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THE CONCERT CHRONICLES’ TOP 15 ALBUMS OF THE YEAR

Updated: Jan 15

As this year comes to an end and we welcome in 2024, we asked our team to reflect on their favorite releases from 2023. Here are our top picks from 2023, let us know yours below! 



Scoring The End Of The World Deluxe Edition - Motionless In White

 

BY HALEIGH HANDY  



Motionless In White released the deluxe rendition of their album Scoring The End Of The World on September 8, 2023. The finalized album includes 4 new songs and 12 of the original ones.


The never-heard-before tracks follow as below:

Hollow Points, Fools Gold, Porcelain Ricky Olson Motion Picture Version, and STEOTW version of Timebomb.


My overall Top 5 off the Deluxe are in order below, and I recommend blasting them at full volume for the best listening experience!

These songs made it into my top 5 because they all mean something to me. With Sign Of Life being my first choice, this song really resonated with me after witnessing a live performance from Motionless in White earlier this year. When I heard Sign Of Life in concert the energy was amazing, Chris was active with the crowd by pointing at people and making direct eye contact with them, it reminded me why I fell in love with this band years ago. This song is simply just a classic to me. Everytime the part ¨So pull me close and twist the knife¨ comes on I always reenact that part out. It doesn't matter if I'm at home or at a concert I'll act like I'm stabbing an imaginary knife in me. You know it’s a good song when you’ve memorized the lyrics like second nature after only a few listens. 


The second song from my selection is Cause Of Death. This song, for me, is kinda like Eternally Yours from the Graveyard Shift album, it touches on the roots of Motionless in White musically while still highlighting their progression. Instead of this being an essential romance song, it's more of a breakup song that gives me the power to fight off whatever is going on in the situations that I've been through. It feels like the downfall of the love from Eternally Yours yet still empowering in the message of moving on. What I like most about this song is the dual vocality occurring between Chris and Ricky which adds an additional emotional depth to the song through the contrast of their voices, specifically through Ricky’s portions.


My third song is Fools Gold. With Fools Gold, I became obsessed with it the first time I streamed the deluxe album, it was the song I was missing from the original production. I love how the beats are arranged in the song, of course Motionless in White have always been known for their diverse and dynamic drum patterns which this song really showcases explicitly. And then the breakdown hits, the production becomes utterly amazing. I love to scream/yell the whole breakdown when nobody is home.  It gives me so much power and since I was going through a breakup during this time, every time it gets towards the end of the song I always enjoy it when it says ¨Erase the memories¨ but in general I love how the song is with the beats and the lyrics.


The fourth song is Hollow Points. This song has been noticed on the booklet for Scoring The End Of The World yet it still didn’t make the original album recording despite the bands love for this track. Now that it's out I completely understand why the band likes it so much and it was worth waiting longer to hear. I love how it starts with a banging ¨YEAH!¨ which leads the beat to intensify along with the tempo picking up. I love how they do a whisper for the beginning of the breakdown then start screaming the lyrics again, the vocal approach on this track makes it a clear standout on the album. It sends chills down my spine, the best effect a song can have, and it gets me pumped up everytime I hear it.


For my final song choice, I, of course, have to mention Corpse Nation. It was hard ranking this one since I absolutely love this song. I love how Justin sings this song, his vocal approach is so unique and the production fits his style so well. I love how the song is constantly building up through intensifying beats and, of course, the horror-theme adds an additional admirable depth. As a big horror movie fan, this song satisfies me in all the right ways. I love the breakdown when they scream “RESEARCH THIS MOTHERFUCKER” then add a heavy BLEGH, you can imagine the mosh pits and head banging. My personal opinion, I think this song needs to be added to a zombie horror game the way the beats of the song are arranged in coherence with the violent instrumental tendencies that close out the track. 


It was hard to choose songs for my top 5 since all the songs off this release are amazing but for me, these songs fit perfectly in my list and sum up the ambiance of my year. These songs are the ones that touch me the most and they will always bring me joy when I hear them on my playlist or at a concert.


  The original tracks in order

01. Meltdown

02. Sign Of Life

03. Werewolf

04. Porcelain

05. Slaughterhouse (feat. Bryan Garris)

06. Masterpiece

07. Cause Of Death

08. We Become The Night

09. Burned At Both Ends II

10. BFBTG: Corpse Nation

11. Cyberhex

12. Red White & Boom (feat. Caleb Shomo)

13. Scoring The End Of The World (feat. Mick Gordon)

14. Hollow Points

15. Fool's Gold

16. Timebomb (STEOTW Mix)

17. Porcelain: Ricky Motion Picture Collection


THE FEAR OF FEAR - SPIRITBOX


BY EMILY AGNESINI



On November 3, 2023, Canadian metalcore sensation, SPIRITBOX, brought the metal scene back to its core with the release of their most anticipated EP titled

“The Fear of Fear'' out on all streaming platforms via Palechord Records and Rise Records. In 2021, the band released their phenomenal debut album which most people in the scene known as “Eternal Blue”, then followed up fans with a 3-track single from “Rotoscope” which was released in June 2022. The band shocked fans with their 6-track EP, “The Fear of Fear”. This recent release has been a huge evolution on the band as a whole. The band’s rise to fame has been fueled by heavy breakdowns, catchy choruses, hard work and determination for success, in which case it’s been extremely successful. A monster release that proves, once again, their meteoric rise to fame was not a fluke but was actually fueled by talent, hard work, creativity, and determination. 


To begin the EP, it opens up with a bang, probably one of their heaviest tracks to date, known as “Cellar Door''. The song features chunky riffs, blast beats, and vicious growls, the outing is laced with ominous synths creating a dark and gloomy atmosphere for fans in preparation for what was to come. When first listening to this track, the synths of the instrumentals in the background gave such a creepy aesthetic to the track as a whole; making me feel like I was trapped behind an actual cellar door. LaPlante’s vocals are absolutely insane and as a fan of Spiritbox, her vocals for this one track with her low screams sent chills up my spine. As the song comes close to an end, the vocals slowly begin to fade away, leaving fans to only hear a chime before a transition to the next track on the EP known as “Jaded”. “Jaded” is a perfect song to transition to from Cellar Door as it transitions from heavy screams to now a beautiful, poppy chorus, catchy guitar riffs, with a taste of both heavy screams alternating with clean vocals. “Jaded” has been seen streaming on well known radio stations such as Sirius XM Octane and in addition has been in consideration for Grammys ‘Best Rock Song’ of 2023. It calls to the best sounds in both the metal community and those outside of that genre. 


Transcending to the next track to date on The Fear of Fear is “Too Close/Too Late”. This song has expressed the beautiful, angelic clean vocals that LaPlante has within her duty as a vocalist. The melodies that we get to listen to are absolutely heavenly and calming at the same time. There are so many emotions that follow the lyrics and the song sends out a stark message to its listeners. At the end of the song, there is another yet beautiful, haunting transition. It transitions to a very catchy, programmed percussion, which transitions to a blast beat drum line, with a series of chugs, with LaPlante screaming the lyrics "Innocence is a game that I have lost”. This song is known as “Angel Eyes'' which is the fourth track of this six song EP.  This has to be one of other heavier tracks and definitely has some competition with  Cellar Door and Holy Roller toying on the Djent style of metal. LaPlante destroys this song with her popularized lows, most definitely making it on their top heavier tracks through SPIRITBOX’s discography. 


Another change in the EP’s dynamics takes place in “The Void”. This song has more pace to the instrumentals as well as the vocals. I can imagine myself at an EDM festival everytime I stream this track due to the EDM melody lines that tie in with the drums, guitars, and vocals. This song expresses itself to its crowd boisterously. Finishing up this EP is the melodic, calming sound of “Ultraviolet”. Out of the entire album, “Ultraviolet”  has to be one of my favorites off the 6-song EP. Courtney LaPlante is able to shine and express her passion in her melodic vocals. She is accompanied by the backups of the bass line and the melody from the guitars, which as a bass player myself, is mixed and blended together so beautifully. This song feels so atmospheric with the synth being in the backtracks giving such an ambient feeling. Overall, Spiritbox’s “Fear of Fear” EP has to be one of my top favorite releases of the year. I cannot wait to see what 2024 brings for us in the music industry. 



DANCE DEVIL DANCE - AVATAR


BY RAY MCCLURE



Dance Devil Dance is Avatar’s ninth studio album. The album scratches ALL the itches for me. Between the raging vocals of “Chimp Mosh Pit” and the surfer rock vibes of “Gotta Wanna Riot”, I think this album has something for everyone. The first three tracks are deviously heavy. Each song is its own animal. The album bounces around between tones but I think it adds to the overall intended madness. 


The entire band has truly knocked it out of the park. Kungen and Tim have outdone themselves with the guitars on this release.  I think this is Avatar’s best album to date. Johannes’ vocals are crazy. Genuinely. He needs more credit for his range of being batshit crazy then switching to a sweet melodic voice. The final track is a perfect example, “Violence No Matter What” featuring Lzzy Hale from Halestorm is the perfect ending to an already banging album. Johannes and Lzzy are a match made in hell!


My favorite song from the album is “Valley of Disease”. If this song comes up in my playlist, I tell anyone who's near me to shut up.  Devilishly delightful and absolutely punchy, it’s the perfect villain song. The technological bits of the song also lean it into a more industrial feel. 

It gives me the best stank face everytime I listen to it. 


On a more personal note, I was doing my first listen through this album when I got the phone call welcoming me to my dream school. It will always have a special little nook in my heart.



  ZERO SKIPS. ZERO SHUFFLES. Straight PERFECTION. 11/10 Would turn into Satan again


AVATAR | WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | X | FACEBOOK


UTOPIA - TRAVIS SCOTT


BY WILLIAM BASSNET



Travis Scott, a rapper-producer powerhouse who is out to defy the norms of hip-hop, released his long awaited album Utopia on July 28, 2023. Being almost five years to the date since the release of Astroworld, I was admittedly nervous. Within the span of those five long years, there has been controversy, good singles, bad features, and just about everything in between.


The pressure was on, what seemed like the whole world was awaiting this album. How is he going to beat the grammy-nominated Astroworld? What was he going to do differently? What if the album isn't good? It seemed as if he already knew these were the common questions. His response? An ethereal 19 track record loaded with high caliber features, producers, and sounds.


The Album–no–The experience begins with HYAENA. A track that screams “IM BACK”, right in your face with its aggressive lyricism and sonically loaded beat. All of the sudden, the punchy synths grab hold of you, you forget about everything else and start to become immersed in the dark, almost empty soundscape of what Scott ironically invisions as his “Utopia”. I think to myself, “Oh my god, how can this get any better?” After every track, a new bar is raised, a new level reached. I love the entire album, but my personal favorite tracks are THANK GOD, MY EYES, and SIRENS.


Travis Scott has proven that he is back with a timeless record, with the message being Utopia is where you want it to be. As lackluster the wait was, I wholeheartedly think it was worth it. It seems as his fans do too, debuting at number 1 on the charts, and staying there for four weeks straight. The album amassed over a billion streams on spotify, solidifying it as the highest selling Hip-Hop album of 2023, and my album of the year. 


TRAVIS SCOTT | WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | X | FACEBOOK



UNREAL UNEARTH - HOZIER


BY SYDNEY WILLIAMS




Top Favorite Tracks:


  • Butchard tongue 

  • Francesca

  • Icarian

  • Who we are


Members of the group/ Artist:


  • Andrew Hozier-Byrne (lead singer)



When did Unreal Unearth Come out:

  • August 18th, 2023


How many Streams has the Album Gotten:

  • Debut the top 5 on Billboard 200, placing at #3


Butchard Tongue Meaning:

  • 1800-1900 population in Ireland was halved through immigration (1m to starvation), fame, and malnutrition. 

  • 10 years after the Trail of Tears (1831)  a donation by the Choctaw people to help Ireland

  • “It's very hard to starve a body, a body lasts a long time without food, and about a million people died during that time in Ireland due to starvation that time a huge amount of food, lamb, pork, butter, the cream was exported from Ireland”

  • The donation from the Choctaw people saved the lives of thousands of Irish people 

  • Choctaw people also lost about half of their population due to the trail of tears and 


  • The song is about the experience of many place names in Ireland with a sort of music to them.

  • As a kid, he would listen to a lot of American music, and the place names would come through the songs. 

  • He wrote it reflecting on how lucky he is in Ireland that so much of the history in their language and how lucky they are to have access to it, and how so many other ingenious people have had to face the colonial, ethical, and cultural cleansing that Ireland faced. 

  • He wanted to recognize this in a song, recognize on the one hand the difficulty of that, but on the other hand traveling that world and how he was met with such generosity and goodness in people.


Unreal Unearth Album Review


Hozier’s new album Unreal Unearth takes hold of fans and new listeners alike to lead them on a mesmerizing journey through Dante's Inferno, as Hozier embodies the character of Virgil he leads us through the nine circles of Hell. Released on August 18, 2023, the album has taken the music industry by storm and has already secured the number three spot on Billboard's Top Two Hundred list.  The album's captivating vocals and smooth transitions between each song create a seamless experience for the listener. Hozier's gentle voice guides us through the intricate stories of the people within each circle, painting vivid pictures of their struggles and what untimely led them to their demise. Unreal Unearth is a true work of art that showcases Hozier's immense talent as a musician and a storyteller and is a must-listen for anyone who enjoys music that takes you on a journey and leaves you feeling deeply moved.


Hozier opens the album with two powerful and thought-provoking tracks titled “De Selby (parts 1 & 2)” The song reflects upon the falling of night and how losing everything to darkness can be seen as something very freeing in contrast to the usual fear it is met with, similar to the character De Selby, a scholar who is part genius and part lunatic, beliefs in the book "The Third Policeman". This sets the tone for the album as it represents the listener falling into the first circle of hell - the Circle of Limbo, where we are introduced to the track "First Time".  As the listener descends deeper into the second circle, Lust, they are greeted with two vastly different perspectives on what this sin means. The first song, "Francesca", tells the story of a woman who is politically married, but ultimately falls deeply in love with her husband's brother, representing the most basic form of lust. In contrast, the next track, "I, Carrion" presents a more abstract view of the word, based on the story of Icarus whose ambition ultimately led to his downfall. Guiding us into the next track with another seamless transition Hozier takes a more head-on approach to the third circle of hell, Gluttony, with "Eat Your Young", a song that paints a vivid picture of the sinful act, before leading us effortlessly into the fourth circle of greed with “Damage gets done”. The listener then travels into the fifth circle with the anger expressed in “Who We Are”, and the 6th circle of Hersey with the symphonic songs “Son of Nyx” and “All Things End”. 


Throughout the whole album Hozier not only writes based off of classic literature, but also his personal experiences. This hits close to home for him in the 7th circle of hell, Violence. This is expressed through the songs “Butchered Tongue”, and “To Someone From a Warm Climate”. The song “Butchered Tongue” speaks about the violence of having your culture and language ripped from you. He emphasized this at his concert in Durant Oklahoma on October 14th where he talked about the Choctaw people donating a huge sum of money to Ireland just 10 years after the Trail of Tears where they faced a similar act of colonial, ethical, and cultural cleansing that Ireland faced. He speaks on how the population of Ireland was halved through the years 1800 - 1900 due to immigration, famine, and malnutrition while large sums of food were being exported to England. In the lyrics “As a child, it was the place names Singin’ at me as the first thing” he hints at how so much of Ireland's History is in the language, and how lucky he is to still be able to access it. Also seen in the lyrics “With no translator left to sound, a butchered tongue still singin’ here above the ground” it speaks on the dark truth that most indigenous groups lose not only their culture but also their language due to ethical cleansing.


Descending deeper into madness and sin, we are then led through the 8th circle of hell, Fraud, with the songs “Anything But” and “Abstract”, before reaching the last circle, Treachery with “Unknown/ nth” which was one of the few songs released in his early teaser album “Unknown/ Nth” that contained 4 out of the 16 songs released in the album “Unreal Unearthed”. The last song on the album is “First Light, where Hozier leads us back up into the living realm. Throughout the album, Hozier not only encapsulates his fans with beautiful vocals but also expresses not only his personal stories but the stories throughout history and literature to connect with his listeners. I am taken aback by the amount of thought that went into every song and how they were meticulously placed throughout the album to mimic the descent into hell like in Dante’s Inferno, and the way he mimics the character Virgil in near perfection.


HOZIER | WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | X | FACEBOOK



GODMODE - IN THIS MOMENT


BY SHELBY CHANDLER 



In This Moment's 2023 album "Godmode" is a tour-de-force in the world of metalcore that showcases the band's evolution as a powerhouse in the genre. With Maria Brink's signature vocals, the band has created a sound that is both familiar and groundbreaking at the same time.


What makes "Godmode" stand out is the sheer amount of emotion and passion infused in each track. The band adeptly tackles mental health, societal issues, and personal struggles with powerful lyrics and heavy instrumentation. From the opening track, "Godmode," to the closing song, "I Would Die For You," the album takes you on an exhilarating and thought-provoking journey.


Maria Brink's vocals stand out on the album, as she showcases a range that is nothing short of impressive, as usual. From the guttural screams on "Damaged," a collaboration with Ice Nine Kills, to the soaring notes on "Army Of Me," Brink's ability to convey emotion through her voice is truly remarkable.


And don't even get me started on the title track, "Godmode." The instrumentation on that track is simply mind-blowing. You can't help but be impressed by how well-crafted it is. The guitar work is heavy and intricate, while the drums provide a solid backbone to the sound. 


The band's musical prowess is on full display as they showcase their remarkable ability to seamlessly combine different genres of music within this album. Their songs are a perfect amalgamation of heavy metal, captivating rock, and catchy pop elements that are masterfully woven together to create a unique sound that is all their own. From the hard-hitting riffs to the soaring vocals, each track is a testament to the band's versatility and creativity. Their music is a true representation of their artistic vision, which is driven by a desire to push boundaries and break free from the constraints of traditional music genres.


But what really sets "Godmode" apart is the songwriting. The band's willingness to tackle complex subjects head-on is commendable, and how they do it is refreshing and inspiring. Each track is like a mini-story, with themes of self-discovery, perseverance, and hope woven throughout.


"Godmode" is undoubtedly one of In This Moment's greatest albums. It's a testament to the band's evolution as musicians and their ability to create music that is both heavy and meaningful. This album is an absolute must-listen for all the fans of metalcore. The music is not only powerful and thought-provoking but also incredibly well-crafted. The lyrics are deep and meaningful, touching upon a range of issues relevant to our lives today. The instrumentation is top-notch, with heavy riffs, intricate drum patterns, and soaring vocals that will leave you breathless. 


From start to finish, this album is a true masterpiece that will take you on an emotional journey. So, if you're looking for an album that will move you and make you think, you definitely need to give this one a listen.



THE CALL OF THE VOID - NITA STRAUS


BY Dustin Luttrell




Nita Strauss shines with sophomore album “Call Of The Void”


After five years from releasing her debut album, Controlled Chaos, guitar virtuoso Nita Strauss showcases her writing chops and a completely different approach with Call Of The Void. Boasting an Impressive guest list, Strauss called upon the likes of Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy), Lzzy Hale (Halestorm), David Draiman (Disturbed), Chris Motionless (Motionless In White), and Dorothy, just to name a few. Every single song feels like a perfect fit for each vocalist while still maintaining what you have come to expect from a Nita Strauss album. 


The Wolf You Feed is hands down my favorite vocal track on the album. Based on the idea that you have two wolves inside you and you can choose which one you want to feed, the song’s theme is transcending. The song hits you right in the face with a heavy, blistering riff and then it is quickly met with a signature Alissa White-Gluz demonic scream. There is a nice contrast between the heavy verses and melodic chorus. Strauss’ solo really shines for me in this song with intricate legato runs and tasty sweep picking. 


While the addition of vocals to new original music is a welcomed production, there are still plenty of guitar centric tracks where Strauss showcases why she is one of the best guitarists of the last decade. From the opening note of Summer Storm, each track develops and unfolds. Each instrumental song, though without vocals, tells its own story. Kintsugi in particular sticks out to me. Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of brokerage with gold. Once I understood the concept, it allowed me to appreciate the song that much more. Kintsugi showcases Nita’s emotional side and shows that she's so much more than just a shredder.


Call Of The Void seamlessly blends Strauss’ incredible guitar work with even better compositions. This album really showcases her virtuosity, delivering the blistering instrumentals we all have grown to love as well as writing more radio friendly rock anthems. Each track has its own identity and creates a listening experience that keeps me and anyone else listening to the album engaged. Call Of The Void is a testament to Nita’s skill and musical depth and is why this is my choice for 2023 Album Of The Year.


Rating: 10/10


Nita Strauss – The Call of Void Tracklisting: 

  1. Summer Storm

  2. The Wolf You Feed (feat. Alissa White-Gluz)

  3. Digital Bullets (feat. Chris Motionless)

  4. Through the Noise (feat. Lzzy Hale)

  5. Consume the Fire

  6. Dead Inside (feat. David Draiman)

  7. Victorious (feat. Dorothy)

  8. Scorched

  9. Momentum

  10. The Golden Trail (feat. Anders Friden)

  11. Winner Takes All (feat. Alice Cooper)

  12. Monster (feat. Lilith Czar)

  13. Kintsugi

  14. Surfacing (feat. Marty Friedman)


NITA STRAUSS | WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | X | FACEBOOK


PIGGY - PETER MCPOLAND


BY JESSIE ESHAK



In a year marked by both phenomenal and diverse album releases, as well as questionable drops symptomatic of the TikTok virality epidemic, only a handful of contenders have emerged for the coveted title of Album of the Year. Our ears have been blessed with releases from some of my favorites like Silence Between Songs by Madison Beer, 4th Wall by Ruel, and Snow Angel by Renee Rapp, but one specific album has soared above the rest, asserting itself as a timeless masterpiece


Many albums struggled to rise above the overwhelming cacophony of our modern world. While many sought music for a place of comfort, sustaining that comfort became challenging when it felt that, at every turn or scroll, a new tragedy had occurred. 

Piggy by Peter McPoland is the digital sphere manifested into music. Amid the chaos of endless TikTok scrolls, bouncing between videos displaying body bags in Gaza, a Versace event “get ready with me”, a victim of a recent school shooting speaking out, a “get ready with me: war edition”, and an influencer doing the latest dance trend, Piggy encapsulates the ceaseless noise of the internet. 


What distinguishes Piggy and qualifies it for the Album of the Year is its unique ability to embody the ineffable feeling of being within the dissonance of the world. The repetitive, echoing, and introspective lyrics, combined with melodic beats, and profound meaning behind the tracks, resonate with the thoughts and emotions of Gen Z as they navigate the digital sphere in the current disarray of political and social discourse. It transcends other albums that attempt to capture the specific emotion of disconnection in the digital realm. 

I first discovered Peter McPoland when his music had an entirely different sound; a sound I still adored, but nonetheless, a very distinct sound. With his second album drop, Piggy, McPoland holds entirely different energy from his earlier, debut album Slow Down. Piggy amalgamates the skill and passion from Slow Down with a modern anxiety, dissonance, and anger that is definitive of  2023.


McPoland teased the album with the single drop “Digital Silence” which, ironically enough, went viral on Tik-Tok for the very characteristics it critiques. Piggy serves as a microcosm of the internet sphere—perfectly embodying internet culture, and, I argue, truly defining and exemplifying Gen Z. In the essence of the current state of the world, Piggy embodies the anger and helplessness many feel when attempting to incite change in the world. 

The addition of Piggy to Peter’s discography enhances his discography to a more robust and diverse music landscape. The power ballads of his debut albums, mixed with the edgier take of Piggy, testify McPoland’s artistry and versatility. 

Great albums speak not only to the ears, but also to the heart. Piggy not only sonically speaks to the ear, but it also elucidates the loneliness, disconnection, overstimulation, and desire to try to “turn off the noise” of this year, and, therefore, renders it my album of the year for 2023. 


PETER MCPOLAND | WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | X | FACEBOOK


NOT WITHOUT MY GHOSTS - THE AMITY AFFLICITION


BY FALLON O'NEILL



In 2023; The Amity Affliction released their eighth studio album "Not Without My Ghosts" on May 12th, 2023 through Pure Noise Records. This album was nominated for "Best Hard Rock or Heavy Metal Album" at the 2023 ARIA Music Awards in addition to being awarded as my top album of the year. 

The Amity Affliction deserves album of the year due to constantly releasing albums that have the most beautiful melodic sounds, brutal breakdowns that capture the attention of different audiences, and for those who love clean vocals. This album incorporates all of those elements while evolving the famed The Amity Affliction grit which can capture engagement from lovers of the rock, hardcore scenes.


The first song on the album; "Show Me Your God" might be one of the heaviest songs I've listened to by this band, and the meaning behind the song is the main reason why I listen to this band. Vocalist Joel Birch stated in an interview; ".Show Me Your God is the first song of our first self-produced record. The song is the first in a series of explorations and internal meditations on how our past shapes us and interacts with our various mental struggles in the present, drawing from both personal experience and also the trauma of close friends who have passed away or who have dealt with close loved ones passing away.”


This song is also about gun violence in America and Birch in an interview stated that it's horrible how there are so many mass shootings in America and it pissed him off to the point where he decided to write this song. “Show Me Your God; Does He Come With A Clip; Are His Teeth Made Of Steel; Is There Death In His Grip?" He stated that whole line is about a gun and the idea of how so many people have access to a gun at home, which, if better monitored, could easily prevent suicides from happening.


The next song on the album is "It's Hell Down Here" which is a song that's written basically in the form of a letter scribbled down on paper by Birch to address his friends who passed away and went to the other side.


My favorite track off this album is hands down "Fade Away.” The lyrics unravel the struggles of mental health and the complications we face in overcoming poor mentalities, which The Amity Affliction has always been an advocate for mental health and you can hear their personal experiences shine through with the relatability of the lyrics such as "Sick of living in this misery, Don't want to be alive, I want eternal sleep, Fade Away, Fade Away, I want to fade away"


The last song "Not Without My Ghosts" with lyrics; "Wherever I May Go, its not without my ghosts; Their bodies drag behind me chained to both my wrists; No matter how I fight I’m never done with it" This song is about always carrying "baggage" which in this sense means the traumas of your past. As the song describes, the past will always follow you through your success and failures, there is no running away from it, only facing it head on. 

This album definitely deserves album of the year simply on the basis of the heartfelt relatability of every song. Beyond that, The Amity Affliction’s lyrics, and the meaning of the band as a whole, is loving everyone and advocating for those who struggle with mental illness by understanding how trauma can affect everyone differently. From the beginning to now, the band has not changed who they are or what they stand for and that is something that is worthy of applause. 


THE AMITY AFFLICTION | WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | X | FACEBOOK


72 SEASONS - METALLICA


BY ALLIE ROSE



2023 was truly a great year for new music. It felt like almost every artist I loved was putting out new material. However, with so many artists I love releasing new music, one came out on top and that was Rock and Metal legends Metallica with their album "72 Seasons".


On November 28, 2022, Metallica had officially announced that they would be releasing their 11th studio album "72 Seasons,” in April 2023, along with its tracklist and their 2023-2024 M72 World Tour. Before I knew it, April 14th 2023 had arrived and Metallica's new album was fully out. I was already excited for this release because on top of being a Metallica fan my entire life,I really enjoyed the singles that they released prior. On November 28, 2022, on top of all of the major announcements from the band, they released the album's first single "Lux Æterna". As soon as I heard that first new single, I knew that I would enjoy their new album. But I did also know with that first track, it was not going to be every Metallica fan's cup of tea. Regardless of how anyone felt over the first single, I knew it was going to be a huge year for Metallica. Following the release of "Lux Æterna", they released "Screaming Suicide" on January 19th 2023, "If Darkness Had a Son" on March 1st, and the albums title track "72 Seasons" on March 30th.


Metallica finally released "72 Seasons" on April 14th and had immediate success following up on the charts and with streaming. The album immediately peaked at No.2 on the Billboard 200 chart right behind Morgan Wallen's album "One Thing At A Time''. "72 Seasons" arrived at No.2 with 146,000 equivalent units for the albums first two weeks. That's equal to about 15.91 Million on demand streams. With Metallica releasing "72 Seasons”, they had the biggest release week for any Rock/Hard Rock band since Tool released their album "Fear Inoculum" in 2019. Their newest album landed them with six songs on the Billboard charts such as No.1 Top Album Sales, Top Hard Rock, and Top Rock Albums. The six songs were "Lux Æterna", "72 Seasons", "Screaming Suicide", "If Darkness Had A Son", "Sleepwalk My Life Away", "Too Far Gone?" and "Shadows Follow". The albums first Billboard debut was "Lux Æterna" debuting at No.15 on the charts on December 10, 2022. The single hit its peak on the same day and remained on the charts for 15 weeks. The albums final single debut would be on April 29, 2023 with "Shadows Follow", which would remain on the charts for a week straight. Since the albums release date to December 18, 2023, each song has daily streams between 7,999 to 54,602 times. That's around 251,584 streams a day. Over all each song has 6,866,981 to 61,165,872 over all streams since their release. If you add up all of the album's songs over all streams that's about 217,266,678 streams.


Whether you hate this album for it not being like Metallica's old stuff or love it for the diversity in their sound, there is no denying the success that this album has had in its first year. And those numbers do not even count the success of their M72 World tour that followed up. When Metallica announced everything about the album on November 28, they also announced their M72 No Repeat Weekend 2023-2024 World tour with some huge names opening up for them. The tour kicked off on April 27 in the Netherlands with night one openers being Architects and Mammoth WVH. Night two openers were set to be Five Finger Death Punch and Ice Nine Kills. Unfortunately. Five Finger had to pull off the tour because their lead singer Ivan Moody had to get surgery and needed time to recover. So to cover for Five Finger in Europe, Floor Jansen filled in for their Amsterdam dates and Epica stepped in for the Paris, Hamburg, and Gothenburg dates. 

After Metallica rocked Europe with the tour celebrating "72 Seasons", they headed back to the U.S for 14 dates total. Their first stop being MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on August 4 with Mammoth WVH and metal legends Pantera opening up on night one. I did not get to witness their first night at MetLife, but I did get to experience night two with Ice Nine Kills and Five Finger Death Punch opening up. This was my third time seeing Metallica and my second time seeing them at MetLife Stadium. Walking onto the field and seeing the stage and experiencing the energy made me feel like I was on cloud 9. 


One major thing that Metallica changed with the "72 Seasons" album tour cycle that I thought was unique was the stage setup. Metallica is known for their snake pit stage set up, but this brought everything to a new level. Fans could still experience the snake pit, but the new stage was round and in the middle of the stadium field with huge towers in four corners as their screens with VIP boxes on their bottoms. Not only were they able to fill up the entire stadium plus the floor, but it also felt like everyone had a chance at an amazing view. MetLife Stadium by itself sold around 163,028 tickets with a revenue of $20,848,071. 

On top of the setup and the lineup change for each night, there was a different setlist for both nights too. Fans attending night one got to hear hits like "Creeping Death", "Harvester Of Sorrow", "Master Of Puppets", "Seek and Destroy" and more. Night two at MetLife had hits like "From Whom The Bell Tolls", "One", "Enter Sandman", "Whiplash" and more. The tour continued on for another 12 dates where their Arizona date had to be rescheduled due to James Hetfield being positive for Covid. The crowd at both nights for the whole tour also got to hear parts of the new album live which I feel gave people a different perspective on the new songs.


Metallicas new album "72 Seasons" I felt like was a way of them mixing the old with the new as I hear new stuff but can also pick out their past album influences. The first time I Listened to the album I immediately picked out influences from past albums of theirs such as "Death Magnetic", "Load", "Hardwired...To Self-Destruct", and more while paying homage to "Kill 'Em All", "Ride The Lightning", "Master Of Puppets",and "..And Justice For All". "72 Seasons" made me feel like I was a little girl sitting in the back of my dads truck with my siblings and headbanging again. My top favorites were "Lux Æterna" "72 Seasons", "Sleepwalk My Life Away", and "Too Far Gone?". Those songs on the album specifically made me feel like I was listening to Metallica as a little kid but in my adult body. To me, it's crazy that the album made me feel this way because of how James described the album title meaning. He speaks about childhood and how we deal with our childhoods as adults. "72 Seasons came out of a book I was reading about childhood, basically, and sorting out childhood as an adult. And 72 seasons is basically the first 18 years of your life. How do you evolve and grow and mature and develop your own ideas and identity of self after those first 72 seasons? Some things are more difficult than others — you know, some things you can't unsee and they're with you for the rest of your life, and other things you're able to rewind the tape and make a new tape in your life. So that's the real interesting part for me, is how you're able to address those situations as an adult and mature." James Hetfield stated.


When listening to "72 Seasons", while thinking about the meaning behind the title and hearing past albums throughout it, I also can't help but think about this album representing Metallica's life and their growth as a band from when they first started out to now with all of the band's changes. Changes such as sound and lineup. Lineup changes for Metallica started back in early 1981 where their drummer Lars Ulrich placed an ad looking for like minded musicians who loved metal where he was answered by the bands now vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield. At that point in time James was in a band named Leather Charm. James decided to still try things out with Lars. They decided on the name Metallica and decided to rework a Leather Charm demo "Hit The Lights" and recruited guitarist Lloyd Grant. From March 1982 to March 1983, the band's lineup was James, Lars, Dave Mustaine (who is the founder of another legendary metal band Megadeth),Ron McGovney, Brad Parker, and Cliff Burton. From April of 1983 to 1986, Metallicas lineup would be James, Kirk Hammett, Cliff, John Marshall and Lars. Cliff would be in the band up until his death on September 27, 1986 when he tragically lost his life at 24 in a bus accident. From 1986 to 2001 the bands lineup would be James, Lars, Kirk and Jason Newsted. And following Jasons departure, Bob Rock would be in the band in 2002- 2003. In 2003 the band has created their current lineup when Robert Trujillo from Suicidal Tendencies would join them. On top of many lineup changes, they have also went from thrash metal to hard rock over time. "Lux Æterna" is latin and means "Eternal light" which set the perfect tone for the album and the meaning behind its name "72 Seasons", proving that there will always be an eternal light living in Metallica despite the changes that have happed and the challenges they may face in the future. Metallicas new album really connected with with me because of certain things I have gone through in the past. I think it's an album where, if you give it a chance, there is at least one thing about it that would connect with you whether thats just enjoying one song, enjoying instrumentals, the lyrics, or the energy of it live.


Some really cool extra facts about their "72 Seasons" album are that it holds the band's longest song ever. "Inamorata" is 11 minutes and 10 seconds long. On top of that, the band were up for three Grammys at this year's 66th Grammy awards. Their categories were Best Rock Album, Best Rock Performance for "Lux Æterna" and Best Metal Performance for "72 Seasons". Metallica has had a successful album release this year with "72 Seasons" where they dominated the rock and metal world, there's no denying that they will not be slowing down in 2024. I am very grateful for everything this album has given me and I look forward to seeing its success expand in 2024. 


A GREAT CHAOS - KEN CARSON


BY EMERSON ROSE



Ken Carson is a young rapper, songwriter, and producer from Atlanta, Georgia,  signed to Playboi Carti’s label, Opium Records. After being in the underground scene for the first few years of his career, he rose to fame shortly after the release of his album “X”. He originated from a boy barbie theme, hence the name Ken Carson, and has completely revamped his sound and brand with the release of his newest album, A Great Chaos.


A Great Chaos is Ken Carson’s third studio album since signing with Playboi Carti and Opium. Prior to the album’s release on October 13, 2023, Ken Carson held an album release party in Brooklyn, New York City which was free to the public. Not only did he perform his fans’ favorite songs off the album, but he also invited his fellow artists Playboi Carti and Destroy Lonely to perform with him at the party. The album release party was the perfect way to kickstart the album and introduce A Gr at Chaos to the world. The release party was live streamed to those who were unable to attend the party, so all of Ken Carson’s fans around the world got to virtually attend and listen to the long awaited album for the very first time with everyone else. Not only did Ken Carson perform music off of A Great Chaos, but he also made sure to make the event thrilling for his fans by playing old music, allowing them to reminisce about his old sound and where he started from.


Ken Carson had been teasing A Great Chaos for nearly a year before its release by posting snippets, announcing dates, etc. He released one of the songs on the album “i need u” on Valentines Day, as a way to express to his fans that he loves them. A Great Chaos was the introduction to Ken Carson’s new sound. Unlike his previous albums, Project X and X, A Great Chaos had a completely different sound that could potentially be the future of Ken Carson’s sound. A Great Chaos’ new beats proves to Ken’s audience how much of a rockstar he truly is, he completely goes crazy on every single beat and doesn’t miss on a single song. 


One of the most favored songs on the album is called “Jennifer’s Body”. The song refers to a girl named Jennifer (portrayed by Megan Fox in the 2009 horror movie Jennifer’s Body. As Ken Carson references in the song, “Jennifer's Body, my bitch is a hottie, my bitch is a boy eater”. In the movie, the main character, Jennifer eats the men she seduces. Another song in the album that has been a smashing hit, “Succubus”, also references this movie as a succubus is a demon in female form that seduces men only to end up eating them. “Fighting My Demons” is a song with two separate parts, similar to his song “Run + Ran”, on his first album Project x, which also has a beat change in the middle of the song. It can be said that Ken Carson took inspiration from the song on his very first album to keep its’ memory alive. Ken Carson continues to thrive in the music industry and his fanbase continues to grow as he releases music and performs for his fans. A Great Chaos is only the start of a brand new era for Ken Carson, and all his fans cheer him on as he rises to fame.


KEN CARSON | WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | X


WELCOME TO HORRORWOOS UNDER FIRE EDITION - ICE NINE KILLS 


BY NICK BUNDY 



The evidence is in, and Ice Nine Kills Welcome to Horrorwood Under fire edition just reiterates why INK continues to sell out arenas, and slash their way through the charts, and our hearts.


Call it a reboot, or whatever you want.

It's “Bigger, bloodier and more brutal!


With New songs like Meat and Great, and even an acoustic Shower Scene (wouldn't that be a bath?) They continue to show us why they belong at the top of the metal scene. So let's talk about the year in review for the band. 


Fresh off the heels of a triple headline tour with Black Veil Brides, and Motionless in White. INK toured with some amazing bands this year: 

Falling in Reverse, In This Moment, the legendary Metallica. So why not re-release one of the hottest selling albums of the band's discography. 


Expanding on their signature fusion of blood-soaked metal and cinematic storytelling, ‘Welcome To Horrorwood Under Fire’ includes the original album along with an orchestral version. 2 reimagined songs, and one new song. With the Original, "Welcome to Horrorwood" being a chart topping album, and Under Fire also topping the charts with meat and greet already at over 4 million listens on spotify. INK continues to be like Michael Myers on the hunt for greatness. 


The new Silence Of The Lambs-inspired effort is the final piece in the INK Horrorwood saga, with frontman Spencer Charnas explaining: “After two years and eight music videos, we’re ready to bring the Welcome To Horrorwood saga to a shocking and tasteful climax with the unveiling of the final episode: Meat & Greet." You can purchase your copy in the link below and let us know! Do you think INK put out one of the best albums of the year?


ICE NINE KILLS | WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | X | FACEBOOK


SUNBURN - DOMINIC FIKE


BY SABRINA AMORIELLO



Although most of us have memorized his face from the sensationalized television program Euphoria, Dominic Fike returned to his roots in music earlier this year with his second studio album Sunburn, enclosing 15 tracks released through Columbia Records on July 7, 2023. The album is intended to be autobiographical, reflecting Fike’s upbringing in Southern Florida, and we must say, it is so brilliant, you will feel as if you’re there, witnessing his growth as a struggling rockstar throughout the forty-minute symphony. The album features a variety of musical influences, including acoustic guitar, funky electronic beats, and chill acoustic sections, highlighting Fike’s vocal capabilities and musical range. The title track “Sunburn” specifically explores themes of struggle, resilience, and the desire for a better life, reflecting on Fike’s upbringing and the challenges he overcame. 


Sunburn is a monumental album for Dominic Fike, introducing him to the music industry as a true artist, shutting down industry plant rumors immediately with the forty-minute masterpiece that was not only sung by Fike, but further produced, written, and instrumentalized by him too. With assistance from producers Jim-E Stack, Devin Workman (drummer), and Henry Kwapis (bassist), the ultimate goal of the album was to “let the world know who Dom is,” as Jim-E Stack, the primary producer, remarks and the album does just that. Sunburn sat on the Billboard 200 chart for three weeks, peaking at number 30, and one of the leading songs, “Mona Lisa,” was additionally featured in the 2023 American superhero film Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. The album is composed of 15 songs delving into themes of heartbreak and regret, addiction, sex, and jealousy. Sunburn intends to offer the aching and vulnerable revelations of a young artist still growing and putting their best foot forward, a contrast to previous releases from Fike which investigate the constant highs of the rockstar lifestyle. The album's publicity team honed in on the feeling of “someone who returned home to discover himself once more, who found the right words in small rooms – conjuring timeless spells to close this last chapter of his life and open the door to an even more searingly bright future.” 


Sunburn has received endless critical acclaim in regards to its honesty, vulnerability, and introspection which instills a nostalgic feeling in listeners. This album is raw in its emotional approaches, portraying how personal these 15 songs are to Fike, while still being upbeat and groovy in all the best ways. This album was the quintessential soundtrack of our summer: I blasted it on packed beaches with friends, danced along to it alone in my bedroom as the sun rose, and sped down empty roads, screaming the lyrics of Sunburn out my windows. I was even lucky enough to experience the entirety of the album performed live at Prospect Park in Brooklyn as a part of Fike’s summer “Don’t Stare At the Sun” tour series. The live rendition of Sunburn being performed in one of New York's most scenic parks made me fall in love with this album all over again. The pure, harsh passion of Dominic Fike poured out into each and every lyric on stage, the songs became that much more personal to the artist. The performance overall showcased the utter talent Dominic Fike possesses as a musician, he jumped around from keyboard, to both acoustic and electric guitar, and even played around with mixing boards and drum machines throughout the hour and a half show. 


Ultimately, Dominic Fike is definitely a stand-out artist from 2023 and his second studio album, Sunburn, is worthy of a spot on everyone’s favorite album of the year lists. The songs possess a sentimental spunk, offering a blend of alternative guitar, emotional lyrics, and a range of stellar production styles. This album has put Dominic Fike on the map as a musician worldwide and we can’t wait to see the continuation of Sunburn throughout 2024. 


DOMINIC FIKE | WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | X | FACEBOOK


BROKEN BY DESIRE TO HE HEAVENLY SENT - LEWIS CAPALDI


BY NICOLE YOUNG



Lewis Capaldi released his album Broken By Desire To Be Heavenly Sent on May 19, 2023. This album featured twelve tracks including "Forget Me" which was released in 2022. This album reigns as Lewis's second studio album to be released in his career. Lewis’ soundtrack follows songs such as Burning, Pretender, and Any Kind Of Life. Lewis took to his social media to promote his song "Wish You The Best". He began engaging with his fans' reactions on social media upon the release of his music video where fans witness a relationship between a elderly gentleman and his dog. To continue promotion of his newly released album Lewis took to the UK where he hosted a pop up shop. Lewis presented fans with a "Wish You The Best Booth" where fans were recorded before and after reacting to the new Wish You The Best hit. It sounds safe to assume this may have been Lewis's favorite track!

Shortly after the release of his album Broken By Desire To Be Heavenly Sent, Lewis announced that he was taking a much needed break from touring due to his mental, and physical health. His fans remained supportive, and encouraged him to feel better. In support of Lewis fans encouraged each other to stream Lewis's new album. Lewis reached a excess of 95,000 streams opposed to his previous album which only reached 89,000 streams in the first week of its' release.

Due to Lewis's strong vocals, and heartfelt lyrics, Broken By Desire To Be Heavenly Sent is by far the best album of 2023! 


LEWIS CAPALDI | WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | X | FACEBOOK


PORTALS - MELANIE MARTINEZ 


BY SABRINA AMORIELLO



Melanie Martinez rose from the dead in 2023 with her latest studio album, Portals, released through Atlantic Records on March 31, 2023. The album was much awaited and anticipated from fans who stuck around through the American singer-songwriters two year hiatus from music. Melanie Martinez surely didn’t disappoint upon her return with Portals, she has adopted a completely new image and sported a new creator-like alter ego. In support of the album, Melanie Martinez embarked on her Portal tour in May of 2023, offering fans the full-experience of the album including costumes, makeup, and choreography. 

Melanie Martinez originates from the New York borough of Queens, later moving to upstate New York. She rose to fame in 2012 after auditioning for the worldwide television program The Voice in which she received a record deal with Atlantic shortly after. She released her debut single “Dollhouse” followed by an extended play in 2014, beginning her musical career as an independent artist. She released her debut album in 2015, entitled Crybaby, adopting a child-like character used to symbolize Melanie’s personal growth and experiences through childhood phrases, overall making the debut playful yet sincerely deep and emotional. Melanie’s first release has gone on to be certified double-platinum by Recording Industry Association of America, further proving to her successful, yet innovative, approaches musically. Melanie evolved Crybaby’s character throughout her second release K-12 which continues to confess to Melanie’s struggles and accomplishments through elementary themes. Both albums had music videos coinciding with every single track off the list, ultimately creating a cinematic production when compiled together.


With the massive success Melanie Martinez’s entry albums amassed, fans and critics alike had inexplicable expectations for Portals and Melanie surely surpassed all of those. In February 2023, Melanie first began to tease the album with a conspicuous video she posted to Instagram, emulating a fairytale world with the statement “RIP CRYBABY '' engraved on a tree trunk. Fans went ballistic at the insinuation of the end of an era, especially after the artist’s hiatus. Melanie Martinez went above and beyond to promote the album, from numerous teasers to offering fans exclusive listens with pre-order packages, shipping a song burnt onto a USB inside an egg to lucky listeners. Melanie Martinez teased the lead single “Death” by emerging from a pink egg as her new alien-like fairy creature, the song peaked at number 95 on Billboard Hot 100, marking her first original song on the Billboard Hot 100. The second single “Void” sought similar success, hitting number 61 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. 


The main theme of the album is centered around the idea of of a never-ending cycle of life and death. Between the production, aesthetics, and even prosthetics the album can be described as otherworldly and extraterrestrial. The album begs the story of Melanie’s old character Crybaby being reborn as a “pink skinned four-eyed fairy creature that's stuck between Earth and the afterlife.” The album opens with the track “Death,” immediately introducing Melanie’s newfound concept for the album. The album begins with the phrase “Death is life is death is life” exploring death as a metaphor for rebirth and transition, rather than an ending. The song leads into “Void” which uses softer sounds and lighter ambiance’s to express the portal between life and death while also touching on Melanie’s personal insecurities. This is followed by “Tunnel Vision,” a song about Melanie’s experiences being oversexualized, which is noted for being a rather more traditional-pop melody. The following two tracks “Faerie Soirée” and “Light Shower” use more simplified stripped down sounds to transcend listeners through the mystical journey, both speaking on toxic relationships Melanie’s endured. 

The album picks up again with the eccentric, xlyphone tune “Spider Web,” jabbing at addictions to social media “and being caught in the web.” The song seamlessly transitions into “Leeches” which the artist described as a “slimy and superficial” ballad. Martinez transitions into “Battle of the Layrnx” where she address previous allegations made against her, delving into the struggles of finding ones voice and the internal struggles faced in a toxic relationship. The title stands as another metaphor, hinting at the phrase battling over the larynx which represents the speakers and voice and ability to speak, acknowledging that sometimes silence is the best response. “The Contortionist” presents another traditional pop symphony for the album except intertwines orchestral elements for extra depth and exclusivity. Fans went especially wild over Melanie’s track “Moon Cycle,” which has been interpreted as a response to Melanie’s past ex-boyfriend who is also involved in the music industry. “Nymphology” acts as another pop contemporary with Melanie creatively comparing nymphs from Greek mythology to “men, social media, and the music industry” who put "femme-presenting people" into boxes and "use them for their own pleasure or gain and discarding them". The albums so-called standout track, “Evil,” comes next again matching previous themes of overcoming toxic relationships and moving forward with a more pure intention for love. The album closes with “Womb” which is again a metaphor for Melanie’s rebirth and loops back to the phrase “life is death is life is death,” creating a cohesive album altogher, so much so, “Womb” even loops back to the opening track “Death” if played on repeat. 


I had the pleasure of experiencing the live rendition of Portals in the early months of summer at Radio City Music Hall in the heart of Manhattan’s beloved Times Square. Performing at Radio City Music Hall is a milestone in any artist’s career and Melanie practically sold out the venue, drowning it in sea of coquette. Melanie Martinez has spoken out about how she had intended on releasing a video production for every track as she always does for Portals, however, funding has held her back from pursuing this endeavor, thus Melanie brought her ideas to stages across America and it was truly phenomenal to witness. Everything about her performance was so thoroughly and conspicuously planned out and well-executed, it was jaw-dropping and mezmorising to watch song after song. The stage curation caught my attention immediately, from large LED screens guiding viewers down a journey through Melanie’s portal to the insane stage props including a rope spider web engulfing the stage, this was all around an entertaining performance. Not to mention the outstanding choreography which Melanie assisted in drafting and even performed parts of alongside her dancers. 


All in all, Portals by Melanie Martinez tells an intriguing and compelling story of death and rebirth in the form exquisite imagery painted by explicit, imaginative lyricism throughout the 16 song tracklist. The album is a strong comeback for Melanie Martinez after her two-year hiatus and marks the beginning of a whole new musical journey for her. The artist has scheduled an upcoming tour booking arenas for 2024 which includes an entire run through of all three of her albums, Crybaby, K-12, and Portals. The artists marketed “Trilogy Tour” is expected to sell-out fast and will undoubtedly be unforgettable, so snag tickets while you still can below! 


MELANIE MARTINEZ | WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | X | FACEBOOK


SILENCE BETWEEN SONGS - MADISON BEER


BY SABRINA AMORIELLO



In a year stockpiled with fantastic female artists, Madison Beer’s Silence Between Songs was most certainly a standout from 2023. The album is only the second full-length of Madison Beer’s discography, yet, was nominated for Best Immersive Audio Album at the 66th Annual Grammys. The album is written as a response to Beer’s breakout album Life Support:

“I’ve learned so much about myself and my artistry on the journey of the last two years since my last record. This album tells the story of so many different pieces of me that I discovered in the moments of pause where I settled down from the noise and learned the most about myself. I hope my fans are as inspired listening to it as I was when creating it,” -Madison Beer


Madison Beer has been a face in the industry for over a decade now, first emerging in 2012 on Youtube with covers of pop hits. She gained massive recognition when popstar, Justin Bieber, reposted one of her covers on Twitter, causing her to trend worldwide across the site. Justin Bieber went further to sign Beer personally to his label, Island Records, with her under the management of Scooter Braun. Madison Beer further partnered with Monster High to create a theme song for the franchisee in 2013. It was around this time, Beer began to work on a debut album which was said to have pop and R&B influences, however, the album is believed to have been scrapped. Instead, Madison Beer released her EP, As She Pleases, which sought notable critical acclaims such as a #21 peak on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 with its song “Home With You.” 


In 2019, Madison Beer announced her signature with Epic Records which would begin her Life Support chronology. She released her lead single off her debut Life Support in 2020, “Good in Goodbye,” and followed shortly after with her certified gold track “Selfish,” as well as “Stained Glass” with a coinciding music video, teasing the album, co-directed by Madison Beer. The album was published in its entirety in February of 2021, with every track also being co-written and co-produced by Madison Beer. Beer wasted no time teasing her second studio album, releasing her lead track “Reckless” in June of 2021 which met with critical acclaim for its lyrical content and vulnerability as well as peaked in the top 40 of Billboard US Mainstream Top 40. In the same year, Beer also co-founded a skincare company with Disney star Vanessa Hudgens and recorded a featured song for the film Clifford The Big Red Dog. 


After first being teased in 2021, Silence Between Songs was long awaited when it finally hit all streaming platforms on September 15, 2023, following the five singles that came prior: “Reckless” , “Dangerous” , “Showed Me (How I Fell In Love With You)” , “Home To Another One” , and “Spinnin’.” Silence Between Songs puts Madison’s ethereal vocals and exceptional talent for storytelling and emotional depth on full display, exploring themes of growth, reflection, and introspection. Where influences are concerned, Madison Beer pays homage to artists such as Lana Del Rey, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and Tame Impala. Madison Beer's Silence Between Songs, delivers a refreshing and innovative sonic experience and infuses the album’s visual aesthetics with her distinctive artistic vision.


What we love most about this release is the honesty and vulnerability of each and every track. Whether upbeat, or slowed down, Madison Beer’s lyricism shines through. She possesses phenomenal vocal range which has been awarded for its flexibility and capability. Songs such as “Spinnin’” and “Reckless” confess to the beauty of her voice and display her powerful vocality against slower, more ethereal productions. While songs such as “Sweet Relief” and “Dangerous” adopt a more upbeat, contemporary and evocative production, they still re-establish the emotional depth of Madison Beer’s lyricism through themes of harmful behaviors in abusive relationships. 


Overall this album is a standout from 2023 for its stellar production and sincere approaches to emotional topics. This release is one we cried to but one we also screamed in our hairbrush with, we recommend it to anyone going through a breakup or healing from past relationships. Check out Madison Beer on all platforms below and make sure to snag tickets to the Spinnin! Tour in 2024!


MADISON BEER | WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | X | FACEBOOK


| THANK YOU FROM THE CONCERT CHRONICLES TEAM |

Dear Reader:

Thank you so much for being a part of this journey in 2023. We haven’t been around for a full year, but we promise you a great year to come for all of us. Thank you for reading our content, promoting our posts, and supporting our contributors. We appreciate you all!