I think we can all admit January was a less than spectacular month for metal. There were some solid albums, but no big, slobberknocking titans of terror. Lest we fear 2014 would be another off year, February came and kicked our collective asses with one huge release after another. This naturally led to internal strife at AMG over what album deserved the top spot and let’s just say, tempers flared and dishes were thrown (I’ve long been an advocate of removing all dishes from the AMG office). Now that decisions have been made, china has been broken and feelings bruised, we deliver to you the sweet, tangy fruits of our labor.

Soreption_EngineeringtheVoid

Soreption // Engineering the Void Technical death metal, like gravity, can be a fickle mistress. It’s so easy to overdo the wanking, lose sight of actual song-writing and end up with a deathy Dream Theater. Sweden’s Soreption avoid that death trap and deliver amazingly technical playing in the service of good songs you can enjoy as such. Freed from the tyranny of liking mere parts of songs, you get to savor an entire album of tech-death as it should be done, which caused Grymm to gush “get your air sweep-arpeggios warmed up, your arms stretched properly for some intense flailing, and be prepared to get pummeled and enthralled by Engineering the Void.”

Runners Up:

Hail Spirit Noir_Oi MagoiHail Spirit Noir // Oi Magoi Ever find yourself longing for a Vegas lounge act version of black metal? Me either, but Hail Spirit Noir did it anyway and you know what? It’s really good! Merging trippy 70s rock with jazz and even cabaret music, these strange clowns of destiny provide a new and original take on blackness that you need to hear to believe. As Grymm summed up his fanboyish review, “If you want to go deeper than Ghost for your grooved-out evil, or wonder how Sigh would sound in a lounge without a lot of the metal, this is your album.”

Behemoth - The SatanistBehemoth // The Satanist — The big bombers of blackened death return with a new zest for life (and death) and deliver a mammoth opus that meets and even exceeds expectations. An impressed AMG concluded “The Satanist‘s construction—starting slow, building up a head of steam and then ending on a melancholy note—leaves a remarkable impression.” Good job, Nergal!

Megascavenger_At the Plateau of LengMegascavenger  // At the Plateaus of Leng — Rogga Johansson. Will you ever sleep? Apparently not, as he returns for the umpteenth time with a star-studded, guest heavy death platter that would give Avantasia a run for its money. Every song has a different style and death metal luminary on the mic and the result is shockingly good and listenable. Doom/death, melo-death, brootal death, it’s all here folks. Interesting stuff to be sure. Now get some sleep Rogga, you’re tired!

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  • Pat Adriance

    Behemoth is a runner up?! Blasphemy!

    • CaptainTomatoSauce

      Oh the irony… :) Good one, mate.

    • Kalsten

      I feel your pain. I heard Soreption’s new album and I didn’t like it as much as The Satanist, which is my favourite album of what we were having of 2014.

    • Eryops

      I think that’s fine. It’s a good album, but the ‘Hail Satans’ that Nergal perpetuates through the album is as annoying as ‘Praise Jesus’ would be. That alone should be enough to keep it from RotM.

  • André Snyde Lopes

    Having listened to 3 out of the 4 albums listed here, I can not fathom why Oi Magoi isn’t the ROTM. I was half-expecting The Satanist to be on top (cuz Behemoth) but Engineering the Void came totally out of left field. I wouldn’t even put it in my top 5 records from February, let alone number one…

    • Wanna throw some dishes?

      • André Snyde Lopes

        Dishes? Let’s skip right through to the cutlery!

    • RU63

      I’m with you on this. Oi Magoi is a pure gem.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    In decending order the best for feb should read as follows

    Artificial Brain
    Artificial Brain
    Artificial Brain
    …………..A vast chasm of time and space……….
    Behemouth

    But thats just my opinion (i’m right)

    • That guy

      You’re not wrong. Expect a things we may have missed on Artificial Brain. In the meantime I’ll be blasting “Absorbing Dark Ignition”.

  • Kalsten

    I really wanted you guys to review new Mayan album “Antagonise”. I really enjoy it, it has a lot of variety and is fun to re-listen. With Behemoth, my favourite albums from February.

    • Maybe we will do it as a Things We Missed at year end.

      • Kalsten

        Oooh, but I don’t want to wait until then…:(

      • Kalsten

        Oooh, but I don’t want to wait until then…:(

  • Christofer

    Still waiting for my copies of Hail Spirit Noir and Artificial Brain to arrive. Damn you Amazon! Well well, I still have the Soreption album to listen to so I can’t really complain.

  • Feeblejocks

    As a matter of fact, I think this list is pretty accurate. I thought Oi Magoi was good, but I didn’t end up liking it all that much, and I’ve more or less stopped listening to it. The Sorception album, on the other hand, frankly blew me away.
    Oh, and Behemoth was good, too.

  • I heard Soreption, HSN and of course, Behemoth. I must have to say I’m not terribly impressed by Soreption, on the tech death side I have to echo Artificial Brain’s praises. I even liked Inferi’s latest a lot more, but that one is from late January I believe. HSN was great bar none though.

    And Behemoth raised it’s plateau enough to make me go to see them live again next may. Perhaps it’s the album that will have more staying power in my playlists.

    Consider my plastic dinnerware thrown and my coffee table flipped.

    • Clean that shit up!

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      Damn straight that Inferi record is a killer!
      I can’t see it getting any of the love it deserves…I hope it doesn’t end up a lost classic

  • FutureBeyondSatan

    Kuolemanlaakso – Tulijoutsen is by far the best release of February.
    SOREP(enilecontrap)TION is not.

  • FutureBeyondSatan

    Kuolemanlaakso – Tulijoutsen is by far the best release of February.
    SOREP(enilecontrap)TION is not.

  • Kalsten

    It is impossible to find the Megascavenger album anywhere (digital version). Neither legit (bandcamp, etc) or torrent. I am really curious about that record, but I have had any opportunity to try it.

    • tomasjacobi

      It IS on Bandcamp. I tried posting a link, but apparently links are dangerous. It’s on the Chaos Records Bandcamp page so put “chaos records bandcamp” into Google and you should end up the right place.

      • Kalsten

        Thank you very much, sir. You have my gratitude :)

        I swear that I looked for it, by I ask mr google for Megascavenger bandcamp, and no results. Weird.

        Thank you again! :)

  • Isaac VanDuyn

    Soreption is pretty good, but that dang Behemoth record is the best. We’re now in May, and it’s still the main thing I keep playing.