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 Ukraine and India to Israel and Greece, as well as everything in between.
Enjoy our hand-picked favorite albums, singles, and videos for April 2023 below. Enjoy and share which bands you were headbanging to this past month in the comment section!
Album of the Month (Gold Tier)
Ignea – Dreams of Lands Unseen
As Putin resentment still lingers in the air a year after the despotic invasion, one would assume the righteous aggression of a Ukrainian metal act would thematically point their creative angst towards such tyranny. Instead, Ignea swats the low-hanging fruit branch aside to take the high road, focusing on the tenacity of an overlooked historic individual. From their homeland, travel photographer / reporter Sofia Yablonska traveled the world, became one of the first women documentary cinematographers, and gestured towards the negative effects caused by European colonialism. All considered, the concept of shining a light upon Yablonska as an iconic female figure and critic of imperial ideology is a more cultured approach to battling the recent unjust advancements and oversteppings of Russia. Musically, the symphonic orchestration and folksy eccentricity reflects the album theme’s aesthetics, exploring Eastern musicalities alike Yablonska’s treks to Morocco, China, Sri Lanka, etc. The group’s inclusion of Ukrainian lyrics, regional instrumentation, and rhythms are not only significantly unique to Western ears, but this diversity is also purposeful, meaningful. From the comforting war cries of vocalist Helle to the dynamic, boundary-crossing compositions, Dreams of Lands Unseen represents the potential, the power, of speaking as an oppressed against an oppressor.
Dreams of Lands Unseen by Ignea is awarded Best Album of the Month (Gold Tier) for April 2023
FFO: Orphaned Land, The Agonist, Dimmu Borgir
Album of the Month (Silver Tier)
Shreadhead – I Saw You Burn
“The end is coming. The tides are turning; a broken jaw whispers a name.” Through an obscene amount of groove-infused thrash, Shredhead beckons the apocalypse, with nine tracks as their weapon arsenal to survive. Aluminum bat riffs, sledgehammer grooves, and a barbed wire-modified chainsaw capable of mowing down zombies, fascists, internal demons, or any naysayers you deem fit of decapitation are presented. I Saw You Burn dispenses heaviness in broad, obtuse strokes. Propelled by Randy Blythe-Jens Kidman hybrid vocals and a titanic rhythm section, this record is true devastation.
I Saw You Burn by Shredhead is awarded Album of the Month (Silver Tier) for April 2023
FFO: Lamb of God, Meshuggah, Gojira
Album of the Month (Bronze Tier)
Allochiria – Commotion
Released via Venerate Industries
Some artists hit the nail on the head. There’s grace in their ability to conjure atmosphere, an innate intuition to build the ideal amount of tension and release. Not a second is wasted in this record; each moment is essential, dense, alluring. The most fulfilling realization is how there is no formula which Allochiria follows. Certain tracks revel in the smoke of post-metal sludge, where others are calm foreshadows to the inevitable, unbound musical hostility. Commotion is beyond what the album title suggests; this is a journey of high and low energies, equally suffocating and invigorating.
Commotion by Allochiria is awarded Album of the Month (Bronze Tier) for April 2023
FFO: Neurosis, Deafheaven, Oathbreaker
Album of the Month (Honorable Mentions)
The Hellfreaks – Pitch Black Sunset
Somewhere in the multiverse, the grungy radio melancholy of Hole or Paramore merged with the alt-metal attitude of In This Moment to birth a raucous up-and-coming act. There’s an overflowing serving of potential here and I’m eager to witness further catchy bangers in future material by The Hellfreaks.
Listen to “Hit Me Where It Hurts“
I Miss You, C……. – Catalina
Pain and loss is in abundance. Bridging the gap between black metal and midwest emo, Catalina carries the magnitude to somehow crack the shell of the most tortured, hardened hearts.
Listen to “I: C“
Godsleep – Lies to Survive
With roots extending to mid-90’s stoner rockers like Kyuss, Godsleep freshens up the subgenre with gentle synths, production shenanigans, and an extra seasoning of indie rock and punk on top.
Listen to “Pots of Hell“
Check out All Recent, Upcoming, and Past Notable Releases by Clicking Here
Single / Video of the Month
Dymbur – “U Tirot Sing” ft. Desmond Rimaki Sunn
Shifting from a caustic djent-deathcore act to championing folk metal activism, Dymbur have had quite the commendable maturation and transformation. In our interview, we delved into their previous tracks speaking upon the atrocities of child abuse and rape culture. This latest single takes a slightly different approach, celebrating a sociocultural significance of the past rather than drawing attention to issues clearly plaguing our modern society. Traveling back to the early 1800’s, U Tirot Sing Syiem was a chief of the Khasi people, an ethnic group residing in north-eastern India and Bangladesh. Tirot was a fundamental freedom fighter during the Anglo-Khasi War, in which British forces seized control of Khasi Hills in Meghalaya, India. Not only do I find “U Tirot Sing” to be the band’s most thematically compelling material, the chorus is impossibly infectious and inspirational. With a superb balance of clean and growled vocals in addition to folk music fusion, Dymbur continue to be a reckoning force of both cultural and musical merit.
“U Tirot Sing” by Dymbur is awarded Best Single / Video of the Month for April 2023
Single / Video of the Month (Honorable Mentions)
Marina – “Stimulator”
A practice in paranoia, “Stimulator” summons I See Stars modernity and Emmure venom to pull and tease at your anxiety through the commotion of modern metalcore; listen here
Defying Decay – “21 Stitches”
I recall witnessing this act opening for Betraying the Martyrs, Entheos, and Within Destruction pre-pandemic, feeling worried about their overtly Linkin Park influence… now their latest single may still hold an alternative / nu-metal inspiration, but fortunately with a contemporary metalcore approach that is both catchy and satisfying; listen here
Scarlet Aura – “Cu pletele-n vânt”
Massive Alice in Chains-like groovy riffs are accompanied by Dio-level vocals in this seven-minute comfort metal banger sung in Romanian; listen here
0% Mercury – “Welcome to the Next Level”
Mathcore is not dead; this project ignites a frenzy in hypothetical crowd with true chaotic rhythms; listen here