Although the album format remains very much alive, the last several years have seen shorter EP and single releases gaining prominence in music… and why not? Individual songs tend to be more easily consumable than longform records, and in a digital age of streaming services and social media shares being the most effective means of promotion and proliferation, it’s perhaps no wonder that there’s been a shift favoring bite-sized portions over a grander feast. Well, that’s probably the idea that the industry has focused on, while music lovers undoubtedly appreciate the abundance of options available for hearing new music, and it’s certainly a means for artists and bands to explore different presentations – they can tease larger projects, or they can be a means to attain a more sharply focused output, and they certainly allow for greater quantity and visibility.
But let’s not wax philosophical for much longer; the point ultimately is that EPs deserve as much recognition and praise as the longer albums, and with so many being released, ReGen decided that rather than including them in our regular top albums list to give them their own space. So here, we have our “Top 20 EPs of 2023,” as selected by the publication’s active staff members. Just as with the “Top 50 Albums,” this list is merely a sampling of those EP releases that ReGen considers to be among the most exceptional of 2023. Also like the larger albums list, these are not ranked in a particular order.
We hope that you enjoy ReGen Magazine‘s “Top 20 EPs of 2023.”
Between the “Top 50 Albums” and “Top 20 EPs,” there are a great many releases that were very seriously considered, and although they didn’t make the list, that by no means is intended to suggest that they shouldn’t make the grade. It’s difficult enough to narrow down and constrain the plethora of music released in a year down to a specifically numbered list – there’s simply so much to hear, which we at ReGen feel is a good problem to have. Even with social economic and industry tribulations, the creativity of the underground music community is thriving, from trailblazing electronic artists like Daniel Myer with Hingabe or the Fabrikat album from his Liebknecht collaboration with Rinaldo Bite, to Neue Deutsche Härte progenitors OOMPH! breaking in a new lead vocalist on the excellent Richter und Henker, or the retro-electro darkwave of Body of Light’s Bitter Reflection, the punishing industrial/metal of Black Magnet’s Birth, or the doom-laden gravewave of Dead Quiet’s IV and The Storm Within by Saturnus, or the bludgeoning metalcore of Ad Astra by Aphyxion, or the darkly atmospheric melodicism of Sapphira Vee’s Fortune. There was also the inimitable metal assaults of Babymetal still going strong with The Other One and Cloak’s Black Flame Eternal, the snark and sneer of Der Prosector’s Staring Down Earth, the electronic artistry of Gorgoon’s Six Paths or SHRVL’s Limbus, the otherworldly and mythic ambience of Worms of the Earth’s Kheri-Habet, Violet Cold’s Multiverse, Debby Friday’s Good Luck, Ahab’s The Coral Tombs, Belgrado’s Intra Apogeum, Home Front’s Games of Power… well, we could go on and on, but the point has been made.
Yes, 2023 was a year like any other, with plenty of hardship and turmoil to go around, and lots of music to carry us through, providing auditory accompaniments and reinforcements for our emotions and mental fortitude. The past dictates the future, and so we have so much more to work toward and look forward to in 2024 and beyond. ReGen Magazine expresses its gratitude to all of you readers that have helped to keep us going strong; we hope you’ve enjoyed our listings for the “Top 50 Albums,” “Top 20 EPs,” and honorable mentions of 2023, and that you’ll stick with us as we do our best to “ReGenerate Your Minds.”
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)
ReGen Magazine Staff