Best Avant-Garde Metal Albums of 2023
In the dynamic landscape of avant-garde metal for the year 2023, a rich tapestry of experimentation and innovation unfolds. This exploration immerses us in the search of the best avant-garde metal albums of 2023, where there is fascinating convergence of post-metal and avant-garde metal, two genres intricately connected by a shared commitment to pushing the boundaries of conventional musical expression.
As we navigate this unique journey, anticipate a diverse spectrum of experiences—ranging from seamlessly crafted sounds that demonstrate creative finesse to uncharted territories that may exude raw and unconventional energy. Some albums in this genre showcase the art of blending influences with skill, creating a harmonious auditory experience. Meanwhile, others venture boldly into quirky and unrefined corners of musical expression, challenging established norms and inviting listeners into unexplored territories.
This exploration extends an invitation to immerse ourselves in the standout avant-garde metal albums of 2023, marking a celebration of a year that wholeheartedly embraces the wonderfully weird, the imperfect, and the avant-garde in its unfiltered authenticity. Within this musical odyssey, we encourage a thoughtful analysis of the unconventional facets that define the ever-evolving landscape of metal.
Avant-Garde Metal Albums 2023 Tier List
As we immerse ourselves in the realm of captivating sounds, let’s embark on a journey to appreciate and rank the standout avant-garde metal albums of 2023, viewed through our unique perspective. It’s important to acknowledge that our assessment is shaped by personal listening experiences, with certain albums capturing our attention more profoundly than others. Check out aour Avant-Garde Metal Albums Tier List 2023:
Avant-Garde Metal Albums of 2023 Ranked
Let´s rank the best avant-garde metal albums of 2023 from worst to best:
Liturgy | 93696 review:
From what I’ve heard of 93696, it is undoubtedly one of the murkiest. Liturgy, the band behind this experiment, has crafted an experience that, at times, I do enjoy, but more often leaves me genuinely disturbed—particularly by the unsettling screams and the intermittent flute, which seems to dance eerily to the rhythm of the percussion. Despite moments of enjoyment, the inclusion of two discs within the same album strikes me as unnecessary, possibly contributing to the album’s overall turbidity and chaotic complexity.
Thantifaxath | Hive Mind Narcosis review:
We have previously discussed Thantifaxath in other post, but this time it returns to take a place in the ranking of the best avant-garde metal albums of 2023. It was mentioned that Hive Mind Narcosis is meant to be listened to once, because they have materialized the idea of generating anxiety and nervousness so well that one doesn’t feel like going through the same experience again. It doesn’t score higher in this ranking for the same reason.
Code Orange | The Above review:
Code Orange is not your typical avant-garde band, far from it, but I believe that with their previous release and this one, they are getting close to this style. In The Above, the alternation of brutal songs with others that are more pop makes it a record of great contrasts. Additionally, there is experimentation with the use of diverse beats and bits, uncommon in metal, and dissonant and robotic musical features are employed. I think the intention is good and original, but the final result doesn’t entirely meet expectations for several reasons: the duration and the inclusion of songs that are completely unnecessary. The songs in which Reba has had more involvement in the vocals are the ones I liked the most, for instance, the single “The Mirror”.
Svalbard | The Weight of the Mask review:
Does Svalbard and The Weight of the Mask album truly belong to this category? From my perspective, yes. Looking at the band Svalbard and their album it’s evident they aim to embody desolation in a way that transcends traditional metal norms. Svalbard, known for their unique approach to heavy music, combines post-metal with avant-garde nuances. In the end, this is a solid album with diverse songs with different approaches and dynamics.
Botanist | VIII: Selenotrope review:
The concept of Botanist is one of the most singular: the theme revolves around how nature hates humans for everything they have done to it. In VIII: Selenotrope, through the use of dissonant elements like the dulcimer, the atmosphere created is extremely sinister. At times, it seems like it’s a fairy tale music, but soon everything twists and becomes disturbing. There are some evident features of black metal too. After talking with them, I discovered they have worked with the legend Dan Swano, and also they told me the following interesting aspects:
“Sustained notes are made by retaining pitches from the dulcimer and fabricating drones. Also Dan Swano manipulated some single hits and sections through effects to create segues and interludes”
Milanku | À l’aube review:
We find ourselves before a rather strange album, but the first thing we notice before its singularity is its hardness and desolation, which is conveyed through the voice. Milanku, through À l’aube, transmits a lot of desperation and feels very sincere and real. The music has rhythms typical of doom, making the listening experience even more miserable for the listener. I believe it fits what is expected in an avant-garde album: creating atmospheres for the listener and making them feel emotions powerfully. Towards the end of the album, a greater amount of keyboard or ambient effects are employed, achieving a more immersive and bewildering experience.
Gravesend | Gowanus Death Stomp review:
The aim of Gowanus Death Stomp, fronted by Gravesend, is crystal clear: to pack a punch in the shortest time possible. A collection of very brief songs characterizes their distinctive approach, where Gravesend efficiently delivers intense power. Moreover, nearly all tracks on the album are drenched in an aura of tension and anguish, creating a truly peculiar auditory experience. Gravesend’s ability to infuse short compositions with bizarre atmospheres makes for a unique journey that leaves a lasting impact on listeners delving into this band’s sound world. The concept is so dark and hard, based in the disgraces which occur in the underworld of New York City.
Thragedium | Lisboa Depois de Morta review:
Thragredium’s return after 20 years with Lisboa Depois de Morta brings a refreshing dose of doom metal with a folk concept. The album’s melancholic atmosphere, enriched by very interesting acoustic melodies, is both serene and sad, creating an unexpectedly enjoyable listening experience. Thragredium’s mastery of the genre is evident, with slow-paced riffs and somber melodies weaving throughout. Despite the extended hiatus, the band delivers remarkable moments that anchor the listener emotionally. Lisboa Depois de Morta is a compelling testament to Thragredium’s refined craft and a must-listen for avant-garde doom metal enthusiasts.
Avenged Sevenfold | Life Is but a Dream… review:
Avenged Sevenfold had been without releasing an album for a long time… and what we weren’t sure about is that their return, with Life Is But a Dream… would be a disc that we could consider avant-garde, as we discussed in a previous post. Avenged Sevenfold has confessed to using strange substances for the realization of this album. Nothing new. The truth is that the first listen to the album was something incredible; it took me completely by surprise. They have created a world that is highly psychedelic, in which we are completely immersed as the album progresses. Although it has significant imperfections, such as M. Shadows‘ voice or a couple of songs that could have been approached differently, I believe it still fits the purpose of the album, which is nothing other than immersing the listener in a whirlwind of paranoia. However, after the first listen, the album loses a lot of its appeal. But I stick with the great first impression it caused me.
Bolt Gun | The Tower review:
What a crazy album Bolt Gun has created. With The Tower, The atmosphere that surrounds us throughout the entire listen induces a feeling of desolation and constant tension. I especially loved the parts that go from 0 to 100 in a matter of seconds through thunderous screams. I also highlight the use of the saxophone to add a bit more psychedelia to the album. At certain moments, it seems like the band is improvising smoothly, as is the case in “The Sacred Deer.” In conclusion, I believe that Bolt Gun has delivered the best interpretation of what we can consider an avant-garde album.
Which is the best Avant-Garde Metal album of 2023?
The Tower by Bolt Gun is the album which stroke me the most of this year. Due to its psychedelic and dystopian atmosphere, The Tower is the best avant-garde album of 2023.
Final Ranking of Avant-Garde Metal 2023:
- Liturgy – 93696 | 10º
- Thantifaxath – Hive Mind Narcosis | 9º
- Code Orange – The Above | 8º
- Svalbard – The Weight of the Mask | 7º
- Botanist – VIII: Selenotrope | 6º
- Milanku – À l’aube | 5º
- Gravesend – Gowanus Death Stomp | 4º
- Thragedium – Lisboa Depois de Morta | 3º
- Avenged Sevenfold – Life Is But a Dream… | 2º
- Bolt Gun – The Tower | 1º