12 Best Rock and Metal Songs of 2023


Split image of Slash, Chester Bennington and Wolfgang Van Halen

Slash, Chester Bennington and Wolfgang Van Halen – Author Anne Erickson, Slash and Chester photos by Anne Erickson, Wolfgang photo by Travis Shinn

Audio Ink Radio names its 12 best rock and metal songs of 2023

Another year has come and gone, and thankfully, it’s brought a lot of great music for rock and metal fans. From newbies to veterans in the genre, 2023 has been jam-packed with great sounds. I think one of the things that’s been so exciting about this year, music-wise, is getting new music from bands that have been around for decades (Metallica) and brand new artists (Ayron Jones).

One of the best things about new music is when it’s really surprising. For example, I think everyone was floored when Blink-182 reunited and even put out new tunes. Is it 1998 again? No, it’s 2023, so let’s celebrate these dozen best rock and metal songs of the year, as determined by the staff of Audio Ink Radio.

12. Ayron Jones, “Blood in the Water”

Ayron Jones one of the hottest new names in rock music. He stands out, offering a mix of blues, soul and guitar rock. “Blood in the Water” features some ravage guitar playing and Jones’ powerful vocals.

11. Blink-182, “One More Time”

What the heck? Out of nowhere, Blink-182 reunited in 2023 and sold out arenas all over North America. It was like time hadn’t passed. The band’s track “One More Time” sounds totally nostalgic, with pop-punk riffing, upbeat rhythms and winey vocals. It’s a trip.

10. Dirty Honey, “Won’t Take Me Alive”

If you’re wondering if real, raw rock ‘n’ roll is alive and well in 2023, the answer is yes. Dirty Honey captures that true rock vibe with their single “Won’t Take Me Alive,” a frenzy of a rock track with lots of heavy rock, funk and rhythm.

9. Within Temptation, “Entertain You”

Dutch symphonic metal band Within Temptation returned with a new album in 2023, “Bleed Out.” The album saw the band going in a more political direction, writing about everything from war to women’s rights. “Entertain You” is about how society can negatively highlight people who stand out from the norm.

8. Sevendust, “Everything”

Sevendust returned with the melodic “Truth Killer” in 2023. As someone who enjoys Sevendust’s “Seasons” era, this was right up my alley, as it features that same kind of melodic heavy metal and LJ Witherspoon’s soulful vocals. “Everything” is a standout and perfect for the radio.

7. Guns N’ Roses, “Perhaps”

New Guns N’ Roses? Yes, please. The band released “Perhaps” this year, much to fans’ delight, offering up a new yet classic rock song from one of the genre’s biggest bands of all time. Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan sound in top form here.

6. Foo Fighters, “Rescued”

“Rescued” was a huge moment for Foo Fighters, as it both honored late drummer Taylor Hawkins and showed how the band could forge ahead in the wake of his tragic passing. The opening track off “But Here We Are” is a tear-jerker, with earnest lyrics and strong melodies.

5. Green Day, “The American Dream Is Killing Me”

It’s been more than 20 years since Green Day released their opus of an album, “American Idiot,” but they’re still questioning the American Dream. The band’s latest single, “The American Dream Is Killing Me,” keeps with that familiar motif, as well as the band’s rollicking pop-punk and gutsy playing style.

4. Judas Priest, “Panic Attack”

Metalheads, rest easy that the founders of the genre are still in top form. Rob Halford and Judas Priest rounded out the year by releasing a gem of a new metal track called “Panic Attack,” off their upcoming album, “Invincible Shield,” out in 2024. Halford and company sound heavier and stronger than ever on “Panic Attack.” It’s a real heavy metal treat.

3. Mammoth WVH, “Another Celebration at the End of the World”

There’s no slowing down Wolfgang Van Halen and his project, Mammoth WVH. Wolfgang released his sophomore album with Mammoth WVH in 2023, “Mammoth II,” and wrote and performed everything on it. Lead single “Another Celebration at the End of the World” is a gutsy rock anthem that’s found a home on rock radio.

2. Metallica, “If Darkness Had a Son”

Metallica may have kick-started the phenomenon of metal going to the masses back in the 1980s, but the band is still alive and kicking in 2023. The guys released their latest studio album, “72 Seasons,” and the album’s single “If Darkness Had a Son” is a favorite on rock radio. This track is epic, with dark sonics and James Hetfied’s aggressive vocals.

1. Linkin Park, “Lost”

I don’t think I’ll ever get over the loss of Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington, and I have a feeling many music fans feel the same way. Nobody could talk and relate to the young like Bennington. His lyrics also expressed that kind of youthful rebellion and yearning to be understood. “Lost,” a “new” song from the band’s “Meteora” recording sessions, is a haunting reminder of what we miss with Bennington.

For a deeper dive, find Audio Ink Radio’s 15 best rock and metal albums of 2023 here.

Anne Erickson
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Posted by Anne Erickson | Features, Metal, Music, Rock