Hoo boy! It’s the 7th of November and I’m dropping the Record(s) o’ the Month from October. What on earth will you people do with yourselves when you don’t have a late Record o’ the Month to complain about? Oh right, you’ll all complain about the records I chose. I’d say “You can’t win all the time,” but when it comes to the RotM that’s not true. I do win all the time.

The Black Dahlia Murder - Nightbringers

The best record released in October was definitely NightbringersTBDM is an institution, but unlike a lot of the big ‘institution’ bands, these guys never seem to lose their stride. Nightbringers demonstrates the truth of that fact even in the face of losing a genuine guitar god. In response to Knight’s departure, The Black Dahlia Murder produced Nightbringers, a record that is nothing if not fierce: heavy, deadly and catchy. I called the album “an intense, brutal ride,” that’s “tight, fast, blasty and polished,” and Dr. Wvrm gushed that the album is “the culmination of a decade’s worth of experience and innovation, the climax of a career that continually defies even the loftiest of expectations.” Seems like the kind of thing you should probably own.

Runner(s) up:

Hallatar - No Stars upon the BridgeHallatar // No Stars upon the Bridge — When Doomy Druhm directed me to No Stars upon the Bridge during the month, I’ll be honest, I ignored him. I was busy and my Angry Metal Attention Deficit Disorder tends to mean that doom doesn’t quite hit home with me like it does for Doomy Druhm. I read his review, however, and decided that I needed to give the album a shot. Hallatar‘s work is a bit like getting punched in the gut by songs. Moody, heavy, and with fantastic performances from Tomi Joutsen (Amorphis) and Heike Langhans (Draconian), No Stars upon the Bridge turns tragedy into heart-wrenching art in the best way. But Druhm wrote it best when he declared No Stars upon the Bridge “a memorial and a vessel in which one man’s despair is interred forevermore. This is the sound of someone raging at the dying of the light, and while that isn’t something you want to hear often, it should be heard.”

Vuur - In This Moment We Are FreeVuur // In This Moment We Are Free – Cities — We can probably be accused of having a pro-Dutch bias here at AMG. I certainly heap praise on Dutch bands (or bands with Ed Warby in them) on a pretty regular basis. But I can’t help it, even with a frustrating Devin Townsend production, In This Moment We Are Free – Cities is a great record. The songs are well-written, Anneke sounds fantastic, and the concept is like the perfect response to the horrible genre of “woe is me, I’m in a band!” songs (here’s looking at you Adrian Smith and Toni Kakko). The album is a refreshing change of pace for Anneke, as well, as it marks the heaviest material she’s done in a long time. And, as our reviewer (and fellow cheesehead1) wrote, the album is “truly excellent.” The record has “the melancholy from The Gathering with the emotional engagement from The Gentle Storm, [but] it’s the well-considered buildup, smart songwriting, and excellent cast of musicians that differentiates Vuur.”

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  1. Fun fact, both people from the Netherlands and Wisconsin are called ‘cheeseheads’.