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04.01.24 60's Rock and Psychedelic List of Kicks03.30.24 Approaching 6666 Ratings
02.19.24 My electronic sideproject (BetweentheSk02.17.24 Assemblage's Top Metal of 2023
01.27.24 My 4.0's with only a single rating on t01.20.24 My 5.0's and 4.5's with 20 ratings or l
09.09.23 Eminem Ranked 202306.01.23 Cattle Decapitation Ranked
03.24.23 Buckethead Ranked (2017-2019) - Pikes 203.19.23 Buckethead Ranked (2016) - Pikes 220-24
02.24.23 Deeds of Flesh Ranked?11.09.22 Ulcerate - Of Fracture and Failure Re-R
09.30.22 Meshuggah Songs Ranked08.08.22 Every BTBAM song Ranked
08.04.22 Depression04.18.22 My First 100 4's of 2022
04.16.22 Nothing-Sphere04.11.22 This Meshuggah Tracklist is Ruthless
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Assemblage's Top Metal of 2023

What a wholesomely stacked year it was. I wanted to post this list yesterday, but ultimately decided to sit on it one more day. As I'm nearing 300 releases, and considering I probably won't be delving much further afterwards with many of the genres presented, I feel good about where it sits. I'll still poke and prod around at non-metal releases from the year as time goes on of which I'm wholly open to recs, but it's been harder meeting up with anything that sticks. For general purposes, this list is loosely ranked after the first 30, but of course mileage will vary by user. In total, this was aggregated from 275 ratings in the year (a bit lower than previous outings) but what matters is hopefully some users picking out something they haven't heard and enjoying it.

With all qualities considered, my favorite release and my favorite "sounding" release of 2023. While I still have to revisit much of their older material, sonically there hasn't been much that has scratched the same itch as 2013's Világvége for me, ever since it came out. I love everything about Yonni's voice in general, and for the first time since the aforementioned album, their music drew from the same stew that enlightened me ten years ago. This seems to have drawn some criticism in the 'similarity of intensity, but with a toned down production', of which I have none- the drawback to Világvége is that unless to a seasoned listener, or with headphones itself, the static overtone makes much of the album's riffage and patterning indistinguishable, as it is awash with a homogenous palate which itself adds to the bleakness and intensity of the 'end of the world'. Here, they seemed to have returned to a similar composition style that was evoked (in my eyes) singularly with that album,
Venomous Curse

above cont. - and in turn with an added cleaner production so the elements are discernable ever a bit moreso. Some can see this as a more glossy approach but I find this to be somewhat necessary if one just happens to be listening with poorer technological speakers/devices, as is the case for my poor self. In my opinion, the intensity is still all there, and I think it took all of about 45 seconds for me to be gripped and grinning with delight at the apparent return to the more abrupt and significant style of "Világvége 2.0", that to me is their contributable influence, and throughout, the album offered a true and honest delivering with perhaps a bit more "modernized" sound. Multiple listenings have proven to me, that with the sound of everything combined here alone, but also with the structure and flow of the album itself (with minor predictability) it was the most complete package of metal that has been offered in the year, with too many perfect shifts in composition to be ignored.
3Tomb Mold
The Enduring Spirit

One of a few albums, the next entry included, where I was surprised at the more lukewarm reception. It is a little basic/redundant/drawn out in "some" of the simpler heavy passages throughout, if to add a bit of stretch to the tracks in getting them from Point A to Point B, but where the album shines in its divergence
and extended psychedelic/jazzy progressive atmosphere- is interestingly where it declines for many here. The album is a joy to listen to from front to back, but I believe it's strongest material is backended with Flesh as Armour onward, including one of the most impressive singular tracks to have come out in the year; the concluding "The Enduring Spirit of Calamity".
In But Not Of

The first Afterbirth I could really get behind, and it appears to be the least liked. I absolutely love the fusion and progression of the tracks and riffs here, as it is so much more encompassing of a multitude of genres outside of dm, even adding a bit of hard rock flavor. A solidly unique approach to songwriting in my opinion.
5Blindfolded and Led to the Woods
Rejecting Obliteration

The first album that released last year that got me by the goat.
I'm Picking Lights in a Field

beautiful in my eyes
7Bekor Qilish
The Flesh of a New God


Rock solid jazz-infused dm in my opinion.
8Wretched Fate
Carnal Heresy

Funny thing, is that I was never a fan of Bloodbath. I've only listened to their first two albums, so I'm not sure if I'm missing anything else, but like the Necrot from a few years before, I appreciate the straight stylings that are sprinkled in here while still delivering a solid crunch of dm composition. A Honey Bunches o' Oats, if you will.
9Dream Unending/Worm

It's the Worm end of things that really did it for me here. I haven't been too big on the Dream Unending stuff so far.
10Avrae Lvnae
Ntdd Strl
11Molecular Corporation
Millions of Dead Menposters

A wonderful, eclectic display of Sputnik's very own talented musicians, collected and expressing themselves in a manner of all genre in 22 displays of unique prowess, of which I was fortunate to be able to lend my own contribution in the form of BetweentheSkye. With only 32 ratings thus far, I can only hope exposure
of this continues to grow as well, and as well for each of the independent artists themselves, as it is a great entry into exploring different musical genres one may not be accustomed to in such a affluent and avant-garde release.
Alchemy for the Dead

'Sunset Burial' itself is extraordinary. I did technically have this in my top ten, but I think it dips ever slightly in the middle.
13Dismal Aura
Imperium Mortalia

Probably isn't anything too impressive at first, but it is rather unified in its approach. Very akin to Plebeian Grandstand at times.
14Lepra (USA-ME)
Devil's Blood in Her Tongue

the tits
Typho-Tantric Aphorisms From the Arachneophidian Qur'an

My soundoff - If you're not sure what to think about Typho-Tantric Aphorisms by artwork or opening track alone, just imagine some multi-limbed lurching beast with about eight high-speed titanium propeller blades attached to it spinning ridiculously fast in various directions, and it's completely intent on running toward you in some quasi-Ligottian nightmare shredding through entire forests in its path. Could bump up to a 4.5 depending on what else this year matches the intensity.
Unholy Deification
17Cattle Decapitation
Black Flame Eternal
Aelvica III
Storming The Walls

I was iffy on this at first, and I basically would have entirely cut the acoustic opener, but this is a power metal album that grows and grows as the tracks progress.
Knots of Abhorrence
23Penitence Onirique
Nature Morte
24Depraved Flesh
Depraved Flesh

The strength of this comes from being a 3 track EP- of which is comprised of what I would consider the three best tracks off of the full length released later in the year.

Nothing surprising for those familiar with the death metal genre, but it is three clean, concise cuts.
Leprous Daylight
Eye of Water

The final track is one of the top of the year.

Claustrum is a thin sheet of neurons and supporting glial cells, that connects to the cerebral cortex and subcortical regions including the amygdala, hippocampus and thalamus of the brain.
29Arid (USA-IL)
Abhorrent Reflections

A little bit of hardcore/punk inspired dm.

Black Canticles


This is an incredible bm release in my opinion. 'Lament of the Demure' is such a wonderful expose of black metal in just over 4 mins.

A non-metal release, that truly acts as the psychedelics and stoner rock journey it presents itself. Every song here is winding, progressive psych rock- purely instrumental, and eloquently captured. You will be lifted in a shuttle in a haze.

For some light but engaging tunes, I highly implore one to listen:
It All Returns To Nothing

It's a little clunky and on the nose at times, but it still brings the power and the passion that is required of the genre.
Clouds of Confusion

At times, godly clouds of profusion.

I do prefer the debut and am contemplating on doing a review for it. I find it to be much different in style, almost wholly different, and this is an interesting successor for sure.
Hymns From the Apocrypha

Suffo buffo
37Sulphur Aeon
Seven Crowns and Seven Seals
38Hig Geat
Demo I


quality bm at a good standard
39Acausal Intrusion
From The Bowels Of The Earth
Mass Cathexis 2 - The Kinetic Infinite

I am super on and off with Krallice, mostly I tend to ignore them and sometimes am pleased with the results.
In My Saddest Dreams, I Am Beside You
43Primordial Serpent
Adversary of God
The Consecratory Secretion
Homicidal Ecstasy

Simple enough but still works at the proper times to get you rockin.
Drudge To The Thicket
Ontological Mysterium
48Dying Fetus
Make Them Beg for Death
49Demonic Being
Invocations From the Ancient Path

This, and the following entry, are the two most recent additions to the list. I.e., I was listening to them as I was making this list, and since sputnik didn't accept my submission the first time, I had to attempt this twice. Thank god I had my main comments in the beginning already saved.
50Ceremonial Bloodbath
Genesis of Malignant Entropy

Sounded like a solid 4 to me, but I was also pissed by the time I had to do this twice.
Visions of Infinihility
A Beautiful Dream

Underrated I would say. Granted it dwindles out by the last two 9 minute tracks, but I loved a little bit of everything that came before.
Nothing Stays Hidden In Daylight

this and the next entry both need another relisten to entirely recall. If anything, this had a unique sound in the Mastodon-esque take on post metal.

too far ago to definitively recall, but I felt it was pretty solid.
55Crown Magnetar
Everything Bleeds
56Asystole (USA-NY)
Siren To Blight
57Dead Feathers
Full Circle

Another non-metal release. A rock/doom psychedelic piece with some late-70's vocalizings. Track 5- 'The Swell' is immensely composed, dare I say prolific, and the whole album works very well as a light, soft rocking listen.

Found this quite epic and intriguing the first time, but oddly dropped in enjoyability with a revisit. I've only heard the sister record once.
59Molested Divinity
The Primordial

Felt a little taxing still after the second and third go-around, though it can be said that it delivers on what you'd expect.
60Baring Teeth
The Path Narrows
Deformity Adrift

About here on the list is a take or leave it type of thing. Nothing I would consider essential, but good supporting characters if you're into that type of thing.
62Reverence To Paroxysm
Lux Morte
63Sulfuric Hatred
Sulfuric Hatred

[The debut self-titled album by emerging East Coast chaos-mongering warnoise terrorists, Sulfuric Hatred...] [brings a new meaning and purpose to the concept of dehumanizing music and of its forced transmutation into a weapon...]
Black Tar


revitalized punk?
To Gaze Longer at the Earth
66Moonlight Sorcery
Horned Lord of the Thorned Castle
67Lauren Bousfield

breaks, glitch, industrial

I haven't heard anything sound like Nero's Day At Disneyland "From Rotting Fantasylands" ever until this, come to find out she IS Nero's Day at Disneyland? Incredible!

'Headstone Prices On Credit' video -

Album bandcamp -

Lauren Bousfield bandcamp -

Listening to this some more now, and I could kick myself because it is absolutely a 4 and should be somewhere around the Top 20.
Let the Earth Be Silent

69 Taproot

Damn, well I guess the weird font for this album title is screwing with the album showing up. Anyway, Taproot has always been a band that has stuck with me, mostly for my praise of Blue-Sky Research and the nostalgia of Welcome/Gift, and unashamedly I still spin them rather regularly as opposed to most other acts from the same style and era. Only a few have stuck around to receive my attention later on, and I'm glad to say that even though with a rocky late career this album isn't actually a disappointment to fans/listeners. It's a little short as it all goes by rather quick, but nearly all the cuts are either decent or solid. There's not much old style which I guess is fine since it wouldn't be expected, but there's some moments that seem to (intentionally?) play as little callbacks to their earlier stages- I think most notably in the opener, but it's all a little neat. A little bit of silliness could drag the album down in passing for some, but most tracks benefit after a few repeats
No Dawn for the Caliginous Night

starting here, will be some selective shoutouts- basically an honorable mentions for albums I've given a 3.5 but may be missed due to under-exposure and are mostly consistent with the qualities of a 4.0 that users would still benefit from giving a listen. I'm not sure how many I want to include but I have enough to do a good 25, and I'll add them here in the next few hours.
71Anna Mieke

A 2022 release, but with 11 ratings- folk, country, indie folk. Some very tunefully, mellow atmosphere to the folk rock leanings. Just adding here for exposure. I only recently heard, but if it was from 2023 it would qualify much higher on the list. The first four tracks are what I consistently return the most to, but I'm sure many would appreciate them all.

72Koyo (US)
Would You Miss It?

While we may have moved passed a lot of the radio-friendly sounding emo punk from the early 2000's, a few of these tracks remain fun and hard-kicking once in a while, and I appreciate it in 2023. Get some juice.

3.5While we may have moved passed a lot of the radio-friendly sounding emo punk from the early 2000's, a few of these tracks remain fun and hard-kicking once in a while, and I appreciate it in 2023. Get some juice.

Rat Saw God

Are you a Bull Believer?

Static Church

A hard rock/blackened sludge with some good emphasis on the sludge. Tracks 2 and 3 are the highlight, cause they rock hard.


A 2021 release but nobody is gonna know about it.

Would be higher but its not from 2023.

More of a 3.0/3.5 for me, it's gonna sound very 80's glam/speed metally, but good for a trip back to the past every now and then. 'Nostalgia' is an appropriate album title/concept. Can't help but love in some way, the start of 'Coming Alive'

'Coming Alive' -

Enforcer - Nostalgia (album)-

jazz rock/fusion

77Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean
Obsession Destruction

pretty damn wrenching of a release if you ask me, and the highs are exceptional.

Terror Management Theory

Progressive metal that works when it's at its best. Loses some of its ideas near the end however, without much to have it cinch a higher position.

79Russian Circles

Good old Russian Circles, but something a little more consistent than their last few releases.

80Quantum Void
Escaping Reality

some quality technical thrash

On the Verge

some instrumental hard rock/sludge but is a little bogged down apart from its quality opener. The good side of Buckethead-ish at times.

82Abyssal Rift
Extirpation Dirge
83At The Altar Of The Horned God
Heart of Silence
84Evil Corpse
Nuclear Remains

just a classic thrash ep, nothing extraordinary but included for slight variation
Almost Human

Last track is awesome, and I don't particularly mind the whole album in one sitting either.
To Infect | To Inflict
87Inner Void
Adverse Emanations From the Tree of Death
88Seraphic Entombment
Sickness Particles Gleam

A recent acquisition, and though standard, it packed a fair bit of enjoyment.
Book of Ruination

Their 2023 release

I'd have to say their 2021 EP 'Static Church' showed a lot of promise that is mostly/kind-of met, here on the debut release. What was most gripping on the aforementioned release were the extended, slightly repetitive instrumental breaks in the latter two songs that had such infectious riffs you honestly didn't care how often they repeat, and the song structures were simple yet effective enough it sort of allowed for maximum impact. Here, the slightly veering arrangement is cut down to a quiet minimum, not really allowing for the space in the songs that were there before- not that it's really all that condensed, but just seems more of a simplified approach altogether. The songs work I suppose, as intended- by quick in-and-outs, but I guess you could say it as a compliment still, to have anticipated a little more. By no means a bad release, you can get through the majority of this in 25 mins.

90Teenage Wrist
Still Love

Just heard this but I think it's a good 3.5/4.0. The title track was especially great.

some impeccable chillrock that every so often sends waves of atmospheric distortion crashing upon its shores. I loved every track here, but the highlights were Possession, Reversal, and the closer. The whole album flows really well.

Dragonectomy (Chased Through a Dungeon by a Hor

I didn't add this, but it's a single track and honestly pretty sweet. Deathcore/synthcore
93Galactic Twin
How To See Through Walls

lofi, electronic, experimental

How To See Through Walls -
A Horrifying Death

The only track I didn't really like was Infamous. 'Devoured' is a staple listen, and you also get another 3 great tracks along with it, including the more adventure-taking title track which opens up the ep aside from the acoustic intro.
96Nuclear Power Trio
Wet Ass Plutonium

4.0 Instrumental thrash jazz-fusion. Could go to a 4.5
97Sentinels (US)
In Limbo


3 tracks + 3 instrumentals

solid parts, but I probably just dig the vocal versions a bit more. It has a sort of Fallujah feel to me, melodically.
98Sufferance (AUS)
Spawn of a Dream

3 track EP. Absolutely nothing groundbreaking, but still an easy three tracks to absorb and spin enjoyably.
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