Best Metal albums of 2023 We Have Missed

In 2023, RiffRiot has shone a spotlight on the metal genre’s vibrant tapestry throught the task of gathering the best metal albums of 2023, revealing a year brimming with innovation, skillful execution, and profound musical depth spanning its varied subgenres. We’ve seen everything from the rich storytelling and intricate compositions of progressive and avant-garde metal to the pure, unadulterated energy and aggression of thrash and melodic death metal, captivating and challenging our musical sensibilities.

The groove metal scene was no stranger to boundary-pushing, with albums like Prong’s State of Emergency and Methane’s Kill It With Fire energizing fans with their infectious dynamism and creative boldness. Meanwhile, the doom metal domain provided introspective journeys with Beholden by Inherus and The Oath by Lord Mountain, showcasing the genre’s knack for evoking deep, reflective emotional experiences through its slow, weighty, and atmospheric soundscapes.

Venturing into the more experimental territories, avant-garde metal albums like Botanist’s VIII: Selenotrope and Code Orange’s”The Above took listeners on exploratory odysseys, defying traditional metal conventions with their innovative instrumentation and genre fusion. Thrash metal kept its signature ferocity alive and well, with ExmortusNecrophony and Xoth’s Exogalactic infusing the genre’s high-speed intensity with fresh, genre-blurring elements.

Melodic death metal continued to resonate deeply, with emotionally charged and technically proficient releases like Scar Symmetry’s The Singularity (Phase II Xenotaph) and Sodomisery’s Mazzaroth. These albums perfectly balanced melodic intricacy with raw power, weaving stories that struck a chord with listeners.

Yet, as extensive as our exploration has been, there remain exceptional albums we either overlooked or discovered too late. These hidden gems, though not covered in our initial roundup, stand as second chance to revisit some of the best metal albums of 2023 we have missed. Let´s check them out!

Dawn of Existence | Ancient Arts review:

Ancient arts by Dawn of Existence is a solid classic Melodic Death metal album, which stands out due to its appealing synths effects and dynamic range of vocals. They also alternate between callous sections with more serene ones, approaching doom metal paces. Personally, I enjoyed the most songs like “Satan Spacelord” for its Finnish melodeath style. Ancient Arts will be an interesting listening for both melodeath and doom metal fans.

Link to his Bandcamp profile attached in the album cover.

Dawn of Existence - Ancient Arts


LIVING PROOF by DRAIN, praised for its fusion of thrash metal and hardcore punk, stands out as a powerful, energetic album ideal for gym enthusiasts seeking a high-octane soundtrack to their workouts. This album captures the essence of both genres, delivering solid, hard-hitting tracks that embody the band’s signature blend of intensity and melody, making it a compelling listen for fans of vigorous, motivating music​.


Reduce | Nobody Wins review:

This EP brought back my interest for grunge metal style. Nobody Wins by Reduce, from Portugal, presents a great compilation of juicy riffs with very compelling vocals. However, there is an interesting blend of different metal genres and influences, but they define themselves as alternative metal. Makes sense. In addition to this, this is the perfect type of album which could also like a non-metalhead because of its accesibility and catchy sections. The band has a bright future ahead because of their quality music, youth and good vibes.

Link to his Bandcamp profile attached in the album cover.

Reduce - Nobody Wins

Halysis | Unbury the Sun review:

Hailing from Lahti, Finland, Halysis merges melodic death metal with progressive metal, creating a compelling sound landscape in their latest full-length album, Unbury the Sun. They’ve captured attention with their dynamic rhythms and standout harsh vocals, showcased against themes of life and death. This album exemplifies their skill in blending aggressive energy with intricate melodies, making Halysis a band to seriously take into account if thinking about both progressive and melodic death metal bands. Such a solid record.

Link to his Bandcamp profile attached in the album cover.

Halysis - Unbury the Sun

Crypta | Shades of Sorrow review:

Crypta’s Shades of Sorrow stands out as a solid homage to old-school death metal, infused with thrash elements, all carried out by an all-female powerhouse that crafts a dark and brutal atmospheric experience. This album not only shows the band’s ability to master the genre but also brings a fresh perspective, also proving their significant mark in the metal scene with their spectacular concerts.

Crypta Shades of Sorrow

Earthside | Let the Truth Speak review:

Let The Truth Speak by Earthside is celebrated for its artistic progressive metal approach, similar to Ayreon in its organization and experimental flair reminiscent of Pink Floyd. The album’s dynamic range and engaging guest artists contribute to a rich, enjoyable listening experience. Its atmospheric instrumentals and diverse vocal tracks create a lush soundscape across prog metal, soul, jazz, and ambient styles, making it a compelling journey for listeners. “We Who Lament” stands out as the best song.

Earthside - Let the Truth Speak

Blindfolded and Led to the Woods | Rejecting Oblitaration review:

Blindfolded and Led to the Woods’ Rejecting Obliteration is a striking journey through progressive death metal adorned with hardcore elements and an astonishing variety of rhythms, including unexpected jazz sections. This unique amalgamation results in an intriguing, if challenging, listening experience that’s as ‘ugly’ as it is captivating, demonstrating the band’s adventurous spirit and their ability to blend seemingly disparate musical styles into a cohesive, enjoyable whole.

Blindfolded and Led to the Woods - Rejecting Obliteration

Carnosus | Visions of Infinihility review:

Carnosus’s Visions of Infinihility has been celebrated for its intricate blend of technical death metal with thrash influences, progressive elements, and a touch of jazz. The album has sophisticated guitar work, varied vocal styles, and complex song structures, offering a fresh take on the tech-death genre. This release showcases Carnosus’s ambition and growth, crafting songs that balance technical prowess with coherence. Great artwork by the way.

Carnosus - Visions of Infinihility

Sacred Outcry | Towers of Gold review:

Towers of Gold by Sacred Outcry stands as one of my favourite power metal albums ever. Also, it is one of the best metal albums of 2023. The album weaves a tapestry of epic tales and muscular riffs. This offering elevates power metal traditions with its grandiose scope and compelling musicianship, making it a significant addition to the genre’s legacy​. The reason why this album was not reviewed last year is because we did not have enough quality material to create a power metal ranking.

Sacred Outcry - Towers of Gold

Green Lung | This Heathen Land review:

Green Lung’s This Heathen Land is a masterful blend of classic rock, doom, and folk influences, weaving tales of paganism, nature, and witchcraft. With dense guitar work and captivating organ play, the album creates a mesmerizing atmosphere. Its songs range from the heavy and anthemic to the contemplative, showing a broad musical and thematic range. Overall, this is a magical musical experience.

Green Lung - Heathen Land


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