It's that time of the year again! Yes, we know we're only just into November, but with Thanksgiving just a few weeks away and Christmas adverts already flooding the airwaves, we figure it was high time to get the ball rolling on those enormous end of year lists that have critics agonising for months, only to chuck everything out and start from scratch anyway.
Last year, Metal Hammer readers voted Slipknot's The End, So Far as the best metal album of 2022, flying in the face of our critics' poll which crowned Ghost's Impera. But will 2023 see another schmism between fans and critics, or will we unify as one in hailing one album above all - as we did with Gojira's 2021 epic Fortitude?
As with previous years, we've stacked the poll below with some of the biggest, brightest and most brutal records the metal world has had to offer in 2023, trying to cover just about every base and band that have appeared in Hammer's hallowed pages over the past 12 months. And while it can't be truly comprehensive - we don't have nearly enough time to put every single record released into the poll - we'd like to think this offers the biggest selection of brilliant new music you could possibly hope to behold.
Whether you're delighted at new material from Metallica, welcoming the comebacks of Babymetal and VV, hailing the all-conquering force of this month's Metal Hammer cover stars Sleep Token or otherwise keen to show the world just how brutal your tastes are by sticking to the likes of Cattle Decapitation, Cannibal Corpse and Tomb Mold, we'd like to think we've got you covered.
And if you need a bit of inspiration or just need a refresh on some of the brilliant new records that we've had this year so far, you can always check out our best metal albums of 2023 (so far) list to get the ball rolling, and a nice big ol' playlist for the best metal songs of 2023 so far (as chosen in our weekly best new songs round-up).
You can pick up to ten records, so feel free to dive deep and we'll reveal the results of the vote in a few weeks time. Happy voting - and happy holiday season!