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 past month, from New Zealand and India to Brazil and Lithuania, as well as everything in between.
Enjoy our hand-picked favorite albums, singles, and videos for August 2023 below. Enjoy and share which bands you were headbanging to this past month in the comment section!
Album of the Month (Gold Tier)
Golden Robot Records
Genuinely, the most important aspect of an artist is having a distinct identity. The New Zealand-based Polynesian five-piece Shepherds Reign hold their culture heritage highly, allowing indigenous musicalities, language, and aesthetics to take the limelight. And although the groovy Māori metal act Alien Weaponry may have struck at the vein of this style first, the rage on Ala Mai is full-blooded, while also a providing a duality of optimism amongst the angst. Furthermore, the variety expressed on this debut record is really commendable; the foundational tribal metal gradually evolves to include radio-rock anthems on “Cold Summers Night” or a melodic metalcore approach on “Finally.” When considering my personal intrigue as well as the millions of views their recent music videos are racking up, the explosive trajectory of this project is undeniably inevitable.
Ala Mai by Shepherds Reign is awarded Best Album of the Month (Gold Tier) for August 2023
FFO: Alien Weaponry, The Hu, Trivium
Album of the Month (Silver Tier)
Shades of Sorrow
Crypta have officially cemented their name in the ever-growing Brazilian metal scene alongside regional pioneers Sepultura and Sarcófago as well as other all-female acts Sinaya and The Damnnation. With former Nervosa members Fernanda Lira (vocals) and Luana Dametto (drums) joined by guitarists Tainá Bergamaschi and Jessica di Falchi, a superb balance of modern death metal, raw thrash, and blackened bite are summoned for Shades of Sorrow. As their sophomore release, I sense the band still finding their songwriting footing, but an extreme potential is present here.
Shades of Sorror by Crypta is awarded Album of the Month (Silver Tier) for August 2023
Favorite Songs: “Poisonous Apathy,” “Lullaby for the Forsaken,” “Trial of Traitors“
FFO: Vader, At the Gates, Nervosa
Album of the Month (Bronze Tier)
The Weight of Sleep
Released via Sleaszy Rider
My favorite part about the “post-metal” genre is it has no true definition; I’ve never found a consistent description across the vastness of the internet. Nonetheless, when I dived into the murky waters of Cunabula‘s The Weight of Sleep, I instantly can label the music as post-metal as these six tracks escape the parameters of music through experimental minimalism and transformative frustration.
The Weight of Sleep by Cunabula is awarded Album of the Month (Bronze Tier) for August 2023
Favorite Songs: “Bruxa,” “Drown to Become Water,” “Sh’eenaz”
FFO: Deafheaven, Neurosis, Holy Fawn
Album of the Month (Honorable Mentions)
Unblessed Divine – Portal to Darkness
Poland / South Africa
An international death metal supergroup (Malevolent Creation, Decapitated, etc.) dyes the atmosphere black and red on their diabolical debut full-length release.
Listen to “I Feed“
Darkwave – Thanatology
One-man project led by Zsolt Némethy, Darkwave is the zany hypothetical of if Dream Theater‘s John Petrucci was thrown into the arena of symphonic / experimental shred.
Listen to “The Last Wasted Dawn“
Danicide – Broken
Creepy, dramatic moods loiter in the dark corner of this goth / melodic death fusion.
Listen to “Broken“
Check out All Recent, Upcoming, and Past Notable Releases by Clicking Here
Single / Video of the Month
Dymbur – “Crabs in a Bucket”
We’re always keen to share the love for the one and only ‘Khasi Thraat Indian Folk Metal’ act Dymbur. With previous singles covering topics including child abuse, rape culture, and war, this recent track delves into “crab mentality” (“When you leave a single crab in a bucket it is likely to find a way to climb out but if there is more than one crab in the bucket then not a single crab will escape because the crab that has reached the top will be pulled down by the others that are at the bottom). Bringing blood and vinegar heaviness, a pensive melody is nonetheless intertwined within infectious djent-folk fusion, nearly Mudvayne-meets-Bloodywood.
“Crabs in a Bucket” by Dymbur is awarded Best Single / Video of the Month for August 2023
Single / Video of the Month (Honorable Mentions)
Bulletbelt – “Arminus”
You can’t get much more metal than vikings, and Bulletbelt successfully brings a heavy / power metal approach to the Amon Amarth aesthetic in this fantastical new video; listen here
Lyvonia – “Laika”
Early metalcore is not dead. The anxiety of Norma Jean mathcore is soothed by The Devil Wears Prada vocal hooks for this modern, yet nostalic banger; listen here
Angra – “Ride into the Storm“
Leading the power metal movement in Latin America, Angra injects a dose of progressive and symphonic adrenaline into this truly epic, heavy ballad; listen here
Scream Maker – “Can’t Stop the Rain“
Miss the heavy metal hooks of the 70’s and 80’s? Scream Maker takes a page out of Iron Maiden‘s book for a classic bloodboiler; listen here