After donning the blue and gold on for a whole month and making every red-blooded Swede vaguely uncomfortable due to the latent nationalism that they can’t possibly ever admit to, it’s time for a change. Indeed, 2013’s first month has passed and while it hasn’t been extraordinarily explosive, it brought with it a few great releases that deserve a second (or third or fourth) look. So, without further ado…

Voivod - Target Earth

Voivod // Target Earth — Frankly speaking, it’s a goddamned serious surprise that this record is as good as it is. There just seemed no way that given everything a new Voivod record could show up and be awesome. But it is. Voivod‘s progressive weirdness is here on display, with a guitar performance from Dan Mongrain that apes Piggy’s style and feels completely genuine. This is the real deal. A shame about that fucking cover art1.

Cult of Luna - VertikalCult of Luna // Vertikal — Sure, Cult of Luna may be on the border of metal at best, but because they’re from Umeå and because Alex Franquelli couldn’t help himself, this record makes it onto this list. And really, sometimes you catch a band in its element, and that Cult of Luna is on its latest record. Take the time to check out this post-Neurosis hardcore thingymabobber. Worth your time.

Nightfall - CassiopeiaNightfall // Cassiopeia — Steel Druhm apparently has been wetting himself repeatedly ever since getting his hands on these Greek extreme metallers’ latest disc. He’s admitted that he underrated it; words rarely uttered at Angry Metal Guy Industries Ltd. Indeed, he claims that it should be a record of the month, but since it’s not the new Voivod it was relegated to place #3. Still, remarkable record is remarkable and note: we have remarked.

Riverside - Shrine of New Generation SlavesRiverside // Shrine of New Generation Slaves — This record did not live up to my expectations, honestly, but it definitely has continued to grow on me and I appreciate it a lot. I think it deserves recognition for being a very cool record, even if it not the record I was after.

Show 1 footnote

  1. I therefore created my own shitty background art to go hand-in-hand with this. I know it’s bad, but it’s better than that fucking cover art.
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  • I’m not exactly wetting myself, but yeah, I should have rated Nightfall at 4.5. It gets better with every listen.

    • Admit it – your gorilla fur is thoroughly soaked.

      • That’s from an unrelated glandular condition.

    • I wasn’t aware it was a glandular condition, I apologize for publicly shaming you.

      • That’s okay, its what the internet is for.

  • Good choices guys.

  • RU63

    I like the cover art . . . it is SciMETAL!

  • Kalsten

    It is funny how much a bad cover can make a change on the first opinion of a disc. I have heard only good things about the Voivod new album, but even that, the fucking cover make me not interested in listening to it :(

    • Listen to the damn album!

    • Tanuki

      Agreed. That is without a doubt the worst cover art I’ve ever seen.

  • I have seen webcomics that are much better drawn than that cover art. That being said, Voivod has never been my thing (*audible gasps*). Neither cult of Luna. Riverside on the other hand was kinda my thing, but their move to a mellower progressive rock sound was a turnoff to me. Don’t know, January wasn’t really a notable month for my tastes. Will have to find that Nightfall thing.

  • MetalMartin

    Oh my, oh my. I’m glad that my fellow citizens from Jonquière-Saguenay make the cut for album of the month here. Delicious album.

  • Zadion

    January was rather underwhelming, IMO. I hope it’s not a sign of the year to come.

  • Haha, using the logo was a really nice and creative solution to the bad cover art problem. Good choices, though, I think none of these albums are worth “jizzing over”. There’s just not much to choose from..

  • Erik

    I must admit that I am one of the red-blooded swedes you refer to, and yes I was a bit uncomfortable with the saboaton-backdrop that was shot into my face every time I looked at AMG for some metal goodness. Blame me for being sensitive, but I am truly concerned about the present political situation in Sweden where a populistic, nationalistic party gains a lot of ground while the trust in politicians in general is going down the drain… I love my country but I am so frustrated at all the lazy and stupid people voting for a party that only focuses on dissatisfaction and that wants to increase the segregation in society which will only lead to more injustice…

    Then I also hate Sabaton (but love heavy metal) since they have the worst singer ever and that I saw them giving one of the most ridiculous and terrible concerts I have ever been to (at Gates of Metal a couple of years ago). Good thing that Helloween gave one of the best concerts I have heard at the same festival, on borrowed instruments :-)

    Sorry for the wall of text, just needed to get that out of my system…

    Anyway, love this site, keep up the good work!!

    • Tanuki

      Is that really how sabaton is seen in Sweden?. From the other side of the world they seem almost a parody of themselves and their genre. Deliciously cheesy but not nationalistic in any serious or disturbing way. A band that doesn’t take themselves too seriously but still writes kick-ass tunes.
      Listening to riverside now. Agree it’s not their best. But channeling the lunatic soul material which is good to see. Still looking for the 1st big album of 2013…

  • The new Riverside album was quite a letdown! Not a bad album per se, but it feels a little bland and simplicistic. ADHD was my least favourite from them, and I’ll take it over SoNGS anytime. Jorn’s record was pleasant, and mr Steel Druhm talks wonders about Nightfall’s Cassiopeia, so I’ll check it out

    Still, this month had his nice moments, mostly due to a record coming from nowhere and hitting me in an unexpected fashion. I’m talking about Four Tet’s 0181. It’s a free collection of unreleased material, and well, it’s electronic, but it blew me away and I’m strongly recommending you to try it. It costs you nothing =)

  • RU63

    K, i got this album, listened to it the first time, and was like . . . . Meh because it kinda grating on my ears (could have been my shitty car stereo); Then I listened to it a second time on my home stereo and found some songs I liked; then on the third listen I started liking it; now, I see whay it got a 4.5. Excellent Album!