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CVLT Nation’s Top 10 BLACK METAL Records of 2023

#10 FINAL DOSE Void Inside

There are no more fickle masters than the corporate capitalist overlords who are scheming every day to keep us distracted, angry, and poor! If they can promote one generation to hate another, one color to hate another, one lover to hate another, one culture to hate another — then they win and we all lose. All of these frustrating ideas are flying around my head while I watch the new video for the scathing and brutal blackened hardcore punk anthem from FINAL DOSE, “Like Rats”! Their record Void Inside could be the soundtrack to my thoughts as I watch the world revolve around one manufactured conflict after another. This band perfectly captures my incredulity, frustration, and wrath in its caustic rhythms and furious riffs! 

#9 VIDE The Parish

I’m beyond fucking stoked to be sharing with you the new VIDE album entitled The Parish and let me tell you, it’s a scathing BANGER! I love the grim dank sonic atmosphere that he creates on his releases. Songs like “Kingdom of Fire” are drenched in anguish and possess a depth to them that is transcendental. The pain and torment that swirl around these riffs reek of bleakness. VIDE gets me hyped because I can hear how he weaves other influences in and out of his songwriting to perfection. “Flies in the ointment” sounds like death, but awakens all of my senses so that I can’t help myself but rejoice in the sun. I know for a fact that The Parish will rank high on our EOTY list for 2023 because it’s that good. VIDE really does manifest some of my favorite music of all time. I want to say thank you for allowing us to share this unreal album with CVLT Nation readers! When you blast “Living off borrowed time” if you are not already a fan, you will be once this song is over! VIDE’s music is rooted in real life and the human condition we all face no matter who we are!

#8 AGRICULTURE s/t

There are so many things I love about Black Metal, but many times I don’t feel like it’s a safe space for me as a Black Man. It’s a genre/subculture of metal that claims it’s not racist, but so many bands create music that makes racists feel comfortable. So for me to allow a band’s energy into my reality, I have to know that they are creating from a space that’s free of isms. Case in point, the band Agriculture and their self-titled debut album via The Flenser — it’s the kind of sonic safe space I need to have as a fan of black metal.

#7 portrayal of guilt Devil Music

Say it 3 times: WTF WTF WTF! Unholy Fuck YES — Portrayal of Guilt is blowing my mind with their new album Devil Music via Run For Cover. I can’t front this might be one of the best records of 2023 and you can’t place it in just one genre! I have so much respect for this band because they are constantly pushing their artistic vision to places that they have never been before. On one side of the album, they bang out 5 unnaturally sick songs, and then on the flip side, they give the same songs orchestral treatment. Knowing that musicians like Portrayal of Guilt exist put a smile on my face! It’s now time for y’all to check out Devil Music below. 

#6 Anti-God Hand Blight Year

I know something that y’all don’t know, but lucky for you it’s my job to let y’all know that ANTI-GOD HAND’s new album Blight Year is unreal and then some!!! I write this from a place of Black Joy that a Black Metal record can hit so hard it makes me smile. I’m so impressed with the emotional songwriting laid down to make this project a reality. I can’t front and I won’t front, there are many scathing moments in Blight Year but it’s the sonic spaces of vulnerability that really get me hyped. Actually, what makes ANTI-GOD HAND such a special project is their ability to balance the nocturnal and diurnal. This fact can be heard in the second song “Barge of Light,” because within it I feel the agony of the world and the beauty of a never-ending sunset. “Chaoscene Hell” is a Black Metal song that has so many layers of unhinged rage that with each listen you will experience a new audio sensation! ANTI-GOD HAND conjures up the kind of music that allows my imagination to be free from any negative self-doubt. The song “Hyperincursion of the Theocentre” will take you to places where the ancient exists next to everything modern. ANTI-GOD HAND is a wizard at creating Black Metal that is full of empathy while holding up a razor blade to our internal and external downpressors. 

#5 TENDRIL DISCIPLES OF THE LUNAR DAWN

WTF WTF WTF Scathing Wretched Emotional Putrid Beautiful Ancient Majesty and really Addictive — these are some of the words that come to mind as I blast the new TENDRIL record DISCIPLES OF THE LUNAR DAWN. Real talk, right now this new Black Metal project is stabbing my brain full of blackened joy. I love how the opening song “ORGY OF THE FLAYED BEAST” not only punches you in the mouth but it also creeps up behind you and slaps you on the neck with its lurking energy! I want the Black Metal that I listen to have a fucked in the head atmosphere, and TENDRIL has that plus a whole lot more. The guitar tones on “DISCIPLES OF THE LUNAR DAWN” are total grime with a healthy dose of maggot-filled filth. I got a challenge for y’all: turn the tune “MARTYR OF OMELAS” all the way up and then tell me that this band is not the shit. Every tune on this record is a Black Arts masterpiece. TENDRIL never sacrifices all-out sonic rage for speed, and under the sonic stench, melodic worms are crawling all around! Decrepit hymns like “SADISTIC DAMNATION” will eat away at your flesh while you headbanging to your own doom. It’s that last track, “ICHOR,” that shows me how special TENDRIL truly is, because this is the perfect outro to the unreal debut!

#4 SPIRIT POSSESSION Of The Sign​.​.​.

This is the trillingest trilling album I’ve ever trilling heard. So much trilling, in fact, that it completely distracted me from just about everything else Spirit Possession was doing on this album as a whole. Also, in fact, it made me sort of hate the record at first. But as I sat with it, other factors began to set in, and I got a deep understanding of just what exactly, I think, was going on here.

Of the Sign…, the second full-length from this dastardly duo, brings together S. Peacock (of Ulthar, Mastery, and Pandiscordian Necrogenesis) and A. Spungin (Vouna, Ormus, and Taurus), who weave an unholy concoction of Black and Death, with lots of Thrash and Trad seasonings, and yes, plenty of trilling. Peacock provides the gutturals and the strings, Spungin provides the drums and the handmade synthesizers. Their first record was a bit rawer (hard to believe) while their second offering tends more towards the epic while still staying true to their bleeding and brutal roots. It’s sort of like climbing a majestic mountain but making sure to stop off at every cave entrance to sup from their dank and diseased waters on your way up. The view from the top is magnificent, but you never forget the earth beneath your feet.

#3 VOIDSPHERE To Infect | To Inflict

VOIDSPHERE’s To Infect | To Inflict is the kind of Black Metal that will open up your third eye so that you can see the things that you have never seen before! I want to give the band the shine that deserves because they have never created an album that I did not love. VOIDSPHERE’s music is meditative sonic chaos that will reshape your reality!!!

This isn’t just flashy guitar work, or simple melodies suffused together.  This is sacred ritual music for the void, that much is clear. It’s not death metal.  Not black metal circa second wave. Voidsphere proclaim worship of the void, the predecessor of all organization, time, life and godhood.  It is the great wasteland that dreamt of its opposite, cared enough about chaos to birth the stuff of planets and imploding helium that made up the stars. It is righteous for the void to receive praise. The music here is observant of that truth.  It is no longer a fusion of instrumentation.  It is an abstract helicon of inspiration that still sees some structure and melody, albeit dissonant and otherworldly.  Notice the keyboards providing accent to the  guitar riffs and vocals, the drumming only subtly keeping time, thudding like the heart’s rapid tachycardic pulse.

CVLT Nation

#2 Pharmakeia Maenadic Ecstasy

Pharmakeia’s Maenadic Ecstasy is so unhinged that I feel like I’m losing my mind every second I listen to it!!! Unholy fuck this band fucking RULES!!!!!

I am beyond amazed at the passion that Pharmakeia has put into every second of this project. The layers of outright sonic hate you will encounter while experiencing this band is mind-numbing. They have taken the brutal sounds of Black Metal and injected it with so much next level fury that it is so fucking inspiring! Real talk, Pharmakeia has set the bar high for the album of the year, now let’s see if any other band can come close!

CVLT Nation

#1 LUCIFIXION Trisect Joys of Pierced Hearts

What is there to say that this crippled raw black metal behemoth isn’t already saying simply through its hideous eight minutes of total pestilence? Almost forty minutes more of the same venom-soaked sonic bestiality await you ahead. Six more tracks of chaos-worshiping, fear-mongering, filth-drenched black metal cacophony from a new generation rising of young USBM hordes who’ve set out to conquer the outer limits of musical sanity. If you like arcane, filth-riddled shit like Craft, Katharsis, Cult Des Ghoules, Negative Plane and Iljarn then look no further, the feral and blown-out realm of voluntarily disfigured black metal ugliness is here to perpetrate its violent reign!

Written By

“IRON
Sentient 51423

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