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CVLT Nation’s Top 10 POST PUNK & DEATH ROCK Records of 2023

#10 BELGRADO Intra Apogeum

I love BELGRADO. They are a lighthouse in the sea of the post punk revival, and throughout the years we have constantly returned to admire their prolific output. Since this record came out, I have been dancing in my living room to their perfect blend of new wave and post punk, electronica and krautrock, italodisco and death rock. There’s literally no way I can listen to this record and not move. Intra Apogeum is another Belgrado record that’s going to go down in history as emblematic of 21st century post punk.

10 POST PUNK // DEATH ROCK Records of 2023

#9 SKEMER TOASTS & SENTIMENTS

Turn out the lights and slip into your latex and move your body to the gothic electronic post punk of SKEMER! I’m listening to their record TOASTS & SENTIMENTS while the sun is out but it feels like their cold, synth-driven sounds just brought a delicious darkness into my world. If I don’t hear “Out of Favor” playing at all the goth dance parties I go to in 2024 I’m gonna be disappointed.

10 POST PUNK // DEATH ROCK Records of 2023

#8 RITUAL HOWL Virtue Falters

I got to say that RITUAL HOWL are one of my favorite Post-Punk bands creating music right NOW! One major reason why is because of the creative space that they come from is free of boundaries and this new album proves that even more!

10 POST PUNK // DEATH ROCK Records of 2023

#7 CRUSH OF SOULS A)Void Love

If you’re looking for a pounding darkwave beat to soothe your fears about this sick, sad world then look no further than CRUSH OF SOULS! A)Void Love came crashing into my senses like a gothic sledgehammer to the soul, forcing me to move to the seductive synths and follow the allure of the vocals.

10 POST PUNK // DEATH ROCK Records of 2023

#6 DEATH INDEX Civilized By A Lie

I say this with a smile on my face: I <3 DEATH INDEX and their music makes me want to dance on the moon! Imagine if Suicide, Psychedelic Furs, Crass, and Lack of Knowledge decided to start a project together — the outcome just might sound something like DEATH INDEX. This band creates music that is influenced by the state of our world and for that, I respect it because they have something to say! 

10 POST PUNK // DEATH ROCK Records of 2023

#5 CHAIN OF FLOWERS Never Ending Space

This band can do no wrong in my eyes, or should I say ears. Chain of Flowers manifests the kind of anthems that take me back to my teenage year while at the same time pushing me into the future! They have perfected the art of writing songs that make you want to dance and have the depth that gets deep into your soul. Imagine Echo and the Bunnymen, Gang of Four, and Killing Joke were strains of weed — the sensation of the high would feel like a Chain of Flowers jam. Yo Chain of Flowers — y’all have done it again, congrats!

10 POST PUNK // DEATH ROCK Records of 2023

#4 MORWAN Svitaye, Palaye

I’ve heard a lot of post punk in my time, but I haven’t heard anything exactly like MORWAN. This is a one man project but he sounds like a choir of souls speaking from the dead to share their eternal sight. That might sound like hyperbole, but I’m not exaggerating how hard this record hit me — it has a physical effect on my body which is always a sign of music with impact. Svitaye, Palaye is sending waves and waves of shivers down my spine. I can’t understand a word of the Ukrainian lyrics, but the emotions come through loud and clear. If you haven’t hit play on this game-changer of a post punk record by now, do it already:

10 POST PUNK // DEATH ROCK Records of 2023

#3 LATHE OF HEAVEN Bound By Naked Skies

Right now, I’m under the spell of Lathe of Heaven! As y’all can hear for yourself below, this band is about to release one of the most outstanding Post Punk albums of 2023. If my 14-year-old self heard this band in the 80s, I would be dancing my ass off at Club Fetish in Hollywood. Not only does their song “At Moment’s Edge” give me full-body chills every time I hear it, but it also gives me hope that my negative self-talk will never win! Yo Gage, you are killing it on the vocal tip, and musically, the band is next-level EPIC!

10 POST PUNK // DEATH ROCK Records of 2023

#2 HOME FRONT Games Of Power

Unholy hell YES! I feel so honored to write about the new album from HOME FRONT entitled Games of Power. This time around they have manifested a collection of Post Punk anthems that act as a sonic looking-glass reflecting all of the textures of this genre. Case in point, not too many bands nowadays remember when Post Punk 12 inches were the go-to dance music for the 80s club kids in the UK. Straight up, their title track “Games of Power” shows us all that Dance Music comes in many forms, and that’s why this is one of my favorite songs of the year.

HOME FRONT is a group of humans that know this genre is so deep that you don’t have to repeat yourself when it comes to manifesting the art that you love. Don’t even get me started on the vocal delivery and lyrics you will encounter on Games of Power — I get chills just thinking about how spot-on they are! This band draws me into their world and I believe and feel where they are coming from. I appreciate how tunes like “Face Value” give me hope that this fucked up world we live in can still be saved! “Born Killer” is one of the raddest Suicide songs covered by another band.

I can’t front — what I really respect about Games of Power is that HOME FRONT was willing to challenge themselves and was secure enough in their creativity to take us on the journey with them. It trips me out that I lived through the 80s only to be inspired by an unreal Post Punk band 40 years later! This band is bigger than just one genre they create anthems that inspire us all to be better humans and take a stand against the modern corruption that we are all surrounded by. The bonus song “Come Down” taps into their inner Spaceman 3, and for that, I salute them to the highest POWER! Hey, HOME FRONT, respect due for pushing our culture forward!

10 POST PUNK // DEATH ROCK Records of 2023

#1 SOFT KILL Metta World Peace

This doesn’t really sound anything like the first Soft Kill record I fell in love with, but it’s got the same energy that drew me into this band’s web all those years ago. It’s darker, it’s bigger, it’s more polished, and more dirty than what I’ve come to expect from Soft Kill. That’s what put Metta World Peace at the top of our post punk and death rock list this year. With features from Evil Pimp and N8NOFACE there was no way this record wasn’t going to rule. “Trouble” sounds like Soft Kill took the magic they started with Heresy and magnified it by 1000. “Behind the Rain” is a track that brings Soft Kill from Death Cult to The Cult and I love it. I could go through track by track, but I think you’re better off doing that and feeling what each of these gems brings out in you. There’s darkwave and electronica on here, there’s Americana and classic post punk, there’s indie and coldwave and hip hop. Metta World Peace just raised the bar for what’s possible in this genre.

10 POST PUNK // DEATH ROCK Records of 2023
Written By

Meghan MacRae grew up in Vancouver, Canada, but spent many years living in the remote woods. Living in the shadow of grizzly bears, cougars and the other predators of the wilderness taught her about the dark side of nature, and taught her to accept her place in nature's order as their prey. She is co-founder of CVLT Nation.

“IRON
Sentient 51423

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