In 2016 Melbourne thrashers Meshiaak became the first band to win Sentinel Daily’s Top Australian Album of the Year Gong, followed by Caligula’s Horse (2017) and Rise of Avernus in 2018 before the 2019 renewal was taken out by Lord. The award went to prog-power heroes Vanishing Point in 2020 and Melbourne hair metallers Dangerous Curves in 2021 before coming to Canberra for the first time last year with Taliesin. Who will take the Crown in 2023? Read on!

10. VoyagerFearless In Love (Season of Mist)
Voyager Top Ten
“As the last notes of the semi-title track which closes the album fade into the ether, you realise that Voyager have never sounded this alive, this gloriously exuberant. It’s recognisably the band we’ve always loved but – you guessed it – MORE so. And that’s a marvellous thing to be part of as a fan”. – Gavin Strickmann, 14/06/23

Read Gavin’s full review of Fearless In Love HERE

9. Elm StreetThe Great Tribulation (Massacre Records)
Elm Street Top Ten
Ben Batres leads from the front with a punishing vocal performance, but the whole band lend full support to create a punishing, punchy sound that’s right up there sonically with anything else in the marketplace in 2023″. – Ferry Templeton, 02/11/23

Read Ferry’s full Elm Street exposition HERE

8. KingFury And Death (Soulseller Records)
King Top Ten
“Aussie extremists King show real progression on their new effort Fury and Death. Extant now for over a decade, they really seem to have hit a sweet spot on tracks like Once And For All and Into The Fire that finally sees them achieving what they’ve so clearly been striving towards over their first couple of albums”. – Michael Stronge, 31/10/23

Read Michael in full on Fury and Death HERE

7. ArtanorIn Servitude of Darkness (Gutter Prince Cabal Records)
Artanor Top Ten
“Classic, in your face black metal… It’s perhaps the album’s final track, the slightly doomier Dependent Echoes of Misery, where things come together best and Artanor make the most glorious, strident sense. Utterly rousing, memorable black metal” -MS, 25/07/23

Read Mick’s full review HERE

6. The Hard OnsRipper 23 (Golden Robot Records)
Hard Ons Top Ten

“Somehow, against all the odds all concerned here have played their part in making a truly enjoyable album – but most importantly, an album that seems to matter. It’s important that these blokes have teamed up and taken a chance, and it’s even more important that you give it a fair listen, whatever your misgivings” – Scott Adams, 05/06/23

Have a look at Scott’s thoughts on Ripper 23 HERE

5. StonetripRun Free (Golden Robot Records)
Stonetrip Top Ten
“But for all the musical dexterity on show, it’s the songwriting that’s the key to Run Free’s success; At thirteen songs in length, the danger might be that the album collapses under it’s own weight; however every song keeps things tight, economical and energised, meaning that you’ll never get the chance to get bored. These guys clearly know what they are at when it comes to making a very listenable record”. – SA, 07/03/23

Read Scott’s full review HERE

4. WerewolvesMy Enemies Look And Sound Like Me (Prosthetic Records)
Werewolves Top Ten
“For instance, closing track Do Not Hold Me Back, with it’s glorious “maybe you’re a cunt, maybe you’re a fucking cunt” closing refrain, is as good an example of the maintenance of rage and it’s deployment as a weapon of utter unforgiving violence as you’ll hear this or any other year… If anything, Werewolves v.2023 is a heavier, dirtier, darker beast than it’s 2020 counterpart. And that is surely something worth celebrating” – MS, 04/08/23

Read Mick’s ravings in full HERE

3. TemtrisKhaos Divine (WormHoleDeath)
Temtris Top Ten
“Indubitably the best Temtris album we’ve been given yet, from a band who, seven albums in to a near-quarter century career, still manage to go from strength-to-strength. We’ve been touting big things for this band on the World Stage here at Sentinel Daily for some while now – and, after repeated listens to Khaos Divine, I’m convinced that the band’s time could well be now” – GS, 09/03/23

Read Gavin in full flight on Temtris HERE

2. Department of GloomDepartment of Gloom (Andromeda Records)
Department of Gloom Top TEN
“It’s rare, in these jaded times when the world and his wife are seemingly submitting albums to Sentinel Daily for review, to find something as fabulously satisfying – not to mention steadfastly dud-free – as Department of Gloom. Good guys playing great music are at a serious premium in 2023 – so give these blokes a leg-up and get hold of this as soon as is humanly possible!” – SA, 12/07/23

Department of Gloom in review – in full – is HERE

All of which brings us to the top spot, which in 2023 belongs to…

1. Night LegionFight Or Fall (Massacre Records)
Night Legion Top Ten
“The title track is another highlight, ploughing a sort of Dio-meets-Dokken-and-Maiden forrow that, if there’s any justice in the world, will become a turntable staple on headbanger stereos across the world, whilst the pummelling At World’s End isn’t far behind if it’s infectious, headbang-inducing mayhem that floats your boat. In short, if you like proper heavy metal, heavy metal as it’s always been made, then there’s absolutely no reason at all, not one, for you not to add this album to your collection as soon as is humanly possible. It’s an absolute ripper”. – SA, 06/07/23