Home » BEST ALBUMS OF 2023


by MythofRock

2023 is over, but this year we discovered magnificent rock/metal albums. It isn’t an easy task. Although some albums didn’t feature in this list, it doesn’t mean that the ones that aren’t here are bad and don’t deserve to be listened. It’s up to the listeners’ choice and personal taste. So, let’s dive in the list, shall we?


29 studio albums. 55 years of career. A trademark and impact in the music industry like very few people. Nothing guaranteed of course when you enter the studio to record a completely new album. “Road” is though so nicely listened, is so well put, has this old school hard rock feeling with beautiful guitars and choruses. With a polished but raw production at the same time, it is not the album to be the trademark one, but it definitely is among my favorites for 2023. The more I listen to it, the more I appreciate it. (Antonis Mantzavinos)


After their predecessor, “Echoes” (2020), which was a tribute to the 80s sound, especially due to its synthesizer sound, the German modern metal band has come back with an album that will blow everybody away! It’s their heaviest, darkest and angriest album to date. It’s also a mirror about the last years and what happened in between. The heaviest track of this album is “Life Goes On”, with fast paced drums and growls that will capture everyone’s attention. Erik Damköhler was responsible for the album’ s production, mixing and mastering was done by Christoph Wieczorek (Annisokay) of Sawdust Studios. Everybody should listen to this one, for sure! (Rak Miranda)


This band sure have made one of the most important albums of this year! It has many elements, from power metal to folk metal, in it. Catchy choruses, loads of metal, perfection in the lyrics and their vision of what a band should be and riffs that will make you scream. If with this record their main goal was to seek a number one spot into the scene, they sure have conquered, they manage to defend their majesty and they can scream with joy –  It’s All For Metal! (Rak Miranda)


The Brazilian power metal band has made a brilliant album that shows how brilliant they are. They aren’t afraid to explore new sounds and mix them into their Brazilian roots. They celebrated 32 years and what better way than to release an album that also features their previous ones, musically and lyrically. One album you will recognize here, it’s the first album – “Angel’s Cry”. It’s also a tribute to Andre Matos, the first singer and founding member that was so important to the band’s history. Special guests like Lenine, capture the band’s essence and music. It’s very important that they are very concerned of their country’s social and political situation and therefore, they show it in their music. A brilliant album that must be heard, known and treasured! (Rak Miranda)


Just a year after his overwhelming debut, Sgah’gahsowáh has more to tell about his native blood and Nature, awing with his atmospheric black metal, stirring melodies, mellow folk moments and epic splendor (Quorthon, Your Spirit lives forever!). Blackbraid’s way is simply the way of the heart; the heart unlocks the door to the soil, the spirits, the ancestral past. Luckily, the band intend to stay in the scene, musically and spiritually. (Alex Nikolaidis)


Blood Ceremony is such a great band overall, and on their field more specifically. “The Old Ways Remain” is another fine example of their core mastermind ability to make great albums, one after the other. It might took some time, but this one is a dynamic, inspired and colorful connection with their root sound, feeling and embodiment of their deep foundations with the Vintage. (Antonis Mantzavinos)


Cadaver release their most peculiar album after 1992’s “…in Pains”, experimenting with prog and technicalities, yet retaining their familiar blackened sound. In the fertile ground of “Age of the Offended” different attitudes sprout up, coexisting harmonically. A precise mechanism encompasses all the things Neddo had in his mind, processing them ingeniously to form something autonomous. Cadaver reach a level of musicianship that we hadn’t experienced before, appealing to uneasy ears that crave for out-of-the-ordinary explorations. (Alex Nikolaidis)


After the gargantuan “So It Goes”, the Chilean thrashers return with a seemingly less complicated, and surely different album. “Nube Negra”, with Spanish vocals exclusively, combines raw thrash attack with technical abilities and rare classical lyricism, in an astonishing creation that cannot abstain from looking briefly to jazz sceneries. Demoniac are an underground oddity with an already distinctive personality, able to change thrash in a way that traditional acts cannot! (Alex Nikolaidis)


Tracks like “Gypsy”, “I’ll Never Give Up” and “I Remember” are a simple proof of the band’s knack for memorable hooks and choruses, inviting audience participation and ensuring that these tunes linger in the listener’s mind long after the final notes fade. “Heaven Comes Down” is a cohesive body of work, well-crafted, allowing moments of introspection to seamlessly transition into anthemic peaks, serving as a reminder of Dokken’s enduring influence, relevant to both longtime fans and a new generation of listeners. Dokken return triumphant, reaffirming their status as purveyors of melodic metal excellence. (Dimitris Zacharopoulos)


Oh, the Metal Queen is back! After 40 long years in the business, this woman still has what it takes to deliver a kickass album to her fans! Collaborating with the legendary Rob Halford in a duet is a pleasant surprise that is bound to leave fans thoroughly impressed. Doro’s voice is still fantastic and the guitar (solos, riffs and what’s so ever) are insanely good. This record will bring you good moments of headbanging and her live concerts will be bombastic! (Rak Miranda)


In the album’s press release, John Gallagher comments that the band’s philosophy is “to write catchy riffs and make them memorable. Whatever style of music you’re doing, make it something people want to hear repeatedly”. Exactly! Without unpredictable innovations, Dying Fetus’ ninth album thrives with addictive riffs, grooves, technicalities, and violent instincts, in an extremely intense, non-stop, out-of-breath demonstration of high-quality brutal death/grind. Gallagher’s ability to create riffs of any kind seems inexhaustible! Listen, and in the end, you’ll beg for more! (Alex Nikolaidis)


The Stockholm based Eclipse did it again. “Megalomanium” establishes themselves for good in the elite of melodic hard rock, where they keep the highest standards, producing albums, which are at the same time very heavy, melodic and with memorable songs/choruses that the audience cannot forget. Erik Mårtensson is keeping very tight the keys of success, something he knows so well. Big kudos for this album go to his teammates who form a fantastic quartet, now touring Europe (and soon overseas). (Antonis Mantzavinos)


Enslaved achieve perfection in an astonishing methexis of different worlds, where the whimsical syncretism of black metal and prog rock via elaborate orchestrations, the peculiar structures, the cold Scandinavian riffing, the folk / atmospheric elements, and the synthwave strokes, form an impressive mosaic of art and memory. However, “Heimdal” isn’t the music only; it’s the creators’ quest for transcendence that makes this offspring so astonishingly astute and brilliant. (Alex Nikolaidis)


Hisingens’ finest released a great album in 2023, a sweet melancholy, an ode to the moody days, full of inspiration, groove, and everything their fan base has loved them for years. Joakim Nilsson and Co. are in great form delivering one of the best records not only in heavy rock, but overall, I must admit. Definitely a highlight of the year. (Antonis Mantzavinos)


The Norwegian black metal masters returned with an album that must be heard and recognized. This band manages to make Nordic weather sunnier and happier, with their blast-beat sound and guitar riffs. Demonaz and band have honoured their legacy with the best way possible. Although there have been line-up changes, this one is a hell of a masterpiece! (Rak Miranda)


After the release of their first album, this band returned and delivered a record that everyone sure will love! Tim Kanoa Hansen and the rest of the gang top scored with this one. It has got potential, due to its musicality and what the lyrics say. Power metal in its essence and we can see that the band sure will be successful for many years, thanks to what they’ve been conquering. (Rak Miranda)


Göteborg’s giants have added another fine album in their nearly 30-year career, blending the old with the new, without missing a single inch on this process. “Foregone” is groovy, melodic, catchy and fresh. Anders Fridén and Björn Gelotte are doing a fantastic work, steering the wheel in between times of change, challenge and doubt, but they are successful no matter what, and ‘Foregone’ is leading them to a secure and firm future. (Antonis Mantzavinos)


The historic band came back with “The Hallowed”, a concept album. After listening to it for a certain period of time, I can say that this new release is … amazing! Harry Conklin, Mark Briody and the rest of the guys offer us a superb album of furious, old-fashioned heavy metal! All the songs of “The Hallowed” are earworms, pure heavy metal thunders, with refrains, riffs and solos, which stick to your mind (Ken Rodarte is a real guitar hero!). This time the metal machine of Jag Panzer plays full-throttle its evocative songs, which sound so fresh, powerful and dramatic! (Dimitris Zacharopoulos)


With a few words, it is one of best albums of melodic power metal of the last couple of years. Or more! Because Kamelot show us for another time that they know how to write good songs, not only bangers but also ballads. They haven’t lost their songwriting skills, they face no writer’s block, they are still inspired enough to write great tracks – magical, majestic, elegant, superb! Beginning with ”The Great Divide”, continuing with excellent numbers like ”One More Flag in the Ground”,  ”Opus of the Night (Ghost Requiem)”, ”Bloodmoon”, ”Willow”, and ending with ”My Pantheon (Forevermore)”, ”The Awakening” is a breathtaking, jaw dropping, unmatched masterpiece of melodic power metal. (Dimitris Zacharopoulos)


Liv Kristine is back! At the beginning of 2023, she delivered one of the best albums of her career. It brings back memories of 90’s Theatre of Tragedy that will bring joy to the fans. The title track “River of Diamonds” has a special guest that brings this record to another level – Fernando Ribeiro, from Moonspell. Østen Bergøy (Long Night, Tristania) will capture the listener to a Sisters Of Mercy vibe. If the fan is romantic, he can expect a duet between Liv and her husband Michael Espenæs, at Jon Lord’s masterpiece – “Pictured Within”. Very emotional! And a sisterhood duet between Carmen Elise Espenæs (Savn, Midnattsol), in a fast track, called “Love Me High”. The record was composed by Liv’s former Theatre Of Tragedy bandmate and friend, Tommy Olsson. A record that surely must be in this list! (Rak Miranda)


Probably the biggest name out there now, Metallica has delivered the goods once again and done so in a convincing way. After all, they have nothing to prove. Or maybe they do? Well, “72 seasons” is a kick ass record, produced by the same guy (Greg Fidelman) like their previous one and keeping the same recipe for success, which is: just be… themselves! This is how modern heavy metal should be played: massive and crunchy riffs, Hetfield’s heart and soul and Ulrich’s undeniable trademark (whether some argue or not, this is it). (Antonis Mantzavinos)


Overkill is such a convincing and reliable band, throughout their career. There is absolutely not a single doubt on this. “Scorched” is another very carefully sharp blade on their arsenal, full of riffs, placed through a modern lend but with such an ‘authoritative’ old school attitude. It is Overkill doing their best, album after album. Ask their fanbase why they are so loyal to them. Brilliant album! (Antonis Mantzavinos)


Rival Sons is not just another gifted and inspired band. “Darkfighter”, the seventh of the band, is a bold mark on their career, a diverse and rich album in emotions, a record where Jay Buchanan shines with his ability to charm the audience and fulfill his commitment on making and performing great songs. This band is so unique, and they make so unique and great albums as well. (Antonis Mantzavinos)


The best Riverside album to date, and the best progressive rock/metal album of the year. For sure. This album is monumental, shockingly amazing. The Polish prog masters have succeded in releasing an album with memorable songs, elaborate structures and breathtaking performances. Even now, many months after the release, I am not tired listening to this phenomenal album, again and again. It is simply a masterpiece! (Dimitris Zacharopoulos)


I don’t know what a rock fan can wait from Rolling Stones in the year 2023, however, their new album is a realy entertaining album, which will make your day. I love the melodies, I adore the riffs and Mick Jagger is here again, singing like a teenager! That’s a nice rock album, by the legendary band, which never gets tired! Feel good music, with the Rolling Stones DNA. Are you sure you want more? (Dimitris Zacharopoulos)


All the world is talking about them. Sleep Token is a British rock band, and with their third album we understand we they are now number one. Anonymous and unclassifiable, Sleep Token make music, make art, which speaks to the mind and mainly to the heart. Melodies, atmospheres, weird soundscapes, everything used in a brilliant way by this mad collective. Listen, smile and cry, feel. This album is unbelievable! (Dimitris Zacharopoulos)


In 2018, some prominent figures of the Icelandic black metal scene gathered and performed at Roadburn Festival, naming that one-off project Sól Án Varma (Sun without radiance). Some years later, a studio version of that performance became available, revealing a terrifying, apocalyptic soundscape, where the sun doesn’t shine to offer you the solace you seek. Slow, savage atmospheres, cold Icelandic melodicism, post black and ambiance, are interweaved brilliantly in a cruel galaxy, born from fruitful, converging minds. Sól Án Varma don’t exist anymore; we won’t hear anything else from them. Experience the album, until the sun freezes… (Alex Nikolaidis)


The kings of European blackened death open again the gate to Lovecraftian horror. This time, the structures aren’t so abyssal like in the unreachable “The Scythe of Cosmic Chaos”, but still Sulphur Aeon unfold effortlessly a terrifying and wondrous chaos. The invocations to the Great Old Ones become more atmospheric and melodic, retaining their primal savagery. Their essence is darkly glorious, like the Abominations they praise. In the name of Cthulhu, the band follow a path that few dare to tread. (Alex Nikolaidis)


This is a highly rated album, that is truly exceptional in terms of its quality. The Helsinki Vampires have delivered a masterpiece, that the fans will recognize for its essence, mystery and darkness. If the fans love and miss the 80s goth sound, they will love this record. “This Murder Takes Two” sung in duet with tattoo artist/singer Kat Von D, will conquer even the toughest hearts. The 69 Eyes managed to preserve its original uniqueness while also adding their recognizable and irresistible touch. (Rak Miranda)


The heart and soul of The Pretenders, Chrissie Hynde, is the one to take the whole credits for a very fine album, of which of course she has been very proud. Doomy and gloomy on its overall setting, “Relentless” is a brilliant example of fine arrangements, great vocal performance, exploring new territories for the band and proving she is a music genious. (Antonis Mantzavinos)


In the second chapter of “Liber Lvcifer”, Thy Darkened Shade’s vision evolves. Their mastery in composition reaches levels beyond perception, and their music becomes more theatrical, abolishing space and time. “Mahapralaya” is a transcendental experience, analogous to a drear, horrific, operatic act. Songs are structured wisely, methodically, patiently, and once they reveal their splendor, they call you back; that’s the gripping strength of this diamond of the Greek scene. (Alex Nikolaidis)


Tomb Mold fabricate a time capsule, enabling the inseparable coexistence of two different worlds. The traditional, technical death metal meets 70s prog rock in a rare occurrence that didn’t require the attainment of balance; you see, balance, in the Canadians’ case, is inbred. The pairing of sheer brutality and elaborate experimentations results in an astonishingly vast and vivid soundscape, where you cannot conceive that each component could exist individually. (Alex Nikolaidis)


This is a concerto for group and orchestra, which sounds modern, never clichéd, always delicate. Of course, you will listen to a superb guitar work, galloping double bass drumming and high pitched vocals in power metal songs, which owe so much to Helloween, Gamma Ray, Blind Guardian, Stratovarius and Rhapsody. You have everything here, there can be no complaints, just congratulations for this extraordinary, beyond beautiful sonic thunderstorm. (Dimitris Zacharopoulos)


Wayfarer are a remarkable case of ingenuity, pushing the fictional boundaries of black metal to the Wild West. The American atmospheric attitude, enriched with country themes of saloons and isolated towns of the wilderness, form a gloomy soundscape of abandonment and decadence. Stories about outlaws and broken morals from a foregone era unfold like a sequence of old, sepia photos. Wayfarer narrate, serving their homeland’s history; they have both the needle and the thread. (Alex Nikolaidis)


This power metal band has been around for 15 years and has delivered an awesome album which is a mix of Nordic viking metal, folk, and fast-paced orchestral power metal that all the fans must know. This album has a solid production by Michael Liewald, who also composed all tracks, Olaf Reitmeier at Wolfsburg’s Gate Studios (Avantasia, Rhapsody) mixed and mastered this astonishing record. Winterstorm has crafted one of the most enjoyable power metal albums of 2023. One of the tracks that will keep the fans blown away is “The Phoenix Died” feat. Elina Siirala (vocalist of Leaves’ Eyes). The album has a clear, powerful message about the future of humanity in the midst of apocalyptic environmental destruction. (Rak Miranda)


I have quite recently discovered the band and I have to say that I am really impressed, especially from their last album. This is a very interesting band and an album, which capitalizes their status and success from the previous one. Beautiful vocals and defining dual guitars, this quartet really takes it to another level on this album. One of the finest moments in 2023 for sure. (Antonis Mantzavinos)

These records are brilliant and must be heard and known by everyone. They have stories of their own, superb riffs, different genres and concepts. An experience for the mind, body and ears. Let make 2024 another great year or the best year for rock and metal!

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