Flush It Friday: The List ov Lists for 2023


Who liked what and with (or without) whom?!

In the Year of Our Bowl 2023, 11 Toilet ov Hell writers, editors, podcasters, and purveyors contributed Top Ten lists for your sick, sad pleasure. I noted last year that 2022 featured less crossover (yet maybe more crossover!) than 2021, and we find ourselves trending towards a bona fide data set, as this year only seven albums appeared on at least two lists with only one single album appearing on more than two lists. Without looking, I bet you can guess which one. Go on, take a guess. Just do it! I’ll wait.

In light of both the time you still apparently need to guess what is a pretty easy answer and this year’s relatively short list of Tippity Top Albums, I thought I’d also just ever so quickly mention my favourite album from everyone’s lists that didn’t make the Final List. Just real quick. With no comments. The inclusion is itself a commendation.

So: Gage picked Nightmarer!; Aaron nailed it with Divide & Dissolve!; Stick stuck it with Lunar Chamber!; Hans won it all with Bacterial Husk!; Megachiles charmed me with Hole Dweller!; my beautiful Eenzy hit us with Closet Witch!; 365 Days of Jordan dazzled with Dawn of Ouroboros!; the Almighty Joe aced the test with Thorn!; Spear then won it all over Hans with the bravery of including Dead and Dripping!; and the intrepid, indispensable, unstoppable, and perfect Roldy gets a standing ovation for Sulphur Aeon! It’s also worth mentioning that it’s insane Nothingness’s Supraliminal didn’t make any list. Fie and shame.

Had time to make your guess yet? Let’s see if you’re right!

Dryad – The Abyssal Plain
Prosthetic Records | Eenzy & 365

Eenzy wrote, “Dryad plumb the depths and arise with something interesting and extraordinary from the blackened crust of the lowest depths.” We’ll forgive him using the word “depths” twice in once sentence. 365 wrote, quite poetically, that The Abyssal Plain sounds like “Hell.” That’s what it sounds like to me, too. Sick stuff.

Flesh of the Stars – The Glass Garden
Independent | Stick & Joe

There’s something “mystical” about Flesh of the Stars for Stick, something he can’t quite understand. “By god, they did it again,” he exclaims, in true amazement, later citing the “fuzzy/synthy doom packed full of emotion paired with simple but effective vocal melodies” that keep him enscorcelled. Joe is less mystified but similarly impressed. He cuts through the bullshit of list season and its attendant hand-wringing to proclaim, “I expect that The Glass Garden… to reward repeated listening far beyond the nonsense of another harried list season.” A record I missed this year, it is now atop my To Listen list.

Memorrhage – Memorrhage
Big Money Cybergrind | Eenzy & Aaron

I knew this was going to happen. Aaron makes the bold claim that “by looking to the past, Garry Brents makes a record for the the future.” Eenzy makes an even bolder claim that “Memorrhage is all about empathy for our nu-metal past-selves. Also this absolutely fucking rips.” Let my following “No comment” get y’all to jumpdafuccup: No comment.

Pupil Slicer – Blossom
Prosthetic Records | Eenzy & Stick

That’s three, Eenzy, by the way, if you thought we hadn’t noticed. Stick nearly gives all the credit of Blossom to the opening and closing tracks before concluding that the whole of the album possesses the requisite “slick vitriol” to make it a true contender. Punning his way to a conclusion, Eenzy notes that the clean vocals and electronic flourishes show how the band has just begun to “bloom” on their latest long player.

Quasarborn – Novo oružje protiv bola
Independent | Roldy & Hans

Hans’ favourite album of the year has him waxing poetic: “The hooks, riffs, and overall songwriting are so phenomenal that for about a month, the only other stuff I listened to was ambient music, because no other metal gave me the same rush.” He even tricked Roldy into loving this unique piece of proggy thrash! Ultimately, Roldy writes, “I surrendered like a moth to a flame, and wound up finding a new weapon against pain.” Even a quick listen gives one the sense that this record is infectious.

Serpent of Old – Ensemble Under the Dark Sun
Transcending Obscurity | Me! & A Person I Call By Their Real Name In Public

Four times, if you’re still counting. I loved Eenzy’s description of Ensemble: “It’s densely layered and dissonant but feels like a composition in a way that most dissonant blackened death metal does not. The atmosphere the band creates is amazingly stifling.” What did I say, you ask? “The atmosphere is pitch black but your eyes adjust. The dissonance resonates. The chaos relents. The endless riffs come to a halt. I find myself more and more gobsmacked. I find myself less and less befuddled. There’s clarity here; there’s murkiness here. There’s an epiphany here; there’s an enigma here. This is death metal for the ages.” Basically, the same as my friend.

Tomb Mold 20 Buck SpinTomb Mold – The Enduring Spirit
20 Buck Spin | Megachiles & Stick & 365 & Joe

You knew it, right? You totally guessed it. You little smarty pants! You’ve got such a nice big wet brain in those pants of yours. I’m so impressed with you ingenuity and foresight. Tommy Bahama and the Moldy Oldies were always going to take the top spot this year. It was too exciting. It landed too well. It surprised too many. It just works. 365 gets it right when he says, “Everything is bigger, better, and more impressive on The Enduring Spirit. The talent explodes through the speakers on each song, requiring people to really, truly listen and to absorb everything that they are hearing.” Megachiles’ top pick for 2023, The Enduring Spirit is “an album at once wistful and defiant as it ponders the inevitable, unknowable end, while endeavoring for solace in existence and experience itself.” Stick finally got roped in ’cause the band got “weird.” Initially annoyed by the hype surrounding Manor of Infinite Forms, Joe, like Stick, has finally seen the light: “What an insufferably antisocial decision! Why would anyone do that?! That was dumb as hell! The Enduring Spirit is packed full of swingin’ riffs that’ll blow your head clean off. Hands down my favorite death metal record of the year.”  Welcome to the Tomb, my beloveds.

Of course, we know that these 7 albums aren’t the only albums we loved as a group, the only albums that brought us closer together. We liked and loved so many records, but these deserve their place in the sun. Did these records land on your lists? What did you omit that is unforgivable? What did we include in this or any of our individual lists that you think was an absolute roided-out dinger of a pick? Let us know below and share those GBUs as well. The year ain’t over, but it’s close. All my love to all our readers, to all our writers, to all our editors, to all our overlords. Be well. Stay well. Live well. Love well. Read more books. Buy more records. Give more hugs. Get more smooches. Pet more critters. Drink more water. Take a nice walk. Stop indulging me. 

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