Mateo Ottie

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Last Active 10-20-22 6:28 am
Joined 09-19-19

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01.03.24 Crxmateo's Top 20 Albums of 202301.03.21 Crxmateo's Top Albums of 2020

Crxmateo's Top 20 Albums of 2023

I wanted to get this out earlier, but alas, here we are. Placements on this list definitely contradict my ratings given for these records but to quote Ex-Three Days Grace frontman Adam Gontier's vocal feature on Apocalyptica's hit single from 2007, "I don't care".
Rat Saw God

Honorable Mentions:

21. Wednesday - Rat Saw God
22. Nygma - Alexander Nevermind
23. Nothing,Nowhere. - Void Eternal
24. Mitski - The Land Is Inhospitable And So Are We
25. Broadside - Hotel Bleu
20Olivia Rodrigo

After having one of the most successful debuts of all time, there was conversation of whether Olivia would be able to follow up ‘Sour’ and live up to the high expectations she set for her sophomore release- and it’s safe to say she did. I wasn’t crazy about her debut, but the potential was there, and ‘Guts’ sees her lean into that potential even more, even if it isn’t quite fully realized yet.

Leaning heavily into youthful noisy alternative rock stylings with tracks such as “All-American Bitch” and “Ballad Of A Homeschooled Girl”, ‘Guts’ feels more raw and less polished than its predecessor, with more creative risks even being taken on the more straightforward pop tracks such as the off-kilter structure of “Vampire” as well. While it can be formulaic and have some questionable lyrical decisions at times, ‘Guts’ is an extremely promising follow-up for the young star.
19Sydney Sprague
Somebody in Hell Loves You

Sydney Sprague continues to be one of the most underrated artists in the indie rock space on her sophomore record ‘Somebody In Hell Loves You’. With catchy hooks both lyrically and instrumentally and an earnest delivery throughout, the album shows a lot of maturity and growth from her debut and lands itself with some of the strongest alternative rock cuts of the year in “if im honest” and “lsob”, even if it can get predictable at times.

Check out my full review of this album here:
the record

Boygenius took the industry by storm earlier this year with ‘The Record’, not necessarily because of the music itself but rather the rising fame of Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus and being Phoebe Bridgers’ first release since becoming a critical darling with ‘Punisher’- and understandably so. The trio are some of the best songwriters in the game right now, and their chemistry both on and off the stage is unmatched- and that fully shines on tracks such as “Not Strong Enough” and “$20”.

‘The Record’s issues ironically are less about the music itself but rather its own cohesiveness, with each track taking turns at the stylings of the trio’s individual solo work, acting almost as guest vocalists- to what would be a typical song to hear off of ‘Punisher’ for example. Overall, great collection of songs that I have gone back to throughout the year- but for an album titled ‘The Record’, there is a bit left to be desired.
The Sin of Human Frailty

The Will Putney produced supergroup END continues to be the most pulverizing band in metal on their second full-length ‘The Sin of Human Frailty’ from start to finish. Embarking into mass chaos from the opening notes of “A Predator Yourself” to the disgusting, filthy guitar tone of “Gaping Wounds of Earth”, ‘The Sin of Human Frailty’ in many ways is exactly what you’d expect and want from END. Thats not to say they don’t do anything new or are one-noted however, with Brendan Murphy’s most unhinged performance of his career and the outfit experimenting with grimy synthesizers and electronic textures on “Thaw”, which features Heriot’s Debbie Gough.
15Chamber (USA)
A Love to Kill For

Dissonant and unrelenting, ‘A Love To Kill For’ is one of the most dangerous records of 2023 with Chamber’s performance and songwriting being absolutely cracked from start to finish. From the opening one-two punch of “Chamber” and “Retribution”, it’s impossible to stand still and not want to spinkick your grandmother’s cat into the next house over. (I assure you no animals were harmed in the writing of this paragraph).

Continuing the sonic trend set by the last couple records here, Fromjoy are the newest artist to rank on this top 20. Combining the expected panic chords and tortured vocals with synthwave elements and dark, glitchy electronic samples, Fromjoy provide a unique twist to their distinct brand of progressive hardcore. The entire album feels incredibly cohesive, even throughout genre and vibe switchups- see: “docility” into “of the shapes of hearts and humans”.

Despite this, the record is far from perfect, especially on the songwriting end, but it does showcase a lot of potential and stands out from the pack in a world where every heavy artist is trying to incorporate ambience into their sounds. I had the privilege of seeing them live most of this record live shortly after it released, and I’m extremely excited to see what their next release has in store.
13World Divided
All the Angels Cry

I’ll get this out of the way- I am a little biased because Danyal is a friend of mine, but I genuinely do love this record and it was one my most anticipated going into 2023, having closely followed the singles as they had gradually released over the past few years.

World Divided is the creative outlet of Danyal Suchta, who writes, performs, produces, and directs all aspects of the project. ‘All The Angels Cry’ is a fast (and furious) release, clocking in just under a half an hour with an unrelenting pacing from the brutal opener “The Hands of Death” to the EDM-based “Heaven Calls” and nu-metal rager “Slave to the New World”. Aside from the album being an incredibly impressive output for just one person, the songwriting ability and talent on display from Suchta on the album is absurd, with tracks like “The Siren’s Gaze” and “Madhouse” being stuck in my head for weeks.
12Dying Wish
Symptoms of Survival

Hardcore band goes metalcore, ends up making a better metalcore record than most metalcore bands.
The Weight of the Mask

Svalbard’s unique brand of ambient post-hardcore shines on their fourth and best album to date, ‘The Weight Of The Mask’. Where Svalbard sticks out amongst the pack especially is in their instrumental hooks- the repeated riff of the opener and lead single “Faking It” has been stuck in my head on repeat ever since I first heard it, and is easily one of catchiest hooks I’ve heard this year. Liam Phelan’s aggressive delivery contrasts beautifully with Serena Cherry’s soft singing, making for an emotive and expressive listen alongside the record’s sound.

This band is constantly slept on (including by myself, I’ll admit- like, I just now got around to checking this record out in full this month and I wish I did so earlier… So go do yourself a favor and check it out!
This Is Why

Check out my full review of this album here:
9Sleep Token
Take Me Back to Eden

Check out my full review of this album here:

You hate me for even having this on the list. Womp womp.
Deeper Water

Cliffside’s long-awaited debut full-length didn’t disappoint, with near perfect production, soaring hooks, blistering riffs, and impactful lyricism, ‘Deeper Water’ is one of the best metalcore albums of the year and is quite possibly the most painfully slept on release this year. If you’re a fan of ERRA like me, you’ll love this.
7Holding Absence
The Noble Art of Self-Destruction

Check out my full review of this album here:
6Johnny Booth
Moments Elsewhere

Johnny Booth, what a band. I’m so happy they’re finally starting to get onto people’s radars with ‘Moments Elsewhere’ after years of being metal’s most consistent and best-kept secret. Every second of this record packs a massive punch, with a fantastic bass-heavy guitar tone and frantic delivery from vocalist Andrew Herman. While nowhere near as innovative (or good) as that record, there’s a lot of comparisons to made to Loathe’s ‘I Let It In And It Took Everything’, balancing chaotic, low-tuned dissonant guitars on one track to reverb-soaked melodic leads and vocal harmonies on the next. “Full Tilt” is a massive contender for song of the year for me personally.
5Off Road Minivan
May This Keep You Safe From Harm

In a massive change in direction from 2020’s ‘Swan Dive’, the Hudson Valley indie rock group infused their sound with a burst of energy, taking on 2000s emotional post-hardcore ala Saosin with tracks such as “Pity Sex” and “The Breakdown” and it works incredibly well. Switching between this and a more refined version of their signature melancholic indie rock stylings, ‘May This Keep You Safe From Harm’ is a major step up for the band and somehow manages to be even more heartbreaking than their past work. A brutal look into loss of life and relational trauma, frontman Tuck O’Leary pours his heart out on the record with the most powerful vocals of his career to date on tracks like “The Beacon” and “Cheerleader”.
4Silent Planet

Check out my full review of this album here:
3Hail the Sun
Divine Inner Tension

I’ve always liked Hail The Sun but never quite fully grabbed me in for a full album- which I’ll fully admit, is an issue with Swancore in general, but it stuck out the most to me when it came to Hail The Sun… just because I legitimately really enjoy their music. That finally changed with ‘Divine Inner Tension’, which sees the band reach their final form, blending progressive tendencies with insanely catchy hooks complimented by perfect production and pacing. Their most “metal” offering to date, the album shines especially when it revels in its heavier moments, such as the rager “Tithe”, or chaotic guitar-led “Maladapted”. From the earnest urgency of “Mind Rider” to the dramatic layering and off-kilter delivery of “Under The Floor” Vocalist Donovan Melero’s performance on the album is mesmerizing, backed by incredible musicianship from every member of the band. ‘Divine Inner Tension’ is easily Hail The Sun’s best work, resulting in what ended up being a surprise top 3 album of the year.
2Hot Mulligan
Why Would I Watch

Hot Mulligan dropped one of the best pop-punk albums I’ve heard in years with ‘Why Would I Watch’ in 2023. The energetic infusion of pop-punk into their midwest emo roots gave the band the kick they needed to fully break out and blow up this past year, and it’s easy to see why. With endlessly catchy hooks, relatable lyrics, and Hot Mully’s penchant for self-deprecating sarcasm are on full display on this album and in the best way possible, with near perfect production to back it. As ridiculous as these song titles are (when you’ve asked Siri to play “John “The Rock” Cena Can You Smell What The Undertaker” by Hot Mulligan and she responds back saying the song title in full, it will never not be funny”), they’re part of the charm of the record. I’ll admit, this was a completely unexpected #2 pick for me- well I had more to say but fuck you for the character limit goddammit I like the vocals. Good album.
1Invent Animate

Check out my full review of this album here:
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