xapothecaryx by Zoë Smith Media
xapothecaryx by Zoë Smith Media
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The 2023 vanguard of Vegan Straight Edge Hardcore Metal: Top 10 selection by FORWARD TO EDEN

5 mins read

As the year draws to a close, we take a moment to reflect on the seismic shifts and stirring echoes that have defined the vegan straight edge hardcore metal scene in 2023.

In collaboration with the renowned Vegan edge metalcore project Forward To Eden spearheaded by the multi-instrumentalist Tim Rule, we present a meticulously curated list of the top 10 most impactful releases of the year.

This selection, deeply rooted in the ethos of veganism and straight-edge principles, is not just a collection of tracks but a resonant testament to the genre’s vitality and evolution.

In November, we delved into the intricate world of Forward To Eden with an exclusive feature on his newest endeavor, ‘I / IV’. This EP, the first in a series of four interrelated releases, showcased Tim Rule’s ability to reimagine songs from his past projects, breathing new life into them. ‘I / IV’ includes a soul-stirring acoustic rendition of xMAROONx’s “Still Believe in What Has Fallen Apart” and an original track that harks back to the golden era of ‘90s metalcore, reminiscent of icons like Caliban, Morning Again, or Poison The Well.

Now, as Forward To Eden prepares to unveil ‘II / IV’, we join Tim Rule in a journey through the year’s most significant releases, each chosen for their unyielding commitment to the genre and the messages they convey.

Join us as we explore this wicked selection, a collection that not only represents the best of 2023 but also serves as a vibrant testament to the unstoppable energy and thriving spirit of the vegan straight edge movement.

Vegan Straight Edge
Vegan Straight Edge

xNOMADx – On Skylines of Embers

Debuting with a really strong “Shai-Hulud Core” 3-Track Demo in early 2023, they just came back with a perfect 10/10 Crymosh 2000 AD (Poison The Well, Skycamefalling, etc.) EP in October this year.

Fragile melodics, suddenly replaced by piercing tremolo riffs, chugging breakdowns, a screeching voice that freeze your spinal cord, all topped of by really well written vegan edge lyrics and the occasional spoken/clean sung part.

This is so good that I can barely believe that these are teenage newcomers. ONLY minus point: where the fuck is the vinyl edition!? I need this on my turntable now!

“I have heard that stirring, as you have, I have heard the crumbling brick from across the earth, I have heard cries of the indigenous silenced only to come manifest as fire”

Balmora – With Thorns of Glass and Petals of Grief

Even though it is only listed as Straight Edge (while some members are also vegan), this is another perfect 10/10 metalcore EP in the vein of bands like Prayer For Cleansing, Undying, etc. – and a debut nonetheless!

I have no Idea where they came from and how 4ephyra Records seems to have a monopoly on the fire – did they just dug out a box of unreleased 90s tapes?

The only thing I’m still missing is the vinyl version…


Turkey’s heaviest export and probably only active vegan edge outfit xRISALEx continue their politically fueled onslaught, sounding even heavier with each release! Is this their pinnacle yet?

What started with a solid metallic hardcore demo in 2020 has now become a real 90s style metalcore gem! Being deeply rooted in the DIY hardcore scene, the members are active in a bunch of other great projects as well, still I hope that this is not the end of the line for xRISALEx.

On the other side we have edge metal warriors xINVICTUSx, hailing from the infamous H8000 area and delivering nothing short of true oldschool Death Metal.

X Invictus X
X Invictus X

Skull-crushing riffs, double bass drumms, solo-guitars, growling vocals, you name it! And the cherry on top: a nice vinyl edition from the good folks of Ugly & Proud Records.

No Cure – The Commitment to Permanence

Another release which is “only” listed as Straight Edge (while some members are also vegan), but I HAD to add this riddiculously heavy oldschool Death Metal combo with mosh- and singalong parts that made quite a name for themselves with hits like “No Cure Straight Edge Die Slow Fuck You”.

Also a super good live-band and really active in the DIY scene (in Alabama), from the looks of it.

NO CURE band
NO CURE by @nickchance_

This is their debut LP and man, it sets a new standard for Edge Metal. Still hoping for a vinyl release though… maybe along with a tour announcement? Do it!

xapothecaryx – The Purity of Flesh, S(p)oiled by Greed

Keeping the fire of UK Vegan Straight Edge Metallic Hardcore alive… and boy, the “metallic” is capitalized here, this shit is brutal!


Some real oldschool Beatdown parts in this, but with uncompromising militant vegan edge lyrics – I mean, let’s be honest, if someone screams “Humanity is a stain that I just can’t tolerate anymore.

Why did god put so much hate in me but make murder a sin?” and then goes into a stupidly heavy breakdown, the Pit’s gotta be carnage! Can’t wait for a full-length from these folks! Oh, and again: where is the fucking vinyl edition!? Labels worldwide should be all over this!

xDEVOURx – Flowers Of Fire, Walls Of Water

Belgian 90s style metallic hardcore legends are back with a new full-length.

xDEVOURx by @arkaxvx, Oskar Tocha from Caged
xDEVOURx by @arkaxvx, Oskar Tocha from Caged

Members of bands like Blade, Heartfelt & Stroke of Grace, delivering good old H8000-Core.

A super cool vinyl versions is available from the good folks of Ugly & Proud Records.

xWEAPONx / World of Pleasure – Weapon of Pleasure (Split)

World Of Pleasure - by Jayme Javier
World Of Pleasure – by Jayme Javier

Both bands already made quite an impact with their demos, but what do you get when you throw super heavy metallic straight edge hardcore by members of Harms Way, Knocked Loose & Inclination in the blender with one of the most notorious vegan edge hardcore newbloods? Well, Daze Style got you covered (even with vinyl).

Power Alone – Nothingness

“Gather” are back from the grave! …well, not quite, but Power Alone (with basically the same members) are here to fill the hole of vegan straight edge 90s style metalcore they left.

While being a tad more on the (fast) metallic hardcore side, there is definitely no loss in POWER (pun intended).

Street Justice – No Kings / No Cages

Ontario Vegan Edge Hardcore Kings delivering nothing but heavyness again!

Super sick band, wrecking house shows since 2k19, eating nothing but greens and still the biggest people in the pit!

Coven Japan – Earthlings

Let’s just go with a really unusual pick – and also most surprising release – for #10: Japanese 80s style Heavy Metal.

Full on NWOBHM with female vocals. Some really catchy tunes though and also on the spot Vegan Edge lyrics!

Bonus Pick:

The Rule – Of Magic & Muscle

…had to seize the opportunity and add some promo for my own bands vegan straight edge album, which also came out this summer. Straight Edge Hardcore meets synthie fueled Heavy Metal with lyrics about lifting, haha… CDs & Tapes available. Vinyl next year!

Forward To Eden

12 (bonus pick) Forward To Eden – I / IV

The first of four interrelated EPs by the prolific, militant vegan straight edge metalcore project Forward To Eden. The solo project by Tim Rule (Castigator, The Rule, etc.) delivers their very own, unique version of the xvx classic “Still Believe in What Has Fallen Apart” by scene legends xMAROONx on one side and a new, exclusive track in the renowned FTE Style, which is 90’s Metalcore in the vein of bands like Caliban, Morning Again or Poison The Well, on the other side. A limited 8″ vinyl version is now available from BBMA Records.


“II / IV”, the second EP, will be released on January 5th.

Keep an eye out and stay vegan!

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