Following a groundswell of excellent music in August, September was not a letdown. Actually, there was a bumper crop of suggestions for the Record o’ the Month in September, making for a thoroughly enjoyable bit of investigation before I ignored all requests and settled on doing what I do best. I followed my gut—the primary thinking instrument of the decisive leader. After putting down internal revolts over my choices, I hunger for another chance to demonstrate my superiority in the public arena. I welcome your wailing and gnashing of teeth. I revel in licking the salt of your tears from your face. I live for your suffering and desperate cries for the redress of grievances! Know that I will meet these all with a glorious, hearty ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Power is the sweetest thing imaginable.


Archspire‘s newest slab of technical death metal re-inspired my love for the genre and I cannot get enough of it. While I liked The Lucid Collective pretty well, Relentless Mutation is an evolution in the band’s sound that takes them to the next level. I once suggested that In Flames is a band that is remarkably good at describing precisely what’s going on within the band in their album titles, but Archspire may be giving them a run for their money here. This album sees the band evolving their style while dropping 30 minutes of absolutely blistering, fresh tech death. Archspire‘s approach to this new album is one of the most inspiring contributions to tech death that I’ve heard in a long time, hitting that perfect blend of intensity and technicality with the neo-classical flare of early Fleshgod Apocalypse. Relentless Mutation isn’t just great, though. No, this record is a statement that, to quote a fawning Kronos, “Archspire is a force to be reckoned with at the forefront of the genre with bands like Beyond Creation and Revocation.”

Runner(s) Up

Caligula's Horse - In ContactCaligula’s Horse // In Contact — Caligula’s Horse has garnered a name for themselves in recent years as they moved from “surprisingly good djent on Bandcamp” to getting signed by InsideOut Records. I discovered the band with their significantly-more-djenty The Tide, the Thief, and River’s End and enjoyed 2015’s less-djenty Bloom. I was gratified to find In Contact an improved continuation on the ideas of its predecessor: a streamlined, emotive record that balances a softer register and pop-sensibility with epic riffs and addictive groove. But more than this, In Contact is an album that is vital, beautiful and inspiring, transforming a dour Kronos into a poet philosopher who raved about the album’s “sheer humanity.” In Contact, he gushed, “seems to catch every stray sunbeam reflected off of the surface of life and savor their light. Surely we are living in the decaying world of What Passes for Survival, but beyond cognizance and resistance, how can we answer those terrors of life? To put it in a more directly Nietzschean context, what are we to do in a broken world with a dead god? In Contact answers with all the authority it can muster: love! create! share! sing! It is all any of us can do, and if that seems no solution, even the most resolutely negative among us perhaps will perhaps reconsider when prompted by [ol’] Freddy himself: ‘You oughta learn to laugh, my young friends, if you are hell-bent on remaining pessimists.'”

Chelsea Wolfe // Hiss Spun Chelsea Wolfe has garnered the love of metal fans everywhere, which, once again affirms that being “metal” is a lot more about how one holds herself than whether or not there are blast beats on an album. Certainly Hiss Spun‘s dour feel and grimy sound has an edge and danger to it that quite a lot of things released as metal lackL. Saunders was expressing the opinion of many of us in his raving assessment of Hiss Spun when he called it “one of 2017’s unmissable albums.” It’s a “challenging, deeply emotive piece of art featuring some of Wolfe‘s most accessible work, cranking up the doom and rock-based factors without losing an ounce of her progression, experimentation, and artistry.”

 

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  • Brutalist_Receptacle
  • AgonMcDuck

    Can’t really argue. Would personally have chosen Chelsea, but these three match up with mine so not complaining. Great albums, all of them.

  • VenusAdonis

    All awesome albums, if I could throw in a fourth it would be Codex Omega but that’s probably just me being a fanboy. Hiss Spun makes me want to go give Abyss another chance.

    • AgonMcDuck

      As someone who was also late to the Chelsea Wolfe party, DO IT.

      • Grymm

        ^Ditto!

  • André Snyde Lopes

    Gigan.

    • Goldicot

      Your tech death tastes are incomprehensible.

    • Meh

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      Agree

  • TheCurlyMetalhead

    Agree with all 3, brilliant stuff, I would put In Contact as my album of the month but all 3 are so close!

  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    I can’t tell if this RotM is a tribute to Kronos or a pisstake given the most brutal album of the month won and the most favored Kronos album came in second. It’s like that old conundrum of a wife telling her husband he has the largest dick out of all his friends.

    • If I were to replace myself Dread Pirate Roberts style, it would probably be Kronos who I would elect.

      • AgonMcDuck

        *erect

      • Kronos

        I’m both honored and surprised that this is still true.

        • Good night, Kronos. Sleep tight. I’ll probably kill you in the morning.

          • Kronos

            Never had a valet…

      • tomasjacobi

        Inconceivable!

    • welyyt

      I don’t know man, the new Belphegor is pretty brutal. Acephalix and Dyscarnate too.

    • IAmNotKenM

      The real kick is if she tells him he has the second-largest.

  • GardensTale

    Can’t complain about these picks! All three will likely end up on my Best of Year list. September was a fantastic month!

  • azerate

    No Hällas?

    • tomasjacobi

      October album :-)

    • Kronos

      That’s going to be El Cuervo’s Pyrrhon.

      • I think that will be NeO actually. Prepare for tears.

        • El_Cuervo

          October has 2 albums on my list and neither will get a look-in haha

        • AndySynn

          Ooh, do you guys think it’s really boring too?

        • Beyond the Radio

          Cannot wait for this album and their tour!

  • HeavyMetalHamster

    Ufomammot and Grift need to be acknowledged too as those have been spinning regularly in the hamster household.
    Songs For No One from C.H. could have won them AOTM based on that track alone.
    Cheslea didn’t do much for me but Archspire is killer.

  • John Mosley

    Stay away from my salty tears, sir.

  • Nukenado

    VOLUNTARY DOPPELGANGER
    [email protected] notes/sec~

    Artistically I would choose Caligula’s Horse, but in terms of listens…
    ~dun dun dun dun dun…. dddddddddd (wanky guitar solo)~

    • HeavyMetalHamster

      The beginning of Calamus Will Animate is frigging amazing

      • Nukenado

        Typewriter vocals.

        • HeavyMetalHamster

          Eggsactly

  • DubiousLee

    September RotM in mid-October? The plebs may start getting uppity

  • No Grift, no Dead is Dead… do you people ever get this right?

    • Brutalist_Receptacle

      YES.

    • ToddRob64

      What do you mean, you people?

      • Those of you who are unfortunate enough to not be me.

        • ToddRob64

          And what a plight we all have!! Tropic Thunder references notwithstanding you guys do a heck of a job

  • Ondřej Hanus

    Excellent choices, sir.

  • Goldicot

    CORRECT.

  • Let’s be honest with ourselves, did anyone want Caligula’s Horse art as wallpaper on this site for a month?

    • AgonMcDuck

      Well, I’d honestly rather have that than the outstretched eyeball socket…

      • PretentiousFuckwad

        It could be worse. It could be a man bun lathered with back sweat.

        • h_f_m

          That album is still my AOTY so far.. I’d take that album cover as my background all year if it meant it got released..

          • PretentiousFuckwad

            It was a magnificent album. That, Witherfall, Spirit Adrift, and Persefone are all contenders for me. I’m still waiting for that Inferi album to come out though. Based on what I’ve heard so far, I’ve programmed a method within my body to re-attach my head after it’s blown off by their album.

            I have to stay alive after all, so I can continue to stick my unsolicited opinions where they don’t belong.

    • HeavyMetalHamster

      It’s my wallpaper…..

      • sir_c

        You say you don’t like to see Cher with her “goatee”?

        • HeavyMetalHamster

          I totally thought Cher too.
          Creepy….

    • Brutalist_Receptacle

      CLASSIC RESPONSE! NO SHIT!

    • Kronos

      Yes

      • Quit whining, ya whiner.

        • Eli Valcik

          Just wait until Midnight’s newest drops and we all get greeted by a lovely lady scissoring a lovely zombie lady.

    • ofc not.

    • If Lör was good enough…

      • Touché. The reality is that I like Archspire better.

        • And I thought you just tried to make things right with Kronos, after ignoring Pyrrhon last month;)
          edit:
          Nope, now I see that he gave Caligula’s Horse a higher score.
          edit, edit:
          Wait, what? He gave Caligula’s Horse a higher score?!

          • Kronos

            Personally I would have swapped the positions of the two in my ROTM rankings, but I’m just happy that we’re not talking about power metal right now.

          • Wait til you get to know our new probie, Swordborn.

          • Kronos

            I welcome all foes of good taste, such that they can be righted.

          • Nukenado

            I don’t remember “righting” meaning “brutally dismembered with a hand saw Anaal Nathrakh’s Passion style”.

      • RuySan

        Lör didn’t stay as a wallpaper long enough. I’m sad.

    • Great positioning with the wallpaper by the way. The askew eye socket oozing darkness is front and center.

    • sir_c

      Well, we’ve had the sweaty man bun, so I can handle a church in rainbow colours

      • …and a grey mud in March.

      • h_f_m

        But the “Sweaty man bun” album was phenomenal.. who cares what was on the cover..

        • sir_c

          I think that still is subject to debate within the community

          • h_f_m

            IMO obviously. People can debate it all they want, opinions don’t have incorrect answers. :)

      • Oh no, what if PoS is my RotY!?

        • sir_c

          Well, it’s just like, your opinion, man.
          I am looking forward to the debate and the agreements to disagree that will then take place.

        • PretentiousFuckwad

          I wouldn’t appreciate the background, but I would definitely appreciate the discourse!

  • TheChronosus

    I really thought no mention of Leprous in August Record of the Month was just to fuck with Kronos and that you’ll put it here.
    But seriously, that record is probably their best and most interesting since Billateral. On the other hand, Steven crafted his Abba moment and it got to the list, even though to my ears it’s just mellower Steven sound with all the interesting parts taken out. I wonder what would Kronos say about that, maybe we would even get a zero.

    Yeah, I know, nothing to do with this months choices but it still troubles me.

  • Meh.

    • Gage

      Yep. That sums up September.

  • IamRipper

    Don’t think I bought anything in September. Didn’t miss anything.

  • Kronos

    This pretty much avenges your snubbing of Pyrrhon last month.
    Actually, wait, I’m still mad about that. Only my year end list can right such a wrong.

    • Goldicot

      Not to mention Caroline Harrison’s artwork for What Passes For Survival would have looked stunning as the background.

      That, and Impure Wilhelmina sucks.

      • Kronos

        You are speaking my language.

      • Name’s Dalton

        I never liked Morrisey.

      • Thatguy

        Yes, they do.

      • Monsterth Goatom

        What, the cover art for Radiation? If you’re talking about the album itself, I couldn’t disagree more. Pretty much my album of the year.

  • I preferred myrkur but hey I didn’t buy a single album last month so can’t say I loved anything. Spent a lot of time listening to bolt thrower.

    • Time well spent.

    • Ferrous Beuller

      You’re in for a treat soon, son…

    • Eli Valcik

      Good choice. I’ve been listening to plenty of 1vth crusade and those one loyal. Damn that bass is sexy.

    • Jesperten

      Don’t we all? The Killchain. So much groove, it quickly gets dangerous with me on the road with that bass pounding though my car stereo…

      • Eli Valcik

        Jo’s bass on Anti Tank (dead armor) is just ridiculous.

        • Name’s Dalton

          Neck-snapping lurch & groove.

    • GrumpDumpus

      I NOMINATE EDGE OF SANITY PURGATORY AFTERGLOW FOR ALBUM OF THE MONTH BOLT THROWER IS ALSO ALLOWED

  • Lou Daz

    Finally, the right album was chosen for RotM. A blind squirrel finds the nut every once in a while.

  • Planex

    I’m completely fine with these. No rabbling today.

  • brutal_sushi

    Once again Kauan gets snubbed by the AMG crowd.

    • Dr. Wvrm

      Oh holy shit, I didn’t even know there was a new one out. We didn’t get promo for sure.

      • brutal_sushi

        I figured as much. I don’t think you guys got their previous release two years ago either. I am also just a huge fan boy

    • Dethjesta

      I liked the new Kauan record, although not as much as as Sorni Nai.

      • Monsterth Goatom

        Sorni Nai is such a powerful, haunting experience….. A requiem for the lives lost at Dyatlov Pass. In spirit, similar to Hand. Cannot. Erase.

        A hard act to follow.

        • I’ve never heard of Kauan, but comparing their work to Wilson’s masterpiece got my attention immediately; I’ve found Sorni Nai on YT and I’m loving it from the very first minute. Crazy goosebumps everywhere.

          Forever grateful,
          Bart.

          • Monsterth Goatom

            My pleasure. It’s a special one, for sure. Cheers!

    • El_Cuervo

      I have it and like it. Might make a TYMHM. We didn’t get the promo.

      • Dr. Wvrm

        Do it u won’t

        • El_Cuervo

          What you sayin fam? Fight me irl

          • Dr. Wvrm

            C u on tha streets bruh

      • RuySan

        Is it really relevant? Blood Music put all their catalogue for “free” (name your price) on Bandcamp. They might think it’s irrelevant to send promos.

        More people should learn about the amazingness that is Kauan. And usually the mastering of their records are very dynamic.

        • Nukenado

          Kaiho is not on Blood Music.

    • PretentiousFuckwad

      I liked Sorni Nai, but it wasn’t something I really went back to after the first couple of listens. That being said I have a tendency towards extreme pickiness when it comes to atmospheric music in general. I’ll give their new album a listen though.

      • brutal_sushi

        It’s nowhere near their heaviest release. But track three is probably the most beautiful song I’ve heard all year

  • Zadion

    WHERE THE FUCK IS LEPROUS

    • Gage

      Where it belongs

    • sir_c

      It fell off

    • I could have put it in the #3 spot for sure, but I think that the Chelsea Wolfe was getting so much love around here that I just felt like it was worth it. Neither of the records are actually metal, so I went with the one that was darker. :p

      • Zadion

        That’s acceptable, but man, it’s such a good album and it’s worth some genuine recognition. Hopefully it still finds a spot on some end year lists!

  • Eli Valcik

    Again, I’m probably mad about something not being in here.

  • Gage

    Meh. September was a complete dud for me. Nothing that came out really captured my interest.

  • tool

    Love all of chelsea wolfes stuff, especially Pain is Beauty and Abyss, but this one strangely isn’t clicking with me yet.

  • Yolo Swaggins

    Okay, the catchphrase is all wrong on this site now. The font is different and I don’t like change. To make matters worse; there is now a different statement on each album review! I don’t have time to go back through every album to read the cleverly hidden joke! Why did you change what was once perfect! Seriously though; it was a nice touch. Time to read all these newfound head(?)notes.

    • Nukenado

      A compilation is in the Dark Waters review.

  • Mattias Niklasson

    But Grift :(

  • It wasn’t reviewed, so I didn’t expect it, but let it be known that Fleshkiller (ex-Extol) made a great record this month.

    • Will investigate.

    • THIS CANNOT BE STREAMED ON BANDCAMP AND SHALL THEREFORE BE IGNORED. WHAT IS EVEN THE POINT OF BANDCAMP IF YOU CANNOT STREAM THERE?

      • I wonder why there are no other streamers on the market yet, to rival Bandcamps obvious hegemony.

        • Kronos

          It used to be that SoundCloud was the go-to streaming service for metal bands/labels, but Bandcamp has definitely taken over. I think Soundcloud is much more widely utilized in electronic music and hip hop, but last time I checked you can’t make your soundcloud page have grey text on a black background so obviously metal bands are going to choose the platform that makes the liner notes more difficult to read.

    • Metal and Hockey

      The Fleshkiller album is indeed killer. I liked and bought lots of stuff this month. Just not any of these three. Oh well there’s always next month

  • Mollusc

    When (if) I have any money it will be lavished upon Archspire.

  • Hammersmith

    Yep, Archspire takes it for sure.

    I like In Contact though, although they could cool it with those super high notes.. just fuckin’ bring it down an octave and it would be much more palatable.

    Graves is a killer song though, saxamaphone.

    • One of the few uses of saxamaphone I’ve heard in metal that I liked.

      • Hammersmith

        Love the end of that track.

      • Luca Popescu

        I almost stopped worshipping Satan when I heard a saxophone in the background of In the Absence Ov Light on that last Behemoth album…

      • Kronos

        And it’s Jorgen Munkeby, too.

  • Two months in a row RotM choices have concurred with my own. My confirmation biases are growing strong.

  • Smalls…Leonard Smalls

    No love for Dyscarnate?

    With All Their Might is fantastic.

    Definitely my ROTM

    I’m sometimes a meat & potatoes guy, and this album has some mighty tasty and filling meat and potatoes.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    Archspire would be good if not for the sound drum, but I know better than to complain.

  • sir_c

    It’s one of the few times I can agree with all three choices, nice!
    Archspire wins because badass, which I believe is fully deserved.
    I think I will listen to the others more often though, because tech death like this requires a specific mood and mindset.

  • Slam Grandpa

    Well finally, here’s a ROTM list I’m satisfied with… Welp, here’s my Top 5 from September…
    1. Archspire – Relentless Mutation
    2. Gigan – Undulating Waves of Rainbiotic Iridescence
    3. Chelsea Wolfe – Hiss Spun
    4. Kauan – Kaiho
    5. Drouth – Knives, Labyrinths, Mirrors

  • The Unicorn

    Love the new logo, chap. 110% agree on the AotM and CW as runner-up. I would like this as the wallpaper for the month. http://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/05e3e536d381182a6e00a26417b8e1790127e13a2c701f3825cec1899a34617f.jpg

    • Eli Valcik

      Can we just have a monthly Bolt Thrower appreciation article.

      • The Unicorn

        Seconded!

  • Colin Smyka

    Interesting. I didn’t spend enough time with Archspire or Caligula’s Horse. I’ll have to give both a couple more listens.

  • Excentric_13073

    The selection leaves me in an equal mix of disgust and delight. It’s good to be back to the olde days of ROTM.

  • Thatguy

    Archspire, yes indeed, and then daylight.

  • Marshlander

    Manowar and I are not sure just how heavy metal the Runners Up are but both are slowly growing on me all the same.
    And interesting how AMG gets a steady share of not-hands-down-metal albums every month. The labels must like what you’re doing here.

  • Morbidly Obese Angel

    Meh, Vacivus (not reviewed here), Horrified and Cannabis Corpse were my favourites this month. Vacivus is honestly one of the better death metal releases to come out this year. But I know death metal gets little to no love on this site, unless it’s of the tech/avant-garde variety.

    • GardensTale

      NPNR (no promo no review). There’s always a chance for a TYMHM though…

    • Kronos

      I actually heard Vacivus but found it disappointing.

  • Gelhoth

    Welp, cant browse in public now because of the new banner XD

    • Why? Are there boobs in it that I am not seeing?

      • Gelhoth

        Nah, but I assume it would make the average person uncomfortable.

  • DeadHead

    Never heard of this band till I saw them here. Boy am I glad I listened to them. Its quite frankly a sweet relief in what has seemed to be a somewhat tepid time in tech death.

  • Ghio

    I have to ask, is it even possible for a human to do those Archspire turbo-doublekicker rips?

    • Tofu muncher

      ikr. Great musicianship notwithstanding, also try following Peters’ singing (rapping?) lol.

      • Nukenado

        It’s rapping. His primary influence is Tech N9ne.

  • Sharp-Blunt Boy

    Yay for Archspire! The musical equivalent of sticking a Fisherman’s Friend in every orifice – fresh indeed!

    Can I also put a shout out to Vulture Industries. I’m nearly equally loving Stranger Times (which I think was a Sep release). They are complementing each other massively, both entwined in endless CD rotation.

  • Alex

    I love this site because it’s just an indisputable fact of earth that these were the best albums of the month. Archspire and Caligula’s are in top ten for year by far

    • yavor

      No way

  • h_f_m

    Three great choices, can’t go wrong with any of them IMO.

  • diogo

    What a great month for music. Going to see Archspire this Sunday in celebration of their ROTM.

    • Kronos

      See you there!

      • diogo

        What did you think of their live act? The bass player was amazing! Shame they didn’t play the title track of the new album, would have loved to see that solo bass intro live.

        • Kronos

          Sadly I had to skip the show due to work. Nevertheless, I will try to see Archspire next time they’re in my corner of the world.

    • basstard

      Please report back if they sound anything like the album..

      • diogo

        Absolutely! Beyond excitement for the show, very curious about that specifically.

      • diogo

        Reporting back as promised. In terms of playing in sync, 90% like the album. The live mix wasn’t as clear as the album, though, beyond just being “live”

        • basstard

          Thanks for checking back man! I’m definitely going to get that album and might check them out when they come by here.

  • Tofu muncher

    Nope, it should be 1. Feed Me Violence (Evil Invaders); 2. In Contact (Caligula’s Horse); 3. Relentless Mutation (Archspire).

  • Danny

    Sad to see no love for PL Medusa. Terrific record, probably my ROTM. It also triggered a jaunt through their back catalog which lead me to Draconian Times MMXI which I’ve fallen in love with even though the original never clicked for me.

    Archspire sounds too tech for me, and that album art is disturbing. Very well done, but disturbing.

    • Totally agree with you on Draconian Times MMXI. For me, it’s the fact that his singing got better…

      Medusa is…fine? For the record, my favourite is Faith Divides Us, Death Unites Us.

      • Danny

        The big part is the singing, totally. So strange how many voices get weaker throughout their careers, then there’s some guys like Holmes who just keep getting better and better.

    • Nukenado

      I haven’t spend time on Medusa and The Plague Within.
      Tragic Idol and Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us are fucking amazing.
      I don’t have THAT much love for Gothic, so the new “return to form” albums don’t really do things for me.

      • Danny

        I’m way too young to remember Gothic, but the return to form records bring another element to their sonic palette in a way that really works for me, regardless of nostalgia.

        • Nukenado

          I guess I’m just not a death/doom fan. I found Inverloch underwhelming but everyone treated it like the second coming.

  • Sophocles

    Xanthochroid?

  • Stephan Kubicki

    Best album last month was Runespell.

    MIDI metal is boring.

  • dumbidiot

    Archspire is the metal album Jim Carrey would make.

  • Artander

    Well earned spot for Archspire which has matured fantastically since the mindblowing yet ultimately exhausting TLC. A stunning listen, of the kind that happens only once in a while. Groundbreaking. I do not see how anything can top this in september (I will check out the contenders though, just because I’m so awfully curious). At the very top of my current playlist with ULSECT’s ULSECT the latest from COMA CLUSTER VOID (how about giving these guys a little love?), and the latest masterworks from PYRRHON and SUNLESS.

    • Kronos

      I thought the last Coma Cluster Void album was very tedious, but the new one is more interesting. I don’t think it’s year end list quality but it is a good listen.

      • Artander

        I love tedious as a word. It does not apply to CCV though. Think exciting, bold, exploratory, or even preliminary. You cannot explore new places and be perfect. The new EP is a clear step forward and hopefully a sign of greater things to come. On a side note, if I recall, you have quite a soft spot for Dodecahedron, so what’s the issue with Ulsect? When do we get your review of that masterpiece?

        • Kronos

          I’ll have to revisit it. I liked the album but it didn’t wow me.

        • Kronos

          Upon revisiting Ulsect, i remember why I didn’t like it so much; it’s the hardcore-esque vocals-they just seem really out of place.

  • Nexus

    My picks:
    1. Chelsea Wolfe
    2. Archspire
    3. Squalus

  • Shuffel

    archspire … a piss.. impossible

  • IAmNotKenM

    I tried really hard to like that Caligula’s Horse album, but the singer’s pitch is off. Just enough to give me physical pain. So I have to turn off the player. It’s a shame because the music rips.

  • paul

    Archspire is not death metal in any way. Amazing the way the hype goes around this ridiculous deathcore band.

    • If this isn’t death metal then what the fuck do we have left? How is this deathcore? There’s no “core” here? There are no breakdowns, there’s nothing “corey” at all.

      • welyyt

        While Archspire isn’t deathcore in any way, there is an open chug breakdown at the end of Remote Tumor Seeker.