Lizi’s 2023 Albums of the Year

Choosing a top five or ten albums of 2023 is tough but somehow, I was able to do it! Lets hope that 2024 brings us the same headache when it comes down to narrowing down the great records!

2023 saw a lot of good music released across the world. It was tough to pick my albums of the year as there were so many incredible records to choose from. But somehow I’ve managed it and here they are in no particular order!

McFly – Power to Play

Now McFly will always have a special place in my heart because they were the first band I saw live on their first ever tour, a whole two decades ago now! So I’m always going to have a fondness for anything they put out. However, Power to Play is not just good because it’s McFly, it really is a great album.

It’s full of absolutely amazing rock bangers from lead single Where Did All the Guitars Go to God of Rock & Roll, with some extra special, more melodic tracks like Honey I’m Home. It really has something for everyone and to see McFly bring out a true rock album – something they’ve wanted to do for years now – was a highlight of the year for me. You can tell just how much passion and effort went into everything about the record – from the lyrics, to the riffs and everything in between – and could tell that not only was it a commercial hit for the band but a true passion project too.

Observe The 93rd – Eternalism

Observe The 93rd is a band I’d not heard of prior to the release of their fourth album Eternalism towards the end of 2023 and I am frustrated in myself that I didn’t find them sooner.

Eternalism is right up my street! It’s an album full of catchy hooks, electronic sounds and a lovely rock feel. It’s a relatable album lyrically and there’s even a whole song dedicated to Halloween with The Halloween Song, full of pop culture references towards the spooky season.

Beartooth – The Surface

Beartooth is another band that I really enjoy practically everything from.

The Surface is full of catchy melodies but without completely losing the heaviness from the early part of the band’s career.

Personally What’s Killing You and Riptide are my favourites on the record.

The Amity Affliction – Not Without My Ghosts

The Amity Affliction is without a doubt one of my favourite bands of all time. Their latest album Not Without My Ghosts continues the band’s streak of stellar releases.

The titular track is one of my favourites as is the absolute banger It’s Hell Down Here. The album is full of their staple metalcore sound with Ahren’s smooth clean vocals mixing perfectly with Joel’s screams and lyrics that punch you in the face with honesty and relatability.

Lake Malice – Post Genesis

There has been a lot of hype around Lake Malice in 2023 and with debut EP Post Genesis it’s easy to see why. The range of influences makes for an eclectic record as no two songs sound the same but this works well as it creates a signature style for the duo. The electronic synths over superb riffs work well with Alice’s vocal range – which is also shown off well in the EP, particularly in opener Blossom.

Heart Of A Coward – This Place Only Brings Death

Heart Of A Coward are never ones to shy away from relevant topics, and This Place Only Brings Death is just another – brilliant – example of this. The titular track talks about fighting for survival as everything comes to an end and in my review of the album I called it ‘absolute perfection’ and I stand by that now after several listens.

Throughout the album there’s a lot of breakdowns which are brilliant as well as some interesting synths. There are also catchy hooks throughout, particularly Devour Me with its ‘tear me apart’ lines.

ALT BLK ERA – Freak Show

ALT BLK ERA is a duo that I’ve really fallen in love with throughout 2023. For youngsters, they show a great talent for writing songs, with each track on Freak Show sounding as if it was written by musicians with at least a decade experience.

Misfits: SOLAR is my stand-out on the EP, combining synths with a hip-hop style vocal delivery. I can’t wait to see what the duo have in store in 2024!

The Word Alive – Hard Reset

The Word Alive for me stands on the same level as Beartooth in that I absolutely love them and the progression of sound over the years actually plays to their advantage as they sound so much better, with well-rounded songs and the passion is clear as they’ve truly found a sound that works for them.

Hard Reset is full of extremely catchy tunes and some great guest appearances, including Loveless on Hate Me and Bad Omens on One of Us.

It is more melodic than previous releases but The Word Alive also haven’t forgotten their more heavier roots completely as this shines through at times.

Derek Sanders – The Heavy Box

Derek is one of my favourite vocalists of all time and I actually forgot The Heavy Box was a 2023 release until I was revisiting a number of records I’d reviewed as I thought it was out in 2022 (doesn’t time fly?!). It is the Mayday Parade frontman’s second solo EP after 2020’s My Rock and Roll Heart. The five-track EP features two guest vocalists in Mike Hanson and Jason Lancaster who compliment Derek’s range well. Jason features on my favourite track on the record – closer For Dear Life. It’s emotional and I just love it.

VV – Neon Noir

And last but definitely not least is VV’s Neon Noir. VV is another of my favourite vocalists (it’s been a year of releases for some of my favourite artists) and Neon Noir is just beautiful.

Ville’s smooth vocals are perfectly in sync with upbeat instrumentation, including synths, and it is an album that just makes you want to dance.

Lyrically the album is a masterpiece that is to be expected from Ville. I absolutely love In Trenodia and Heartful of Ghosts but all of the tracks are equally special.

Elizabeth Birt

January 3, 2024

Band management assistant. Goth princess and lover of all things music and sport.


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