2023 is already shaping up to be a raging year for new music. We’ve got confirmed new albums on the horizon from legends of the game (it doesn't come much bigger than Metallica, established favourites looking to make the step up to the big leagues (Babymetal, Avatar, Katatonia) and we expect plenty of debuts from exciting new bands that are snapping at their heels.
But, in the words of Noel Gallagher, are we happy with that?... NO! We’re not! We want more! Here are 10 bands that really owe us some new tunes in 2023.
System Of A Down
Same as every year really. SOAD have replaced Tool as the go-to band to get exasperated at a lack of a new album for metal fans at this point. 2023 will mark an eye-watering 18 years since we got a full-length System of a Down record, 2005’s Hypnotize, and the fact that they are still going out and touring and released a pair of new songs, Protect the Land and Genocidal Humanoidz, out of nowhere in late 2020 means we haven’t given up on it. They keep denying there’s new music coming, but as long as there is a chance, we’re keeping the pressure on them.
One of the finest and most loved punk bands of the 2000’s, fans lost their collective shit when California street punks The Distillers announced that they were getting back together in 2018.
Brody Dalle’s crew have yet to make it back over to the UK yet, with the pandemic curtailing their return to our shores at the Download festival, and they also had spent some time in the studio in 2019 with Refused and Idles producer Nick Launey before COVID ruined that as well. But with 2023 being the 20th anniversary of their third, and previous, album Coral Fang, surely the timing couldn’t be more perfect for that long-awaited 4th Distillers album.
We were delighted when Sleep reformed over a decade ago, even more ecstatic when The Sciences came out in 2018, finally we had the stoner metal legends back for real, filling our ears with some of the finest, smokiest riffs ever... then a year later they announced they were going on hiatus. Bugger.
It was early last year that the unholy axis of guitarist Matt Pike and bassist Al Cisneros, alongside new-ish drummer Jason Roeder, excitingly confirmed some live shows for Sleep. We had to wait nearly a decade for new material last time they reformed, we’d be fairly surprised if we got anything new in 2023, but we’re willing on the trio to do it all the same.
Rage Against The Machine
Rage have reformed and split, and reunited and gone back on hiatus, in a manner you can almost set your watch by since their initial reformation in 2008. The shows have been spectacular, the clamor for the band and the love people still have for them has not dulled at all.
But to date the only thing concrete we have to show for it musically is the woefully patchy Prophets of Rage material the band did, with Chuck D of Public Enemy and B-Real from Cypress Hill failing to fill frontman Zack De La Rocha shoes. Not good enough! Get back in that studio and knock us up some classic, rap-metal bangers now lads.
If you’re a fan of mathcore or early metalcore then the date of the 24th of August 2022 would have been very special to you, as that is the day that we got to hear the first new material from Tacoma, Washington legends Botch in almost 20 years.
Since splitting in 2002 the legend of Botch has grown and grown, and no one really ever expected a reunion, but this one off single, which members of the band were quick to point out does NOT mean they’re back as a full-time concern, sent the scene into meltdown. Even though they keep protesting that this isn’t a full reunion, we can’t help but notice that Botch do keep continue to play live. Hmm... Curious. Look, We Are The Romans is a classic, just get in the studio and bash out another one of them please chaps.
We have been promised new material from Mike Muir and Co. since former Dillinger Escape Plan guitarist, and current SD member, Ben Weinman said he was tracking new material in the studio way back in 2019. The band then appeared to scrap it all when the pandemic hit, and, as far as we know, there has been very little in the way of activity from the band since.
Considering that their last album, 2018’s Still Cyco Punk After All These Years, was cracking, the live shows that accompanied them were full of the energy and vigor of their early days and we’re desperate to hear something new from Mr. Weinman making his recorded debut with the band.
One of the most underrated bands of the New Wave of American Heavy Metal movement, God Forbid released some killer albums but never really, truly received their dues. The band split in 2013, and we added them to that ever-increasing pile of groups that should have been way bigger than they were.
But in September of 2022 they played their first show in nearly a decade at the Blue Ridge Rock Festival in Virginia. It’s early days for this reunion, but we would love to see God Forbid get back in the studio and deliver an album as great as Gone Forever or IV: Constitution of Treason in 2023.
Nine Inch Nails
It really is almost impossible to second guess what Trent Reznor will do next these days. His Oscar winning, score work means that he’s certainly going to be a busy and in demand man, and so what of his day job? Nine Inch Nails last released new music with 2020’s instrumental Ghosts V and VI, the pair being given away for free as a thank you to fans at the start of the pandemic.
NIN have toured a fair bit since then, including two all-time great shows at The Eden Project in Cornwall last summer. We may have had some ambient stuff, and the three EP run between 2016 and 2018, but the last full length “proper” Nine Inch Nails album, 2013’s Hesitation Marks, will celebrate its tenth birthday in 2023. Time for another one don’t you reckon Trent?
It seems like a really, really long time ago now, but just before the pandemic ruined everything, London hardcore punks Gallows were randomly announced as part of the Slam Dunk bill for 2020. We were under the impression that they were on hiatus, but, clearly not.
Now, those shows never happened, and there’s been no word from Gallows since, but... come on! If they were cool a few years back then we assume they’re all back and ready to go. If that is the case (and it IS, we just said it, so it must be) then we demand a follow up to 2015’s scandalously underrated Desolation Sounds album.
One of 2022’s nicest surprises was the return of one of the UK’s best and most chaotic live bands; Heck. The Nottingham based quartet made their reputation in the early part of the 2010’s with some of the most rabidly dangerous shows we’ve ever seen, but when excellent debut album Instructions dropped in 2016, it was proof that they were far more than just a bunch of blokes jumping off stuff.
Fans were gutted when they called it a day, but now they’re back, and with the song Static Noise; Mozart released to celebrate their reunion, we fully want another full length of Instructions quality.