Fan poll: Top 5 albums of 2023 so far | Revolver

Fan poll: Top 5 albums of 2023 so far

See which records our readers can't stop listening to this year
metallica james hetfield 2023 GETTY live, Marcus Brandt/picture alliance via Getty Images
photograph by Marcus Brandt/picture alliance via Getty Images

In our corner of the music world, the first six months of 2023 have already been so fruitful that even if the rest of the year was a total wash, we'd still look back on this 365-day stretch with fondness. From alt-metal and hardcore to prog-metal and thrash, we already shared our take on the best albums of 2023 so far. Here, it was our readers' chance to chime in with their takes. Below, are the top five vote-getters in our latest fan poll.

5. Periphery - Periphery V: Djent Is Not a Genre

Djent isn't a genre, but if it were, then Periphery would be one of its last remaining innovators. The cheeky prog-metal shredders' seventh LP boasts all the instrumental wizardry and glass-shattering vocal acrobatics that fans have come to expect from them, as well as its fair share of ass-shaking hooks ("Wildfire") and murderous breakdowns ("Everything Is Fine!"). At a hefty hour and 10 minutes, Periphery V gave fans who'd been waiting four years for a follow-up to 2019's Periphery IV exactly what they were looking for.

4. Queens of the Stone Age - In Times New Roman...

Queens of the Stone Age's 2018 effort, Villains, was their first truly underwhelming album. In Times New Roman... reassures fans that the brief faltering was a fluke. Arriving after a whirlwind five years of personal turmoil for main man Josh Homme, the lean, 10-song opus revives the dirt-caked swagger and noisy splendor that made QOTSA the forerunners of fuzz-rock in the 2000s. As catchy as their 2013 fan favorite, ...Like Clockwork, but as raw and rawkin' as an older classics such as Lullabies to Paralyze, In Times New Roman... has only been out for a few days and it's already been greeted as a triumphant return to form.

3. Metallica - 72 Seasons

The mere existence of a new Metallica album is a major event in Revolver's world. Doubly so when the record meets — or exceeds — many fans' expectations. The thrash lords' first LP since 2016 contains some of their best speed-metal material since ...And Justice for All, as well as a nod toward their NWOBHM roots ("Lux Æterna") and their longest song to date ("Inamorata"). However, the best part is that it altogether sounds like Metallica trying to be no one else other than Metallica. Their comfort zone is a good place to be.

2. Sleep Token - Take Me Back to Eden

2023 already feels like the year of Sleep Token, so you better get used to looking at Vessel's creepy visage. The masked, anonymous U.K. band jump-started the year with a viral single, "The Summoning," and then methodically dribbled out more bona fide pop-metal knockouts that ultimately culminated in Take Me Back to Eden. This ahead-of-the-curve fusion of R&B soul, electro-pop glitz and bottom-heavy djent muscle is already one of the most cult-adored heavy-music albums in recent memory. In fact, it came within a mere handful of votes of cracking this list's top spot.

1. Avenged Sevenfold - Life Is but a Dream...

The votes were close, but Avenged Sevenfold reigned supreme. The Deathbat crew's first album in seven years is as polarizing as anything they've ever released, and for every detractor who can't fathom its galaxy-brained subject matter or appreciate its eclectic, everything-and-the-kitchen-sink musical palette, there're twice as many A7X loyalists who are salivating over Life Is But a Dream...'s gutsy, tripped-out majesty. The band told us they love the record "unapologetically." Clearly, many Revolver readers do, too.