May was a pretty righteous month for metal with many legitimate nominees for Album o’ the Month. There were at least six albums that could have taken the honor without triggering rioting in the streets and cries for reform. As responsible adults, we opted for a fair and democratic selection process (i.e. authoritarian decree from AMG and angry complaining by the underlings) and lo and behold, decisions were made! Regardless of the process, it resulted in a great album getting the spotlight and some equally great runners up for a month where much money could be spent on quality metal. Without further politicking, we present your new metal tyrant.


Vainaja // Kadotetut  – In a month literally crushed under the weight of some really top-notch doom/death releases, none broke more backs than Vainaja‘s monstrous Kadotetut. Wielding the hammer of the mighty Celtic Frost, Vainaja unleashes an army of throat crushing doom riffs, distorted, harrowing and more oppressive than Vlad Putin. The song writing is first rate, the mood is eerie and ominous and the music is heavy-as-fuck. Even a fairly brick-walled, overly loudified production can’t stop this beast from earning your love. This is how doom/death should be done and this may well be Grymm‘s Album of the Year.

Runners Up:

Elvenking - The Pagan ManifestoElvenking // The Pagan Manifesto AMG Himself has had a complicated love affair with power metal, and yes, he’s a bit jaded and cynical because he’s been hurt before. That didn’t stop him from warming to a the strains of a reborn Elvenking and we were all shocked as he heaped very un-AMG-like praise on these pirate beshirted Euro-Gamma-Strata-Weenies. He found much to love in their newfound energy and ear for melody and went so far as to proclaim that this “reignites the flame for power metal in the heart of this bitter, aging metal guy.” Nerdrage is in the air.

Stitched PanoramaCastle // Under Siege – Although there’s a glut of retro-occult-doom rock at the moment, Steel Druhm has long championed the way Castle approaches the Vest Metal genre. On this their third outing, they take their mix of doom, NWoBHM and American power metal to the next level and craft some really moody killers, loaded with unique identity and scads of metal credibility. In the Book of Steel, these cats are one of the best underground acts in all of metaldom and he’s a slavish disciple.

DoomVS_Earthless2Doom:VS // Earthless – What do you get when the mastermind behind Draconian teams with the vocalist of Saturnus? One big slab of melodic doom/death that brings in the best aspects of both bands and nearly surpasses them. Earthless is morose doom/death that verges on funeral doom, but feels extremely listenable due to the heavy infusion of melody. The mournful riffs are beautiful and the writing holds the attention in a way few doom/death bands can.

DECEMBRE_NOIR_cover_PRINTDecembre Noir // A Discouraged Believer – A platter of grim doom/death borrowing from the likes of Katatonia and October Tide, but also attempting to inject Ominium Gatherum flavored melody, A Discouraged Believer is an impressive debut by these German misanthropes of glumness. Madam X  summed it up well as “a big old bludgeoning melancholic tea party.” And who doesn’t like that kind of party?

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  • Chris Why?

    Hahaha, this list came out sooner than I expected. I had to double check my calendar when I saw this because I thought that it might already have been October. I agree with Vainaja taking the top spot. The album is wonderfully heavy and is hitting me harder and harder with every listen.

    • Mike Eckman

      LOL, I thought the same thing! I almost went outside to begin winterizing my garden.

      • Oh, you guys!

        • Eh, it depends, I’d say Hannibal’s “Mushroom garden” from the first season was pretty metal.

        • Mike Eckman

          Heavy Stu would disagree with you! :)

          • James Ingold

            I was actually listening to Castle in headphones as I tended my garden last week. True story.
            Nothing’s more metal than Nasturtiums; they would even make a decent band name.

          • Mike Eckman

            Thats what Im talking about! I propose a sub forum of this site for us called “Angry Metal Gardeners”!

  • Arikael

    wow, Doom:VS is absolutly beautiful!
    And Elvenking is one of the best albums 2014 (just my opinion)

  • André Snyde Lopes

    From this selection I’ve only listened to Décembre Noir and it was great, so for it to be the last one mentioned, it probably means the others are even better.

    I have to get up to date with these!

  • Andres Pintos Nocerino

    well record of the year just became SEPTICFLESH Titan

    • It won’t even be record of the month.

      • I KNEW IT, it will be Burzum’s yodeling with keytars one, right? (Note: I haven’t heard the new Burzum before you kvlt kids jump on my throat)

        • James Ingold

          I feel like I’ve got a neigh unforgivable gap in my black metal knowledge by never listening to a Burzum album but I will never let the likes of Vikernes see a cent of my money. So don’t feel bad about not having listened to the latest one yet; I’ve heard none!

          • If ever there was a band you shouldn’t feel bad about downloading illegally, it’s Burzum. Oh, and Metallica.

          • And you should only need to DL Filosofem

          • Buddist Metal Lover

            Lol …

          • Carlos Marrickvillian

            If you’re downloading the Black album you shouldn’t feel bad…just shame, deep, deep shame…

          • Our Fortress Is Burning

            …although, with more recent Metallica albums, it’s listening to the music that makes you feel bad. ;)

            St. Anger makes me nauseous.

  • Excentric_1307

    I agree with Sir Steel; that album by Castle (The Castle if you look on Amazon) is incredible and is music I never knew I needed.

  • FutureBeyondSatan

    I finally broke down and bought Vainaja from their Bandcamp page. Raskas kuin vittu! SISU.

  • I don’t wanna sound like a bandwagoneer, but I would like to propose to keep that sweet Giger piece as background for another month? I don’t have anything against the Vainaja cover art, in fact is one of the best I’ve seen in the year, but hey, it’s Giger.

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      Great idea

  • sui

    I really like A Discouraged Believer. It is more of a darker version of Ghost Brigade to me. My only beef is the cover art, which is somewhat misleading for the beautifully moody music.

    I found Elvenking quite interesting as well, yet the vocal needs some time to get used to. And I need more listens of the other records.

  • Buddist Metal Lover

    What the hell ??? Only 15 days after the deadline? Are you guys taking your jobs seriously AT ALL ? LMAO … didn’t even see this one, am still catching up with April … soon what should we expect … releasing the July list in early August? You guys are spoiling the “wait two months for it” rule !!! Be damned !!!

    By the way that Castle album is a doozy … never heard of them … nice pick :)

    • Everybody’s a comedian! I told AMG this was premature.

      • James Ingold

        Angry Metal Guy: Fashionably late… always

  • 7yhnmju8

    “a month *literally* crushed” I don’t think that word means what you think it means…

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    Hot Damn a few things to still check out from this month…with so much competition for your music dollar it’s so important to get the art and packaging right…and the Decembre Noir art is terrible…

  • Kim Sørensen

    “Even a fairly brick-walled, overly loudified production can’t stop this beast from earning your love”

    Well it could for me

    • Grymm

      Get the vinyl version. HUGE improvement.

      Still an awesome album. Promise!

      • James Ingold

        Grimm is very right. The vinyl version will knock your socks off. It just arrived in the mail last week and I’ve barely put anything else on the platter. Very well-produced.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    Thanks will check it out. I don’t mind the art, its not even close to being as bad as the autumnal cover…I think we’ll be waiting for a long time for something to top that