There is so much heavy, extreme, and beautiful metal music being conjured all around the world that it can be overwhelming. Fortunately, Metal Has No Borders has curated the best of the best released this month, from Japan and Poland to India and Ukraine, as well as everything in between.
Enjoy our hand-picked favorite albums, singles, and videos for March 2023 below. Enjoy and share which bands you were headbanging to this past month in the comment section!
Album of the Month (Gold Tier)
Babymetal – The Other One
Released via Babymetal Records / Amuse Inc. / 5B Records
Emerging a bit over a decade ago with a truly unique fusion of J-pop with a myriad of metal subgenres, Babymetal‘s left-field black sheep approach to experimental heavy music inevitably faced elitism backlash. Even myself, with such an open mind [sarcastically pats myself on the back], initially struggled to swallow the jagged pill of such culture shock. With further exposure, I found myself fascinated by their bold innovation and undeniable melodies. We now arrive at their fourth full-length, easily the project’s strongest and most consistent effort. The Other One boasts a tracklisting where nearly ever song is single-worthy, brimming with catchiness, headbang dynamics, and of course, a perfect amount of weird factor. The metal community is full of quirky dorks and if you too self-identify as an eccentric individual, you’ll absolutely love this sensational listening experience.
The Other One by Babymetal is awarded Best Album of the Month (Gold Tier) for March 2023
FFO: Poppy, Periphery, Windrunner
Album of the Month (Silver Tier)
Demonstealer – The Propaganda Machine
Released via Black Lion Records
A titan? A legend? Any praising title seems to fall short in the massive shadow of Sahil Makhija (Demonic Resurrection, Reptilian Death, Solus Ex Inferis). Although his initial claim to fame is best represented in fronting India’s first significant metal project Demonic Resurrection, Sahil’s legacy will absolutely be carved in his prolific nature and ability to bring together musicians internationally to conjure the heaviest of art. In this solo release under the Demonstealer moniker, a colossal amount of talent is recruited including guitarists Alex Baillie (Cognizance), Dean Paul Arnold (Primalfrost), Sanjay Kumar (Equipoise), bassists Dominic “Forest” Lapointe (First Fragment), Stian Gundersen (Blood Red Throne), Martino Garattoni (Ne Obliviscaris), Kilian Duarte (Scale the Summit), keyboardist Anabelle Iratni (Cradle of Filth), and drummers Hannes Grossmann (Obscura), James Payne (Kataklysm), Ken Bedene (Aborted), Sebastian Lanser (Obsidious). With an insane abundance of virtuosity on deck, all eight tracks on The Propaganda Machine run the heaviness gamut with great confidence. Nonetheless, the most compelling aspect of the record is the message. While a lyrical theme can often get blurred in the growly nature of death metal, the inclusion of melodic, clean vocals were superb at providing dynamics and furthering the album’s concept. No matter what country you reside in, The Propaganda Machine is a call-to-arms for the proletariat, a war cry for revolution, and a fist-clenched around political division and disparity.
The Propaganda Machine by Demonstealer is awarded Album of the Month (Silver Tier) for March 2023
Favorite Songs: “The Anti-National,” “Monolith of Hate,” “The Great Dictator”
FFO: Katakylsm, Allegaeon, Fleshgod Apocalypse
Album of the Month (Bronze Tier)
Stoned Jesus – Father Light
Released via Season of Mist
With such a blasphemous band name, one would expect Stoned Jesus fell down the stoner gimmick hole as Bongzilla or Cannabis Corpse had tripped on. Instead, the Ukrainian trio reflect more creatively through ramblings of occultism and existentialism. Where as most surface level acts of this style would be stuck on psychedelic babble, Father Light digs deeper, both musically and thematically. The inclusion of acoustic or subdued moments as well as classic rock clean vocals allow this record to be a breath of fresh air amongst the typical fuzzed-out grooves one would normally head-nod to nausea in the stoner rock scene. For the traditionalists, don’t worry, there are still plenty of slow, methodical, and earthy grooves. All in all, this album conveys a genuine sound and is guaranteed a splendid listen, whether you’re blazed out of your mind or sober.
Father Light by Stoned Jesus is awarded Album of the Month (Bronze Tier) for March 2023
FFO: Monster Magnet, Led Zeppelin, Kyuss
Album of the Month (Honorable Mentions)
Entropia – Total
There’s been a growing, gradual bridging of the gap between hardcore and metal. Total presents true human suffering in form of hardcore with elements of math rock, black metal, and post-rock sewn in the threads alike Envy or Illustrations.
Listen to “Retox“
Weight of Emptiness – Withered Paradogma
In the valley between Opeth and Enslaved emerges Weight of Emptiness. Withered Paradogma is composed with wit, yet through anger and distress. Additionally, we hardly see prog from Latin America, so hearing this style from Chile is inspirational and a great victory for the globalization of metal music movement.
Listen to “Defrosting“
Leprethere – Tarnished Passion
A menacing dissonance, a grotesque aggression is achieved on Tarnished Passion as the unorthodox rhythms from the likes of early Between the Buried and Me collide against Gorguts-like advanced complexity.
Listen to “Worthless“
Check out All Recent, Upcoming, and Past Notable Releases by Clicking Here
Single / Video of the Month
The Materia – “Rain”
Ranking high on our favorite albums of 2019, Rising by The Materia brought remarkable progressive character to a modern metalcore foundation. For years, I have been awaiting a follow-up and was ecstatic at the release of a new single. The rage, restraint, and beauty blooms on the latest “Rain.” Their signature ability of building tension before kicking the door down is present and so appreciated. A lush atmosphere is comforting, just in time for djent grooves and raspy vocals to rattle you out from your spell. In addition to the visuals of paranoia and the paranormal within nature, this single is well worth the wait.
“Rain” by The Materia is awarded Best Single / Video of the Month for March 2023
Single / Video of the Month (Honorable Mentions)
Thy Catafalque – “Néma Vermek”
Between playful synth lines and a dark, drudging black metal atmosphere, our stirring anticipation for this one-man avant-garde project’s upcoming album Alföld is looming; listen here
Allochiria – “Darklight”
Branching off of the hypnotic heaviness of post-metallers Isis, I also find commonalities to post-black acts Deafheaven or Møl throughout this single’s sinister density; listen here
Ignea – “Dunes”
Last month our Ukrainian folk / symphonic / death metal favorites brought forth the enraged “Nomad’s Luck” and now we witness more melodic vulnerability on an arguably more well-rounded banger; listen here
Arseniic – “Ignite”
The Indian metalcore scene is becoming so stacked considering this new After the Burial-level single by Arseniic is here to compete with What Escapes Me, Aarlon, Demigod, Within Ceres, Skypunch, Sarfaad, etc.; listen here