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Saturday 30 December 2023

AOTY 2023: Paul Scoble Top 20

20 - Tilintetgjort - In Death I Shall Rise

Unbelievably good Raw Black Black Metal, really creative and innovative treatment of a form of extreme metal that is usually thought of as simple and basic.

19 - Nordicwinter - This Mournful Dawn

Another fantastic album of Atmospheric / Depressive Black Metal from Nordicwinter. Probably my favourite Depressive Black Metal act, nobody else manages to mix dark feelings with melody and drive quite as well as this Canadian one man band.

18 - Thy Catafalque - Alföld

Once again Thy Catafalque have managed a brilliant mix of Black Metal, Electronica, Folk and World Music. This one is inspired by the bands older material, making this the most extreme Thy Catafalque album for quite a while.

17 - Witch Ripper - The Flight After The Fall

Fantastic mix of Doom and Sludge that is also inspired by the band Muse. In fact if you were wondering what it would sound like if Muse made a Heavy Doom / Sludge album, then this album is the answer.

16 - Lucid Sins - Dancing In The Dark

Beautifully taut, melodic psychedelic Folk Rock, not very heavy, but with songs as good as these you won’t notice or care.

15 - Church Of Misery - Born Under A Mad Sign

Church Of Misery release another masterpiece of Serial Killer obsessed Stoner Doom. Huge grooves and wicked riffs tell the stories of maddest to walk this earth.

14 - Saint Karloff - Palaeolithic War Crimes

A fantastic tribute to their sadly departed Bass player, Saint Karloff have made a great album of Psychedelic Doom, Southern Rock and Blues that make a fitting salute to their friend.

13 - Werewolves - My Enemies Look And Sound Like Me

The Australian Death Metal Lunar-tics, Werewolves have yet again released the Old School Death Metal Album Of The Year. Apparently next years Old School Death Metal Album Of The Year has already been recorded and will be released in the first half of next year.

12 - Hellripper - Warlocks Grim & Withered Hags

Hellripper released another slice of ridiculously super energised Black Thrash this year. This one features some NWOBHM influences and some (Shock Horror) slow bits, making this Hellripper’s most mature album yet, although there is still loads of high velocity thrash to keep all of us happy that do not want to grow up!

11 - Dozer - Drifting In The Endless Void

After a long break Dozer return with an album of subtle and understated Stoner Doom. It isn’t that in your face, so it takes a little while to realise just how good this album is. Brilliant album that I keep on returning to.

10 - Dopelord - Songs For Satan

A great piece of Occult / Stoner Doom. Great riffs, Awesome Grooves, Wonderful Vocals and Choruses you will be humming to distraction. What a wonderful present, Satan should be very grateful!

09 - Slegest - Avstand

Hugely energetic Blackened Punk Rock. Wonderful high speed stomping Punk Rock drenched in Blackened ferocity. Great songs, massive energy and a Status Quo cover, what more could you want?

08 - Power Trip - Live In Seattle

Absolutely incendiary Live recording of the Best Thrash Band. It highlights what an amazing frontman and Lead Vocalist Riley Gale was, and what a tragic loss his passing was. An amazing live album that, despite how good it is, will make you feel sad.

07 - Mizmor - Prosaic

Savage Black Metal mixed with the most crushingly heavy, and desolate Doom. Mizmor are the best Blackened Doom band, no-one else even comes close.

06 - Isole - Anesidora

By dialling back the heaviness and aggression and by increasing the vulnerability, Isole have made a Masterpiece of Melodic Doom. It’s still heavy, but the overriding feeling with this album is how breathtakingly beautiful it is.

05 - Graveyard - 6

A wonderful mix of Hard / Southern Rock and Blues. This is an album that will will wrap you up in it’s velvet gorgeousness, and make you feel worm and comforted, it’s just lovely!

04 - Margarita Witch Cult - Self Titled

Ignore the band name and late nineties Microsoft Paint cover, this is a brilliant piece of Stoner Rock with NWOBHM and psych rock influences. It’s a beast of an album that will get into your head and will have you singing the choruses to distraction.

03 - Ahab - The Coral Tombs

Ahab continue their seafaring, but this time they are descending below the ocean waves with Professor Arronax on a mission to find Captain Nemo, and The Nautilus. This beautiful, affecting piece of melodic Funeral Doom is an amazing piece of work.

02 - Green Lung - This Heathen Land

Delivering on the promise of their last two albums, Green Lung deliver a staggering piece of melodic Hard Rock full of catchiness, amazing choruses, brilliant melodies, hooks you could land a Great White with. This album is a monster that gets better and better the more you listen to it.

01 - Hail The Void - Memento Mori

Memento Mori isn’t a particularly groundbreaking album. It’s a fairly traditional Doom album that doesn’t stray too far from the oldest Metal style we have known and loved for years. What is special about Memento Mori is the quality, what Hail The Void have done is to make the Best Traditional Doom album I have ever heard. Every riff, every bass-line, every groove, every vocal, every chorus is better than any Traditional Doom I have heard before. It stands up over time as well, I’ve listened to this album massively this year and it has only got better, I fucking love this album, and that is why it’s my Album Of The Year!

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