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Dewi's 2023: A Year in Review

The time has come folks, but you know what, I don't feel like doing the usual top 100 albums of the year, not even a top 50, I don't feel like ranking anything this year so i decided to just list up the albums I enjoyed (my favorite of each week!), mention some others I dug or missed and just give you a quick overlook of how the year unfolded for me. There were great albums this year but I have the feeling nothing really stuck with me on a deep level like in other years. Anyway, here's how 2023 went for me. This will probably be my last list this year before I go on with the 60s run, etc, so have a great holidays, and see you all nex.... in the comments. ;*
1Nicole Dollanganger
Married in Mount Airy

Week of January 6

The year started slow like always, new Mechina came out like clockwork on the 1st, I reviewed it and then I went on to review Nicole Dollbanger's newest release which honestly has stayed with me the whole year. Beautiful album, her style is quite unique and the title track is one of my favorite songs of the year.

This week also had some other interesting albums like the first of the 3 Hoplites albums that came this year, crazy black metal/chaotic core from China, the last one of The Howling Void, pretty decent for classic gothic doom fans, and that Cicada album that Johnny reviewed, which was perfect for working/studying. Iggy Pop and RuPaul also released albums but apparently no one cares or remembers.
Second Death

Week of January 13

I was on a good streak of reviews at this time, I usually am at the beginning of the year, then motivation dwindles considerably for some reason. The Finnish Kartoanism cult band draws a very blurry line between being an act or actually being this crazy. In any case, this album is insanely good, a must listen for doom fans and it would easily place on my top 10 of the year.

January started to pick up early. I missed Margo Price's new album although I jammed it later in the year and I quite enjoyed it. Ahab and Obituary also put out really good albums, and I even reviewed the Obituary one much later. Apart from that, the guy from Shining released a new project called Høstsol and it ripped and fans of death doom should jam Slog's "Divination". it was murky as fuck.
Sky Void of Stars

Week of January 20

I guess you can say I'm the culprit, along with Willie, for having placed accidentally Katatonia on the top 10 of the staff list (lol), but in all honesty, I really liked this record, and I said all I needed about it on my review. I still think it's the best Katatonia has put since the days of "Night is the New day", but of course you're welcome to disagree (which you have done aplenty in the staff list comment section, we got it.)

This week was loaded. Imperium Dekadenz, Twilight Force, Nothingness, Re-Buried were some of the other albums I enjoyed. I actually did a second review this week for Dryad, if you like black metal with a punk vibe and a submarine theme you should check it out, and the new Tribunal also came out of nowhere, they are a pretty good doom act from Canada. Good ol' pizzamachine did a review for it so go check that out too.
4...and Oceans
As in Gardens, So in Tombs

Week of January 27

This was a funny coincidence cause years before I had reviewed a Festerday album and went into this without knowing they were actually the same people. It's crazy how different both bands are, which also adds to the merits of this album. This was the first, I'd say, great black metal of the year, a worthy succesor of "Cosmic Void Mother" even if some don't agree, but this album has aged really nicely through the year. The first two tracks are really out of this world.

Lil Yachty released an album this week, which I jammed later in the year and even if I thought it wouldn't be my thing, it was actually pretty good. Hammock also released a new album this week and well, it was a Hammock album. I also enjoyed that album by Complete Mountain Almanac. Metal fans would probably do good in check Anachronism for some dissodeath, Bizarrekult if only for that incredible opener, Malleus for some good blackened punk death metal, or Mono Inc. for some good and catchy goth rock.
Let the Earth Be Silent

Week of February 3

And then came February. I was pretty hyped about Fvnerals third full length, really, this fucking band is the soundtrack for the end of the world. I went on to review it hoping to throw some light on it but I think it still passed under the radar for many. It's close to what Chelsea Wolfe would sound if she did funeral doom with a post metal vibe, so if that's your thing be sure to check it out.

Some other albums I heard this week: Long awaited new album by the Go! Team, it was good but not as good as "Semicircle", Young Fathers, I enjoyed some tracks but mostly not my thing, Sanguisausagebog, always a pleasure, I actually missed it until Triple D reminded me to jam it around August or so. Xandria also put out a new one, and it was alright. What else... Ah! Check Trespasser and Tentakult for some good BM/DM respectively too!
This Is Why

Week of February 10

My obsession with black and death metal releases started to wind down around this time. Not that Paramore had anything to do with it though. Or maybe it did? I really enjoyed most of the tracks of this record, although I gotta admit I skip a few when I'm not in the mood. I still enjoy it more than "After Laughter" but it's pretty far from the likes of "Riot", which it seems it will always remain my favorite from them.

In Flames made a comeback, I'll let you decide how that went, I only heard it once and didn't make it to the end. The new Kelela was nice and I almost regret not hearing it more. I was more or less curious about the new Delain too, and I still enjoy a couple of songs but not the whole album. Carnosus was an interesting discovery as far as death metal goes, Fredlös put a out a great folk metal record, I think my brother manosg reviewed it, and Deviser released a black metal banger that I also wish I had spent more time with.
7The Abbey
Word of Sin

Week of February 17

I entered a review slump around this time but fortunately pizzamachine picked up my slack and he kindly reviewed this album. I was really between this or Hellripper for the favorite spot but I think I enjoyed The Abbey a bit more. This album was a blessing for stoner doom fans, with members of Hexvessel, Shape of Despair and Sentenced, plus if you haven't heard "Starless" I suggest you do that as soon as you can.

Skrillex and Pink released albums this week if that's your thing. I heard the new Orbital just once, it was alright. The double Ulthar release, I kept postponing it and I still haven't heard it. Tithe put out one of the most brutal albums I heard this year, and I remember I wanted to check an album by a band called Grandma's Ashes cause I liked the singles but I forgot.
夢​之​駭​客 Dream Hacker

Week of February 24

Oh shite! I almost forgot but ECW's otay:onii also released "Dream Hacker" two days before the official friday and Johnny made a superb review for it. I thought it was Insomnium week but it wasn't, I remember now. Insomnium's "Anno 1696", the new Algiers and the new Megaton Sword, any of these three albums could have been in there too but eventually it was the new solo work of Elizabeth Colour Wheel's frontwoman that dominated the week. New ECW is gonna be quite an event next year.

This week also had the new Gorillaz which I ignored cause I never liked them, the new Model/Actriz which seems to be great but I also ignored it, the new Shame, which i wish Papa Uni was here to talk about it, the new BIG|BRAVE which Jesper made a fantastic review for and it's a band I keep thinking I should enjoy them but somehow I don't, and the new The Necks which was obviously great. Host, Omega Infinity and Death Valley Girls were also jammed and enjoyed.

Week of March 3

MARCH! Oh god, this month started strong but the middle was quite dry. Enslaved's new album blew my head off on first listen with "Behind the Mirror". If I'm in the minority of those that enjoy Progslaved so be it, but this album is just amazing from start to finish. Haken also came close to snatch the spot with "Fauna" but ultimately Enslaved reigned supreme this week.

Some other albums I enjoyed were the new Majesties, fans of old school melodeath shouldn't miss it, the new album from Finnish shoegazers Radio Supernova which I though Jesper would review but he didn't (tsk tsk Jesperrrr...). Ella Vos released a really good bouncy pop record, of wich "Mind Reader" made it to my list of favorite tunes of the year. Plague Bearer for crusty death metal fans and Hamasarii (pretty sure I mispelled it) for prog metal spaghetti, were also a couple of albums I enjoyed this week.
10Fever Ray
Radical Romantics

Week of March 10

Exactly what the doctor ordered for this week. Potsy would be proud. The new Fever Ray didn't disappoint, in fact, it ripped. A certain CaptainAaarrrggghhh reviewed it nicely though I have no idea whose alt is this so credit to you, anonymous familiar.

Sleaford Mods managed to piss off their entire fanbase, Periphery tried to play smart but backfired, Miley Cyrus also released something, and even Suicide Silence showed up. Thank god Fever Ray saved the week. Our very own robertsona was very happy Godcaster released a new album and he made a video being stoned out of his ass about it, which was absolute quality, so go check that on the staff blog (WRONG, the video was for 12 Rods!!). Frozen Crown released a very enjoyable heavy metal record and I also tried to keep the death metal / black metal flame alive with releases from Bastard Grave and Unfelled but they didn't stick much.
Of Existential Distortion

Week of March 17

This week was a slog. I was also getting burned out and 100 gecs and Yves Tumor were dominating the week so I retreated back to the void and started digging there. I got into a BM/ DM kick again and Úlfud was one of my findings. Amazing blackened death metal album with touches of melodic bm that I'm sure a lot of people missed.

M83, Invent Animate, Chelsea Grin, All Time Low are names that mean nothing to me but I guess some of you were happy to hear. U2 destroyed themeselves with "Songs of Surrender", Japanese metallic hardcore stalwarts Kruelty released a really good album but they are not my thing. I tried the Lana del Rabies album and it was alright, a bit too caustic for me. The collaboration between The Colorist Orchestra and Emilíana Torrini was another album I heard a lot but eventually forgot about and had no wish to revisit.

Week of March 24

New Liturgy was a test of resilience and patience to be completely honest. At times I thought it was great, at times I felt I was being laughed at. This is the week I should had been checking the JPEGMAFIA & Danny Brown album that made it to the staff list's 1st spot, but between you and me, I still haven't heard it, or the new Lankum, which I did check last week and really liked it, but somehow they both passed me by.

I did check the new Depeche Mode and the new Babymetal but as they entered one ear they left through the other. I was really looking forward to the new Acid King but I didn't enjoy how dense it was. Hanging Garden on the other hand was a very nice surprise, really good ol' doom, and it almost made it as my favorite of the week. Gatekeeper brought the classic heavy metal vibe I was craving for and Nightwish's very own Floor Jensen released a pretty decent solo album too although I gotta admit I didn't spend too much time with it.
Songs of Abundance, Psalms of Grief

Week of April 7

April brought what I felt it was the first real candidate for AOTY, and more importantly, it made me want to write again so I ended up reviewing it. Can't recommed this album enough. "Bloom", "Galleries", "Dream Hive", "Obey", any of these tracks were among my favorite songs of the year. Really amazing debut from this new project of Amaya Lopez Carromero a.k.a. Maud the Moth and Scott McLean from Ashenspire.

Although healthyliving didn't leave much time for other records, I managed to hear the new Daughter which was ok, the new project of former Crippled Black Phoenix vocalist, Ison, which was pretty good although a bit too sparse, the new Lurk, which is a good time if you're in death doom mood, and even better if you wanna go further down with the new Nekus. There was a band called Stormhaven that I wanted to hear but eventually forgot although the singles were really interesting,
14Fire! Orchestra

Week of April 14

This was one of the most eventful weeks of the year as far as releases go. A lot of albums came close to be my favorite of the week, with Dødheimsgard's avant-garde black metal proposal being the closest but eventually Fire! Orchestra took the spot. A very different take from "Arrival", an absolute monster of an album clocking at almost 2 hours. Fire! Orchestra's latest took its time but whenever I put it on it never fails to surprise me. Incredibly thankful to tectactoe for writing it up too, he did a hell of a job so go read it!

On this week, the (long awaited?) new Metallica album came out, along with the new Overkill which was far more interesting, new Temples, who still can't seem to recapture the magic of their debut, Jesus Piece which was so heavy I had to tap out of it, and also new releases by VoidCeremony, Poison Ruin and Sangre de Muerdago which I wish I had more time for.
15Blood star
First Sighting

Week of April 21

I've been feeling a rekindled love for classic heavy metal. Being the genre that I grew up with I'm not surprised and watching Blane's segment at the Bangers TV channel where he goes through some of the upcoming albums of every month always gets me in the mood. One of the bands I discovered there were Blood Star. These guys get it, I think it's the side project of the guitar player from Visigoth, along an amazing vocalist called Madeline Smith. I actually got this on vinyl because it also features artwork from Ryan T. Hancock and I really like his style.

Everything but the Girl and Alfa Mist had new albums this week and I skimmed over them but never heard them in full. What I did hear in full and enjoyed were the new Bell Witch, the new Dorthia Cottrell and the new Smoulder, which included one of the best heavy metal songs I heard this year, "The Talisman and the Blade". I spent some time with the new Tanith too, really good and also tried the new 69 Eyes but nah...
16Tiny Ruins

Week of April 28

This was a difficult week for me. After four years I had decided to quit o'summer vacation and stop drumming due to health issues, mostly headaches and lack of family time. They went on to tour Germany with another drummer and I don't know, I just felt like shit for a while. So going back through this week's releases I realized I didn't really enjoy anything in particular. I decided to include an album I've been interested in all year but never got around to hear it (i'm doing it right now).

I guess it could have been the new Jessie Ware, or the new Susanne Sundfor, ort the new JFDR,or hell, even Fires in the Distance which I did try but never got why it's being hyped everywhere else. I did hear the new Spotlights, which did very little for me, and the new Lunar Chamber which I remember being good but can't remember why. I'm pretty sure I missed a lot of releases this week but it seems my mind was somewhere else.
17Blood Ceremony
The Old Ways Remain

Week of May 5

But then came Blood Ceremony and the put me in such a good mood, damn I love this album. Easy top 5 of the year for me which I hope it was clear in my review for it. There was a new Therapy? that I hoped it got me back into them but it didn't, and a couple of vintage metal from Enforcer and Haunt that didn't live up to the hype so Blood Ceremony had basically no competition.

Apart from that, there was a surprisingly good album by a very unknown act called They Watch Us From the Moon that felt like Abba covering Saint Vitus and Alice in Chains which I really recommend, and a new album by dark jazz ensemble Midnight Smoke called "Retronoir" which was quite enjoyable too. And that was more or less it for the week of May 5... I think.
18Cattle Decapitation

Week of May 12

I didn't get into this album until recently so its inclusion here doesn't mean it was the album I enjoyed the most that week. On the other hand, in retrospect, this an amazing album, very twisted and really well performed and produced. I think I spent this week trying to get into the new Midwife & Vyva Melinkolya album to review it but eventually passed on it, and also trying to comprehend why Esben and the Witch had decided to release an album with no drums.

Apart from this, not much on the Dewi front, I was still interested in challenging myself with extreme releases like that Impetuous Ritual album and some other releases from Sentient Ruin and Profound Lore that I forgot, which are always interesting to experience but I wouldn't call them an enjoyable experience.
19The Ocean

Week of May 19

The Ocean had very big shoes to fill after the last two or three albums. This one wasn't as immediate and if it wasn't for Karin Park's inclusion in "Unconformities" I don't think I wouldn't have given this album as many chances as I did, but in the end it clicked. It may not be what was expected of them, but it's a great release anyway.

Paul Simon released his new album this week and I missed it until Sowing mentioned it in his 2023 AOTY list. I still gotta get around it. Also Yes came back, and even my dad, the hardest Yes fan that ever lived approved it, so I guess I should check it out too. Frozen Soul was a disappointment, too many features and I still prefer their debut; Blindfolded And Led To The Woods released a pretty decent album, brought to us by our favorite chef, mr. Gnocchi. Tectactoe also introduced me to this amazing jazz act called The End, that you should all check cause they are amazing and I even reviewed that album by Shadows that I almost forgot.

Week of May 26

One of the many surprises of the year was this one man project from Czech Republic via the US. Death metal that feels like a sunstroke after trying to traverse a desert instead of the usual frozen landscape, crypts, and other death metal inspired lanscape. If you haven't checked it yet be sure to do it because it is quite something. Our man Koris weaved a pretty good review for it, so go read it!

This was quite a slow week otherwise. Immortal came back and I enjoyed it for a few days until I completely casted it away, I tried to enjoy the new Cloak and the new Kalmah, both good albums but they didn't stick, and there was some black metal... Nattverd i think, which I remember it being good. Maud the Moth and trajedesaliva released a collaboration album and it was really good but I discovered it too late, otherwise it could have ended up there on the favorite spot.
Hive Mind Narcosis

Week of June 2

No rest for the wicked. June was pretty slow for me, music wise, I had family visiting and went on holidays for half of the month so not much to go with here. This dropped before I went on a break and it didn't disappoint. I know some of my fellow staffers really hate it but I don't know, I find it really interesting.

I could have gone with Foo Fighters, Avenged 7xfold or Protomartyr so I guess it could always have been worse. I'm still curious about Beach Fossils, which I've seen in many lists this year, and Ok Goodnight which I actually came around to check just last week, it was very good. Pupil Slicer were alright, an interesting twist on their formula, they might be up to something better in the future, Wytch Hazel also got a new album which i heard a lot but concluded that their past material is better. I missed some albums I wanted to check like Bongzilla or Necrofier but oh well, there's always the future.

Week of June 9

I was on a break here so I missed most of this week. I guess you were all too busy trying to find a way to enjoy the new Janelle Monae. I was interested in the new Dream Wife and still haven't heard it. Instead, I trusted you guys and went for this Tenhi album on the little time I had. In hindsight it was the perfect choice. Great summer night album.

Revisiting this month not long ago, I heard releases from Burial Horde, Scar Symmetry (this one was pretty good) and Johnny the Boy (some of the members of Crippled Black Phoenix) which was alright I guess. Apart from ths, all I remember is the heat, the bugs and the headaches.
23King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard
PetroDragonic Apocalypse; or, Dawn of Eternal Night: An Annihilation of...

Week of June 16

Out of holidays and back into the fold, this album put me back in shape. What a suckerpunch of stoner prog goodness, the more I hear it, the more I like it. I would say it's my favorite from them but i think I said the same of LW, too many fucking albums.

I deliberatedly passed on the new QOTSA cause fuck Josh Homme and instead spent some time with the new Ben Howard although I did replace the ugly ass cover with a random pic of him and the new Sigur Ros which was alright. I wish they remembered they used to have a drummer. Thy Catafalque and Sarmat released interesting albums but demanded time I didn't have. I did have time for Russian BM band Arkona, which released their best album up to date.
The Beggar

Week of June 23

Not sure why me, you, them keep listening to this band but the truth is that Swans released another titanic record that I'm not sure I've assimilated it yet. There weren't many other options though. Triangulo de Amor Bizarro came close to the favorite spot but I can't deal with the songs with a male lead, they are just terrible.

There were a few releases I wanted to hear but didn't, like that Miserere Luminis album, or Krigsgrav. For some reason, I didn't feel like much new music these days and I remember I went back to jamming the classics for a while.
Monuments to Absence

Week of July 7

I don't know why I was mildly disappointed when this dropped, but I revisisted it recently and it was eye opening. One of the best in what they do, and this album is good proof of it. There were a few albums I liked this week, namely the new Julie Byrne, very happy the big media is realizing how talented this girl is, the new PJ Harvey, which I only skimmed a few songs and always wanted to give it its time, or the Lauren Bousfield album which was pretty much not my comfort zone but really enjoyed it nevetheless.

Let's see, Blackbraid made the BM community salivate, honestly I think they are incredibly overrated, but whatever, Chepang made Johnny crazy about grindcore and he made everyone crazy about grindcore and we ended up with a grindcore album on the top 10 of the staff list, which is great. Astral Tomb, Colloidal heart, are some other bands I remember I checked and enjoyed but can't remember why.
26The Night Eternal

Week of July 14

This band caught my eye from the moment I saw the video for "In Tartarus". Really cool modern take on classic heavy metal with an amazing vocalist. They remind me of Nite in way but with very different approach to vocals. Temple of Angels came very close to hit the favorite spot and it's one of the best shoegaze albums of the year for me (thanks to Jesper, the gazemaestre again!). Also Edenfall, which I recommended to pizzamachine and him being the review machine he is quickly wrote it up and spread the love. That's one gothic doom band you don't want to miss.

I didn't even bother with the new Pvris, cause I knew it would suck and I think it did? The new Voyager looked fun, but not in the mood for eurovision metal, not then, and not now. Jaye Jayle released a new album but I didn't feel like checking it, I think I'm pretty much done with their music.
Love's Holiday

Week of July 21

Another top 5 release of the year. Melancholy personified. "All Gone" also ranks easily on my top 10 songs of the year, can't get enough of it, it's just perfect. One man album making machine Thrä released one of many albums too and just like that sweeped most of the lofi bm I've had heard this year.

Some other interesting releases this month: Agriculture gave Deafheaven a run for their money, Mizmor released a very unpolished record (in the words of its creator) and it was good but quite rough to get through. The new Voivod was good too and there was this doom band called Ursular that had a lady singing and playing sax which was also freaking cool, I wish I had reviewed it.
Yearning: Promethean Fates Sealed

Week of July 28

One of the many I, Voidhanger releases of the year that exhuded quality. I can't really say that this was clearly my favorite record this week. I actually remember hearing it, thinking "hm nice" and them completely removing it from my conscience. I actually heard way more that new album by Astralborne cause their studio diaries were quite fun but upon revisiting Fleshvessel clearly gets the spot.

I guess most of you were busy with Carly Rae J., George Clanton or even Post Malone (really enjoyed his episode on the Hot Ones). I couldn't get into the new Mutoid Man or the new Sevendust, both decent albums but just not what I was feeling at the time. Big fan of Girlschool, and they also made a comeback but their music hasn't aged very well; they did age very gracefully though!
29Sleepwalker (JPN)

Week of August 4

I got my mojo back in August thanks to this album and started a writing streak that wouldn't last long anyway, but still, eternally thankful to Deez for redirecting me to these guys on the Labels list I did back then. This band is so subtle while being agressive, technical and melodic at the same time. An anonymous trio scattered around the world that already has an impressive catalogue on their back. This album blew my mind.

There wasn't much else going on this month though. Art School Girlfriend came really close to remind me of Two People, Crypta, who features one of my favorite modern extreme metal drummers, seriously go check her videos on instagram because she's incredibly talented, also had a new album but their brand of death metal is a bit too perfect for me. Violet Cold released yet another banger, Emil Amos, the head of Grails and half of Om, released his new solo record, which is great if you're looking into some lounge or film music.
30Dead and Dripping
Blackened Cerebral Rifts

Week of August 11

This album really pushed me out of my comfort zone as reviewer since it's not a sub-genre I was very familiar with but I couldn't hide how fun this album is. What a riff festival. And ping snares, let's not forget ping snares.

You were all too busy with Hail the Sun though, which I understand team, no worries, there wasn't much else going on anyway. Unless you're a fan of Neil Young, there was something from the man. There was also this band... Canabula, Cunabula or smth liket that, which I remember liking it but also thinking there was a lot of unrealized potential there. Peppa Pig also had a new album with was my daughter's AOTY, easy.
Ontological Mysterium

Week of August 18

Horrendous really tapped into AOTY territory with this one. Honestly I think it would have been a clash between this and healthyliving for the top spot of the year. This band has always delivered but with this one they have really outdone themselves, and time will tell the real significance of this album. I'll leave it at that.

Horrendous took most of my time so I missed the Genesis Owunzu record, checked the Osees and the Spirit Adrift records only once, and basically forgot that other music existed for the rest of the week. It was... Horrendous.
32Blut Aus Nord
Disharmonium – Nahab

Week of August 25

I'm starting to realize how many weird metal albums are taking the favorite spot and I'm quite confused cause I was never a big fan of these bands. I guess exposure does smth to the mind after all. Anyway your favorite nightmare was back with another incursion into the dark depths of the mind. Nightondrunkmountain made a great review for this album (and many others) so check that one out!

Zach Brian and Spanish love Songs were in everyone's posts and The Armed also released a follow up to Ultrapop that didn't sit very well with me but now that I think about it I never loved Ultrapop either. I did try the new Incantation which was alright, Incantation by the numbers. Big names like Alice Cooper or UDO also released albums but their time seems to have passed already.
Everything is Alive

Week of September 1

After a very heavy and hot August, it was time to deal back and take some holidays off from metal. "Shanty" embraced me like a night breeze of fresh air. I didn't know I needed a Slowdive album like this one until I heard it. A comeback made the right way indeed.

On the other hand, Sprain were also making big waves and I did try that album, but like I told Johnny, to me they sound like angry brit customers at an airport check in counter; I'm pretty sure there is more to it than what I heard but I have, still at this time, no desire to look for it. I checked a lot of albums this week though: Soen, Demoniac, Aviations, Taake, Imperial Crystalline Entombment... all good albums but nothing beated Slowdive. Our own JOTS also released his new album with The Exit Bags and I STILL haven't heard it (sorry Jots... ), but you all should.
34Olivia Rodrigo

Week of September 8

This is a bit unexpected, but I really liked this album. It didn't help that some co-workers were also jamming it 24/7. Anyway, it was this, Kvelertak or Dying Fetus so I decided to behave and be honest for once. I've heard "Bad idea right?" an embarrassing amount of times, and that's what makes a good single after all, right?

James Blake, Tinashe, Roisin Murphy (before she went on to commit career suicide), Yussef Dayes (wonderfully reviewed by Milo Ruggles) and Cryptopsy were among the other albums I heard this month.Fossilization and Uada also put out really strong records this week.
Sorry I Haven’t Called

Week of September 15

Another unexpected entry but this is probably my favorite pop album of the year. It's so well paced, so nicely produced and so effortlessly performed. Great songs, great melodies and quite the change of pace for Vagabon, who I remember... used to be a folk artist? Tomb Mold also came close for this spot, and even Tesseract and Baroness, both very solid releases.

This was the week we had to suffer 30 Seconds to Mars, neverforget. This is also the week when Asleep discovered Great Falls on Neurot recordings and made sure we all did too, also the week of Gridlink that honestly it just scared the hell out of me. Night Verses also released their new one and shame to all of us, no one has reviewed it yet. Altarage, Luluc, Tideless were also jammed and fuck man... that's a lot of albums this week.
Anches En Maat

Week of September 22

One of the most disappointing weeks of the year for me. I was incredibly hyped for the new Grails, maybe a bit too much. And that led to a splash of cold water when I first heard "Anches En Maat". it's not a bad album by any means, and even being my least favorite Grails record, it's still an interesting recording to say the least. It definitely has its moments.

You would have an easier time choosing a favorite this week I suppose, since Yeule release their very acclaimed new record, a lot of pop divas like Kylie Minogue, Slayyyter, or Chappell Roan (who released one my favorite pop tunes of the year, "Femininomenon") also released albums and big names like Laurel Halo, Cannibal Corpse, Ken Mode and Thy Art is Murder released new music. Hexvessel and Starbenders are also some of the other albums I checked this week.
37Cherry Glazerr
I Don’t Want You Anymore

Week of September 29

I had this dibbed and on my radar for quite some time so my expectations were high and it didn't disappoint although it didn't overwhelmed them either. The album is Cherry Glazerr through and through with a few curve balls here and there in the shape of synth pop tunes that no one really expected but that they somehow work in context.

The last week of a very rich and long September brought also music that I wasn't very interested into, namely Ed Sheeran, Code Orange, and Animal Collective, if you dug them, good for you. Steven Wilson and Molly Burch are also names I knew but didn't check what they had out because Moonlight Sorcery appeared out of nowhere mid-week and quickly demanded all my attention. i missed the new Blackbriar, the new Graveyard, the new Primordial and a band called Filth is Eternal that looked dope.
Under Glass

Week of October 6

Kanga's new album dropped two days before my birthday and sorry Sufjan, sorry Svalbard, and sorry Keanu Reeves but this album demanded my full attention. What a grower this album has been throughout the latter half of the year, especially the first two tracks, "Crashing" and "Under Glass", I could have them on repeat and never get tired of them.

I wish I had time to check Heretoir, the new Dopelord and the new Wolvennest but Kanga really bewitched me all week. Even the long awaited new Nicole Sabouné (her album Miman was my very first review on sput in 2016), couldn't overshadow Kanga's new album. It was that bad.

Week of October 13

Even if I was in a completely dry period of reviewing, I could never say no to (the) Goat. Massive improvement on "Oh Death", with fantastic tunes like "Join the Resistance" or "Vakna". Metric, with the unexpected second part of "Formentera", and the new Sulphur Aeon also came close to hit the number one spot for the week.

There were a few released that looked interesting like The Lion's Daughter, On Thorns I Lay, Laster (which I ended up checking but didn't vibe much with), and the new Arabrot which i completely missed even if I've heard some of their past albums. Even Dead and Dripping released another album this week and I just realized about it an hour ago. Such is life.

Week of October 20

Believe it or not this is one of my most listened albums this year. It is a terrible album. The production is unbelievably bad, the genre mashing is questionable and Myrkur's delivery leaves much to be desired. BUT, for some reason I just couldn't stop listening to it. It was so damn infectious. It confused me so much that I gave up on reviewing it. I even ask garas for a proofread if I ever came up with something but words just wouldn't come out. It was a phenomenon I couldn't explain, but there it is.

It could have been Sampha, Jane Remover, Reverend Kristin Michael Hayter, The Rolling Stones, Blink 182, Within Temptation... anything!! But nope: Myrkur all fucking week. I did try Dreamwell, it was alright and the split of Worm with Dream Unending which was great, once. I heard the new Cirith Ungol a few times but it was a bit dense. Anyway, in the end.... Myrkur.
Conqueress - Forever Strong and Proud

Week of October 27

Doro was gonna reign this week even if the album sucked balls of steel, which fortunately didn't. Warlock was one of the first records I bought at the tender age of 10. I remember going to the shop and getting "Burning the Witches" just by the cover and being literally afraid of "Signs of Satan". I've followed Doro's solo career for a while but she eventually fell off my radar so I was kinda happy to have a new record from her this year. "All For You" is a great metal tune. The "Living After Midnight" cover with Rob Halford... i guess it's alright, but the rest of the album is really decent.

I did pit her against In this Moment, Poppy, the new Autopsy but nah, Doro all week. The new Ragana was also really good, a bit too raw but it did sound great, I missed the King Gizzard electronic album and the new Duran Duran but maybe I didn't miss much? I heard the new Gazelle Twin which Ars would agree it was very interesting but i think he liked it more than I did.
42Rid Of Me
Access To The Lonely

Week of November 3

Pretty surprising pick even for me. Rid of Me is a four piece from Philadelphia that practices an amazingly relevant brand of grunge in modern times. The track that opens the album, wearing the band's name, goes pretty damn hard. There's a bit of post punk and even punk rock in their formula too but it's Itarya Rosenberg's vocals what makes this album a special treat.

Besides that, I liked some songs of the new Tkay Maidza, and gave the Green Lung album a good couple of listens cause everyone was going nuts about it, but it reminded me of Ghost and not in a good way. Dying Wish and Suffocation didn't do much for me either, and I missed the new Matmos and the new Till Lindemann almost on purpose. The new Laura Veirs was alright, and the new Hilary Woods was great although I miss her vocals. I wanted to check Xoth and Angra too but I didn't have the time.
43Left Cross
Upon Desecrated Altars

Week of November 10

This month was pretty generous for OSDM. Between Left Cross, Cruciamentum and Temple of Scorn, (plus whatever I missed), death metal fans got plenty of material to work with. Left Cross were my favorite of the week though. They don't do anything out of this world, but they just landed at the right time.

Cannons was a pop band I didn't know about that their new album almost made the first spot too, pretty nice album. Gama Bomb had a very promising cover but there was something about it I didn't like. I missed the new Helmet and the new Shylmagoghnar. I didn't miss the new AJR and I wish I did, cause I lost 10 seconds of my life with that album. I heard some songs off the new Psychedelic Porn Crumpets but never got around the whole thing. Also forgot to check the new Vastum, dammit.
44Smoke Fairies
Carried in Sound

Week of November 17

This was a late find down the week. Pretty sweet album. It has a slight Agnes Obel influence in the vocal melodies and it's very easy to listen. There's something about the production... like the vocals have too much sharp highs in them to the point they distort a bit, where they should have been warmer, which kinda bothers me but I can live with it.

I was never a fan of Danny Brown so I let that one slip out, the Dolly Parton cover was tempting but I opted for behaving myself and preserving some life span. I think I skimmed the new Sadus but I can't remember anything about it. Apart from that this was a very dry week, first sign that 2023 was running out of fuel so I started listening to albums from the 60s and got on a high fever of jazz and doo wop.
45Helga (SWE)
Wrapped in Mist

Week of November 24

And just when I thought 2023 was done for, from the woods of Sweden and via the UK came this band and knocked my socks off with their hybrid of prog Alcestian metal meets Sylvaine. This is basically the album that Myrkur wanted to do but couldn't. Follow my advice here and before you close this year's case give this album a listen. You won't be disappointed (if you're a fan of any of the bands mentioned).

Another album that came really close to hit the first spot was Valdrin's "Throne of the Lunar Soul". Fans of melodic black metal shouldn't miss that one either. In addition, Cruciamentum put out one of the best death metal albums of the year (or so it seems, I thought it was good but not crazy good). Fawn Limbs and Nadja made a collaboration which was too much for me, and I also heard the new Underdark, the new Midnight Odyssey, and the new Leonov. They were all fine albums. In hindsight, this week was one of the best of the year, which is rare!
The Rime of Memory

Week of November... 29? (Ok, I cheated here a little)

No one expected a Panopticon album dropping in between two official fridays so this broke my schedule a little but how could I let this one pass. It needed its own entry! You all know this one, it landed on the site like a goddamn nuclear bomb, and I believe it is still trending. I can't say I'm the biggest Panopticon fan, but I always had a lot of respect for the man and his craft.

I'm happy to read everywhere that he has created one of his finest works of his very lengthy and prolific career, and these days I've thinking WHAT IF our Darknoctus aka Ethereal Shroud made a collaboration with Panopticon... would that make the site implode? I guess it would.
47Peter Gabriel

Week of December 1

Ok back on track, the first week of December brought some very unexpected surprises. The new Peter Gabriel album had been heralded by "Panopticon" for a while now and I really loved that song the moment it dropped. My dad used to be a big Peter Gabriel fan and I have "Red Rain" engraved on my soul, so this album was an easy pick for best of the week. The two mixes were overkill though.

Full of Hell and Nothing put out a killer joint stint too, I got around to that one but only once, and of course there was also the re-recording of "Icon" by Paradise Lost. It was alright, Nick Holmes sounds great there, but it's not something I would have craved for (i know the reasons for doing it were merely contractual though). Greek BM veterans Varathron also released a pretty good album and there was a band called Oldest Sea that should have been totally my sauce but it was just ok. There was a new Krallice, unannounced as always, so most of us missed it.
48Slow (BE)
Ab​î​mes I

Week of December 8

I didnt hear any new music this week, I mean, I barely did. Busy betwen work, family and the staff list I lost all interest about this year's releases. The only album I tried was this one by funeral doom band Slow, and it was great but can't say I heard anything else.
Of Momentous Endless Night

Week of December 15

As you can see, the theme at this time of the year was clear. Gimme something cold and dark shit to finish me off and send me to Christmas to wither away. In that sense, this album was perfect. Melodic black metal project from members of Chaos Moon and Nattfärd which I think they are in the US and Sweden or the other way round.

The new Therion also came out but I wasn't in the mood for bombastic metal. There was also a Cryptworm album I wanted to check and something from Sentient Ruin Labs... Sulphuric Hatred I think, but I haven't got to jam it yet.
Beneath The Mountain's Vigil

Week of December 22

Whoa can't believe this actually made 50 round albums, well, I'll take it. At this time of the year there's not much to dig from. Mainly hip hop and black metal and my priorities in that sense are clear. This is the only album I heard in full this last week. In other circumstances it wouldn't have been my preferred listen but considering the other options, it's no surprise I chose it.

The other options you ask? Well there was this AI band of some frozen orcs that it's just pathetic, an album by Conway The Machine & Wun Two which would be your pic if you're into hip hop, an album by doomgaze gothgirl Shedfromthebody, kindly reviewed by Jesper in extremis, which was pretty decent, all things considered. There was also a new Moongates Guardian which usually drops in January but for some reason it dropped early. Big mistake. Spider God also released a new album a few days ago, and it sounded promising, but I was too tired to focus and I just wanted this year to end.
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