Mostly Metal's eoty countdown 2023

Since this year is coming to a close, list season is ahead ;-) And even though it is still too early to talk about any kind of aoty, I thought it could be some fun to do a 31 days, music-related challenge, starting on Dec 1st, to put some great songs, albums, videos artists... into the spotlight. 

Feel free to join in (over on Twitter, Insta, Facebook), check out my picks, add and share yours - Looking forward to this :-)

Day 31 - If you could plan your own festival in 2024, which bands would we see there? 

One can dream... Who'd join us for this line-up?

Day 30 - Most anticipated concerts in 2024

From those already announced, I'm really looking forward to see Mercenary, Persefone with Hypno5e and Lampr3a, Subsignal, Dark Suns and Disillusion. Regarding festivals, I'm excited for Naestved Metalfest and ProgPower Europe in 2024.   

Day 29 - Most anticipated albums in 2024

Excited about the upcoming releases of MANTICORA, F.K.Ü., CALIGULA'S HORSE, PERSEFONE and THE ARISTOCRATS (find more annoncements here), but also about hopefully new music from TURBULENCE, AEONS, SOLUM, VULKAN and POEM showing up on the horizon.  

Day 28 - Songs for your "Late Night Kitchen Party" Playlist

The best parties take place in the kitchen - Welcome to join mine! (spoiler alert: the current playlist might be influenced by the research for this challenge ;-) Have fun \m/

Day 27 - Favorite albums by collaborations

While we're nearing the end of December, I'd still like to bring these four to the eoty countdown party :-)

ABEL SEQUERA - Soundscapes
MAREK ARNOLD's Artrock Project
DAWN OF A DARK AGE - Transumanza

Day 26 - A special physical edition

TERRA - Terra

While the album is from 2022, I got myself this amazing CD on Terra's recent tour with Molybaron and Soen. The wooden sleeve is hand-crafted, unique in its optic, and hold together by magnets.

Day 25 - An album with a strong message

EARTHSIDE - Let the Truth Speak

With their 2nd album, the Cinematic proggers paint marvelous sound pictures for our ears. While their first record “A Dream In Static” was more told from the “I” perspective, the new one focusses on the “We” thematically, also reflecting how much the world has changed over the 8 years since their debut

Day 24 - A mesmerizing song that calms you down

MOON SAFARI - Teen Angel Meets the Apocalypse

No words needed, just let the music speak

Day 23 - Favorite big festival


Having been a fix date in my concert calendar since 2016, it felt amazing to return to Sölvesborg this year, and the festival again fully convinced with a great organisation, so everyone could fill their hearts with Rock. Had a blast seeing SOILWORK, ANGRA, AVATAR, KARMANJAKAH and MYRATH among others. Highlights were definitely the mesmerizing performance by CHILDREN OF THE SUN, as well as the marvelous show by UK proggers THRESHOLD, and the chance to see SYMPHONY X live here once more made these days very special for me.  

Day 22 - Favorite small festival


The festival takes place in the Netherlands, and turned out to become very special for me this time, on a musical and personal level. From the pre-party with NOVENA, who opened the prog-event of the year in their unique, crazy way, over the chance to see OBSIDIAN TIDE and OMNEROD alongside with CHAOSBAY, MARATON, EARTHSIDE, AN ABSTRACT ILLUSION, IHLO, WHEEL and more within 3 days, to the inspiring chats in the court-yard and around the venue... Happy times! :-)

Huge thanks to the ProgPower Europe crew for putting together this fantastic line-up and creating a wonderful, relaxed atmosphere for us to enjoy the music as well as enough time for meeting dear, old and making new friends. And last but not least horns up for the bands - What a blast \m/

Day 21 - An album that blew your mind at once

THE ARCANE ORDER - Distortions from Cosmogony

The fourth record by the Danish extreme metal act comes straight to mind in this context. Even though it took some more spins to get behind all the details within their complex music, it had this Wow! effect from the beginning. 

Day 20 - Favorite concept albums

Still following the attempt to mention every album just once within this eoty countdown to keep the variety as broad as possible, I'd like to share these nine, marvelous concept albums today:

TURRIGENOUS - Vesper - The Evening Star
MOON SAFARI - Himlabacken Vol. 2
OMNEROD - The Amensal Rise
IGNEA - Dreams of Lands Unseen
WITCH RIPPER - The Flight After the Fall
HYPNO5E - Sheol
EDWARD REEKERS - The Liberty Project

Day 19 - Shout-out to a music-related blog / webzine / content creator

This one goes out to the one and only KMÄNRIFFS for his tireless work in the name of our beloved music and for our community, bringing the worldwide metal hordes together.

Would also like to bring my dear friends at The Progspace (thanks for having me!), Unique High Fidelity and The Man of Much Metal (hope to see back soon) to the party, as well as the fine folks at Worship Metal , Heavy Music HQ and Blessed Altar Zine. Welcome to check them out, and give them a follow :-)  

Could go on, there are so many doing an amazing job!! Feel free to drop them in the comments (social media), so we can connect :-)

Day 18 - Favorite one-man projects

Deeply impressed by artists releasing music completely on their own, and this year saw some excellent representatives. Fun fact: Four out of these nine are from Australia. 

SAMTAR - Shadow of the King's Sharade
THE GOD PARTICLE - Postcards from a Fallen Empire
MINORARC - Inclusions
SHRVL - Limbus
TWEEDLEDEAD - Infernotes
JAKE WEBER - The Day After
FIERCE DEITY - Leviarch (single)  

Day 17 - A song that makes you dance


Following the attempt to mention every artist / band only once within this countdown, some obvious choices quickly dropped down. But here we go with a funky, light-hearted piece from the Swedish duo, which was called Art of Illusion before. 

Listen to "Hey You" on Spotify

Day 16 - Favorite debut albums

This is a category I'm really excited about to share, as five of these marvelous releases are also in my overall Top10, with the first three became my favorite records this year.  

THE ANCHORET - It All Began With Loneliness
BLACKSCAPE - Suffocated by the Sun
ENOCH ROOT - Delusion
NEVERUS - Burdens of the Earth
TEMIC - Terror Management Theory
MARTIN MILLER - Maze of my Mind
MAYFIRE - Cloudscapes & Silhouettes

Day 15 - Shout-out to a cover artwork creator

This one goes out to Spanish graphic artist Juanjo Castellano and his fascinating, detailed work. Just look at these beauties...

Day 14 - An expressive music video


The French Post / Progrock band created a dark and intense short film for their track "Bleak", following a protagonist who drowns into solitude because of his indigestible routine, running in vain after a reality that escapes him. 

Day 13 - Favorite instrumental records

2023 has been an incredible year for instrumental releases, that showed up in a wonderful variety: 

THE WISDOM TREE - A Day Without A Yesterday
GLEB KOLYADIN - the Outland
ASYMMETRIC UNIVERSE - The Sun Would Disappear As I Imagined All The Stars
OUTRUN THE SUNLIGHT - The Return of Inertia 2.0

Day 12 - Best picture you took at a show

MANIMAL live in Munich

I have to admit I'm terrible in taking photos, and normally prefer to just enjoy the concert, but I'm happy how this one turned out, capturing the great energy they brought on stage - A blast! 

Day 11 - A song that tends to get stuck in your head

NOVERIA - Overlord

There have been some increbible earworms this year (including Nospūn's marvelous "Earwyrm", that would have been a very obvious choice ;-)... Let's go with this one today - Have fun! 

Day 10 - Favorite EPs

We got a bunch of fantastic EPs this year 🙏🔥🤘 Here we go with a selection that stuck with me over the past months:

DISSONA - Dreadfully Distinct
CHARLES SOULZ PROJECT - Trilogy of Mankind
LOAM - Featherbrained
 - Ground Zero
SPLICE - Cryptoria's Echoes
TOEHIDER - Take on a Tank
SIX SIDED STORM - Dance of the Serpent

Day 9 - An impressive playthrough video

MOOD YASSIN's Keyboard Shred Collab

Maybe not a playthrough in the classical sense, but an absolutely mind blowing collab video featuring 22 keyboard wizards from all around the world. Check it out! 

Day 8 - Great concerts you attended

With over 60 events in the books this year there's a lot to chose from, but seeing these bands for the first time was very special, and they all absolutely nailed it 🤘


Xaon live at Sternenklang Festival

Day 7 - Favorite cover artworks

There have been many beauties around this year, so here's a little selection of stunning pieces that sparked my interest immediately!

AEOLIAN - Echoes of the Future by Ryan T Hancock
CARNOSUS - Visions of Infinihility by Timon Kokott Art-Work
XOTH - Exogalactic by Shindy Design
AVIATIONS - Luminations by Florian Renaux
AUTREST - Follow the Cold Path
NYRST - Völd by Adam Burke
THE COLOR OF RAIN - Oceans Above by Bruyneel.Bram
SKY PASSAGE - The Gathering
COSMITORIUM - Broken Archtypes by Mark Erskine

Day 6 - A song that rocked your socks off at first spin

GOROD - We Are The Sun Gods

Taken from their current album "The Orb" - Brutal, highly technical, yet virtuosic and accessible... A blast!

Day 5 - An amazing opening act you saw, but weren't familiar yet

German Progmetal band A KEW'S TAG came to Munich in support of The Hirsch Effekt, and quickly caught me with their high-energetic stage presence and fantastic music

Day 4 - A funny / entertaining video 

TRIPLE KILL – Shai–Hulud

The Australian powerhouse delivered a hot “Video of the Year” contender, impressively showing how cool Heavy Metal can be... Enjoy! 

Day 3 - An older album that you just discovered

DARK SUNS - Existence

On this masterpiece from 2005, the German band take their listeners on a journey through the dreamy, emotional worlds of a brittle existence. A dense musical maze, and a prog gem not to be missed:

Day 2 - Some albums from 2022 you're still blasting regularly

Tried to narrow it down to just four or five, but quickly ended up with nine, and there are still some missing, but these might be the currently most played from last year. 

PARIUS - The Signal Heard Throughout Space

XAON - The Lethean

DARKANE - Inhuman Spirits



EDGE OF HAZE - The Convoy of Ruin

MICHAEL ROMEO - War of the Worlds Part 2

THRESHOLD - Dividing Lines

MORTON  - Horror of Daniel Wagner

Day 1 - A song that sums up 2023 for you 

AEONS – Rubicon

There would have been some contenders to start with, but this track somehow nails it for me on several levels