October man. Wow. Wow, man. October. Wow. Wow. Just wow.
With all that wowing out of the way, it’s actually been really easy to decide what the Record o’ the Month for October should be: the one Steel Druhm doesn’t like. In my continued quest to not allow him to rubber stamp everything that reminds him of his wasted youth, I’ve begun carefully crafting every Record o’ the Month post with the specific goal of quashing his choices. Once again I have succeeded in my goal to let that silly man in a gorilla suit know who’s in charge: Angry Metal Guy. So here you go.
Beaten to Death is the best grindcore band since Nasum. I said that on Twitter days before the review was posted, unbeknownst to Jean Luc Ricard. He said the same thing. Why? Because it’s fucking true. Beaten to Death‘s quixotic style, vaguely ironic approach, and Norwegian girl jeans would make them the hate object of true metal guys everywhere if it weren’t for the fact that they’re still kind of obscure. But they won’t be obscure for long if I have my way. Unplugged pulses with energy, frantic songs, indie pop guitar tone, and features the song-title of the year in “Papyrus Containing the Spell to Summon the Breath of Life Enshrined in the Collected Scrolls of Sheryl Crow.” But don’t think that Beaten to Death‘s latest record is just a good laugh that you’ll forget. The reason it ranks this high—and over stiff competition—is because the songs, the feel, the riffs, and frantic melodic approach to grind are engaging as hell. Just really solid heavy metal.
Avatarium // Girl with the Raven Mask — Of course, bear in mind that October was a good month for metal. In a lot of other months this year Girl with the Raven Mask would be a top pick. Leif Edling’s newest project features an outstanding singer in Jennie-Ann Smith, and combined with some fantastic song writing and beautiful performances, GwtRM really took both Steel Druhm and myself by storm. Girl with the Raven Mask is an unusual album, bridging ’70s doom with a psychedelic undertone and Jennie-Ann’s nearly jazzy vocals. And while I was impressed, Druhm was all aflutter: “This is album of the year material,” he drooled, “it grabbed me […] and it will grab you too. It’s not a traditional doom album,” but who needs that when you’ve got a raven mask?
Killing Joke // Pylon — It’s not often that we give out perfect scores. So after we trolled the fuck out of the author of the review—that would be one Grymm Grymmerkins, of Grymmerville, Grymmida—we were all forced to sit down and listen to Killing Joke‘s latest album. Turns out, Pylon is an album that doesn’t suck. Sure, it might not be White Wizzard, but it most surely hits all the right notes, showing a band that is stubbornly defying Angry Metal Guy’s Law of Diminishing Recordings™. Grymm lathered Pylon in praise: “I was just hoping that Killing Joke would bring us some decent songs. Instead, they released an emphatic statement of intent, proclaiming that complacency, ignorance, and lack of empathy will not be tolerated on their watch. Timely, yet timeless.”