This is the third consecutive year we’ve run a list of bands we’d like to see reunite in the next 12 months, which means it’s now officially A Thing. OK, our past predictions have been mixed – we called it right on Kittie and Chimaira and wrong on pretty much everybody else – but that’s not going to stop us peering into our crystal balls and giving it another go for 2023. So here are the 10 bands we’d part with hard cash to see back together before the end of the year.
When Slayer called it a day in 2019, it felt like unfinished business. Kerry King certainly thought so, grumbling that they’d “quit too early”. A major reason the band ended was because frontman Tom Araya was done with touring, but the Pantera model of playing selected high profile festival shows rather than grinding it out on the road for months on end has proved there’s a less intense yet still lucrative way of doing things. Then there’s the “six or eight” songs that King says were recorded but not released during sessions for 2015’s Repentless, which is already halfway to a new album. Just saying…
Ozzy Osbourne‘s health issues didn't prevent him from joining Tony Iommi at the closing ceremony of 2022’s Commonwealth Games – the first time the pair had shared a stage since Black Sabbath bowed out in 2017. Sure, the singer has his own tour to focus on in 2023, but what’s to stop him bringing out Tony, Geezer Butler and maybe even Bill Ward for a one-night-only reunion? Let’s not forget, they’ve done it before – the original Sabbath line-up got together for a short set on the last date of Ozzy’s 1992 ‘retirement’ tour.
Black Sabbath (again)
Hey, if Ozzy can’t do it, then why not call Tony Martin, the man who stoically fronted Sabbath for two under-rated stints in the late 80s and early 90s? Sure, it wouldn’t have the pulling power of the classic line-up but some of the albums he sang on – namely Headless Cross and Cross Purposes – deserve way more love than they get. And with Tony Iommi confirming the Martin-era albums will be reissued this year, 2023 seems like the perfect time for the world to be reminded of this criminally overlooked incarnation of Sabbath
Unlikely at first glance, given that there’s no love lost between Rob Zombie and his ex-White Zombie bandmates. But while the singer’s last album, 2021’s The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy, snuck into the US Top 10, his parallel career as a director is in danger of petering out (did anyone actually watch The Munsters when it came out last year?). Plus 2023 marks the 25th anniversary of the band’s original split. What better time to patch up those differences and get the gang back together?
It’s coming up to six years since Corey Taylor’s other band last released an album, and their ‘indefinite hiatus’ shows no sign of ending. “There's still so much drama and issues,” Corey told Sirius XM’s Eddie Trunk in August 2022. “To me, it's just not something I desire to do.” Still, the singer is not one to sit around with his thumb up his jacksy, and it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that he could somehow find time amid Slipknot’s touring commitments and the rumoured release of that band’s semi-mythical Look Outside Your Window album to send up the bat signal and reconvene Stone Sour.
Splitting up and reforming a decade later is one of the best career moves a band can make, as the reunited Carcass can vouch. What are the chances of their onetime Earache Records labelmates and all-round doom doyens Cathedral coming out of retirement 10 years after they originally called it a day? Granted, singer Lee Dorrian has his Rise Above label and a vintage record shop of the same name in North London to occupy his time, but it would be great to see them flapping their loon pants once more.
The Dillinger Escape Plan
We’re still a bit baffled as to why DEP split up when they did, given they were near the top of their game. But the unpredictability that saw them make that unexpected call could conceivably see them get back together this year. 2023 is going to need some wild-card energy, and The Dillinger Escape Plan are the band to bring it.
2022 saw Fever 333 guitarist Stephen Harrison and drummer Aric Improta quit the band, leaving frontman Jason Aalon Butler holding the baby. He could recruit a couple of new bandmates and build the whole thing up from the ground again… or he could just message some of his old letlive. colleagues and deliver a belated follow-up to 2016’s If I’m The Devil.
The most influential underground band of the 1990s that no one talks about much anymore? Fudge Tunnel have got to be near the top of that particular list. The Nottingham noiseniks flipped the sign on the door to ‘closed’ in 1995, but their brand of breezeblock aggro sounds as on-point today as it did back then. And while we’re at it, let’s have a Nailbomb reunion too.
OK, so much not a band as Dave Grohl’s all-star love letter to the metal icons he grew up listening to. But we’d pay good money for him to fire up Probot once more with a different cast of singers: can we politely suggest Coven’s Jinx Dawson, Cal from Discharge, Glen Benton of Deicide, Katon W de Pena from Hirax and Acid’s Kate De Lombaert. And then let’s have a gig featuring everybody who’s ever sung in a heavy metal band, ever. Over to you, Dave.