024 at 7:33am
This is brilliant Paul. Thank you!

That's my playlist sorted for the next month LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nightfly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2024 at 8:05am
Cheers guys, yes I always find a new discoveries from these lists. District 97 are new to me - very impressed so cheers Adam for bringing them to my attention. Already bought a couple of CD's by them, Stay For The Ending and Screens (only £6). Some of the earlier ones seem harder to get.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2024 at 8:10am
No problem Paul glad you're digging them. I seem to remember I also picked up Screens quite cheap. I've followed them since Trouble With Machines. I'm missing their third album from my collection because when it first came out it didn't grab me so much though revisiting it more recently has seen it grow on me somewhat. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nightfly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2024 at 8:17am
^ I've been listening to Trouble With Machines on Spotify. probably the next one to buy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vim Fuego Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2024 at 3:15pm
As ever, this is all over the place, and is all the better for it.Clap This is where you need to point someone if they think metal all sounds the same.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nightfly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2024 at 3:27pm
Exactly Patrick, a very diverse selection with most subs covered. No doom though I just realised.
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