2023 year-end list season continues with Decibel, who always puts out one of the most anticipated metal lists of the year. The list will appear with commentary in their January 2024 issue, but as always, they post the list on their site beforehand. Editor-in-chief Albert Mudrian writes:

There are three key things to consider since we began this annual tradition 19 years ago: ) Yes, we know it’s November; don’t make me explain how print deadlines work and or remind you of our access to advance music. 2) The list is still a reflection of the diverse tastes of nearly three dozen members of the Decibel staff, and 3) at least one of your favorite albums from this past year is likely not included. I can confidently state the second point because my album of the year isn’t here. Unlike me, at least you can complain about it on the internet.

The list spans multiple subgenres and eras, and includes a few non-metal things too. Two very different death metal albums take the top two spots, and other artists on the list include Jesus Piece, Wayfarer, Lamp of Murmuur, Frozen Soul, Blackbraid, Gel, Autopsy, Mizmor, Cannibal Corpse, Kruelty, Will Haven, Spirit Adrift, Final Gasp, Cattle Decapitation, Obituary, and more.

See the full list below, and pick up Decibel‘s January 2024 issue to read about each pick, along with interviews with some of the artists at/near the top of the list, and more.


40 Dødheimsgard, Black Medium Current, Peaceville
39 Kommodus, Wreath of Bleeding Snowfall, GoatowaRex
38 Street Tombs, Reclusive Decay, Carbonized
37 Obituary, Dying of Everything, Relapse
36 Fires in the Distance, Air Not Meant for Us, Prosthetic
35 Witching, Incendium, Translation Loss
34 Circle of Ouroborus, Lumi Vaientaa Kysymykset, His Wounds
33 Cattle Decapitation, Terrasite, Metal Blade
32 Final Gasp, Mourning Moon, Relapse
31 Spirit Adrift, Ghost at the Gallows, Century Media
30 Krigsgrav, Fires in the Fall, Wise Blood
29 Will Haven, VII, Minus Head
28 Smoulder, Violent Creed of Vengeance, Cruz del Sur
27 Kruelty, Untopia, Profound Lore
26 Night Demon, Outsider, Century Media
25 Incantation, Unholy Deification, Relapse
24 Filth Is Eternal, Find Out, MNRK
23 Cannibal Corpse, Chaos Horrific, Metal Blade
22 Great Falls, Objects Without Pain, Neurot
21 Krieg, Ruiner, Profound Lore
20 Rid of Me, Access to the Lonely, Knife Hits
19 Mizmor, Prosaic, Profound Lore
18 Autopsy, Ashes, Organs, Blood and Crypts, Peaceville
17 Cruciamentum, Obsidian Refractions, Profound Lore
16 Tribunal, The Weight of Remembrance, 20 Buck Spin
15 The Night Eternal, Fatale, Ván
14 Enslaved, Heimdal, Nuclear Blast
13 Gel, Only Constant, Convulse
12 Enforced, War Remains, Century Media
11 Blackbraid, Blackbraid II, Self-released
10 The Keening, Little Bird, Relapse
9 Thantifaxath, Hive Mind Narcosis, Dark Descent
8 Frozen Soul, Glacial Domination, Century Media
7 Lamp of Murmuur, Saturnian Bloodstorm, Argento
6 Panopticon, The Rime of Memory, Bindrune
5 Godthrymm, Distrortions, Profound Lore
4 Jesus Piece, …So Unknown, Century Media
3 Wayfarer, American Gothic, Profound Lore
2 Tomb Mold, The Enduring Spirit, 20 Buck Spin
1 Horrendous, Ontological Mysterium, Season of Mist