The Recently Added - The Best of 2023

2. Crosses “Goodnight, God Bless, I Love U. Delete.” - I honestly didn’t think Chino could do it again and be this captivating. Truly a marvelous notch in what’s already an iconic catalog from one of alternative music’s more dynamic vocalists. Do we have an ultimate surprise of the year list?

3. Portrayal of Guilt “Devil Music” - The chamber music portion of what is already an insanely abrasive release made this AOTY until Q4.

4. Mouth For War “Bleed Yourself” - The sound perfected. Reminiscent of the fine things we’ve come to expect from Sanction and later catalog Martyr A.D. “Captivated” and “Taste of Steel” resurrect a crucial sound in metalcore that delivers refreshing execution instantly separating the band from the pack of bands like Orthodox and Boundaries. Tons of cool vocal trinkets sprinkled throughout.

5. Chamber “A Love To Kill For” - I stand by my comments regarding this drum performance. One of the finest I’ve heard since “Calculating Infinity.” How is ANY list leaving this one out?

6. The Armed “Perfect Saviors” - Some really animated, experimental stuff that pays off in dividends. A perfect place for you to start if you’ve never heard anything about this band. It’s going to be real interesting for you working backwards.

7. Year of the Knife “No Love Lost” - “Last Laugh” and “Sometimes” get me every time. Had a hard time finding the vinyl in stores anywhere I went this year, but it’s an absolute ripper.

8. Nightmarer “Deformity Redux” - An amazing interpretation of an already mind melting release. The write up regarding the equipment used on this version of the album highlighting some items as “vintage gear” had me chuckling in amusement reflecting on my timeline as I’ve aged, being a lifelong musician. Truly unique metal operating in its own landscape.

9. End “The Sin of Human Frailty” - It really came together on this one elevating the band to new heights and in my opinion, shedding the act’s underdog quality. A studio sound the brilliant minds that occupy this group have saved entirely for themselves.

10. World Peace “It Is Written” - Twelve Gauge’s most unique offering. Two bass players. No guitars. Blast beats and attitude. What’s not to love?

11. Bear “Vanta” - Some of these songs fly outside the traditional metal orbit. One of the year’s ultimate must listens from Antwerp’s most prolific lords of the underground.

12. Baroness “Stone” - The best from the band’s current lineup. This was a digestible Baroness record ready for the campfire.

13. Codeseven “Go Let It In” - A sweet surprise, and stunning execution from a band that’s endlessly reinvented themselves. “Hold Tight” is such a banger.

14. Angel Du$t “Brand New Soul” - An excellent return to form after a few disappointing years on Roadrunner.

15. Jeromes Dream “The Gray In Between” - Crisp, unique hardcore of the most interesting variety from a very effective screamo/math metal-ish adjacent hardcore band that I only got into after 2019’s “LP.”

16. Pain of Truth “Not Through Blood” - Thick headed hardcore that walks tough that changed its cover.

17. Scalp “Black Tar” - 2023’s first auditory love. A gifted act that seemingly only has World Peace as an influence.

18. Rotten Sound “Apocalypse” - One of the most impressive and active powerviolence/ grindcore bands - hails from Finland and established in 1993!

19. Humanity’s Last Breath “Ashen” - You either hear the glory, or it’s senseless droning for you. I think it’s remarkable, brutal thall.

20. Serration “Simulations of Hell” - A brilliant band that continues to defy expectations. Similar to Ishiki and satisfied the same craving, only its length keeps it from being slightly higher on the list.

21. Final Gasp “Mourning Moon” - An amazing evolution to what once was a sensational tribute to Samhain. 

22. Kvelertak “Endling” - The next chapter from the Norwegian darlings. Up there with Deafheaven for me, just need to see them live more.

23. blink-182 “One More Time” - This year’s ultimate guilty pleasure and definitely a top listened to release, although some songs didn’t slap as hard in December as they did back in August.

24. The Zenith Passage “Datalysium” - Finally a complete release from the band since however long. Sensational, brutal technical death metal with cool synths.

25. Gridlink “Coronet Juniper” - An intense lesson in hyper metal and blast beats. Dig the instrumental version too.

26. Ishiki “072097116101” - Cool indie hardcore from southern California that reminds me of early Vein. Getting redone this year I believe.

27. Great Falls “Objects Without Pain” - A wall of noise, reminiscent of Swarm Of The Lotus.

28. Avenged Sevenfold “Life Is But a Dream” - It was very entertaining. Don’t be a dick.

29. Enforced “War Remains” - Sick, straight forward thrash.

30. Godflesh “Purge” - Sadly, where my journey with Godflesh begins. Really liked it though and will try to pay more attention.

31. Gel “Only Constant” - Better than Scowl. Better Than Spy. Gel is the selection.

32. Will Haven “VII” - They’re still at it. Delivering the same eclectic strumming, in an ultra refined and heavy way.

33. Drain “Living Proof” - A bit of a change in production style, but elevates the band to new heights. Insane what hardcore can do and how popular it’s become! 

34. Honest Crooks “The Sounds of Hell” - An unrelenting wrecking ball of a heavy album from down under.

35. Jesus Piece “…So Unknown” - Another fine dose of heavy from Philly’s Greats.

36. Kruelty “Untopia” - Japan’s most well traveled death metal outfit delivers big. 

37. See You Next Tuesday “Distractions” - A surprise return executed flawlessly.

38. Sanguisugabogg “Homicidal Ecstasy” - Death metal delicacy in the modern era.

39. Citizen “Calling The Dogs” - A great collection of bangers from an unstoppable rock band.

40. Nights Like These “The God City Session” - Who would’ve known the band gushed about their debut as much as we all did? What’s up with the rest of the catalog?

41. Hazing Over “Tunnel Vision” - Lined up with Orthodox, Vatican, Chamber, and Mouth For War, this one ripped!
42. Deliquesce “Cursed With Malevolence” - What awesome bass tone. Great technical death metal for fans of Alex Webster’s Blotted Science.

43. Cel Damage “No Volume” - There was a bunch of bands to pick from for this slot, delivered by a band named after an awesome game. fromjoy also had a cool record that somehow isn’t included in the list but sounds something like this.

44. Jarhead Fertilizer “Carceral Warefare” - Best samples in the game, should’ve been higher. 

45. Xibalba “Aztlán” - Harms Way has some competition. Sick, slow, meaty riffs.

46. The Hope Conspiracy “Confusion/Chaos/Misery” - 2023’s ultimate wildcard.

47. Mouthbreather “Self-Tape” - Primus infused metalcore!

48. Fuming Mouth “Last Day of Sun” - The introduction of melodies and order into what was once a sensational thrash/death metal hybrid.

49. KEN mode “Void” - It’s not a year end list without it and it won’t bottom it out.

50. Burner “It All Returns to Nothing” - Church Road has a ton of awesome releases to its name this year run by scene vets. This one was a metallic hardcore highlight.

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