Best Groove Metal Albums of 2023
Looking for the best groove metal albums of 2023 was such a task. In recent years, the groove metal genre has been grappling with a distinct challenge, as it finds itself increasingly overshadowed by the surging popularity of genres like metalcore and death metal. This trend was particularly noticeable in 2023, a year which, in my view, lacked the usual vibrancy and innovation in terms of new groove metal album releases. While there were a handful of interesting albums launched, they didn’t quite manage to reignite the genre’s former glory, leading to a somewhat dull period for groove metal enthusiasts.
This lull stands in stark contrast to the mid-1990s, a pivotal era when groove metal significantly invigorated the metal scene. During that time, the genre emerged as a saving grace, steering metal away from the brink of stagnation. It infused new energy and creativity into the metal world, with bands like Pantera leading the charge. They brought a unique blend of rhythmic intensity and catchy riffs, renewing interest in metal and expanding its appeal. This period saw groove metal not just surviving but thriving, as it carved out a distinct niche for itself, marked by a sound that was both heavy and rhythmically complex.
Fast forward to 2023, and the landscape has shifted. The metal scene is now more fragmented, with newer genres gaining the spotlight. In this situation, the return of Pantera (although it is not the same as the Darrell brothers are no longer with us) is not just a nostalgic nod to the past. It represents a beacon of hope and a potential resurgence for groove metal. Their comeback is a reminder of the genre’s enduring appeal and its capacity to evolve and resonate with both old fans and new listeners. It’s a chance for groove metal to reclaim some of its lost territory and reassert its relevance in the ever-evolving tapestry of heavy metal.
Groove Metal Albums Tier List 2023
As we delve into the world of groove metal of 2023, we invite you on a journey to explore and evaluate the top groove metal albums of 2023 from our distinct point of view. It’s essential to note that our selection and ranking are influenced by our personal listening experiences and preferences. In this genre, we found a limited number of albums that truly resonated with us or exemplified the pure essence of groove metal, leading us to focus on just five key albums. Discover our insights in the Groove Metal Albums Tier List 2023:
Groove Metal Albums of 2023 Ranked
We are going to set the best groove metal albums of 2023 from worst to best:
Avatar | Dance Devil Dance review:
Dance Devil Dance by Avatar is an album that captures the band’s signature enthusiasm and flair for experimentation, notably in tracks like “Valley of Disease” with its unique retro video game sounds. However, despite these innovative moments, the album overall lacks the lasting brilliance and cohesion found in their live performances. While the album features catchy elements that initially engage the listener, its appeal tends to wane over repeated playbacks. In essence, while enjoyable and reflective of Avatar’s creative spirit, Dance Devil Dance struggles to maintain a compelling grip beyond the initial few listens, making it a fun yet transient experience in their discography, but in the end this albums deserves to be in the best groove metal albums of 2023 ranking.
Lokust | Infidel review:
Released on July 28th, 2023, just a few months before we talked about them in another post, Infidel by Lokust marks a notable debut in the tech-death and groove metal scene, skillfully blending elements of groove, thrash, and metalcore into an aggressive yet technically impressive sound. While the album boasts monstrous power and aggression, particularly in tracks like “The Sin of Doubt” and “Jinn,” its metalcore features, though competent, don’t quite engage as strongly as its death/thrash/groove segments. It’s in these moments that Infidel truly excels, showcasing Lokust’s ability to balance raw energy with intricate musicianship. The variety in vocals, ranging from deep growls to clean singing, adds a dynamic richness, making the album a compelling listen for those who appreciate the heavier, rhythmically driven side of metal.
Urne | A Feast On Sorrow review:
URNE’s second album, A Feast On Sorrow, stands out as a remarkable and complex blend of prog metal, sludge, groove, and post-metal, earning its place as one of the year’s finest groove metal albums (in the end, it is the most accurate genre for them). The album captivates with its visceral energy and a diverse range of tracks that defy easy categorization. Speedy tempos, engaging solos, and a solid groove define songs like “The Flood Came Rushing In” and “Becoming The Ocean,” complemented by heavy riffs and harsh vocals. Its appeal is further enhanced by the balance between concise tracks and sprawling epics, such as “A Stumble of Words.” A Feast On Sorrow skillfully weaves together various elements, at times echoing complex features, while at other moments it revels in a simpler, more brutal sound.
Methane | Kill It With Fire review:
Kill It With Fire by Methane is a riveting album that delivers a potent mix of irreverence, rebellion, and power from start to finish. The band brilliantly blends thrash and groove metal, with the groove elements particularly shining through in the breakdowns. Infectious riffs and memorable lyrics, like the “Don’t call me liar!” line from the self titled track, make this album an engaging and dynamic listen. Methane’s skillful fusion of these metal subgenres creates a sound that is both aggressive and rhythmically captivating, ensuring that Kill It With Fire appeals to fans of both styles and stands out as a fresh, energetic addition to the metal genre.
Prong | State of Emergency review:
State of Emergency by Prong stands out as one of the best albums of 2023, encapsulating a sense of timelessness and unyielding energy. The album is hyper-catchy and infectious, brimming with a rebellious spirit that makes it an ideal soundtrack for high-energy environments like the gym. Prong demonstrates that time has not diminished their musical prowess or the captivating aura of their sound, as this album feels as fresh and relevant as ever.
Interestingly, State of Emergency evokes a sense of nostalgia, reminiscent of the WWE’s golden era, though it’s hard to pinpoint exactly why. It could be the album’s raw energy and the aggressive, punchy sound that align with the intensity of those wrestling matches. The standout tracks, “Who Told Me” and “Working Man,” are highlights in an already stellar album, but every song contributes to its overall excellence. There isn’t a single track that feels out of place or underwhelming; each one adds to the album’s cohesive and dynamic nature.
Overall, State of Emergency by Prong is a robust, engaging listen, perfect for those seeking an album that combines relentless energy with memorable, catchy tunes. Its appeal lies not just in individual songs but in the collective experience of the album, making it a standout addition to the 2023 music landscape and a testament to Prong’s enduring talent in the metal genre.
Which is the best Groove Metal album of 2023?
The decision is so easy: State of Emergency by Prong. It is one of the best albums of 2023 and the best groove metal album of 2023 too.
Final Ranking of Groove Metal 2023:
- Avatar – Dance Devil Dance | 5º
- Lokust – Infidel | 4º
- URNE – A Feast On Sorrow | 3º
- Methane – Kill It With Fire | 2º
- Prong – State of Emergency | 1º