Saturday 2 December 2023

Jude Sisk From STONE NOMADS - Favourite Albums Of 2023

I wish I had listened to more records in 2023.  Stone Nomads were so wrapped up recording and playing shows that I didn’t spend nearly enough time discovering new artists this year.  

King Volume Records released two of my favorite albums of the year.  Starting with:

Lord Mountain “The Oath” – This album was released in January and has stayed as my favorite album of 2023 so far.  Just good old-fashioned doom-tinged heavy metal.  Reminds me a bit of Early Moods album from 2022 that enjoyed immensely.


Faerie Ring “Weary Traveler” – The second of the two albums that King Volume released that landed on my albums of the year list.  A psychedelic take on proto-metal.  Very 70s sounding.  Very enjoyable.

Mizmor “Prosaic” – If you a looking for melody this is not your album.  It is an abrasive mix of black metal and doom that offers the listeners nothing uplifting; yet, in mind, a very compelling album.

Enslaved “Heimdal” The best thing about Enslaved is the mix of ethereal melody and harsh black metal roots.  Heimdal has those elements on full display.  


Ahab “The Coral Tombs” - Whereas Enslaved mixes melody and metal on a foundation of a driving rhythm section, Ahab drops the bottom out of the tempos.  The Coral Tombs somehow seamlessly switches from pure metal blast beats with screaming vocals and a massive guitar sound to excruciatingly  slow tempos that are paired with some of the most sorrowful and delicate vocals you will here in heavy music.  Very much out of my normal wheelhouse but executed so well I had to listen repeatedly.  

Cloak “Black Flame Eternal” – America’s version of black metal is fast becoming one of my favorite genre’s of music.  Cloak’s “Black Flame Eternal” is an interesting mix of punk, thrash and black metal. Further, I love the vocals on the album.  Even though they classify themselves as black metal the vocals are a sum of all their influences.  This album is tied with Lord Mountain as my favorite album of the year.  

Obituary “Dying of Everything” – I think the guys from Obituary have been hanging out with Jamey Jasta, because the new album has a lot more hardcore influence than anything previous.  The results are good in my book.

Spirit Adrift “Ghosts at the Gallows – If you like 1980s style heavy metal riffs, this album will not disappoint.  Like the Lord Mountain record, there are not many surprises here; however, if you like the previous work of Spirit Adrift you will like this record.  The upgraded vocal production definitely helps this album.  

Thunder Horse “After the Fall” – 2022 saw a lot of Texas bands put out great records; two of my favorites being Warlung’s “Vulture’s Paradise” and Fostermother’s “The Ocean.”  2023 saw a slowing of the pace but definitely not a dip in quality.  If you don’t like the verse riff in “New Normal” I am pretty sure you don’t like rock music.     

Words by Jude Sisk