The year 2022 is barely laid to rest, and here we are, already name-dropping what is to come for 2023.
Truth is, 2022 was a pretty solid year for the metalheads of the world, with a whole lot of great albums that came to pass – and of course there will be a lot more to come in 2023 as well. Will it rival 2022? That’s hard to say, because a lot of artists were sitting on their newest material, waiting for that whole pandemic thing to pass before they could drop their new albums and get back out on the road again. So, we really were privileged with a barrage of amazing material last year. Let’s just say, 2023 has its work cut out for it.
After all, think about it – a band needs to be out on the road and touring. Playing gigs all over, hitting up the festival circuit – music is meant to be heard live, especially when you’re playing to such a maniacal fan base like that that is the worldwide heavy metal legions. Who else takes live events so seriously, and relies so heavily on these gigs for their social lives, too. How many of us use concerts as a chance to hang out with our friends, swig gallons of beer and connect with new people too, all while letting off steam to the sounds of the bands on stage. It’s in our DNA.
That’s all fine and dandy though, because we already have a whole bunch of artists booking studio time in the coming months – or honing up their new crafts in preparation for the recording phase. Some names that have been silent for a while now are waking up from the slumbers of hibernation and rabidly preparing for their next chapters. Lucky us that get to eagerly await these offerings.
See Also: The Top Ten Metal Albums of 2022
The potential for more rumors and announcements is so phenomenally large and that it is, in fact, and very naturally – completely certain, that many more surprises will soon be announced. So without further adieu, and in no particular order, we present our ten most anticipated albums for the coming year.
Last year, the madman dropped one of the best albums of the year before immediately announcing that he had already begun working on its follow-up album. If anything, Patient Number 9 was Ozzy Osbourne having a sing-a-long with some of his pals, and the result was a truly formidable record. So much so, that the moment its follow-up was announced, we had it pre-planned for inclusion in this list. Although assuming makes an ass out of you and me (my high school English would be proud that I still remember that), we are going to assume that Ozzy has something similar up his cloaked sleeve this time around as well, and can’t wait to see who he’ll drag out for this next record. It’s sort of like if you had a very talented pool of friends, that all like to gather at the same pub and at some point, when everyone is past the pint of no return (I stole that line from The Mahones!) Clapton whips out his guitar and Ozzy reaches into his pocket for his harmonica and away we go!
It has been a stretch since we last heard from Chino Moreno and the Deftones, but that is apparently coming to a close, as the Deftones have began working on new material – a follow-up to their 2020 album Ohms, but they’re not exactly in a rush to get it done. So whether or not that means we will hear new music from the Deftones in 2023 or not remains shrouded in mystery, but there is hope that something is on the horizon. There is very little information yet known about this new material, and Moreno underplays it as much as he can but just the fact that “talks” are happening about new music is enough for us to include Deftones on this list. It would seem that Moreno hasn’t yet gotten involved and that the material that has been penned comes from the “other” members of the group. With bassist Sergio Vega having left the band earlier in the year, other mysteries appear. Go on then, keep your secrets!
A decade has already passed since H.I.M last dropped an album, and little has been heard from them since then – but in 2023, Ville Valo, the formidable H.I.M frontman returns with a solo album named Neon Noir. As there is no doubting the massive impact that H.I.M had on the metal world, playing what they self-described as being Love Metal, then surely anything to do with H.I.M in any way, shape or form is bound to spark interest. Surely, some purists will again be contemplating whether of not H.I.M or Ville Valo belong on a metal list – but we still don’t care. Hell, we ruffled feathers recently by including Ghost in our end of year best metal albums list.
Although, this one is a little on the cherry picking side of things, as Neon Noir already has a release date (and our email box was already graced with the album some weeks ago) – the new album is set to drop on January 13th via Heartagram Records, distributed by UMG/ Spinefarm.
Full Of Hell & Nothing
This is one to hey hyped about, because every single time Full Of Hell have worked with another artist on a project, the results have been stellar, to say the least. And with the other artists in question this time being Nothing, well, as they say – where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Anybody that has had the pleasure of hearing Full Of Hell on their collaborations with either Merzbow (which was one of the most incredible recordings put to vinyl when it was released) or The Body knows exactly what I’m getting at here – pure sonic mayhem and misanthropy is a foot, and about to come bounding over the horizon. Full Of Hell are the musical equivalent of the lidless eye of Sauron – more an experience than a listening. Grab onto your socks, because we are about to get blown away again!
A lot is made about the Big 4 of American thrash metal, but there exists a Big 4 of German thrash metal too, that never really gets the kudos they deserve. Among those four, sit Sodom, and any time a band such as Sodom announce they are about to enter the studio, let me tell you, my ears perk up like Scooby when he hears Shaggy tear open a fresh pack of snacks. Sodom are planning something special, and are doing all they can to return to the formula that made their 80s era records so good, and to accomplish that, the members are no longer sharing Mp3’s of what they are working on among themselves and are instead saving it all up for their jam sessions, which now take place three times a week. Key an eye on this one!
Delays are the name of the game when it comes to King Diamond – but the new album is apparently still in the works and closer to being released than ever before, which is great bloody news if you ask us. The King hasn’t graced us with any new music since 2007’s Give Me Your Soul…Please came out, but all indications are that King Diamond is about to have himself a very, very busy year in 2023. The new album has a title – The Institute, and will be a two-part album with the second part coming out a yet undisclosed time. A large portion of the new material, according to guitarist Andy La Rocque, where in the demoing stage and being re-arranged and polished up right before King Diamond left to tour with Mercyful Fate. Meaning that the new album, or at least the first part of it, shouldn’t be too much farther down the line. So, following a sixteen year silence, there is potentially not one – but two new albums dropping in 2023 from King Diamond – and that’s just the start (read on)
But wait, there’s more! If you’re excited at the promise of a new King Diamond album, wait until you hear that there are several new pieces of work on the way from King Diamond with Mercyful Fate. According to Metal Blade CEO Brian Slagel, Mercyful Fate will release two new songs before the King Diamond record. Then, once the new King Diamond album hits their attentions will turn to Mercyful Fate and their new record – one that has been a very, very long time coming. It has been more than two decades since any new material came from Mercyful Fate, all the way back to 1999 when they released their 9 album. We know for fact that one of the two new songs that will be released, digitally and then on vinyl, will be a song named The Jackal of Salzburg, which the band has been playing live for the best past of 2022. Everything else though, remains shrouded in mystery – for now.
It has been a wait, but seven years after Voice Of The Void was released, new music is finally under construction. Anciients themselves teased the booking of studio time to record their upcoming third album, but beyond that, very little – if anything at all, is known to anyone outside of the band. Given that the two previous albums were both fine examples of quality song structure and epic and exorbitant riff-work that would make groups like Opeth jealous. Anciient’s finely honed craft have been missed – and it is more than time for these Canadians from Vancouver, British Columbia to retain to the global scene; they have been missed. And as such, a third opus that has been so many years in the making should surely peek the interests of quite a few ears.
>> Katatonia at TD Studio, Montreal
>> Testament at London Music Hall, London
>> Ghost at Centre Videotron, Quebec City
When it comes to black metal, few bands seek to constantly evolve the genre the way Enslaved has over the decades, and for that reason alone, the potential of new material from these incredibly talent Norsemen is noteworthy. With a release date of March 3rd, 2023 already set in stone, it is now but a waiting game. What we know so far, is that album will be titled Heimdal and will contain eight tracks. “This time we have decided to dedicate an entire body of work to this most enigmatic of characters and richest of archetypes'” says Ivar Bjørnson – “ we give you Heimdal. We have reached deeper and scouted further ahead than ever before — the past, present and future sound of the band comes together in songs born from sheer inspiration — it is the common force of a close-nit group of friends and musicians.”
As far as super-groups go, Vltimas surely has to be among the most interesting. Featuring the ferocious and insane drumming that Flo Mounier of Cyrptopsy is known for, with David Vincent, the former vocalist of Morbid Angel and Rune Eriksen, formerly of Mayhem on the guitar – come on! Vincent revealed news that the trio are in the writing process together on his social media accounts, saying “Writing session for new Vltimas record is underway at my ranch in my newly-completed ‘W.A.R. Room’ deep in the heart of Texas with Eriksen and Mounier.” This news alludes to a new record for 2023, and will be the second record released by this all-star trio and first since 2019’s Something Wicked Marches In. Eriksen will also be having himself a busy year, having also recently forming a name band, named Ruim, that was inspired by the rediscovery of a long lost tape of old, unused Mayhem-era riffs.
Of course, there is still a whole plethora of upcoming recordings yet to be spoken of for 2023 that with reveal themselves in the coming days, weeks and months. We certainly are, wait… what’s that hashtag thing the cool kids say? Blessed? Yeah, that’ll do.