On a personal note, 2023 for me was, apart from a few bright points (that were, indeed, major), was almost as shitty as 2022. Losing loved ones in shitty situations, having ones’ family under constant risk during war, and experiencing some life-and-attitude-changing events that shouldn’t actually happen, but you know, reality and life would eventually kick you in the balls.
For 2024 I hope for world pea-… ah, fuck it.
Let’s just hope it’ll be more tolerable than this year.
So, yeah, luckily 2023 had some major Metal releases in it. Some left a bigger impact on me, than others. So… without any particular order;
Cruel Force – “Dawn Of The Axe”
The German horde is back. And these guys are hungry for everything. A name that rocked the German Thrash/Heavy metal scene for some years now, Cruel Force have spilled their sweat and blood with their third full length (and first since 2011). The new album sees a small shift in the bands style, going in the route of a more traditional heavy metal sound, yet no less aggressive than the bands previous releases. If you don’t break your neck (and the guy next to you) while spinning this beast, you have a problem.
“Dawn of the Axe” is, hands down, one of the best pieces this year managed to squirt.
Sulphur Aeon – “Seven Crowns and Seven Seals”
There aren’t a lot of bands that are actually able to create an atmosphere that on one hand would distract the listener from anything else but the music, while on the other hand, actually managing to maintain that over and over again. The recent example of this is Sulphur Aeon‘s newest album. The brand of extreme music here is still straight forward and the constant pounding is there as it ever was, while intertwining beautifully with melodies that take up a wider spot this time around.
Urfaust – “Untergang”
There aren’t a lot of bands that manage to create music in the vein that Urfaust does and that they have been doing since 2003. However, 20 years later (as in, this year) sees the departure of this Black Metal duo, as they decided to seal their sarcophagus and lay their name to rest. Worry not, because they do it with their release of “Untergang” (Downfall), a psychedelic Gin-filled half an hour of mesmerizing chaotic rhythm work that would hypnotize the listener one last time.
Incantation – “Unholy Deification”
Incantation should be a household name everywhere. Veterans of the American death metal scene, there’s just no way to not include “Unholy Deification” in this list. This new release crushes any doubt with force and the compositions are as dissonant-sounding as ever.
I mean, this music in this album is so heavy it would weigh your system down and you’d crave for more.
Kommand – “Death Age”
The old-school Death Metal wave that flooded the metal world a few years back has relaxed a bit with time, but it doesn’t mean it didn’t leave some very good acts out there. One of them is Kommand, and with their latest album, the whole not-on-purpose homage to the tunes of old Bolt Thrower has to be one of the best. Not anything you never heard before, but seriously good enough to be here.