Words by Tammy Lomax for MPM
Well the curtains have drawn and that is 2023 finished, over and done! It was certainly a swift year. I have endured a very bizarre phase in my life throughout 2023 and it’s been very wavy.
Feeling very consumed with distractions and fairly unbalanced within. I had to take some time out from things to preserve my mental well being and personally, I am glad we can close the book and begin a new chapter.
However, 2023 was an explosive heroic year for music and here are my top 10 metal releases.
No: 10 – Osiah – Chronos
Released via Unique Leader Records, deathcore group Osiah released their crushing E.P Chronos in February.
Produced by Andy Mallaby and mixed by Christian Donaldson, Chronos is the band’s first release featuring new drummer Danny Yates. This dude is rapid on his foot work and demonstrates some serious control and weight behind the kit.
Chronos is a pocket rocket of savagery but not overly complex, maintaining Osiah’s rooted formula.
Osiah also dropped their new album Kairos earlier this month which is an absolute onslaught and attack of technically heavy beauty.
No: 09 Monasteries – Ominous
Released via Seek and Strike Record Label on the 25th August, Ominous is Monasteries first LP and is categorically a shattering, positive success.
The Mancunian tech-deathcore group have utterly poured a tonne of corking intensity in this release.
In conjunction with their album release, they also dropped the single and a video “Spiralled Icon” which features Jason Evans from Ingested.
It was definitely one of the more heavier and brutal tunes. As an all rounder this was some significantly weighty metal.
After 10 years of releasing some incredible deathcore, Monasteries recently announced the bands departure and they are no more. I am gutted but they certainly went out with a bang after Ominous.
No: 08 Frozen Soul – Glacial Domination
Texas death metallers Frozen Soul released Glacial Domination on the 19th May via Century Media Records.
Glacial Domination is the band’s second full length album and what a downright belter. Track “Morbid Effigy” features an appearance from John Gallagher of Dying Fetus.
Engineering from Alex Gerst and Daniel Schmuck, this monster was mastered by Jack Control.
A pure death metal force that shakes the inside of your stomach and vocalist Chad Green glues their sound with his deathly vocals, he is a complete beast.
No: 07 Dying Fetus – Make Them Beg For Death
Make Them Beg For Death was recorded in Baltimore with longtime producer Steve Wright and mixed by Mark Lewis (Cannibal Corpse).
This was Dying Fetus’ ninth album and was released via Relapse Records.
Death metal bands will come and go, switch up their formulas and add different flavors into their mixes but not Dying Fetus. This band will never change their sound and those grooves and fierce speeds are on another scale.
It has always baffled me how 3 people can generate such a torturous sound, impressive and wholly commendable.
No: 06 Obituary – Dying Of Everything
Obituary has been going for a long time and they are one of the most renowned successful death metal bands in the whole world. They have birthed a vast supply of releases.
During an interview in August 2020 with Donald Tardy, it was revealed that Obituary had been working on a ‘monster’ album which was initially scheduled for release in 2021 but due to obvious reasons, this became delayed.
They launched their eleventh studio album Dying Of Everything via Relapse Records on the 13th January.
The album’s artwork was created by Mariusz Lewandowski and the engineering was done by Mark Prator in Redneck Studio’s. It was also mixed by producer Joe Cincotta and mastered by Brad Boatright.
Dying Of Everything is a true depiction of their origin sound and style and they maintain their core 80s vibe. Instant scorching vocals, battering thrash paces and super slick fast guitars, it’s a very splendid crafted creation and was worth the wait.
No: 5 Distant – Heritage
Heritage was released by Distant via Century Media in February and deserves so much more credit than what it was given. The quintet assuredly took to further heights with this release and is considerably better than their previous releases.
The breakdowns are massive and Will Ramos of Lorna Shore features in title track “Heritage”
The Deathcore group has excelled themselves and I see a bright future for these guys.
No: 4 The Aggression Sessions
The Aggression Sessions is the follow-up from the three-way split E.P, The Depression Sessions.
This E.P may be small but it packs an absurd assaulting punch! I’ve played this a lot since its release, a lot, and a lot more.
A three way collaboration between Fit For An Autopsy, Thy Art Is Murder and Malevolence.
This mammoth was released on the 7th April.
Released via Nuclear Blast Records, the artwork was created by renowned artist Eliran Kantor and just look at that stunning work of art.
In total there are 6 tracks, that’s 23 minutes of utter skull-battering heavy music, it is vastly punishing and not for the faint hearted.
What a whopping release, a definite bold release. A pat on the back for the delivery of this session, it’s so heavy and the energy throughout is above and beyond.
No: 3 Carnifex – Necromanteum
Necromanteum is the ninth studio album by American deathcore band Carnifex. It was released on October 6 via Nuclear Blast.
The album was produced by Jason Suecof, Scott Lewis and Shawn Cameron.
On July 6, the band released single and title track “Necromanteum” alongside a music video. At the same time, they officially announced the album itself and release date, whilst also revealing the album cover and the track listing.
On August 25th Carnifex the band released their second single “Death’s Forgotten Children” featuring Tom Barber from Chelsea Grin and that breakdown, well…POW!
Carnifex has been going strong for 16 years and every single gram of experience and knowledge has been slammed and packed into this album, no words can do this justice.
No: 2 Cattle Decapitation – Terrasite
This release was LOUD!!! I really struggled with this and my no 1 because what an absolute insane release.
Cattle Decapitation has been one of my favorite bands for a long time, mainly because they push the boundaries of death metal further and further with every release.
Terrasite is the eighth studio album by the American death metal group and it was launched to the world on the 12th May via Metal Blade Records.
Covering a vast range of technical death and deathgrind metal, Terrasite was recorded in San Diego with producer Dave Otero. The album’s artwork was created by Wes Benscoter and the first single released was “We Eat Our Young” followed by “Scourge of the Offspring” on March 29th.
No: 1 Humanity’s Last Breath – Ashen
This album elevated so much emotion in me and hands down, it was one of the best listens I have come across for maybe a couple of years. Humanity’s Last Breath has always excited me and their talent is a pinnacle triumph.
Ashen was released on August 4th and was mixed and mastered by Buster Odeholm at Odeholm Audio. It was written and produced by Buster Odeholm and Calle Thomér with additional synths By Timothe Baque at Modern Nihilism Recordings.
The cover artwork design and layout was created by C. Saros Collective with additional illustrations by Adrian Baxter.
It’s an absolute onslaught of twists, turns and unpredictability that simply elevate everything from within. It’s salivatingly heavy and is the master of diversity. You have it all in this album, everything you crave as a metal head is superbly delivered in Ashen.
The atmospheric vibe is monumental and it will literally take you to all dimensions. I don’t think I will ever get bored of Ashen and they have undoubtedly set a massive climax of standard.
Humanity’s Last Breath have unquestionably challenged themselves for their next release, that’s for sure. How it can get any better is beyond me.
When you take some time out from everything to take care of yourself, the feeling you get when you return to your passions is overwhelming and very positive. Roll on 2024 and keep the metal spirit alive!
Other awesome releases this year was:
Enslaved – Heimdal
In Flames – Foregone
Urne – A Feast On Sorrow
Omnivortex – Circulate
Thy Art Is Murder – Godlike
Chelsea Grin – Suffer In Heaven
Cannibal Corpse – Chaos Horrific