November follows up an October that was pretty phat in terms of the number of phat ass records that dropped on our unsuspecting, and largely also phat, asses. And while 2014 has been an extremely up-and-down year for me, November has produced what I think are the year’s most consistent albums across the board. So while I can be sassy about the lateness of this post, or the ways in which Steel Druhm‘s heavy metal credibility is in constant question due to his love of Jørn, I almost feel like that downplays what an extremely good month for heavy metal November really was. So let me just get right down to it. The Record o’ the Month for November was…

Soen - Tellurian -- art by José Luis López Galván

Soen‘s Tellurian is a masterpiece. With a better mastering job and production, this record is easily among the best records I have reviewed in my time as Angry Metal Guy. This time of year in Sweden is dark, hard, heavy and emotional. Tellurian has become a my soundtrack for a dark, dreary winter. The writing, which developed so much between Cognitive and today, is not only progressive, but it’s also gentle, delicate and groovy and rock solid. But it’s the combination thereof that I wrote about in my original review: “It is, I think, finally the fact that Tellurian is so artfully crafted and emotionally evocative that pushes it to the next level despite [some] audial limitations. As the record slopes towards its conclusion, I [was] struck over and over by the mastery of the melody and feel that Soen has. These moments of piercing beauty combined with the epic writing, the powerful performances and the next level of heaviness is sprinkled across the record makes Tellurian special.” This won’t be the last honor that Tellurian gets here in 2014.

Runner(s) Up: 

Primordial Where Greater Men Have Fallen 01Primordial // Where Greater Men Have Fallen — Primordial are basically the closest thing that I can think of to a universally revered band now that Enslaved‘s production has started to flag. So the slow growing Where Greater Men Have Fallen hit me right in the “that’s what I wanted to hear!” spot. Moving, morose, melancholy, (occasionally meandering) and truly original, Where Greater Men Have Fallen continues a tradition of immense records from a powerful band. Grymm could have been more laudatory, but then I would have suspected that Metal Blade was paying him, entoning with fanboyish glee his “great pleasure that Primordial have definitely sidestepped  [Angry Metal Guy‘s] Law of Diminishing Recordings™ and brought forth a powerful album worthy of the band’s heritage.” Seems legit.

Voices LondonVoices // London — We here at AngryMetalGuy.com all miss the shit out of Akercocke. Let’s all just take a moment to reflect on what a fucking cool band that was. Okay, now that we’ve taken that moment, you should know that parts of that band are back with a new and stellar record entitled London in the form of the band Voices. Resident Chief Star Trek Pun Officer Jean-Luc Ricard was simultaneously impressed and disturbed by London‘s “septic atmosphere,” and discordant riffs “designed to alienate and erode the listener’s stamina.” And while no one will claim the record is perfect, “it succeeds spectacularly in delivering the concept. You might not enjoy every moment of your listening experience, but you’ll be completely captivated right until the final excruciating note.”

Baring Teeth - Ghost Chorus Among Old Ruins 01Baring Teeth // Ghost Chorus among Old Ruins — While we’re hanging out in Ulcerate‘s wheelhouse, it should be mentioned that Baring Teeth‘s latest album didn’t slip by our very own Kronos.  The band’s latest is “not morbid but moribund, a cloak draped across an invisible threshold whose folds and wrinkles shift as unseen forces perturb them. The album is a musical ghost story, compelled by doubt and creeping fear of the unknown that artistically holds more in common with Edgar Allen Poe or Ambrose Bierce than Morbid Angel or Spawn of Posession.” Baring Teeth‘s peerless approach should cause fans of the wave of dissonant death metal to stand up and take notice.

Ghost Brigade-IV One With the StormGhost Brigade // IV – One with the Storm — Moody despondency seems to have been our monthly theme here at Angry Metal Guy, and Steel Druhm—who incidentally is undermining the credibility of this blog by constantly drinking the Jørn Aid in public—found himself hooked on Ghost Brigade‘s latest offering. Despite uttering the word Seether at AMG without following it with the word “sucks” or leading in with the word “fucking,” Mr. Druhm‘s impulses weren’t wrong  on IV – One with the Storm, it is indeed “a rich, engrossing piece of downer metal for fans of Katatonia, Anathema and other such bummed out balladeers.”

Intentionally Not Included on this List 

Ne Obliviscaris // Citadel — Due to the extremely poor taste of my staff, it has come to my attention that Ne Obliviscaris‘ Citadel received a shamelessly high score and laudatory review here at AngryMetalGuy.com. The author, one “El Cuervo” (who I’m fairly certain had been disinvited from all of my parties because he either gets angry or naked… or was that José Cuervo?), claimed that “Citadel is nigh-on masterful. Credibility permeates everything, from the complex song-writing and varied vocals to the superior riffing, violin-work and interesting drumming. A melancholic note overhangs the record, reflecting the theme of a destroyed society, which gives this record better direction than Portal of I.” You should know that I have damning evidence this man is a Jørn sympathizer and possibly even a member of the Jørnunist party; his opinion is questionable and I suggest that you do not under any circumstances check out this record which is why I am specifically excluding it from this list.

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  • RagE

    By intentionally not including NeO you kind of did include it:P

    I do like the new Primordial (Duh) but only discovered the new Voices and baring Teeth and Soen a bout a week ago-ish, and they will take time to digest. Always so much new music to discover in december, with all the yearend lists and all.

  • There’s a Jornicopia of Steel Druhm defaming here and I take issue with some of it!

  • Emily Potter

    Citadel is my AOTY. It’s brilliant, plain and simple as that.

    • Booooooo

      • El_Cuervo

        You can dictate the contents of the website, but you can’t dictate the hearts and minds of the readers. THOSE ARE ALL MINE

        • It’s true, I can’t make your taste be any less shitty.

          • Oh harsh!

          • The Meh

            You could just subject him to Attila’s new album. I’m sure he’d want to die by the time he’s done listening to it.

        • Look who’s getting all Braveheart. I better assign him more metalcore and break his spirit.

          • DrChocolate

            Didn’t Emmure release a new a new slab of delight this year? Haven’t seen a review of that yet.

      • Just so you know, in all seriousness, I don’t get it either. I didn’t think their debut was NEARLY as good as most folks make it out to be. You should hear Dave rant about it.

        • No, it’s genuinely confusing for me. But I know that it was a hit among certain sections of the staff so I wanted to include it.

        • Kronos

          I don’t see the hype either and I’m usually into this sort of thing. I listened to about half of the record and found it to be really boring.

          • Jean-Luc Ricard

            I’m sort of the opposite – I can see why people like it so much but it’s not really my thang.

  • dduuurrrr dddduuuurrrr

    London might be the album of the year for me.

    Like Akercocke got together with Ulcerate and Alter of Plagues and made a fantastic concept album.

  • Guest

    Couldn’t dissagree with you more on NeO, it’s your opinion which is fine, but to go out of your way to tell people not to listen to the record is ridiculous, that just sounds like you have a personel vendetta against the band (citadel is my AOTY as you’d guess :)

  • El_Cuervo

    Yah boo sucks to you too AMG

  • shameful

    Couldn’t dissagree with you more on NeO, it’s your opinion which is fine, but to go out of your way to tell people not to listen to the record is ridiculous, that just sounds like you have a personel vendetta against the band (citadel is my AOTY as you’d guess

    • It’s a little thing called humor. Calm down.

      • shameful

        I’m not mad at all. Crap humour tho.

    • El_Cuervo

      I wrote the accursed review and I didn’t take it personally. He wouldn’t have given it any mention at all if he truly didn’t want it supported. He even did me the honour of quoting why I think it is excellent, so don’t take it too seriously!

      • shameful

        the humor was so dry I missed it :)

    • ActualBastard

      Angry Metal Guys family was killed by a rogue NeO member years ago, and he’s hated the band ever since. Give him a break!

      • Reading a traumatic backstory into my hatred for a band, how kind!

    • Our Fortress Is Burning

      In his defense, I’ve listened to Citadel, but I now wish that I hadn’t. ;)

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      relax

  • Ranfle

    So why do you want us to check out Citadel so badly? :)

  • Doomdeathrosh

    Ummm with the obvious issue to the NeO thing aside….why is Bloodbath not to be seen??

    • Doomdeathrosh

      on a side note…the rhino is not to be seen on the background too!

    • Bloodbath probably should be on this list.

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      Getting Nick Holmes into sing has been a stroke of genius in my opinion. Ive really enjoyed Grand…
      So many good albums this year it’s very hard to narrow down a top tenish…

      • I guess my problem with the new Bloodbath is that I looooove their first two records so much, and this one isn’t nearly as groovy or sharp. It’s fitting that they have Holmes as a vocalist, but it’s a style I like less.

        • Carlos Marrickvillian

          It feels like they may have changed their song writing style to better suit Nicks vocals, far from the best DM record this year but still far better than most…coughcannibalcoughobituarycough

    • Shawn Cypher

      I really like the new Bloodbath too. I think it’s probably my favorite of them all.

      But of course, it’s been SO long since I’ve listened to them (they haven’t released anything in a while), I can’t remember much about it now.

      • Doomdeathrosh

        thats true, their style is more modern than before…..nut they do deserve a place in ROTM imo

  • SimonH

    Slow month..no Amorphis.. =(

  • André Snyde Lopes

    Judgmental Rhino is watching you.

  • Ben Mccullough

    I was hoping Mare Cognitum’s new album would make it on here. Phobos Monolith is amazing.

  • Isole needs to be in here!

  • Matthew Jeffreys

    Soen’s new album is pretty good but not a “masterpiece” IMO (but perhaps I’m missing something) and Ghost Brigade is more of the same (but doesn’t stand up to as many repeated plays). That’s not to say I didn’t like the records and I shelled out my hard earned cash for both. For me though, the only record here that can truly come close to being a masterpiece, is Voices “London”. It’s one of those records that, over the course of the first few listens, has wormed it’s way into my soul and will be hard to beat for my record of the year. It manages to be poetic and disturbing and is heavy as shit all without the slight wankiness that I detect with records such as Citadel.

    • Jean-Luc Ricard

      Woooooo go Voices. That record teaches you to hate.

      • Matthew Jeffreys

        Nah, I learnt to hate back in the late eighties! Gotta make sure I don’t start getting soft though. A playlist bookended by Voices and Primitive Man should do the trick!

    • Boter

      Fully agree with you concerning Ghost Brigade. They’ve made one excellent record: their first. After that it’s been repetitive, without the thrill that first album conveyed. Shame, could’ve been a very nice new addition to the metal spectrum

    • Well, Tellurian is a friggin’ masterpiece imo. But Ghost Brigade’s output isn’t as stellar as it could be.

      London is fucking incredible, though. It’s a very close second in my book to Soen’s new record, for very different reasons.

      • Matthew Jeffreys

        Either way , both Tellurian and London had a solid review and both got a mention here so I can Iive with them being the wrong way around ;).
        As always, you’ve selected a pretty good group of albums in general so I doff my cap.

  • El Lado Oscuro

    You, my Angry Metal Guy -friend, are committing a mistake with NO, you don’t realize it now, as it is when somebody does, but eventually you -intelligent as you are- will turn back and confess it… respect, anyway

  • Luke_22

    Tellurian has blown me away, surefire contender for my Record of the Year honor. As for Ne Oblivicarus I enjoy their music, despite the overblown aspects, but for me it still sits behind quite a few albums released this year

  • Hmm I for sure thought Triosphere would be on the November list.

  • trevor

    The Soen is so damn good. And the mix is so damn bad. But still… epic stuff. Thanks for the heads-up on their previous release AMG. They may have passed me by otherwise

  • Guppusmaximus

    I was so expletive happy when I heard the new Soen album because they were able to perfectly mix their love of Tool with the Opeth experience on board while etching out their own (as much as it can be) sound which I could hear tiny traces of on Cognitive. IMHO, the success of this album, besides the musical talent & the previously mentioned fusing of influences, is the slick transitions from a complex mellow state to the deceivingly heavy riffage which abandons the standard fare of intentional auditory disruption. To me, it’s AOTY material all the way!

    I had a similar experience when “Blackwater Park” was released because up until that point I had been somewhat done with Death Metal (Shuldiner’s tragic demise) but their transitions into unfamiliar & strikingly beautiful territories is what hooked me back in. Tellurian has that same appeal. Maybe, not so much in the realm of the unfamiliar but the way they mash the Latin rhythms and tribalesque feel with a Modern Metal approach is refreshing. And, considering Tool may never release another album and Opeth have become a Prog Rock cover band, at least we have Soen.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    ha ha thats phat. I’m glad that the AMG dictatorship remains steadfast, ne oblivious to the Jørnings of staff…

    • Ahhh.. The Jørnings of the staff! Brilliant!

      • Carlos Marrickvillian

        What can I say, I respect quality Jørnalism

  • Boter

    Always a good thing to notice that I can both thoroughly agree and disagree with AMG at the same time. For me Soen is probably AOTY, closely followed by NeO. Both albums have nearly caused me to stand up in my train compartment and shout at innocent fellow travelers to stop what they were doing right there and start listening to these bafflingly well written and goosebump-inducing records and be submerged in this sublime musical experience. Nearly.

  • Rise

    Again Angry Metal Guy rising chaos and sparking conflicts. I still do not agree with dat review of Hexen’s last album, but okaayy…

    OFF Topic: These are some records that have been released this year but sadly had little to no appearance.

    Antiverse – Cosmic Horror LP (Death / Thrash Metal)
    Mist of Nihil – Buried Laments EP (Melodic Death / Doom Metal)
    Reek – Necrogenesis LP (Thrash Metal)
    Skeptor – United We Stand…Together We Fall LP (Technical Speed / Thrash Metal)Death Fortress – Among The Ranks of The Unconquerable LP (Black Metal)
    Redemptor – The Juggernaut LP (Technical Death Metal)
    Ancient Ascendant – Echoes and Cinder LP ( Death Metal)
    Singularity – Singularity LP (Technical Black Metal)
    Infinite Earths – Spiral From Spacetime (Progressive Black Metal)

    Now, off to Bandcamp….

  • Feeblejocks

    Apparently I’m the only person who liked the Baring Teeth album best out of this month’s roster. Also, is it just me, or does that Tellurian cover art look shitty as fuck as the background art for the site?
    As for NeO … I liked it, but I didn’t get the hype. It was good, but it definitely wouldn’t be on my End of Year list. But I drank the Kool-Aid by saying I liked it, so … ALL HAIL THE RISE OF THE NEW JØRNIST PARTY! HEIL JØRN!

    • Harumph, harrumph, harrumph!

    • Kronos

      Hey, a Baring Teeth fan.
      We have to stick together or they’ll steal our lunch money.

  • Blake Turner

    I still don’t get the overwhelming hate for Ne Obliviscaris in the metal scene. I mean, they aren’t “the best band in the world” by any stretch of the imagination, but everyone seems to think they are an affront to all things metal.

    Is it just because they’re popular? I’m probably biased because I’m Australian, but I’d say they are far from awful. They’re an above average extreme prog metal group in my opinion.

    • tomasjacobi

      Where do you see this “overwhelming hate”?
      I’ve only seen extremely positive reviews for both their albums.

      • Blake Turner

        Forums mostly. A lot of people just straight up hate this band.

        • tomasjacobi

          I haven’t noticed that. Bewilderment at their popularity, yes, but hate, no.

    • somnium163

      Too show-y and less with a solid backbone, too many melodies/solos and less riffs, too corny and less metal, etc

  • Anna Flisager

    Totally agree with your words about Tellurian by Soen, proud to say they´re from my hometown and that I know the bassplayer.

  • San Eutocio

    AMG have you listened to the vinyl version of Soen? I saw you bought it and I loved the album. So far got the AOTY for me and just wondering if it is worthy the investment (it will cost me triple than the CD).

  • vitor

    and i thought i was the only one who didnt like Citadel that much

  • Lacertilian

    The rhino cover reminds me of Graeme Base books from childhood.

  • Soen is a magnificent choice, but crapping all over Ne is not needed. Your Anger has Triptykon’ed your ears. Give in to your inner Australian-ness.

    • Can’t handle NeO. Terrible.

      • Fair Enough, O, AMG. You are correct so often, I defer. I only fear that you might pledge Periphery’s Alpha N’ Omega Fraternity. Stay Strong!

  • All of these Jørn comments make me want to jump out of a window…hope I lande on my feet…:)