It’s nearly October, so in the 2017 tradition: here’s the August Record(s) o’ the Month. To be honest, August was a cracking month. Surprisingly solid, given everything. There haven’t been many months—maybe September can compete—with this many good new records to choose from. But when we did the internal voting it became clear: My word is law, and what other people think is completely irrelevant. Given the fact that I hardly even show my face around here anymore, you’d think that’s unfair. But all good dictators know that when one is out pursuing the eldritch artifacts needed to dominate mankind and to stabilize one’s rule, one must remind others who is still in charge through arbitrary acts of violence and shows of force. (Hint: the dictator in this analogy is me.) So, here’s my Record(s) o’ the Month from August of 2017. Consensus schmonsensus.


Lör - In Forgotten Sleep

In Forgotten Sleep by Pennsylvania’s Lör is the less-refined sibling of Wilderun‘s masterful Sleep at the Edge of the EarthLör is just cutting its teeth in 2017, having released only two demos previously, but In Forgotten Sleep is a clear demonstration that we have a lot to be excited about. The album’s production choices make for an old school sound that is, indeed, “charming,” and the songwriting pops with interesting riffs and moments—sneakily catchy and addictive. Our very own Eldritch Elitist mirrored my feelings on this record nearly perfectly: “In Forgotten Sleep is a remarkable record in every aspect, one of the only works in my collection that can justify every second of a seventy-minute run-time, and indisputably [one of the best] album[s] of the year thus far. Whether Lör can keep up this momentum has yet to be seen, but In Forgotten Sleep already feels like an underground classic in the making.”

Runners up:

Akercocke - Renaissance in ExtremisAkercocke // Renaissance in Extremis — The rebirth of Akercocke has been rivaled only by my desire for a new Anata album. You can bet, then, that I was stoked to get my grubby little fingers on their first album since 2007’s superb Antichrist. Despite having sworn to never let Akerblogger anywhere near an Akercocke album due to rampant fanboyism, it became clear that even non-fanboys were having metalgasms for Renaissance in Extremis, and so we let him at it. His verdict? “I wanted Renaissance In Extremis to be as outrageous and creative as possible. It is. […] Akercocke have retained their trademark sound yet managed to hone it and fire it through fresh vistas. With a wonderful production to boot – clear, crisp, and deep, yet never plastic or too clean – Akercocke have hit gold. Renaissance in Extremis is fun and diverse whilst still being pensive and beautifully touching.”

Steven Wilson - To the BoneSteven Wilson // To the Bone — It was never going to be possible to follow Hand. Cannot. Erase. with something as (ostensibly) evocative, meaningful or deep. And despite a press campaign which I think makes Steven Wilson sound pretty arrogant and sad,1 it’s tough to deny that To the Bone is probably the best followup he could have released. Rather than trying to “out epic” the previous album, Wilson took his major label debut to write an unapologetic pop rock record, playing with the ideas of identity and truth. It’s an album full of good songs and shows off Wilson’s chameleon-like tendencies—his greatest strength as a producer and his greatest weakness as a songwriter—quite clearly. His songs have a tendency to remind you of something that’s just on the tip of your tongue… and it makes To the Bone entertaining, familiar, but really enjoyable at the same time. In my stead, El Cuervo echoed my sentiments on Wilson’s new album: “The net result of Wilson’s foray into pop influences is favorably comparable with the likes of Kate Bush and David Bowie. While sounding like neither, he tackles tougher topics than an average, modern chart hit and fuses a compelling musical depth with his undeniable hooks. This website caters to metalheads but making it past the disturbing poppy surface reveals superior instrumentation and compositions to flesh out a satisfying record. To the Bone proves progressive music need not solely rely on 70s rock; nay, it should not.”

 

Show 1 footnote

  1. Here’s the quote that I find to be the most frustrating: “His breakthrough fourth solo album, Hand. Cannot. Erase, was inspired by the death of Joyce Carol Vincent, who lay undiscovered in her flat for three years, but he admits it is really ‘about me, being invisible in plain sight – a metaphor for my career’.” That cheapens the album, frankly, but I can understand his frustration. Before I rant, a disclaimer: I am not trying to vilify a guy that’s worked hard for his position, is a musical omnivore and has written a massive variety of material but is generally unknown outside of subgenre music nerds. Sure, I can see that as a bit frustrating. But a short rant: Steven Wilson is a dude making a style of music that was popular in the 1970s likely due to a fluke of the demographics of who could afford records. Wilson is as broadly popular as he is today because of the genres of progressive rock and metal, neither of which has had meaningful popular cache since the 1980s. Furthermore, pop music has changed so completely that it’s tough to imagine that Steven Wilson thinks he could ever get mainstream recognition in a time when the industry relies on teams of unknown Scandinavian songwriters to make the music that dominates the charts and refuses to take risks at all due to the pressures of profit margins. I have trouble feeling compassion for a guy who’s complaining about the coverage he should be receiving, instead of the coverage he is receiving. For example, we are one of the most trafficked metal/prog blogs out there and we have heaped praise upon Wilson over the years, but he has repeatedly turned down our efforts to give him more positive press. Some bands don’t get the mainstream recognition they probably should get, but the best ones cope with that reality by turning their fanbase into an army of proselytizers. Iron Maiden sold out arenas four nights in a row in the USA in the 1980s without radio support or mainstream acknowledgement and they did the things they wanted to do, rather than writing records they hoped would get them on the charts. Be grateful to the fans you have and know your niche. It doesn’t befit someone as talented and successful as Wilson to whine about the fans he doesn’t have. Wilson feeling uncomfortable with the title of “The King of Prog” just aggravates me. You are one of the most sought after producers in rock and an artist’s artist. Writing an album about how your career is the equivalent of an isolated person dying alone in an apartment is just narcissistic drivel. Get over yourself. /rant
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  • Master of Muppets

    An Angry Metal Guy sighting accompanying a rare and dreaded Footnovel, the planets must be aligned.

    • GardensTale

      Heh. Footnovel.

    • Nukenado

      Say, Drew, did you not like Lor? I find it better than most PW albums released…

      • Master of Muppets

        I didn’t not like it, but I wasn’t in love with it. I may come back to it since erbody else seems to be losing their shit to it, but my favorite for August is definitely not Lör.

        • Nukenado

          Yeah. It’s a power metal album with some restraint. I’m in love with it, so I’d encourage you to give it a shot.

          • Master of Muppets

            If I ever get caught up with all the other shit I’m diving into, that one’ll be at the top of the list for albums to revisit. I always want to believe in albums that the site goes crazy for, but I’ll admit that that Lör hasn’t exactly grabbed me since I first heard about this one and in the meantime I’ve acquired several other albums that I desperately need to dig into before revisiting Lör.

          • Nukenado

            No worries man. Having fun is top priority.

          • Eli Valcik

            I’m with you there. I like my folk folky, not powerfolk. If that makes any sense.

          • Master of Muppets

            It does, and I agree.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      I liked the footnovel better than the main text.

  • Brutalist_Receptacle

    FVCK YEAH ACRE
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    ..
    .
    .OV COCKE

    • André Snyde Lopes

      That’s like… over 4000 square meters.

      .ov Cocke.

      • Brutalist_Receptacle

        R U AN SCIUNTIST

        • André Snyde Lopes

          Just pointing out that it’s a lot ov Cocke.

          • sir_c

            Playboy Mansion on a Friday night? Or some misfortuned chicken farmer

  • Wes Allen

    Steven Wilson is one of the most popular names in prog/metal. (I’m fact, he’s got one of the most annoyingly devoted fanbases, too.) What is he whining about?

    • John Mosley

      There is a porcupine… In his tree.

      • wayne the devil

        My first laugh today…thanks Conan!

    • Alpha

      He’s whining about kids these days, and the internet. He’s been doing that since, at least, Fear of a blank planet.

      • tomasjacobi

        But seriously, man, KIDS THESE DAYS!

        • Alpha

          Tell me about it!

  • VikingSchism

    Damn, I never got round to Lor, guess it will be time to change that some time this week. In fact all of these are albums I’m still needing to get to. But so far Archspire has made September a pretty good month alone for me, but I still need to listen to some of the other positively reviewed albums this month

    • AgonMcDuck

      Two words: Hiss Spun.

      • metalcasket

        September’s looking like a toss up for me between Arch Spire and Chelsea Wolfe. Both are damn near flawless.

        • Master of Muppets

          I thinkSeptember gets a pass, there’s been too much greatness this month to try to narrow down to 3 ish.

        • GardensTale

          Chelsea vs. Caligula’s Horse for me!

          • Jon Hartley

            If only someone, anyone at AMG would review Caligula’s Horse!

          • Nukenado

            They can’t until the TYMHM posts at the end of year. Caligula’s Horse doesn’t send promos to AMG.

            But honestly, I don’t think anyone would nor should miss Caligula’s Horse.

          • AgonMcDuck

            Coming back here just to say that the new Caligula’s Horse is phenomenal. Chelsea vs. Caligula for me. Archspire is damned good too though, prolly best tech death I’ve heard this year.

          • Nukenado

            Wolfe didn’t hook me as hard as Caligula in my case, so it’s Caligula for me.

    • Septic

      Archspire is fantastic, as is Overoth’s ‘The Forgotten Tome’…

  • welyyt

    No Pyrrhon, eh Angry Pop Guy?

    But seriously, I thought you’d pick Leprous, so this is somewhat surprising. No one cares, but for me, the best records of August were Der Weg Einer Freiheit, Moral Void and Akercocke (and Comorant and Thy Art is Murder were great too).

    • AgonMcDuck

      Was also expecting Pyrrhon (which btw is creeping its way up my personal list; it’s really something that deserves tens of listens at the very least). Still not super into the new Akercocke. Lor are great, wouldn’t have been my personal pick though–that would have had to be either Pyrrhon or Der Weg einer Freiheit.

    • Thatguy

      You are more correct than AMG.

      • welyyt

        Man, I’m not even that into black metal, but Finisterre is one of my favorites of the year.

      • Master of Muppets

        Yo ‘guy, what do you think of that Old Graves album? I intentionally don’t listen to about 50% of my music purchases beforehand, I find that a mix of recommendations and blind-buys keeps the hunt for metal glory fun; I’ve been eyeing that one for a minute for the cover alone, our tastes align often enough that I’ll be buying it tomorrow if it’s Thatguy approved.

        • Thatguy

          Ha!

          As it happens I am downloading my purchase of the Old Graves album as I write. I have been thinking about it for a bit and listened to some again tonight. It is therefore Thatguy approved, but how much I will like it I am not yet sure.

          • Master of Muppets

            This is encouraging. Thanks for being you, may your library continue to fill with masterpieces and your photometer continue to fill with hate.

        • wayne the devil

          I blind buy a bunch. Something I started back in the eighties when word of mouth around here was limited to shit for nothing worthless when it came to my taste in Metal….

          • Master of Muppets

            My descent to the darkest depths of metal destruction started with strictly blind buys… For a while, way back in the days of Angry Teen Muppet, I lost my right to buy music sans supervision lest I purchase something crazy like Disturbed – who I hated, incidentally. At that point in my life, Fuel or Bush was heavy to me, being more a Goo Goo Dolls and Matchbox Twenty lad myself, but my folks were convinced that I wanted evil music in my life and tried to cripple my intake to prevent my corruption, so naturally I would go to my local music store whenever I could find an unmonitored moment and arbitrarily buy the scariest looking albums I could find and played them when I was supposed to be sleeping. It didn’t matter if I liked it or not (and I rarely did, at first) I just secretly bought and listened to anything that would surely incur parental wrath were it ever to be discovered. I tell me what I listen to, damn it. Many an album from those times has never been looked back on since, but that sensation of never knowing what the fuck I was about to plunge into always made the good ones so much more rewarding…

          • wayne the devil

            I remember how long it took me to get ‘Beneath the Remains’ on cassette way back when. I had to first convince the record shop owner that Sepultura was in fact a real band…got it special order-two months later…ahh the good old days….

          • DubiousLee

            My mother tried the same with me. One night (me sound asleep) she and a friend split a six of Genny Cream and burnt my KISS Destroyer album on a pyre in the back yard. Swears to this day it “screamed” as it burned. If only she could see my playlist now…..all of it screams.

          • Master of Muppets

            I mourn your loss, but salute your stoicism.
            They did this to themselves.

          • DubiousLee

            I’d KILL to have that album back.

          • ToddRob64

            Are you me?

  • wayne the devil

    To my ears Lor managed to capture every great moment from nearly every Folk Metal album released in the last 15 years. Plus Lor is Data’s evil twin… Ackercoke I liked and Steve Wison whine? Aint that called singing??

  • El_Cuervo

    *Eagerly waits for Kronos*

    • This won’t be well received.

      • Monsterth Goatom

        Lor! They’ll be some choices words written soon here soon.

      • Kronos

        Guys

        • Master of Muppets

          Brilliant and brutal, you make me proud.

    • Dr. Wvrm

      I’ve got my bagel, I’ve got my coffee, I’ll be f5ing every 60 seconds in great anticipation.

      • Kronos

        You

    • Kronos

      Fuck

  • AgonMcDuck

    Haha, what an album cover to grace our site for the next month or so. Really solid album though, not my personal choice but totally deserves it.

  • HeavyMetalHamster

    Bravo…..again you got it right!

  • Yolo Swaggins

    I completely agree with this. Lör was definitely one of my favorite albums this year; either that or Cormorant is my AOTY (thus far).

  • Master of Muppets

    Also, the page is acting up. Where there’s supposed to be the cover art for Nyss, The Necromancers, and Vinsta, there’s instead a tree, someone who literally bored themself to death, and a naked hippy, respectively.
    Seems like every month there’s something up with these things, but I’m happy to help.

    • wayne the devil

      To quote old John-Joe Bloodclot-MAAL-AA-AL-FUNCTION!!!….

    • Don’t rock the boat as we weigh your fate!

      • Master of Muppets

        I’ve acted up the whole way here, yo. The Air Force couldn’t beat the defiance out of me, and there will be blood if I’ve come this far to end with being subjected to ____ and the fucking ____ _____ for nothing. You know what the missing words are, I’ll not ruin that particular surprise for the readers, but spoiler alert: you people are stuck with me.

        • Someone else said that once. Once!

        • Nukenado

          Two word power metal band?! Excite!

          • Master of Muppets

            Don’t be.

          • Nukenado

            Screams go along with black olives.

  • Averycoolusername

    August already??

    That made me realize I’ve been visiting this site almost every day for the last 6 months. I must be getting old.

  • Frost15

    New Akercocke is definitely my pick for this month. So far my AOTY along with Igorr and Emptiness. I really do not get Lör’s hype… Maybe Prog Folk Power is not my thing or I’m yet to ‘grasp’ the album… In any case I imagine Enslaved will put another serious AOTY contender soon….

    • wayne the devil

      I just heard a single from E…it was strange…but I liked it.

  • Monsterth Goatom

    I like Lör, but I do find the call and response between the vocals and guitar in Visions of Awakening rather goofy.

  • John Mosley

    Yes, need new Anata.

  • André Snyde Lopes

    “(…) he has repeatedly turned down our efforts to give him more positive press.”
    Interviews?

    • Nukenado

      Twice.

  • ssorg

    Wow! Two out of three are actually Metal! Sweet!

  • Hammersmith

    Everyone seems to love that Wilderun. It’s ok. But a lot of it feels lifted straight from other bands which makes it harder for me to enjoy.

    • I actually find I like Lör much more than Wilderun. Make of that what you will…

  • Akira Watts

    Lör’s offering is quite possibly my album of the year, so neat that it shows up here. And also, two months in a row where I agree with the album of the month? What the fuck?

  • Kronos

    PYRRHON.
    This list is not brutal enough.

    • All things considered, you took this pretty well.

      • Kronos

        I have yet to begin exacting my revenge.
        When is the next White Wizzard album coming out?

        • Nukenado

          Eh, they’ve disbanded.

          • AgonMcDuck

            Huh? Last I heard they had an album coming out this year, or so they announced. Of course, given Jon Leon, nothing is set in stone, so…

          • Nukenado

            Well, last I checked anyway.

          • Nukenado

            Nevermind, they’re still around, and a new single came out last year.
            Repent, AMG! Repent, Druhm!

          • We have contingencies and protocols in place to deal with such things now. In other news, I’m repentless and repantsless

          • Nukenado

            Fancy words to describe anti-personnel landmines and swinging blades.

          • Nukenado

            BTW, Druhm, Araya getting to ya?

    • El_Cuervo

      fwiw it’s only behind Akercocke for me. I’d’ve chosen it.

  • Mollusc

    TEMPLE OV VOID! Whoops, where did that come from? totally don’t disagree with those choices…

    • Ferrous Beuller

      Came out in July, but snubbed anyway.

      • Mollusc

        D’OH!

  • Diego Molero

    This is the first month of the year that I agree with the RotM top pick. I’m really glad it’s Lör, In Forgotten Sleep it’s just massive.
    Also, if anyone cares, the band is launching a website anytime soon (probably this week for what I’ve been told by them), and there will be lyrics for all of the songs from the album.

    P.S: this list totally lacks Pyrrhon.

    • tomasjacobi

      You had me all the way to the postscriptum mentioning that unlistenable racket by the name of Pyrrhon :-)

      • Diego Molero

        Oww come on! They are great! How many times have you listen to the album? I admit it, a couple of years ago I listen to The Mother of Virtues and hate it, and with What Passes for Survival I also didn’t like it at first, but after a couple of listens it clicked and I now love it.
        I get why people don’t like them, they are definitely not for everybody, but if you only listen once, you should try it again.

        • tomasjacobi

          I tried 2 times and couldn’t get all the way through the whole album both times.
          In my defence I also listened to their previous one when it came out and it also left me cold, so I guess they’re just not for me.
          But hey, at least we can agree that Lör are amazing :-)

          • Diego Molero

            Fair enough, man.
            And yes, that we can!

          • Nukenado

            I remember the comments when you disvowed power metal. Drew/Master of Muppets also expressed his distaste…

            It seems like people are finally giving in… to the POWAAAAAHHHH (raises sword)

          • Diego Molero

            Ohh, don’t get me wrong, I still disavow power metal, there are just two exceptions: Lör (obviously), and Witherfall. The two are from this year which is kinda weird, can’t believe I’m going to have TWO power metal albums on my top 10 list.
            Apart from that, I hate power :)

          • Nukenado

            In time you will give in…
            (I think Witherfall’s just heavy metal though.)

          • Diego Molero

            I would like to give in honestly, fortunately I will find more power metal bands to like.
            As for Witherfall, I’ll say they are progressive heavy/power metal. And I think that’s why I like so much both Witherfall and Lör, they aren’t exactly “just” power metal, there are progressive elements and other things to make it way more interesting.

          • Nukenado

            Same here. Never found pure power amazing. But I like all my metal with a twist. Kamelot’s Black Halo for the slightly darker edge, Mgla for the catchy as fuck music and not-Satan lyrics.

          • Diego Molero

            Exactly, my favorite albums are the ones that incorporate different elements and create something cohesive and enjoyable.
            I haven’t check that Kamelot album, but for what I’ve read, it’s really great, so maybe that’s another power metal that I will (hopefully) like!

          • Nukenado

            It’s considered one of the better albums of the genre.
            But I also enjoy DragonForce, so proceed with caution.

          • Tofu muncher

            Galneryus’ latest is out, Ultimate Sacrifice, and is quite enjoyable.

          • Nukenado

            Galneyrus is pure cheese though. A noice slab but still cheese.
            (But thanks for telling me what I’m playing while playing SoulCalibur for the next month!)

          • Strapping Old Fart

            Do what the nice man said and get drunk and listen to Manowar. If “shameful exhilaration” isn’t an interesting feeling, I don’t know what is.

          • PretentiousFuckwad

            I shared Witherfall with my professor. He approved it. It’s professor approved.

          • Diego Molero

            Awesome! Now show him Lör!

          • AgonMcDuck

            For Pyrrhon, it took me at least five listens to get to the point that “hey, this is pretty hooky” and then probably several times that to get to “this is fucking fantastic.” Idk why I kept trying, but between the great lyrics, the flashes of groove and the stellar production, I couldn’t outright say no to this album, even though I thought it was downright the weirdest thing I’ve listened to since Obscura (which is almost two decades old, damn). No pressure, of course, I can’t force you to dedicate yourself to trying with an album several times more challenging than Dodecahedron or Artificial Brain, but man, the payoff is sweet.

          • Strapping Old Fart

            OK you’ve convinced me… I’ll give it another try, hoping for that wonderful moment when it starts to make sense. It is the closest musical equivalent to a headache I’ve ever known though. You guys are not all masochists, right?

      • Tofu muncher

        Heh I too am still struggling to enjoy Pyrrhon

        • PretentiousFuckwad

          I liked it initially because the ending sounds like a guy getting beaten to death, and edgy kids like me go ape for that shit. I stuck around for Tennessee, and Trash Talk Landfill.

    • WhamBamSam

      Thanks for the heads up. I’ve been wanting a lyric sheet for In Forgotten Sleep. I want to sing along, but can’t understand half of what the singer is saying.

      • Diego Molero

        My thoughts exactly! So I send the band a message through Facebook and they told me that. Can’t wait to annoy my neighbours with my awful singing!

  • RuySan

    Wilson’s whining is not unlike Anathema’s whining that they can’t get much of an audience beyond metalheads, and aren’t playing in popular “alternative” festivals.

    Seriously, be grateful that your fans are so loyal and open minded that still follow you after all these years and allow you to be able to live doing something as amazing as music. And don’t be a bitch (this is aimed both at wilson and anathema).

    And i hope it will take a while for the record of setember so we can savour Lör’s fantastic artwork:)

    • Interesting comparing the two bands.

      Maybe it’s because Anathema started as metal and moved into alternative/progressive rock. Whereas Steven Wilson/Porcupine Tree started as prog rock, diverted into metal for a while, then went back to prog…?

      • Bas

        he did metal ?
        which album?

        • I would have said In Absentia, Deadwing, Fear of a Blank Planet, The Incident counted…

          • Bas

            Thanks, I will check them out !

  • Metal and Hockey

    Haven’t listened to the Lor but once. Thought it was cool but not what I’m usually into. Cormorant Akercocke and The Necromancers would be my top 3. Cormorant is my favorite album released this year

  • The Akerstache

    I say this with all the love in the world, but Steven Wilson is really very pretentious. I love PT to death, along with his solo work, but it really does bug me how much he acts like a teenage girl that his parents don’t “get.” He writes some damn good music, but the lyrical content is often lacking, staying in a continuous state of “nobody gets me.”

    Oh and, Akercocke > Lor

    • Nukenado

      That album cover would be a lot better if Steven Wilson was a teenage girl.

      I plead guilty but please be merciful with the sentencing due to me being a minor.

  • Chris

    How the hell did I miss this Lor review? Anything that draws a comparison to Wilderun is an immediate listen. This album is amazeballs, already spun it three times this morning.

    I’ve tried getting through that Akercocke album a few times, and just can’t do it. The music is fine, but those vocals are just so very, very, very bad.

  • Eric Radliff

    The new Comeback Kid is pretty frickin’ awesome I must say.

  • Lör 100%. Good looking out my dudes.

  • Cherd

    After the initial review and now this I guess I’d better give it a spin. The album art looks like the Very Hungry Caterpillar took a bite out of the sun (which I guess sounds pretty metal when you say it out loud), and folk metal isn’t always my thing, but the AMG staff says I should. Also, Where. Is. Pyrrhon?

  • wayne the devil

    Since so many folks are AOTYing, let me throw my unlikely choice out there-Squalus-The Great Fish..it’s not in my usual diet musically, but the album is brilliant. I like it more than the movie…and it is heavy in it’s own weird way…just a thought!

  • Levly

    Lör is one of my best discoveries this year, that record is a masterpiece and well deserving of the honour. Can’t wait for what they do next.

    I was less convinced by the new Steven Wilson and the Akercocke come back album but considering this I’ll give them another shot.

  • AndySynn

    I still think once the “oh my God they’re back!” sheen has worn off that Akercocke album a lot of people are going to realise it’s a LOT of filler punctuated by moments of genius.

    Anyway, needs more Cormorant. Or Dvne. That was August, right?

    • Dvne was late July and it wasn’t reviewed here. I’d elect it as July’s AOTM, though.

      • AndySynn

        Dang. I forget when these things come out a lot of the time, what with all the different release dates, promos, etc.

      • GardensTale

        We didn’t get a promo for Dvne, but rest assured, come TYMHM season they will not be forgotten.

        • Glad to hear it, would be a shame for the unwashed masses to miss out.

    • Master of Muppets

      Every month needs more Cormorant. Those dudes are fucking brilliant.

      • Metal and Hockey

        Cormorant is album of the last 9 months for me. Only Enslaved has a chance to top it.

        • AndySynn

          “E” is REALLY fucking good.

          • Metal and Hockey

            Not surprised. Even with the new clean vocalist I know it’s gonna be great. They’re just one of those bands that no matter what direction they go in they can do no wrong. I gave up on them putting out a disappointing album a long time ago

          • RuySan

            Enslaved is going to release another album soon?? It seems like yesterday that in times saw the light of day

        • Master of Muppets

          I am pretty fuckin nervous about E, I don’t know if my heart could handle an Enslaved letdown and there’s more than a little room for that to be the case.

    • El_Cuervo

      I’m not old enough to have been competent enough at metal to like them before. So this is the grand introduction for me and I fucking love it. AotY most likely.

      • AndySynn

        See, for me it’s one of the biggest disappointments of the year.

        But, different strokes for different folks, and all that.

        • Alexandre Barata

          Although is nowhere near as good as their previews albums, and the lack of deep Mendonça growls is quite unnerving, I still think is the better of the disappointments of the year. It lacks a bit of Akercocke’s personality, being too close to Voices, and too far away from “Chorozon” or “Words That Go Unspoken,…”, but it is still one of the best albums I’ve heard this year, coming out of the DM multifaceted sounds.

    • GWW

      Dvne!

  • WhamBamSam

    Lor is the correct choice for the top spot and the only one I feel that strongly about. I’d have put Necromancers in the first runner up spot and dropped Steven Wilson. Maybe if I were feeling charitable I’d have squeezed Pyrrhon in to throw Kronos a bone, but I’m happy enough with In Forgotten Sleep getting its due.

  • Metal and Hockey

    After having listened to the Lor album a couple times today it is really good. Gonna have to order it

  • Danny

    My ROTM for august was definitely Galderia’s “Return of the Cosmic Men” (came out in July, but I didn;t hear it until August). Best stupid cheesy power metal I’ve heard in a long time and still can’t get over it, and the title is perfect.
    If Lor sounds so much like Wilderun I’ll definitely have to check it out

  • tomasjacobi

    I sort of disagree with the footnote. I don’t think SW is full of himself (not more than any artist anyway) or unappreciative of his fans. I think he’s just making the point that had he started out in the ‘70s or early ‘80s he might have had a bigger audience. In today’s landscape you just cannot achieve large mainstream success unless you play really dumbed down calculated pop music.
    I think that’s a fair point. The world is different now in that regard.

    His comment about Hand. Cannot. Erase should probably be taken as him trying to stick to the mantra of his PR campaign of: “The most successful British artist you’ve never heard of” and not as him reducing the lyrical content of that record to “me, me, me and me”.
    My two cents :-)

    Best regards
    Tomas Jacobi, Steven Wilson apologist

  • Swordborn

    You know a power metal album has really blown folks out of the water when the AMG grumps agree with hardened power/folk fans on their top pick.

  • lrn2swim

    (OFF TOPIC) Just wondering how come there is/was never any mention of my easy and clear AOTY from 2016, Free Salamander Exhibit – Undestroyed. This is pretty much the newest Sleepytime Gorilla Museum album (4 of the 5 members and with whom I’m sure people here are familiar with). Can anyone help me out here? I’m baffled as to the lack of coverage.

    • Kronos

      They’re obscure and didn’t send us promo.

      • lrn2swim

        Not that obscure, I mean it’s pretty much Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, just no more Carla Kihlstedt

        • Kronos

          Dude sleepytime gorilla museum was already very obscure.

    • GardensTale

      DID YOU JUST SAY NEW SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM

      WHY WAS I NOT MADE AWARE

      WHAT IS THIS

      I CANT EVEN

      AAAAAAAAAHH!!!

      • lrn2swim

        Yeah man, where the hell you been? Check out their album, it’s unbelievable. Also, they’re touring right now, seeing them in Seattle next week.

    • Roquentin

      I actually reviewed it, just not for AMG. Didn’t think it would quite fit here, to be honest.

      • lrn2swim

        What what what? How does Steve Wilson fit better here than that? I mean, a good portion of the album is pretty extreme avant-garde metal.

        • tomasjacobi

          He fits better because AMG likes him better…

  • The Lor album is very good though not quite as good as I thought it was going to be based on the preview tracks. Still happy I bought it though. I like a lot better than Wilderun though.

    Akercocke features great music and horrible vocals. The cleans are in line for Worst Vocal Performance of the Year.

    The Steven Wilson album is just poor. He’s always had pop elements in his albums, but then he goes and writes a pop album with the least memorable choruses he just about ever done. Plus the music is super generic and cheesy. I went and saw him live this year and he was great. My wife also bought me a signed copy of To the Bone for my birthday. I really do like Steven Wilson, but this is below his standards by a long way. I find barely any of the songs listenable. If I heard this on the radio and don’t know who it was, I wouldn’t even notice it.

  • azerate

    if In Forgotten Sleep doesn’t make it on this year’s top 10s at least once I’ll be amazed. in 10 years it will be seen as a classic

  • Slam Grandpa

    What is this?…. Did you not forget the 5/5 Kronos gave to Pyrrhon’s What Passes for Survival?……. Jesus not even Leprous, Der Weg, Comorant or Hell in here… smh

    My Top 5 albums from August
    1. Leprous – Malina (decided with this after countless listens tbh)
    2. Der Weg einer Freiheit – Finisterre
    3. Pyrrhon – What Passes for Survival
    4. Cormorant – Diaspora
    5. Hell – Hell

    • Kronos

      Did you forget the 1.5/5.0 that I have Malina? I kid, but I am actually pretty salty about the whole Pyrrhon snub.

      • Slam Grandpa

        Gonna be honest Kronos, Malina is Leprous’ weakest album, if it wasn’t for the countless listens I gave to it I would have given ROTM to Der Weg but yea, I actually came to like it and I prefer over Steven’s album tbh … don’t worry Kronos, maybe for September’s ROTMs you’ll have an album you like in 1st place (gonna be honest, don’t like Power Metal too much but Lör’s album was actually pretty good, oh well doesn’t top Archspire’s album from this month lol)

        • Kronos

          That Archspire album rips, even people who don’t like tech death have been telling me how good it is. I think my pick for September has a good chance of making it…

      • Bryan Barkman

        Only prog and doom are eligible for ROTM.

  • Another thing I’d like to say about To the Bone is that it’s completely faceless and/or characterless. Ulver made a far better pop album this year, which still retains the artist’s character. Plus it works far better as an album than To the Bone.

    • That’s hardly a fair comparison…Ulver can do no wrong! :-)

  • Bas

    My son thinks that Steven Wilson is a smurf !
    (I cant imagine that this has not been noted before … too lazy to check),

    Anyway, not my cup of tea. Neither is Ackercocke.
    Lor sounds good, but I can’t get too exited about it.

    My top of August: Dead Cross and (strangely enough:) Pyrrhon !

  • BlackDamballah

    This list is good because I’m getting angrier by the minute

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    Sons of Crom was my favourite. Love that album. 100% fun tree metal vibes!

  • Ta2dlam

    Okay, FINALLY got around to Lor. Damn! I now understand all the love they received for this release.

  • Gage

    I didn’t love Pyrrhon but I certainly liked them a lot more than the other garbage listed here

  • GWW

    It’s piratey and awesome.

  • FutureBeyondSatan

    End of Green is by far the best of August. Followed by Eluveitie.
    Seticflesh should be a lock for September.

  • PretentiousFuckwad

    All I can say is . . . Where is Hinder? This list forgot a vital component.