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Metal albums to look forward to in 2023

Posted by on December 30, 2022

 

 

As we say goodbye to 2022, we welcome 2023 with open arms. There is so much to look forward to in the new year, especially when it comes to album releases. From the highly anticipated 11th studio effort of Big 4 band Metallica to Dope’s comeback to reinventions of bands like In Flames and Babymetal, metal fans have a wealth of options lurking just around the corner.  Here is just a sampling of what metal fans can expect at the record shop in 2023.

 

In Flames, Foregone: In Flames is about to embark on a self-professed “new era” with their upcoming 14th studio album, Foregone. Inspired by the concept of time, singer Anders Friden said in a statement that the album strikes a “great balance between the past, the present and the future,” aiming for a  heavily guitar-driven record with the band’s signature bass and drum foundation and “juxtaposition between melody and aggression” at its forefront.  (2/10)

 

Avatar, Dance Devil Dance: In an attempt to “save heavy metal,” Swedish metal band Avatar will be “bringing the devil back” to the genre with their upcoming ninth studio album Dance Devil Dance. Said singer Johannes Eckerström of the album, “Our new album is designed to make you move and to move you. We destroyed all doubt with ‘Valley of Disease.’ We blew the competition off the mountain with ‘Dance Devil Dance.’ Now the world is ours, and yours with us. The stage is set all that’s left to do is give in and join the circus.” (2/17)

 

Dope, Blood Money Part Zer0: It’s been almost seven years since Dope released their last album, Blood Money Part One. But after years away from the project, Edsel Dope is back and ready to rock. Blood Money Part Zer0 is a prequel to the 2016 album with songs that were started around the time he was touring with his electronic project Drama Club. In an announcement video, Edsel revealed that the 13-track album will feature many twists and turns, including some heavy tracks and ones that “reach into the dark depths of his soul.” As a way to say thank you to the fans, the band will be making digital downloads of the album free for anyone who signs up at their website. (2/23)

 

Godsmack, Lighting Up The Sky: Godsmack could be calling it a day very soon, but not before they release their eighth studio album, Lighting Up The Sky. The album explores themes including the ups and downs of relationships, politics and the overall state of the world, among others. Said frontman Sully Erna, “I like when a record takes you on a journey from front to back. I realized there’s a whole story here about one man’s journey, the ups, and downs. I believe it’s a story everyone will connect to, on a human level, because we’ve all gone through things in life.” (2/24) 

 

Steel Panther, On The Prowl: Sleaze metal band Steel Panther return with their sixth studio album, On The Prowl, in February. The band’s first without bassist Lexxi Foxx, the album is full of outlandish and NSFW songs that both parody and pay homage to 1980s hair metal. One of the more benign tracks, second single “1987” is a catchy rock ballad lamenting the good old days of the genre and what culture has become. (2/24)

 

 

Insomnium, Anno 1696: Based on a short story by bassist/vocalist Niilo Sevänen, Anno 1696 finds Insomnium exploring the dark side of Finnish history in the melancholic, melodic death metal style we’ve come to expect. Said the band in a press release, “Anno 1696 is a tornado of tormented souls, set to a tragedy of Greek proportions. No doubt: this is Insomnium’s most delicate tightrope walk yet – between sadness and anger, between silent desperation and cries of anguish. Trying to reach that fading light that still glimmers from beyond the trees.” Back in 2021, Sevänen told Metal Insider that their upcoming album would be different from their then-new EP, insinuating there would be more blast beats. Lead single “Lilian” gives off similar vibes to Insomnium’s previous work. (2/24)

 

Omega Infinity, The Anticurrent: Delayed by the pandemic, Omega Infinity (featuring Ne Obliviscaris singer Xenoyr) is finally ready to release their sophomore album The Anticurrent. Wrote the band in a social media post announcing the album, “The Anticurrent will take you on a wild trip, from the chaotic beginning of the spawning universe spat out into existence by the Big Bang, until the inevitable end of Everything brought by the piercing death stare of a myriad of dying suns. The Void is upon you once again, and this time we are not just dwelling in our own solar system but taking you out into the universe to a place where even distant galaxies fade into nothing but a blur.” (2/24)

 

Pop Evil, Skeletons: Coming off 2021’s Versatile, Pop Evil are back for round two, having announced their upcoming seventh studio effort Skeletons in December. The album finds the band taking a new approach, one they hope will match the energy of their live show. Said vocalist Leigh Kakaty of the album, “This is about us as a band stripping everything down to the bones. It’s more uptempo, it’s got bigger riffs, and we’re trying to capture the energy of our live show. But it’s also a positive message. I know it’s a morbid visual, but behind every skeleton, there’s a story and something worth talking about. Overall, it’s about looking at something in a positive way.” (3/17)

 

August Burns Red, Death Below: August Burns Red gear up to release what they’re calling their most personal album to date with the upcoming Death Below. Inspired by the “extremely dark and challenging” events of the past couple of years, guitarist JB Brubaker said of the album, “Death Below is here as a result of that time in each [of] our lives and the emotions that came with it. We were motivated by uncertainty, fear, outrage, and triumph.” For an example, look no further than the album’s first single “Ancestry,” which tackles mortality with urgency and complexity. (3/24)

 

Babymetal, The Other One: Japanese pop-metal phenomenon Babymetal are ready for the next chapter. The group will be ending their year-and-a-half hiatus in 2023 with the release of The Other One. A concept album recounting “the other side of the BABYMETAL story that noone knew existed,” the album features ten tracks each “representing a unique theme based on ten separate parallel worlds they discovered.” Collectors will also have a field day, as the album will be available in a variety of colored vinyl records and ten CD variations with 10 different, exclusive covers. (3/24)

 

Ne Obliviscaris, Exul: Aside from a release with Omega Infinity, Xenoyr will also be releasing a new album with his main project Ne Obliviscaris. While not much has been said about Exul, the dark symphonic feel of first single “Equus,” written about the 2019-2020 Australian wildfires, is haunting and beautiful. (3/24)

 

 

 

Liturgy, 93696: Liturgy is getting philosophical with their upcoming double LP 93696. Taking its title from the Chrisitan and Thelema “numerological representation of heaven, or a new eon for civilization,” the album finds singer Ravena Hunt-Hendrix exploring the “eschatological possibility divided by the four ’laws’ that govern her own interpretation of heaven.” According to Consequence Of Sound, the album’s title track is a 15-minute epic that spans genres from metal to indie to prog. If you can’t wait until March, the band released a new mini-LP, As The Blood Of God Bursts The Veins Of Time, in October to tide you over. (3/24)

 

Metallica, 72 Seasons: It has been nearly seven years since Metallica released Hardwired…To Self-Destruct. The 2016 double album garnered some of their best ratings in years and continued their streak of number one debuts. Metallica look to do it again with their upcoming 11th studio effort, 72 Seasons. After a  year that saw the band find a new fan base thanks to a prominent song placement in Netflix’s Stranger Things compounded with the release of a solid first single in ‘Lux Æterna,’ Metallica is poised for a big year. (4/14)

 

Eluvium, (Whirring Marvels In) Consensus Reality: Hitting a creative stride over the last couple of years that included releases in  2020 (Virga I) and 2021 (Virga II), Eluvium, the ambient acoustic project of composer Matthew Robert Cooper, will be releasing his new album (Whirring Marvels In) Consensus Reality in the new year. The album, inspired by the works of authors T.S. Eliot and Richard Brautigan, was recorded remotely with a full orchestra. (5/12)

 

More: 

Obituary, Dying Of Everything (1/13)

Katatonia, Sky Void of Stars (1/20)

Imperium Dekadenz, Into Sorrow Evermore (1/20)

Twilight Force, At The Heart of Wintervale (1/20)

Xandria, The Wonders Still Awaiting (2/3)

Memoriam, Rise To Power (2/3)

Delain, Dark Waters (2/10)

Heidevolk, Wederkeer (2/24)

Enslaved, Heimdal (3/3)

Haken, Fauna (3/3)

Chelsea Grin, Suffer In Heaven (3/17) 

Subway To Sally, Himmelfahrt (3/24)

Elvenking, Reader of the Runes – Divination (4/28)

 

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