Lambgoat's Top Albums of Quarter 3 2023
Releases from July 1 to September 30
The third quarter of 2023 is in the books and while we tried to cover as much as possible, there are always plenty more quality records to discuss. Below are a few favorites from the Lambgoat staff that may or maybe not end up on our list at the end of the year. For now, they are at least in the running.
Over the past few years, I have been drawn more and more to Baroness. Admittedly I slept on the first few albums when they were living down the road in Savannah, and that was a big mistake. This latest album really sees the band in a totally mature light, the addition of Gina on guitar really elevated the songwriting and such, in my opinion. This list is for top tier albums you can spin all the way through over and over... and Stone has been that for me since we received the advance.
In Fatalism, Polaris presents an album that signifies a band hitting its stride, solidifying a formula that works remarkably well. This record holds particular poignancy as the band's final effort recorded before the untimely passing of guitarist Ryan Siew, who joined Polaris when he was just 15 years old. His loss adds a layer of profound emotion to the release for both the band and the fans who mourn his departure. While Polaris have made the decision to forge ahead, it's undeniable that the path forward won't be without its challenges. Nevertheless, Fatalism stands as a fitting tribute to a fallen comrade, preserving the enduring influence of Ryan's legacy.
Great Falls: Objects Without Pain
Objects Without Pain sees veteran sludgy noise rock band Great Falls expanding outward sonically even greater than ever before. The lurching riffs and writhing discordance are still at the core, but the three-piece gives themselves more room to breathe, fleshing out the cleaner, mellower sections to accompany the heavy grit. It not only gives the songs a more dynamic characteristic, but the entire album flows seamlessly, acting as one long piece. And with a lyrical theme to tie it all together, Objects Without Pain might be the group’s best yet.
Blood Runs Cold: Self-Titled EP
Featuring the vocalist from Koyo but firmly on the opposite end of the hardcore spectrum, Blood Runs Cold have unleashed one of the most volatile metallic hardcore records of this year with their self titled EP, stacked with 6 songs of absolutely vicious mosh metal. Aptly titled songs such as "KILL YOURSELF" play out just how they sound, with pure sonic intensity sure to turn any live setting into an absolute warzone.
Nuclear Dudes: Boss Blades
While it may not be the pound-for-pound best thing I’ve heard this quarter, Nuclear Dudes’ Boss Blades is definitely my favorite. Three projects deep and this one-man band (Jon Weisnewski of Sandrider, Akimbo) does just about everything to remain unpredictable as it traverses a post-apocalypse wasteland of thrash, hardcore, sludge, post-metal, and other tones and moods without ever becoming disjointed or overly splayed. Boss Blades is wildly eclectic, vigorous, massive, dreary, cataclysmic, transcendental, and most of all, fun. There is no 2023 without the mention of this album.
Disguised Malignance: Entering The Gateways
Old-school death metal has been surging for a while now but I think we're at the point where the cream is rising to the top. Finland's Disguised Malignance love to wear their influences on their long-sleeve Morbid Angel shirts but there's nothing derivative about this album and what this group of youngsters created on their first outing. Entering the Gateways is smart, muscular death metal that feels like the quantum state of brutal and cerebral and it's the best death metal debut of the year.
Cruel Force: Dawn of the Axe
As if we needed another reminder that 80s haven’t died…There are loads of bands attempting the blackened, speedy style of proto-thrash, but where they fail Cruel Force shines. Dawn of the Axe cuts through all of mediocre releases of their peers and proudly places their slain bodies in a heap. They don’t sound like an homage to the 80s, they’ve just never left the decade.
Magnitude: Of Days Renewed
North Carolina's Magnitude are both a refreshing face in today's hardcore scene while also being a throwback to the 90's bands that paved the way for their sound. On Of Days Renewed the band offers 8 blistering songs of uplifting hardcore with metallic riffs and lyrics to motivate all who listen. For those of us that grew up listening to the Victory Records era of hardcore, this album will surely hit the spot.