Best Melodic Death Metal Albums of 2023

Navigating the expansive realms of 2023’s musical landscape, the best melodic death metal albums of 2023 emerge as a formidable force, boasting a myriad of stellar album releases that have captivated a fervently engaged audience. This year, the genre isn’t merely holding attention—it’s weaving an intricate tapestry that draws enthusiasts into its diverse and powerful embrace.

Within the rich symphony of 2023’s musical offerings, melodic death metal claims its spotlight as home to some of the most exceptional albums of the year. This isn’t just happenstance; it’s a testament to the genre’s enduring allure, resonating deeply with a diverse audience that seeks both familiarity and innovation.

The air was thick with anticipation as long-standing bands unveiled their highly awaited albums, meeting expectations and transcending them to redefine the very boundaries of melodic death metal. These releases have left an indelible mark on the sonic landscape, solidifying the genre’s influence in the ever-evolving world of music.

Yet, what continues to set melodic death metal apart is its sustained popularity and evolving diversity. It’s not just a genre; it’s a living, breathing entity where innovation thrives. Both established and emerging artists contribute to this dynamic tapestry, pushing the boundaries and crafting experiences that transcend the ordinary.

Melodic Death Metal Albums Tier List 2023

In the pursuit of exploration and appreciation, we’re set to classify the best melodic death metal albums of 2023 according to our unique perspective. It’s important to note that the assessment of these albums is shaped by personal listening experiences, with some garnering more in-depth attention than others.

As we embark on this auditory adventure, envision these albums organized in a tier list format – each position reflecting a distinctive level of quality. The leftward progression within each row signifies an elevated level of appreciation. Let´s carry out the elaboration of the Melodic Death Metal Albums tier list of 2023:

Best Melodic Death Metal Albums of 2023

Melodic Death Metal Albums of 2023 Ranked:

Hinayana | Shatter and Fall review:

Hinayana serves as a prelude to what’s coming in this ranking with Shatter and Fall (many quality releases with varied approaches). With “Shatter and Fall,” they bring forth a quite interesting proposition with their heavy, serene melodic death metal featuring monstrous vocals and hints of classic heavy metal. The album’s production is excellent, allowing every guitar strum and drum beat to be distinctly heard. While it includes memorable songs, there are others that don’t quite reach the same level. I believe, to be a better album, it needs more variety in the characteristics of the songs and greater use of clean vocals, perhaps with the inclusion of acoustic sections to achieve more dynamism. Nevertheless, it’s not a bad album, but it falls short of keeping me engaged for three consecutive songs without yearning for a change due to the lack of spark.

Hinayana Shatter and Fall

In Flames | Foregone review:

What would a top list of melodic death metal albums be without the presence of In Flames? The Swedes, after several years attempting to rediscover their identity, achieve their goal in 2023 with Foregone, an album that reminds me of their mid-2000s era. From my perspective, the focus of this album seems to be geared towards dominating live performances, as it incorporates many elements that would work well for that purpose: catchy choruses, solid basslines, memorable lyrics… “Bleeding Out” is my favorite. With this album, In Flames doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but they deliver a solid record, accessible to a broad audience and fans. My In Flames period from the ’90s feels distant now, but Foregone marks the beginning of a new era that looks promising. By the way, you can check here a post related to the classic In Flames era.

In Flames Foregone

Kalmah | Kalmah review:

In this ranking, we’re going to talk a lot about In Flames, not only because they’ve already appeared in this post with their album Foregone but also because the band and melodeath go hand in hand. In this case, Kalmah brings to mind Children of Bodom, another great exponent of the genre. While Kalmah does it in their own way, especially with the keyboards, I see many similarities with the Finns, perhaps too many. They differ in that Kalmah uses a tone of guitar and more powerful vocals, but with a bit less speed, without sacrificing power. Kalmah also doesn’t have the great Alexi Laiho, may he rest in peace. A guitar legend.

Kalmah Kalmah Album

Mors Subita | Origin of Fire review:

What a display of power Mors Subita has shown in this latest work. An interesting interpretation of melodic death metal, indeed. They know how to balance that power by interspersing acoustic sections to take a break from the frenzy. The production is impeccable, very immersive. Perhaps at times, they remind me of In Flames from the era of “Come Clarity,” with melodeath influenced by metalcore and nu-metal. Even though it’s in the 7th position in the ranking, don’t take it into account: most albums in this top are tremendously good. In this case, Origin of Fire doesn’t entirely align with my preferences, but it’s undeniable that it’s a fantastic album, one that I’ll consider for the gym, for example.

Mors Subita Blood Eagle

Majesties | Vast Reaches Unclaimed review:

An old acquaintance of the blog, Majesties, was already included in the best albums of 2023 so far with Vast Reaches Unclaimed. This time, it’s part of a specific ranking in the melodeath genre, where they represent the most old-school version, reminiscent of the 90s. It’s evident that their inspiration comes from the early works of In Flames, one of the pioneering bands of Melodic Death Metal. Majesties brings us excellent guitar work, with a juicy and distorted guitar tone, along with very catchy riffs. Perhaps the vocals don’t quite fit with the rest of the composition, or at least the way they are embedded in the final product. Nevertheless, it doesn’t affect the overall quality of the album. I highlight their mastery in trying to emulate the In Flames of the 90s without resorting to blatant copies: they do it in their own way and with personality.

Majesties Vast Reaches Unclaimed

Shylmagoghnar | Convergence review:

I’ve always been a big fan of instrumental or partially instrumental albums. They are ideal for when you need an extra boost of concentration while doing any task and immerse yourself in its realization as much as possible. Shylmagoghnar, with its unpronounceable name, emerges as an excellent option for what I mentioned abovewith Convergence. There are very epic moments, but in certain songs, the standards aren’t fully met. I particularly enjoy “I Hear the Mountain Weep” and “The Sea.” The alternation of neoclassical guitar scales adds a touch of quality to the album.

Shylmagoghnar Convergence

Scar Symmetry| The Singularity (Phase II Xenotaph ) review:

One of the releases of 2023 that has resonated the most among melodic death metal enthusiasts: The Singularity (Phase II Xenotaph ). Despite being somewhat consistent with previous works, the final result of the album is more than satisfactory. The alternation of monstrous voices with others that are friendlier and more playful brings greater freshness to the album. The commercial touches in certain sections of the album provide greater accessibility to different audiences and also make the melodies more catchy. “Scorched Quadrant” and “Digiphrenia Dawn” are my favourites.


Sodomisery | Mazzaroth review:

One of the releases of 2023 that has resonated the most among melodic death metal enthusiasts. Despite being somewhat controversial among the metal fandom, the final result of Mazzaroth is more than satisfactory. The alternation of monstrous voices with others that are friendlier and more playful brings greater freshness to the album. The commercial touches in certain sections of the album provide greater accessibility to different audiences and also make the melodies more catchy. “Storm Without a Wind” and “Coming Home” are the best tracks, in my opinion.

Sodomisery Mazzaroth

Fires in the Distance | Air Not Meant for Us review:

When Fires in the Distance released Air Not Meant for Us, I liked it, but it didn’t strike me as anything extraordinary. As I listened to it more, I liked it more. I think the approach this album takes is different from the rest of the melodic death metal albums I’ve heard this year. It has an aura of serenity, enhanced by the piano notes, which bring brilliance to the composition. Another thing I like about this album is that it’s a complete journey: the songs show coherence and cohesion between them, making listening to the entire album easy and enjoyable.

Fires in the Distance Air Not Meant for Us

Insomnium | Anno 1696 review:

I think many fans would agree that this has been the best release in melodic death metal. Anno 1696 it’s a well-rounded, deep, varied, and emotional album. Its great dynamism makes it very easy to listen to from start to finish. Each song is different and stands out for some specific element: choruses, riffs, solos, acoustic sections, keyboards… Loved the vocals also, specially in “White Chris”.

The distinctive style of many famous bands is also appreciated, such as the acoustic style of Opeth and the keyboards (they reminded me of Damnation in the song “The Unrest”. Insomnium have also added features elements similar to Ghost and Dark Tranquility throughout the album.

In conclusion, an incredible album that I won’t get tired of for a long time.

Insomnium Anno 1696

Which is the best Melodic Death Metal album of 2023?

Insomnium, with Anno 1696, is the clear winner of the best melodic death metal albums of this year. What a masterpiece! Anno 1696 have completely blown my mind.

Final Ranking of the Best of Death Metal of 2023:

Here is a list of all melodic death metal albums which we have talked about in this post:

  • Hinayana – Shatter and Fall | 10º
  • In Flames – Foregone | 9º
  • Kalmah – Kalmah | 8º
  • Mors Subita – Origin of Fire | 7º
  • Majesties – Vast Reaches Unclaimed | 6º
  • Shylmagoghnar – Convergence | 5º
  • Scar Symmetry – The Singularity (Phase II Xenotaph ) | 4º
  • Sodomisery – Mazzaroth | 3º
  • Fires in the Distance – Air Not Meant for Us | 2º
  • Insomnium – Anno 1696 | 1º
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