Yeah, we’re a bit late with these. Angry Metal Guy has an assload of moving parts and sometimes things get lost in the mix. For example: me. During August, I fell off the face of the earth and only resurfaced recently, with a chest cold and, I’m told by cautious people standing at a distance, a “crazy glint” in my eye. Regardless of the state of my unitary mindbody (take that Descartes!), the Record(s) o’ the Month must go on. So here you go.

Darkher - Realms

Realms is a moody, difficult record. Not only is it emotionally exhausting, but it’s difficult to classify. Grymm chose doom—and I guess that works as well as anything else—but this album rides a morose and intense atmosphere at which few doom albums truly succeed. Realms isn’t just slow and heavy, it’s harrowing and bittersweet. Jayn—who wrote, produced, and played the majority of the instruments—relies on a sometimes bare and sometimes claustrophobic production to guide the listener through realms of emotion. This is a stunning debut amidst a crop of similar successes, according to Ickle Grymmykins: “Much like Myrkur and Sylvaine before her, Darkher has staked her claim as a force to be reckoned with. Realms, with its ethereal songwriting and emotional singing, impacted me like few other doom metal releases this year.” He’s surely not alone in that assessment.

Runner(s) Up:

Inquisition - Bloodshed across the Empyrean Altar beyond the Celestial ZenithInquisition // Bloodshed across the Empyrean Altar beyond the Celestial Zenith — All the cool kids like Inquisition and Bloodshed across the Empyrean Altar beyond the Celestial Zenith does not end the string of records impressing the scene with Inquisition‘s sharp riffing, excellent riffing, and also very good riffs. After seven full-lengths, one might suggest that Bloodshed across the Empyrean Altar beyond the Celestial Zenith should have been devoid of the consistently excellent riffing which has defined Inquisition‘s career. But not so! Bloodshed across the Empyrean Altar beyond the Celestial Zenith “is another winner in a discography full of them,” writes Diabolus in Muzaka, “Inquisition is the crown jewel of American black metal, and as expected this record is a joy to hear in both music and production. The band made the right choice in making Bloodshed [across the Empyrean Altar beyond the Celestial Zenith] nothing more than another Inquisition record; sticking rigidly to form, it’s great.”1

Unfathomabe Ruination - Finitude CoverUnfathomable Ruination // Finitude — Brutal death metal doesn’t get a lot of love around here. Given the ritual beatings we normally give anything that can be called “br00tal” by dudes with crossed arms and camouflage cargo pants, I was surprised at the enthusiasm with which Kronos gushed about Finitude. Turns out he wasn’t actually wrong. Finitude is a hell of a ride and an elite execution of a well-worn style. “Unfathomable Ruination are about as good as brutal death gets,” cooed Kronos in his textual tongue bath he tried to pass off as a review, “they capture a classic death metal feel without sounding retro because they just write fucking death metal songs made of fucking death metal riffs. Finitude is the best release in the genre since Omnipresent, and might overtake even Origin‘s recent high water mark.”

Show 1 footnote

  1. Incidentally, across the Empyrean Altar and beyond the Celestial Zenith is also where I keep my one weakness guarded by the Dragons of Eternity on top of the Mountain of Despair, beyond the River of Fire. We must vacation in the same spots!
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  • Please Note: No beer and/or molded breastplates will be awarded to readers due to the lateness of this post.

    • André Snyde Lopes

      What about compensation from stealing jokes and putting them in footnotes?

      • You can have any other reader banhammered.

        • André Snyde Lopes

          Hm.. but who?

          • Thatguy

            It’s me, isn’t it?

  • Alex Calcan

    No love for Decision Day?

    • Well, we gave it a 2.5, so no.

      • Carlos Marrickvillian

        For shame! For shame!!

  • That Darkher is a beatiful record, great pick. I probably would’ve mentioned Blood Incantation, Marsh Dweller and Mizmor, and maybe Russian Circles too.

    Darkher also makes for a delightfully dark background for the coming month. Nice.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      Black is nice for October, but the Witherscape background is maximum Octoberish.
      Still haven’t gotten into Darkher. She’s no Myrkur: more like Kate Bush, which isn’t a bad thing in my books.

  • Martin Knap

    Unfathomable Ruination was reviewed in September. Uada was reviewed before UR, but I don’t see it on the list :-O

    • Uada is an April release we reviewed way late.

      • Martin Knap

        Aaaaaaah… I forgot

    • El_Cuervo

      It was released in April.

  • Solaire

    No Eye of Solitude? Their new album is their best one yet.

    • September release and we never got the promo.

    • Grymm

      I tried to contact them for a copy to review. No response.

      • Solaire

        That’s a bummer, it’s really good. Have you both heard it?

        • Grymm

          Not yet. But if we can get it, there will be a review. I loved Canto III.

  • André Snyde Lopes

    Saw Unfathomable Ruination live last Friday and they kick all kinds of ass. Their bass player was doing approximately a trillion notes per second. Shit was insane. Great guys in person, too.

    • Gaëtan Baratin

      You lucky bastard. I’m in Singapore and the heaviest thing we get here is BMTH.

      • André Snyde Lopes

        Eh, no such luck here (southern France) either. I had to fly up to Zurich to see them.

        • Gaëtan Baratin

          Haha, mes potes en France vont aller voir Opeth à Zurich en novembre, je suppose que tu vas y être aussi ^^

          • André Snyde Lopes

            Pas sur. J’ai deja vu Opeth il y a 4 ans. Et les billets d’avion ne sont pas gratuits.

            PS: Mon francais est toujours un gros bordel, meme apres vivre ici depuis presque deux ans. :D

      • Kronos

        Wormrot though, if you’re into grind that’s really good.

        • Gaëtan Baratin

          Wow, listened to Dirge and I like it a lot! Their next tour is in Europe. Kind of ironic…

          • METAL OTTER

            Wormrot’s playing this Saturday (17 Sep 16) at the open field opposite Paya Lebar Airbase.

          • Gaëtan Baratin

            Huh. Can you give me more info or a link? I’d like to come at this concert!

          • METAL OTTER

            It’s the first weekend of the 100 bands festival. Come for Wormrot, stay for the other 99 local bands!

          • Gaëtan Baratin

            I was there yesterday. It was really fun, they also sound better live than in studio. Thanks for your help!

          • METAL OTTER

            No problem! You can catch them again at the Wormrot “Voices” Album Launch at The Substation on 15 Oct 16 (Sat). A break from the daily grind…


        I dunno, just off the top of my head Singapore’s already had Eluveitie, Skullfist and Fleshgod Apocalypse this year, and Absu to look forward to next month. It’s not too bad (especially on the wallet).

        • Gaëtan Baratin

          Hmmm, I must suck at Googling. I couldn’t find any metal gigs. Where do you find these?

          • METAL OTTER

            There’s a new site called singaporegigs, apply a genre filter on it – you’ll know which one

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        Impiety are from Singapore.

  • Monsterth Goatom

    To be honest, there was a time when I didn’t care for brutal death, but Kronos’ reviews and recommendations here and in the forum have nurtured my love of the genre. If there’s a lack of love here, maybe time for a Brutal Death 101 post by Kronos? : )

    • Dethjesta

      Brutal Death still isn’t a genre I’m a huge fan of, but I know good riffing when I hear it and the Unfathomable Ruination album is superb.

  • Kronos

    My cargo pants are khaki.

    • Not brutal enough!

      • Kronos

        Report to HR!

    • Kronos Sr.

      We could get you a pair of Camo, but then you would just be a floating torso.

    • Grymm

      Mine too!

  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    The wordcount of your Inquisition paragraph is about 157. The wordcount of every “Bloodshed across the Empyrean Altar beyond the Celestial Zenith” is 45. If you include the band’s name, it is 51. That is a smidgen under a third of the whole paragraph.

    Get your act together, AMG.

    • Oh no! They’re on to me!

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Also, the word “riff” and variations thereof were used only 4 times. When talking about Inquisition the word “riff” should amount to at least a quarter of the word count.

    • The Lascivious Snape

      They should have beefed it up by adding some of the song titles.

      • Grymm

        Or hire Fiona Apple to title their albums for them.

        BOOM, instant word count maximum (and then some)!

  • Wilhelm

    I listened to the Darkher album and found out rather dull; maybe I expected something more Gothic instead of droney.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    Noooo the Northern Sanctuary is the best the site has looked in years!
    Ghoul was my pick of the month that album is addictive

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Ghoul is addictive as hell.

      • Monsterth Goatom

        I kinda went “meh” when you reviewed Ghoul, but Carlos’ statement made me give it a proper listen. Some good stuff there.

        • Carlos Marrickvillian

          Yeah it’s gold, good time grind!

        • Dr. A.N. Grier

          It’s not my favorite of theirs, but it is pretty loveable.

      • Carlos Marrickvillian

        It’s what I would’ve loved Anthrax’s album to sound like except with Joey vocals instead of caveman vocals

  • I’m bummed that DGM’s “The Passage” wasn’t reviewed in August. It has that Anubis Gate / Threshold / Symphony X when they’re really crushing it kinda vibe. Thought Steel Druhm would’ve liked it.

    • I planned to review it but it was stream only and that rarely works for me.

      • Chris Timbó

        What a shame. A pretty good album though.

        • Maybe it will make a showing as a “Things You Might Have Missed” at year end.

          • You should, it’s a great album! Maybe not as top-notch as the last few from Anubis Gate but still a really nice pick in a rather dull August.

    • Eldritch Elitist

      That’s a FANTASTIC record. Best riffs of 2016 on that one.

  • Milch Klaas

    Your “backdrop” looks kinda cheap this time around… and by that I mean low res…

    • Yeah, I’m asking for a higher res version to use.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        Asking? You mean “demanding under threat of death” right?

      • Carlos Marrickvillian

        Don’t worry about it just put Witherscape back up for an encore

      • If this happens in the future, I propose you use a default portrait of Jorn as the site backdrop, until a suitable high dpi version of the album cover can be used in it’s place.

        • Rarely do I second a comment as hard as I’m seconding this one.

          • Carlos Marrickvillian

            Scarier than Abbath

      • Milch Klaas

        But other than that: Good choice of records!

      • Milch Klaas

        better :>

  • Ferrous Beuller

    All great albums mentioned here – although I may have been inclined to show Blood Incantation a little more love. Manly, manly love.

    • Akerblogger

      Agreed. Starspawn made me starspunk!

      • Ferrous Beuller

        Starscream, is that you?!

        • Thorbjørn Thaarup

          Starscream – from Snakenet?

          • Ferrous Beuller

            This dude.

  • Reese Burns

    My picks would be Inquisition, Unfathomable Ruination above Darkher.

  • Bart the Repairman

    Don’t worry, you are still faster than my salary for august.

  • Pimpolho

    Jayn’s voice really reminds me of Chelsea Wolfe. That’s a great thing.

  • The Unicorn

    You have made a grave error by not naming the Inquisition as RotM. There will be significant consequences, Dagon will slaughter your soul and banish your husk-lifeshell to the Cosmological Black Cauldron. I beg of you to reconsider!!!!

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      I like how you’ve finally given in and made a full transition. No more split personalities. Just pure Unicorn.

  • ricin_beans

    Anyone else enjoy the new ColdWorld? Possible TYMHM?

  • robpal

    Haha, my favorite records of the month haven’t even made it into the review room.

    Subrosa – For This We Fought The Battle Of Ages
    DGM – The Passage
    Throes Of Dawn – Our Voices Shall Remain

    • Bas

      How do you think the new subrosa compares to the previous one? I listened a couple of times. Its good, they grew and developed a lot, but…. I just cant get into it this time…

      • Carlos Parlo

        I know you’re asking someone else but I”m jumping in here because I love the new Subrosa so much. Disappointed it wasn’t mentioned more here on site. I like all of their records but this new one is my favorite. I feel like if you liked “The Usher” on the previous record a lot you’ll like this one as it seems like the sonic blueprint for this record. Each song grows on you, each song is incredibly long but doesn’t feel long and each song is intricately layered. I like the lyrics, I like the music, I like the theme and the vinyl sounds terrific too by the way. I think it’s their strongest record yet.

  • I would have gone with Imperium Dekadenz this month. I don’t think the tracks are overlong at all and the atmosphere is brilliant. Unfathomable Ruination is probably my pick of the three here, though none really stand out to me. Having read the praise here regarding DMG, I gave that a listen and it sounds great. I owned their Misplaced album years ago and didn’t think much of it. They’ve come a long way.

  • Bas

    August is Darkher and the last Wounded Kings for me..

    AMG: Is the crazy glint in your eyes because you are getting too freaked out in anticipation of the new Opeth record ;-)

  • Norfair Legend

    I do not like brutal death metal at all, as a matter of fact I’m pretty firmly stuck in the 90’s when it comes to my listening habits of death…but Unfathomable Ruination just changed my mind, absolutely fantastic album from front to back.

  • Nahuel Benvenuto

    sorry for the weird question but this seems like the place to ask: i am looking for an album, icannot remember anything, but that the album art was very long and detalied, with an snake around a tower, does anybody knows what band i am talking about thanks a lot if anyone can help me with this

  • Davy Bonnevalle

    Absolutely brilliant Record of the Month, streamed 4 times already, love it, thanks!

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    That would be it,
    I haven’t listened to it in ages great album will put it on now. From memory it has a speech by a former Australian PM on one of the tracks…

  • I know I’m months late but thanks to this review I took the lounge and bought this record. I’m loving playing it while I read some H.P. Lovecraft, it’s just perfect! I’m now going after Myrkur and Sylvaine too, thank you!