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Top releases 2023:
 
Cradle Of Filth - Trouble and Their Double Lives
Score: 10/10
I've been listening to Cradle Of Filth since the early nineties, so it's quite amazing that they haven't had a decent live album out until now. It consists of two new songs and a compilation of live recordings. I greatly prefer their first four albums, so was pleased to hear songs from Dusk and Cruelty, but their later releases always contains some good songs which are present on this album as well. Fully aware I'm not scoring scene-points by putting this at the top of my yearlist though ;)
 
Dark The Suns - Raven and the Nightsky
Score: 10/10
Dark The Suns have been around for a while and have released some excellent melodeath albums already, but this one is my favourite. Usually I'm waiting for a fuckup, but I actually like all the songs on this release. Some songs are more doom than death which is also highly appreciated, so (non-live) album of the year for me!
 
Austere - Corrosion of Hearts
Score: 10/10
Austere is hard to define. Maybe melo-doom-death leaning towards atmospheric black? And I'm sure some people would throw a 'post' in there, whatever that means. For sure is that it's music for people who would not hesitate to call their metal "beautiful" - because dear reader, this is a beautiful album. Special mention for the last track which is a Type O Negative cover. And while I don't like the original so much, Austere's version is much improved: Combining the Type O catchiness with the Austere sound can make it play in your head for weeks though!
 
Dream Unending / Worm - Starpath
Score: 10/10
Every yearlist needs a split cd, and the honor this year befalls to the Dream Unending / Worm split. Both bands are bordering somewhere on funeral doom, though the speed is a bit too high for pure funeral fun. Both also throw in a bit too much prog-sounding solos for my taste, but otherwise deliver an excellent 45 minutes of dooming darkness.
 
Høstsol - Lnge leve dden
Score: 10/10
Even though Länge leve döden is the first full length of Høstsol, the band is probably well known by many as it's comprised of some well known artists in the metal scene, most notably Niklas from Shining, but also members of Ajattara and Manes. Earlier releases even had Hellhammer on drums, but on this album he's replaced by Shining's old drummer. And speaking of Shining, Høstsol does sound a lot like Shining. And while the recent Shining album did end high on my yearlist, I do like this release just a bit better!
 
Lacrimosa - Nachts
Score: 9.5/10
Ok so it miiiight be a bit of a cop out to put two live albums in a yearlist. But I can't deny Lacrimosa being one of my favourite not-quite-metal bands and Nachts being their best live album so far. It's a compilation of several live concerts performed since the Covid lockdown, and while it's a mix of older and newer songs as on the various other live albums they released, they managed to focus more on the songs I actually like. Together with an excellent sound quality this album is a clear recommendation!
 
Saturnus - The Storm Within
Score: 9.5/10
The true doomer metalhead needs no introduction to Saturnus. They cemented their name in the scene back in 1996 with Paradise Belongs to You, and since then they've released new albums with generous intervals (doom metal speed one could say) - the last full length was 11 years ago. Stylistically their new album The Storm Within is exactly as we would expect from Saturnus, which is not a bad thing because it brings us back to those early nineties doom days, melancholically banging our grey hair after we took our blood-pressure pills...
 
Eye Of Solitude - X
Score: 9.5/10
To be honest, this album is exactly what you would expect from a funeral doom release. Ok, the songs are a bit short (average only 8 minutes!?) but other than that there's no big surprises here. Still, it sounds so good though, the perfect cold winter soundtrack.
 
Primordial - How It Ends
Score: 9.5/10
Primordial has long been one of my favorite bands ever, so expectations for a new album are always high. With their latest release How It Ends I was not disappointed, but still I feel it's not quite as good as it could have been, or as Primordial has been in the past. I do think it's a better album than their previous "Exile Amongst the Ruins", but less good than the one before "Where Greater Men Have Fallen". Good things are definitely Nemtheanga's vocals and the musicianship of the rest of the band: these guys have been around for a while and shows. On the downside however, the songs just seem less memorable, a bit been-there-done-that. Also the 3/4 rhythm starts being a bit overdone, and the instrumental passages seem to last just a bit too long here and there. So overall not a bad album at all, but not their greatest work either.
 
Aphonic Threnody - When Death Comes Again
Score: 9.5/10
This years entry of Aphonic Threnody in the yearlist is a bit of a cheat: When Death Comes Again is a re-recorded version of their 2014 album When Death Comes. However, since it's not just a newly recorded version of the same album, but the songs are actually changed, and sole member Riccardo even pulled in some celebrity talent from bands like Void Of Silence and The Howling Void, I decided it counts as a new album. So, what else to say? Excellent not-quite-funeral doom from the UK, check out their full discography!
 
Ne Obliviscaris
Exul
Score: 9.5/10
 
Shining
Shining
Score: 9/10
 
Hermóðr
To Be Alone
Score: 9/10
 
The Negative Bias
The Seven Seals of Saligia
Score: 9/10
 
Arkona (RUS)
Kob'
Score: 9/10
 
Blackbraid
Blackbraid II
Score: 9/10
 
Sulphur Aeon
Seven Crowns and Seven Seals
Score: 9/10
 
Sól Án Varma
Sl n Varma
Score: 9/10
 
Slidhr
White Hart!
Score: 9/10
 
Panopticon
The Rime of Memory
Score: 9/10
 
21Karner
Berg wocht
Score: 9/10
 
Fen
Monuments to Absence
Score: 9/10
22
 
23Various
Verloren Vertellingen
Score: 9/10
 
Helleruin
Devils, Death and Dark Arts
Score: 9/10
24
 
25...And Oceans
As in Gardens, So in Tombs
Score: 9/10
 
Aeon Winds
Night Sky Illuminations
Score: 9/10
26
 
27Runemagick
Beyond the Cenotaph of Mankind
Score: 9/10
 
Woe
Legacies of Frailty
Score: 9/10
28
 
29Miserere Luminis
Ordalie
Score: 9/10
 
Waldgeflüster
Unter Bronzenen Kronen
Score: 8.5/10
30
 
31Varg
Ewige Wacht
Score: 8.5/10
 
Ultha
Live At Soulcrusher MMXXII
Score: 8.5/10
32
 
33Ice Ages
Coma
Score: 8.5/10
 
Deadly Carnage
Endless Blue
Score: 8.5/10
34
 
35Artanor
In Servitude of Darkness
Score: 8.5/10
 
Fortíð
Narkissos
Score: 8.5/10
36
 
37The Arcane Order
Distortions from Cosmogony
Score: 8.5/10
 
The Kryptik
A Journey to the Darkest Kingdom
Score: 8.5/10
38
 
39Immortal
War Against All
Score: 8.5/10
 
Theosophy
Bleeding Wounds of the First and the Last
Score: 8.5/10
40
 
41Afsky
Om hundrede r
Score: 8.5/10
 
Aeternus
Philosopher
Score: 8.5/10
42
 
43On Thorns I Lay
On Thorns I Lay
Score: 8.5/10
 
Iku-Turso
Ikuinen kirous
Score: 8.5/10
44
 
45Minas Morgul
Nebelung
Score: 8.5/10
 
The Project Hate MCMXCIX
Abominations of the Ageless
Score: 8/10
46
 
47Insomnium
Anno 1696
Score: 8/10
 
Den Saakaldte
Pesten som tar over
Score: 8/10
48
 
49Uada
Crepuscule Natura
Score: 8/10
 
Heimdalls Wacht
Mystagogie - Lieder voll Ewigkeit
Score: 8/10
50
 
51Wolvennest
The Dark Path to the Light
Score: 8/10
 
Hermóðr
Where All the Rivers Meet
Score: 8/10
52
 
53Kalmankantaja
Second Death
Score: 8/10
 
Kalmankantaja
Kohti Valon Kuolemaa
Score: 8/10
54
 
55Thulcandra
Hail the Abyss
Score: 8/10
 
Phlebotomized
Clouds of Confusion
Score: 8/10
56
 
57Taake
Et hav av avstand
Score: 8/10
 
Nocte Obducta
Karwoche - Die Sonne der Toten pulsiert
Score: 8/10
58
 
59Deviser
Evil Summons Evil
Score: 8/10
 
Insomnium
Songs of the Dusk
Score: 8/10
60
 
61October Tide
The Cancer Pledge
Score: 8/10
 
Moonlight Sorcery
Horned Lord Of The Thorned Castle
Score: 7.5/10
62
 
63Orbit Culture
Descent
Score: 7.5/10
 
Old Forest
Sutwyke
Score: 7.5/10
64
 
65Memoriam
Rise to Power
Score: 7.5/10
 
Kalmankantaja
Surun saattomailla
Score: 7.5/10
66
 
67Ancestors Blood / Heimdalls Wacht
Split
Score: 7.5/10
 
Mesarthim
Arrival
Score: 7.5/10
68
 
69Ocean Of Grief
Pale Existence
Score: 7.5/10
 
Fjoergyn
Judasmesse
Score: 7.5/10
70
 
71Cultus Sanguine
Dust Once Alive
Score: 7.5/10
 
Graveland
Live in France
Score: 7.5/10
72
 
73Elffor
The Black Sentinel
Score: 7.5/10
 
Obituary
Dying of Everything
Score: 7/10
74
 
75Cruachan
The Living and the Dead
Score: 7/10
 
Porta Nigra
Weltende
Score: 7/10
76
 
77Blood Incantation
Luminescent Bridge
Score: 7/10
 
Immemorial (POL)
Rebirth
Score: 7/10
78
 
79An Autumn For Crippled Children
Closure
Score: 7/10
 
Atrocity
Okkult III
Score: 7/10
80
 
81Amorphis
Queen Of Time - Live At Tavastia
Score: 7/10
 
Walg
III
Score: 7/10
82
 
83Arde / Nakkiga
Split
Score: 7/10
 
Cemetery Of Scream
Oceans
Score: 6.5/10
84
 
85Beenkerver
Twee Wolven
Score: 6.5/10
 
Sigh
Live: The Eastern Forces of Evil 2022
Score: 6.5/10
86
 
87Wayfarer
American Gothic
Score: 6.5/10
 
Shining
Allt fr dden
Score: 6.5/10
88
 
89Panopticon
Cedar Skeletons (digital)
Score: 6.5/10
 
Therion
Leviathan III
Score: 6.5/10
90
 
91Vargrav
The Nighthold
Score: 6.5/10
 
Paradise Lost
Icon 30
Score: 6.5/10
92
 
93Ahab
The Coral Tombs
Score: 6.5/10
 
Massacre
Submergence: Live Beyond 2019 (digital)
Score: 6.5/10
94
 
95Aara
Triade III: Nyx
Score: 6.5/10
 
Kalmankantaja
Unohdettu
Score: 6.5/10
96
 
97Heretoir
Nightsphere
Score: 6.5/10
 
Graveworm
Killing Innocence
Score: 6.5/10
98
 
99Tulus
Fandens kall
Score: 6/10
 
Runemagick
Last Skull of Humanity
Score: 6/10
100



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