2022 was a year during which things were getting back to somewhat normal. And while plenty of shows happened again, many tours ended up being canceled or postponed after all. It was somewhat of a weird year, that we hope was a transitional thing. Despite all the weirdness, we were yet again blessed with an incredible flow of quality releases, maybe even more than before. Just look at our reviews, editor’s top lists, and GRIMM’s top albums of 2022, which are all chock-full of amazing music. We therefor see no reason why 2023 shouldn’t enjoy the same blessing. One need only look at the records that have been announced and rumored so far, and you know it’ll be a good year for music again. Here are some of our editorial team’s picks of the most anticipated releases of this month:
Deathstars - Everything Destroys You
(05/05 - Nuclear Blast Records)
Deathstars has been a mainstay in many people’s youth with their pumping industrial and Goth-tinged brand of metal. It’s been almost a decade since their last release and with the return of former rhythm guitarist Cat Casino, a lot of us are all too excited about this new record ‘Everything Destroys You‘. And the singles ‘This Is‘ and ‘Midnight Party‘ promised us greatness and the glorious sound we know Deathstars so well for. This will bring back a lot of youth sentiment to a lot of people and start up some proper parties all around the world when they finally get to touring!
Cattle Decapitation – Terrasite
(12/05 - Metal Blade Records)
California’s progressive death metal/grindcore five-piece Cattle Decapitation is back with a brand-new album “Terrasite” out on May 12th, 2023 via Metal Blade Records. The tenth endeavor represents significant sonic complexity and tracks in hyperspeed. While the previous album “Death Atlas” had a theme of apocalyptic atmosphere, the latest opus provokes such visions interpreted in the melodic direction of death metal/grindcore. The lyrical contents take place in an urban world and prophesize scenarios of death and destruction.
Veil Of Maya - [m]other
(12/05 - Sumerian Records)
We discovered this progressive metalcore/deathcore band recently as a supporting band for Avatar. But man, what kind of next level shit is this! They take the basic musical format of metalcore as a sort of blank canvas to then paint it with real complicated riffing and some interesting sound modulation. Furthermore, their already released songs such as ‘Mother Pt. 4’ are just genius. We really love the hard deathcore vibes this song has, combined with all sorts of fascinating new sounds and melodies. We cannot wait for the full release and to see where they are going to take this ‘Mother concept’.
The Dark Side Of The Moon - Metamorphosis
(12/05 - Napalm Records)
Somewhat of a supergroup with the at the moment ever present Melissa Bonny (with a new Ad Infinitum album just recently released and live guest vocals on the Kamelot tour) and Feuerschwanz guitarist Hans Platz joining forces to create a pretty unique sound where they both cover famous soundtrack theme songs and write their own material. Add to that harpist Jenny Diehl (also from Feuerschwanz) and Amaranthe drummer Morten Løwe Sørensen, and it only amplifies the fact that there is no other act like this at the moment. Reason enough for us to get pretty excited about this debut album hitting the shelves on May 12 via Napalm Records. This will appeal to people who are into symphonic/melodic metal, but also the fantasy/gaming buffs and geeks all over the world who can appreciate some good music!
Ghost - Phantomime EP
(18/05 - Loma Vista)
Ghost is at it again, preparing a new phase and this time it may get hot, as they are dealing with that “Jesus fuss” to quote Papa Emeritus IV, better known as Cardinal Copia, in the Chapter 17 announcement. Soon after this, we got the faithful but really good cover “Jesus He Knows Me” from Genesis. The video content, however, was rather provocative – something to do with hockey players – and already launched a ton of reaction videos, mostly hailing from the more puritan US. This in turn lead to a really weird church talk video with yet another Forge alter ego Father Jim Dufroque who was featured in the music video of “Jesus He Knows Me”.
Although Ghost always hinted and parodied liturgical and religious elements of Christianity, they have not yet sought any direct confrontation. Given these elements, the next album “Phantomime” may bring some change in that and I have my popcorn ready to see what is going to happen. It is going to be good!
Thulcandra – Hail the Abyss
(19/05 - Napalm Records)
Germany’s melodic black/death metal outfit Thulcandra is set to release its fifth album, “Hail the Abyss” on May 19th, via Napalm Records. Where legendary bands such as Dissection left their wealthy legacy, Thulcandra drew its inspiration from the melodic aesthetics of Swedish black metal. With “Hail the Abyss” the German powerhouse showcases its sonic dexterity and guitarist/vocalist Steffen Kummerer ensures strong leadership at the helm, bridging the old-school roots of blackened death metal with a modern touch. The new album takes an epic approach, measured by the sign of maturity that offers outstanding qualities from these German lads.
Frozen Soul - Glacial Domination
(19/05 - Century Media Records)
Texan old-school death metal five-piece Frozen Soul will unleash their sophomore release “Glacial Domination” on May 19th, 2023 via Century Media Records. Taking their sound further into a heavy blizzard slab of raw death metal, the lineup of Samantha Mobley (bass guitar), Michael Munday (guitar), Chan Green (vocals), Matt Dennard (drums) and Chris Bonner (guitar) deliver a gripping power through the eleven new tracks. Frozen Soul ultimately manifests the classical brutality with their solid hitting riffs laid down by the hammer of the battery. The band managed to blend oppressive slow, catchy leads and faster tempos. “Glacial Domination” consists of eleven tracks, featuring some guest musicians such as guitarist Matthew K. Heafy (Trivium) and vocalist John Gallagher (Dying Fetus).
Sleep Token - Take Me Back to Eden
(19/05 - Spinefarm Records)
This project has been gaining popularity and praise for quite a while not, but it seems with the new musical efforts they are truly breaking through. Sleep Token and Vessel, the main brain behind the endeavor, has a talent for creating captivating and mesmerizing soundscapes that puts people in a trance of adoration around the world. Going on the singles released, the music regularly takes a bit of a heavier direction with some really tasty, groovy riffs and more use of harsh vocals than we’ve heard before. A lot of people seem to be expressing that they don’t understand why Sleep Token is such a hype right now, but the undeniable weirdness of combining sounds and music styles you wouldn’t expect to be working together is something that really appeals to us, and we can’t wait to hear what the full album has to offer!
Henget - Beyond North Star
(19/05 - Season of Mist)
Coming from Finland, adding to an already impressive black metal scene, and from the musical brain from some of Finland’s most prolific and interesting artists, is the avant-garde and psychedelic black metal entity that is Henget. A partnership between King Aleijster de Satan (of King Satan and Saturnian Mist) and Jesse J. Heikkinen (of The Abbey, Iterum Nata and formerly Hexvessel) delivers some mind-expanding black metal tinged music, and we’re all there for it. They aimed for an otherworldly sound and vibe and going on the singles, they really hit the mark! It’s adding to an already impressive year with for instance the recent new release of Dødheimsgård, of which fans might find something to like with this debut album from Henget as well.
Vomitory - All Heads Are Gonna
(26/05 - Metal Blade Records)
Reunited Swedish death metal veterans Vomitory will launch their album “All Heads Are Gonna Roll” on May 26th via Metal Blade Records. Nearly twelve years since the band called it quits, Vomitory claws its way from the grave. All four members Erik Rundqvist (vocals, bass), Urban Gustafsson (guitars), Peter Östlund (lead guitars), and Tobias Gustafsson (drums) promise to deliver full action-packed songs that will grind your skull. Being one of the pillars of the Swedish death metal scene since the early nineties, “All Heads Are Gonna Roll” will mark the beginning of a new era. If you are into some ultra-brutal death metal with D-beat then make sure to check the upcoming album from these legends.
Immortal - War Against All
(26/05 - Nuclear Blast Records)
Norwegian black metal band Immortal will drop its tenth album “War against All” on May 26th via Nuclear Blast Records. In an attempt to reclaim his throne, mastermind and founder Demonaz continues in the true spirit of Immortal’s early albums, like “Battles in the North”. While the latest album “Northern Chaos Gods” was a fine return to the true form of the true Norwegian black metal aesthetics, you can expect nothing but a thundering barrage of a Northern blizzard forged from the icy realm of Blashyrkh. Demonaz described the new album as fierce, dark, and epic songwriting bolstered with the grandeur of the mighty ice storm riffs. “War against All” proves that the legacy of Immortal shall continue.
Kalmah - Kalmah
(26/05 - Ranka Kustannus)
The Finnish swampheads are back! Kalmah, one of Finland’s most popular melodeath acts, is back with a 9th full-length under the form of a self-titled creation. For 5 years we’ve had to wait for something new to please their fans, and now finally they crawled out of the dank swamplands of their home country with some killer tracks! They’ve been quite hush hush about it, barely releasing any teasers or singles, let alone music videos. But going off from the ‘Haunted by Guilt‘ track they did unleash upon us, it’s going to be everything we’ve hoped for with relentless melodeath embellished by some power metal infusion from time to time, resulting into the damn epic sound Kalmah is so well-known for. So much anticipation for this one among fans all over the world!
Legion Of The Damned - The Poison Chalice
(26/05 - Napalm Records)
They’re back! The Dutch thrash veterans of Legion Of The Damned are ready to deliver a punch to the face yet again with a new album. Their 8th full-length ‘The Poison Chalice‘ brings everything you’ve come to expect from these guys and will not take the foot off the gas pedal for one second. At neck breaking speeds they throw their signature aggression in your face, coming from a blend of thrash, death and blackened influences that they’ve perfected over the past more than 3 decades of existence. Another killer album from what we believe is a band that deserves even more recognition than what it’s getting at the moment! Don’t miss out on this one!
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