It’s that time again. And by “that time,” I mean the time when Steel Druhm throws a public fit because his little slice of nostalgia isn’t going to be the Record o’ the Month. He will complain loudly in the comments. He will post rebuttals and whine. But alas, this month it was pretty obvious who the RotM should belong to. Break out your flamethrowers! Commence the wailing and/or gnashing of teeth! The misery is gonna get Biblical  up in here.

But before you don your sackcloth and begin rolling around on the ground I want to take a minute to note two things. First, we are still taking applications for writing unless you already have a successful acting career. See the details in this post and the deadline is 11:59 PM June 4th, 2016, Eastern Standard Time.

Secondly, I want to make a note that the 7th anniversary of passed us on the 27th of May. (If you’re pedantic, it was the 19th of May, but my first reviews were posted on the 27th.)  I’m working on a commemorative post, but since I’m three reviews late right now, it’s tough for me to know precisely when that’s gonna get done. So let me say this: 7 years is a long fucking time to keep a blog. Watching writers come and go has been instructive. In a way, Druhm is right: only the weirdos stick it out this long.

But is becoming an institution unto itself and I think that’s cool. And as cliché as it sounds, we’re no institution if we have no readers, and the fact that some of you have been reading this blog since its inception blows my mind. So thanks for reading—both new and old readers—and thanks for commenting. And you should all thank Druhm and Madam X and all the other writers for keeping this little folly of mine afloat.

Now on with the wailing and gnashing of teeth!

Vektor - Terminal Redux

A seventy-five minute album does not suit thrash well. That is, of course, unless that thrash is Vektor and the album is Terminal Redux. Unlike the gentlemen who reviewed the album, this was my first real listen to Vektor and from the tribute to The Lion King on “Charging the Void” to the space noises of the 1337 “Recharging the Void” Terminal Redux is a turbocharged, technical thrashterpiece. Few albums deserve to be a double album, but Terminal Redux really, really does. Luke Saunders, while drooling down the front of his shirt, wrote that Terminal Redux is “admirable in ambition, nearly flawless in execution and a wildly imaginative journey through a wormhole into another dimension of hi-tech thrash excellence.” Now that’s a sticker blurb, Earache.

Runner(s) Up:

Vainaja VerenvalajaVainaja // Verenvalaja — Ickle Grymmykins loves Vainaja more than you love your mom. And for good reason, Verenvalaja is whatever the doom metal equivalent of a full frontal assault is. Maybe it’s like that movie about the demon or ghost or whatever that follows you around really, really, really slowly until it finally catches up to you and you die. I guess the point is that Verenvalaja is like that: slow, creeping, but deadly. Add to it a fucking ridiculously lush and gorgeous vinyl mix (DR14!!) and Grymm‘s fanboy rantings start to make a lot of sense. His fervor reached a fever pitch when he ejaculated that this album is “Essential! […] May has turned into a monstrous month for metal music, [but] Verenvalaja is leading the choir with perverse confidence and sickening conviction.” He ain’t wrong.

Messa - BelfryMessa // Belfry — Steel Druhm reviewed another slab o’ Nostalgiacore in Messa‘s unique take on Scooby Doom and didn’t leave unharmed. Nay, indeed, these Italians’ ponderous approach and the throaty vocal performance from the ethereal Sara left the venerable Druhm in a state of shock. He’s been yelling “RECORD OF THE MONTH” at me every time he signs online; a clear sign of the obsessive and repetitive tendencies of a person suffering serious trauma. This might be because he felt pretty blindsided about Belfry‘s enchanting melodies, otherworldly vocals, and amazing feel. In his own words, “Messa is another slobberknocking Italian doom band nobody’s heard of, but their name will be on people’s tongues soon enough. Belfry is weird, inventive, ingenious and most importantly, catchy as hell.” This is easily RotM material, it just happened to get released against a ridiculous field.

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  • Total fix! Messa was by far the best in show!

    • Grymm

      You misspelled Vainaja.

      • Vainaja is great, but it would suck as a backdrop image. Just black.

        Edit: just black could be great, actually.

        • sir_c

          The black album? We all know where that one went! :-)

    • LR

      We support you, Druhm! AMG has lost his mind this month

    • Genezer

      I’m on team Druhm!

      AMG has great taste but his lack of doomophilia is disturbing

      • Such a travesty, and on Jorn’s birthday no less! The shame….

        • William Hebblewhite

          He has forsaken the Gods, burn him, BURN HIM!

    • Monsterth Goatom

      That first track sounds like universes forming, and is a perfect setup for all that’s to come.

    • Ernesto Aimar

      It’s actually very good, but sounds A LOT like Lucifer

  • El_Cuervo

    Sylvaine! I demand a recount!

  • Well this is perfect. Vektor is undoubtly the record of the month, and I was blown away by Vainaja.

    Sylvaine was a letdown to me, I’m afraid (sorry Cuervo). I would’ve added Sun Worship and/or Katatonia, as runners up, personally.

    • “Vektor is undoubtly the record of the month .” Totally agreed

  • Terminal Redux is astonishing: A solid thrash record that has a progressive ending.

  • Monsterth Goatom

    Thanks AMG, SD, Madam X, Sentynel, et. al. Congrats on the Anniversary. You light up my life.

    • Berit Dogg

      True that! The quality of writing and level of knowledge on this blog is amazing. Thank you, over-talented people.

  • Omsie

    Is it just me, or is the Vektor very reminiscent of late Death (the band)? Not a bad thing, mind you…

    • Spear

      I can hear that in the vocals, but not really anything else. Granted, I haven’t listened to much Death, so who knows.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        You should start listening to much Death. GO, GO, GO!

        • Spear

          Confession time: I haven’t listened to much Death because they’ve never really clicked with me. I’m familiar enough with their material to hear their influence on the metal landscape, but I just can’t get into it for whatever reason.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            Listen to the album “Individual Thought Patterns” and if it doesn’t click with you… I would be very baffled.

          • Kronos

            It’s interesting because everyone has their own Death album that really gets them. I’m not really into individual thought patterns, but Symbolic just bowled me over the first time I heard it.

          • André Snyde Lopes

            Human. Changed my life.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            The more technical Death got, to more I liked their music. With that said, there is something special about the melodicism Andy LaRocque brought to “Individual Thought Patterns”. While ALL of Death albums stand apart for one reason or another, said melodicism is “Individual”‘s defining quality.

            Holy shit, I sound like a philosopher!


          • [not a Dr]

            Andy LaRocque also brought his signature solo intros.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            Yeah… Like I said on the “Yer Metal is Olde” bit for King Diamond’s Fatal Portrait, Andy LaRocque playing on Individual Thought Patterns is one of the best things to ever happen in Metal.

    • Grymm

      It’s like mid-era Death meets VoiVod. Hence, why I love that band so much.

      Killer live act, too!

  • Dethjesta

    Interesting, I would have picked Thranenkind as ROTM. Vektor is rather superb, though.

    Also, congrats on the 7 year anniversary guys & gals.

  • Feytalist

    I see a disturbing lack of Katatonia in here.

    • Katatonia new album is not great as their older ones. Its hardly a metal album… so soft to be reviewed here.

      • Bart the Repairman

        Softer records were ROTM, like Demon or Hand.Cannot.Erase. Maybe someone will back to Katatonia later. I’ll be glad to know AMG’s staff opinion about it.

        • May I should listen to Katatonia one more time. I didn’t really into their new one and a bit disappointed about the band after these years of waiting. Teargass and Sulfur was damn good and original but in these 10 years Katatonia made nothing as good as them.

        • GardensTale

          Not to mention Our Oceans, which I’m listening to right now for the first time. This is almost as soft as Explosions in the Sky.

      • IBlackened

        They’ve reviewed Sonic Syndicate, Amaranthe… That’s not the true reason.

  • Diego Molero

    Thanks Angry Metal Guy, Steel Druhm, Madam, Cuervo, Grymm, Dr. A, Dr. F, Kronos, Roquentin, Jean-Luc, Mark, Diabolus, Saunders, Al. This blog has really changed my life, I know I have been only 1 year around, but I truly hope there are 7 years more to come.
    P.S: loved than pun too Hardy.

  • William Hebblewhite

    I’ve been a long time reader of AMG but have only recently started commenting in the forums, and on the reviews. You guys are awesome, all of the writers, actual legit writers, are awesome and bring your own brand of syntactic lyricism to the reviews. Thanks to Madam X and Druhm for keeping the boat afloat while Captain AMG is off downing gallivanting around.

    Also I would like to complain that Messa isn’t #1

    • Thanks! That AMG is a gallivanter from way back.

  • CyberJesus

    Congrats on the anniversary! Been around here since late 2014 and checking up on new reviews has become a daily past time. Keep doing what you’re doing, you guys rock!

  • lennymccall

    I’ve probably been coming here for close to 7 years. Not sure exactly how long but thanks for all the help in finding the best in metal and avoiding the worst. Cheers AMG!!

  • Agree on Vektor as ROTM but I think Thränenkind deserves a mention too. And to, at least, another seven more years!

  • Congrats on the anniversary. For what it’s worth, I value this site’s writers’ opinions far more than any others. It’s nice to go into a review knowing that if it’s a total shitpile it won’t still get an 8/10.

  • I loved Vainaja, it has to be that for me! And I somehow completely missed the Vektor release, although I tend to skip genres I’m not especially fond of, since May is crazy at uni:(
    Apart from that I rather liked the new Katatonia, though it’s hardly metal.

  • I’ll accept this mostly for the ewoks singing as a chorus on terminal redux. eeeeya eeeeya

    • Berit Dogg

      Ewok/black smurf harmonies rock!

  • Wilhelm

    Just curious – Where’s the new Katatonia review?

    • It will arrive sometime this week.

      • Hulksteraus

        Is that one of the ones Herr AMG is behind in?. Oh, and congrats to all the AMG crew on 7 years of sheer writing brilliance ;)

  • Bart the Repairman

    Excellent choice.
    I listen to music few hours per day and there’s so much going on in “Terminal Redux”, that I can play it over and over again alternately with „Dasein” for a week, without getting tired. The amount of musical ideas in these two records could make in a dozen of decent albums.
    Wait, where is „Dasein”?!

    On the occasion, I wish you to find newcomers who will be just as competent, dedicated, individual and funny as the old guard. Keep growing!

    P.S. Do somebody know how many reviews were posted here since the beginnings?

    • Diego Molero

      I have a full list of the reviews since the beginning of 2016, but since the beginnig of times is hard to say, AMG is the only one who could say but I don’t think he really knows, but a lot, thats for sure.

    • There are approximately 2,675 posts on the site, most of them are reviews.

    • Sentyneli

      At the time of writing, the database contains 2,129 published posts categorised as “reviews”. It’s probably not a 100% accurate measure, but it should be pretty close.

      • Bart the Repairman

        Shiiiieeeeet. I can imagine printed anthology released by Taschen.

        • I’ve been kicking this idea around.

          • Innit Bartender

            Let’s crowdfund a coffee table, hardcover edition!

          • sir_c

            With all the doom releases that’s gonna be a slowreader

          • Norfair Legend

            Let’s just crowd fund a coffee table!

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      You’re right… Where’s Dasein?

      • Big month. Maybe the best in recent memory as far as top-notch releases. Not all could make it.

    • Yea I just shocked there is no name of Dasein by First Fragment it should be at runner up place I think

    • Yeah, Druhm would probably have quit if Messa didn’t make the list. ;)

  • Alexandre Barata

    I can’t believe you still don’t understand how the album of the month is picked… First AMG will choose the best 3-4 albums of the month, then the winner will have to be the one with the most colorful cover, so colorblind readers get confused.

    Anyway, nice picks, although I’m not feeling 2016 as a great metal year, until this point at least

    • Diego Molero

      One word: Abbath.

      • Carlos Marrickvillian

        Best back drop ever

        • I wasn’t a bit fan on the picture as cover art. There are so many other cool images of the Blashyrkh demon. But as an AMG-backdrop it worked perfectly.

          • Carlos Marrickvillian

            Yeah it’s definitely a cover that demands a response one way or the other, which is pretty metal in and of itself.
            I think it really works for the album and where he is in his career. Graphically, it’s punchy as fuck cleverly using Abbath’s unique identity and reminding you that the guy is badass… He obviously doesn’t need immortal.
            Also from a technical perspective it’s a great piece of portrait photography.

    • This is possibly as bad as the comment saying that 2014 was a shit year for metal.

      Anthrax, Ch’The’Ilist, Deviant Process, Hyperion, King Goat, Textures, Vredehammer, Wormed and Zhrine have all been somewhere between very good and great. :)

      • Alexandre Barata

        Never said this was a shit here for metal… Said I’m not feeling it a great year (and as “feeling” I can say I’m being very subjective, mind you). There are some albums I enjoyed a lot, but still not one I completelly loved

      • Lasse Momme

        I will have you know that I stand by my back pedaling of that proclamation 100%

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      You forgot the bit where he highlights Steel Druhm’s favourite on the list, sniggers quietly to him self then presses delete…

  • I for one would love to see a review written by a person with a successful acting career. Just saying.

    • Ron Jeremy is considering a staff position.

      • Bart the Repairman


      • Ron Jeremy IS a staff position.

    • Col_Dax

      Me too. Always found Toms comments entertaining (in a positive way) while being a little bit, mmhh, autistic in his musical perception the same time.
      Nevertheless, “Herzlichen Glückwunsch!” guys and girl! Keep being knowledgeable, snobbish and sometimes gruff – I think, that’s why we are all coming back now and then…

  • Bas

    Congratulations with the seven years !
    I’d like to thank the whole team for the great reviews and other pieces.
    I’ve been reading the blog since 2011.. discovered many great bands due to the reviews and had lots of fun reading !

    PS I love all three albums selected this month (never happened before)!

  • Dr. A.N. Grier

    Vektor and Messa are both pure gold. I’m ok with this.

    Happy birthday!!

  • Gaëtan Baratin

    So I bought the Messa album and asked specifically for a unicorn with the digipak.
    And I got one ! 11/10 would name it RotM.

    • Kronos

      How awesome is this?!

    • Dethjesta

      Technically, a winged horse with a horn is usually called an Alicorn.

      • Gaëtan Baratin

        Your unicorn knowledge is impressive. Did you apply to be the singer of Gloryhammer?

    • Grymm

      That is so bad-ass. I love this band even more now!

    • Where the hell is my damn unicorn??

      • [not a Dr]

        If only camels could grow a horn… The Repairman should do something about that.

        • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

          Would that be a camelcorn? or maybe a hornycamel? A camel with ram’s horns would be kickass…

          • [not a Dr]

            Cameluscorn. Although Kamelosceros sounds more metal.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            Kamelosceros sounds mighty Metal and mighty… mighty.

          • Eli Valcik


          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra


    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      My new favourite band!


      The unicorn deserves a name that’s more magical than “RotM”…

  • Gaëtan Baratin

    Where is Thränenkind?

  • Paul

    Thranenkind gets a perfect score but isn’t in the top 3 albums of the month. I do agree with Vektor though.

    • Wait–does that mean that more can be less after all???

      Mind blown.

      • Carlos Marrickvillian


  • The Nerd.

    Happy 7th Anniversary to all. This is my first stop in the morning and it had been for 3 years. Also Messa should be ROTM

  • Recharging the Void makes my eyes well up every listen it’s that awesome. Absolute masterstroke by Vektor right there.

  • Sean Allen

    How are you arriving at DR 14 for the vinyl master of the new Vainaja album? I’m coming up with DR 11.

  • Kronos

    This list is Kronos approved. If only we had space for First Fragment…

    • You wouldn’t have been happy when Druhm went on strike. I actually think First Fragment could easily have been on the list. Great album.

  • ImageOfChaos

    Gotta agree, May was an excellent month for metal. I cannot fault the selection of Vektor for Record of the Month as it’s outstanding, though I have found myself listening to the new First Fragment a little more. I also really enjoyed Mindwarp’s “A Cold Black Day,” Stortregn’s “Singularity” and the new one from Whispered. June has some BIG metal shoes to fill!

  • I don’t disagree with this list, but where is Winterhorde’s Maestro?

    Oh, and thanks for sporting nerdy metal knowledge through über detailed in-dept reviews. Not to forget the cocky the standard by which all should be judged attitude. We salute you!

    • Messa got added because Druhm would literally have quit if I’d not put it on the list.

      • Am I the only one picturing Jar Jar Bink every time I hear the name “Messa”?

        • Necrocustard

          You’ve ruined it for me now…

  • Lasse Momme


  • Hammersmith

    Gotta say, surprised to not see First Fragment in this round up.

    Also, congrats on the anniversary – I first found this site from the Soen review (Tellurian) and have been coming back regularly thanks to the well written and insightful reviews/articles. Thanks so much!

  • Westpaceagle

    Words don’t do it justice. Full on operatic metal masterpiece for the ages!

    Thank you AMG and congratulations! Best metal blog out there!

  • sir_c

    A big thank you for the insightful reviews and witty comments. And not least: a lot of fun to read. Can’t add much more to what’s already been said.

  • Thatguy

    Unbe-fucking-lievable! I agree with this list 100%. Thanks AMG and all your minions.

  • sir_c

    Much liking what I heard, I noticed that Cult of Luna also have produced a new album, back in April. Any chance on a review here at AMG? The first few tracks I heard sound promising.

  • Thanks and happy birthday AMG crew! I may not like every record you guys review, but I always learn something from reading. Essential perpetual audiovisual contamination. Is the the name of a song I’m writing in your honor. m/

  • Luke_22

    No complaints here, these are all great albums. Just getting around to First Fragment though, holy shit!

  • DrChocolate

    I blindly stumbled across this site in late ’09-early ’10 (didn’t realize it was so close to it’s inception). Lurked for a long while, but hundreds and hundreds of unintentionally spent dollars later I’m forever grateful for the way the writers of this site have expanded my metal appreciation while helping me become a more discerning listener. Exhibit A: Messa. Never would’ve known about that without this place, and I’ve listened to it nearly everyday for about 4 weeks now. Thanks to all the writers! Also thanks to the great AMG community who just augment everything the writers put down. This place is great.

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      Me too!

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    Hard to argue with, Terminal Redux has really grown on me and it is obviously brilliant. First long album since I don’t know when where I don’t feel the need to say “This would’ve been better if it was 10-20 mins shorter”.
    Though I would say that Vector is as a nostalgic a choice as Messa is, maybe even more so… He sings just like Chuck and the band totally wallow in the old school Thrash / Voivod sty…

    For me Messa have been such a pleasant surprise and such a seductive listening experience that they would be my choice for the No1 spot.
    But hey, Vector is an outstanding metal album and that art is going to look pretty sweet as a back drop and Vainaja have already had their month of AMG glory.

    No complaints here carry on…

  • James Ingold

    I think this may be the first time since I started reading three or four years ago that I’ve agreed with every album on the ROTM shortlist; there’s usually just one or two that don’t click with me. Not so here.

    All three are worthy no doubt but Charging the Void churns in my mind even when I’m not listening to it so I just have to go press play again and again. So many ideas so well executed with such conviction it’s staggering.

  • Schmitzel

    Congrats on the anniversary AMG & co! I’ve been reading for so long, I don’t actually remember when I started. But one thing is sure, I’ve discovered some of my currently favorite bands through this blog. So a big thanks to all the writers and contributors for that.
    Also I strongly disagree with the lack of Katatonia on this list but I don’t read this blog to validate my own tastes. It’s awesome to see albums on this list for which I missed the initial review (see Vainaja :) )

    Cheers all and thanks again for the steady stream of top-quality writing over all these years.

  • ayou

    Where’s Winterhorde?

    • In Israel. Unless they’re on tour.
      Nah, I believe they practically got ditched to make space for Messa, but yes, they belong in the spotlight.

  • SegaGenitals

    Didn’t I read once that an angry metal merch shop was in the works? Let’s get this going on. Take my money.

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      I think the only thing you can buy is the joke :)

  • Innit Bartender

    Happy birthday (angry)guys! You make my day every day I come here. Even if the bands reviewed are not my cup of tea, I still read the reviews and listen to the snippets. I think I mighta been here since Opeth’s Heirtage, if memory serves me well…

  • Reese Burns

    My records of the month are In Mourning (still can’t believe it only scored a three!), Katatonia and Vektor, but that’s just three records out of a kick ass month.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Messa should release an EP of boogie songs titled “Boogie” sponsored by MESA/Boogie…

  • Yo, long time, etc.

    I just couldn’t leave my own brand of congrats for the anniversary. I’ll wait for the celebratory flogging.

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      Good to see you back on these pages [HKK] Hell³!

      • Thank you Carlos, I’m glad to be back as well ?

    • Welcome back! We thought you were dead or stuck in a sphere someplace.

      • Alas, alive and free(ish) to taint the place.

  • SegaGenitals

    After finally listening to the new Winterhorde… easily my number two spot for the month behind Vektor. Some truly prog-tastic, blackened-death-baroque. Punched me in the taint with brass knuckles and made me smile.

  • Pulsating Steel

    I agree the highlighted albums are great, but in May Thraenenkind got the coveted 5.0… what’s up?

  • Shangsean

    Kvelertak gets my vote for album of the month. Vektor is on my wish list in Bandcamp, but the awful sounding snare really bothers me. I still may pick it up at a later date. I just can’t find much to like in Vainaja and Messa didn’t really grab me, though that too is sitting on my wishlist waiting to be loved.

  • dduuurrrr dddduuuurrrr

    I’ve officially joined the “I love the new Vektor album” camp

    • dduuurrrr dddduuuurrrr

      fix the background already!

  • Frost15

    Vektor’s new album is an instant classic. The amount of quality thrash and progressive touches is simply outstanding. As of now it made into the top 100 (#76) albums of all time on sputnikmusic… Awesome….

    • Westpaceagle

      So good. The more time you devote to it the more it delivers. Complete metal rapture for me. Sci-fi or die!

  • I’ve only been reading AMG for the last two years, but the quality (and quantity) keep me coming back just about every day. I don’t always agree with the reviewers, but the content definitely encourages spirited debate and/or reflection. Plus, there seems to be less nonsensical trolling on this site versus others. I’ve been turned onto countless bands due to AMG’s tireless efforts.

    In short: Keep up the outstanding work AMG team!

  • Phantom667

    *tips hat to steel* Messa // Belfry is awesome!

  • I love that we still have Opeth’s Pale Communion on the frontpage!

  • Pedro Morini Mietto

    I’m just passing by to state that even after “October Madness”, this is still the best AOTY-material so far.