It’s the new year! And that means new starts. What’s going to be new with the Record(s) o’ the Month in 2016? Well, pretty much nothing. I plan to be just as opinionated, stubborn, and unreliable as I can be. Because now I have Unimpeachable Scientific Proof™ that my choices are pretty much fucking representative of the choices of the entire staff at Angry Metal Guy. Yeah, sure, some people might not agree with me all the time, but in aggregate—which as we know from the rise of Big Data and the Technocratic Rule is the only data that matters—my opinion is still trend-setting and all-important. Put that in your pipe and smoke it I Give a 4.0 to Everything That Reeks of Nostalgia and Desperation Druhm. So my wimpy prog choices? Yeah, they’re gonna keep coming. My not caring about the newest super true Demilich clone? Oh, it will continue. My total disinterest in anyone’s opinion but my own? Yup, that’s the whole point of this blog.

Fuck new years resolutions: I have a goddamned eponymous blog. What are you gonna do, stop clicking the ads?


Abbath - Abbath - Record o' the Month, January 2016

In a month where we got the response to a high-profile breakup of a great power metal band, we also got the first post-Immortal-drama album from Abbath. And  as Diabolus in Muzaka reminds us, there’s an old saying that goes, “you can legally coerce Abbath out of Immortal, but you can’t stop Abbath from up and taking Immortal with him in spirit.” Abbath strikes back with an album that plays to his strengths and that was almost universally loved by the Angry Metal Guy staff. With riffs, great melodic work, but a more aggressive approach than shown in more recent work, Abbath is an album that shows that the man behind black metal’s most famous corpse paint isn’t running out of ideas. Instead, these 40 minutes sit nicely alongside late Immortal but his hardly superfluous: “the use of elements from Abbath’s lengthy discography and his raucous musical influences makes for something at once familiar and fresh, anchored by one of the most unique guitar styles in the business. Abbath is more of a great thing, and that’s the only reason I need to keep revisiting this new realm beyond Blashyrkh throughout the year.”

Runner(s) up: 

Wildernessking - Mystical FutureWildernessking // Mystical Future [Bandcamp] — Wildernessking are a jewel in a sea of unimaginative atmospheric black metal and have produced a record that’s pretty damned fine. It’s difficult to compete with Abbath, of course, and that’s a bit of a bummer because Mystical Future is a great record in a seriously good January. Demonstrating both a feel for riffs and a sense of balance and beauty, Mystical Future enraptures. I was particularly pleased with the sound and how the record felt like a whole with the “cavernous sound lending to a stormy feel when the band does pick up speed. Rather than bruising intensity, the heavy material crashes over the listener like waves. Wildernessking deftly builds songs which reach epic, heart-wrenching crescendos.”

Gomorrah - The HaruspexGomorrah // The Haruspex [Bandcamp] — Given that there were three death metal records this month that could have taken this spot on the list (the other two were Chth’l’lizeawwhatever and Mortuary‘s not-so-bad new record), it’s hard to remember that 2015 was an unspectacular year for death metal. If this is anything to go by, 2016 is going to be a much better year for purveyors of the deathly craft. The Haruspex manages to blend some of my favorite sounds to make something that is truly great. I gushed unreservedly in my review: “this two-man-band won me over with its excellent riffs and loose ambiance. These thirty minutes of spine crushing metal push all the right buttons for me: brutal, infectious, and concise.” And it’s all true!

Gygax - Critical HitsGygax // Critical Hits [Bandcamp] — This was the first great record I heard in 2016 and it just feels wrong to leave it off this list. These guys are making a type of hard rock that is easy to write off as nostalgic, but which has a feel that isn’t that at all. Rather, Gygax is genuinely excellent hard rock done in an old school style. Sure, it evokes pet rocks and shag carpet, but it also features excellent riffs, sharp songs, and is extremely memorable. Brother Grymm put my experience perfectly in words: “Here I was, all set to slag Critical Hits for being another retro cash-in, and they nearly rolled a natural 20 on my sorry ass. Next time you’re ready for an adventure or have some mana in need of tappin’, let Gygax supply the soundtrack. You won’t be disappointed.”


Record o’ the Month, December 2015

Batushka - Litourgiya

Remember when black metal felt dangerous, sacrilegious, and interesting? Batushka remembers.

Now would people please quit fucking releasing music in December? Because it’s a horrible time to release new music.

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  • I’m not desperate!!

    • You wot m8?

      Perhaps thou dost protest too much…

    • *that. I’m not *THAT desperate.

  • Iain Gleasure

    With the ever increasing nature of the Druhm- Angry Wars I fear the site will one day be split along ideological lines. Druhm and the Defenders of the Trve will be cast out like Satan and swear revenge with a new site. Meanwhile AMG and the wimps of proggy Rush worshipers will build an army for the battle at the end of metal. A war which will only truly end when the two titans reconcile and rejoin.

    • So it is written, so some of it may be done.

    • You’ve just written the plot to the next Rhapsody of Fire epic!

    • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

      “Wimps of proggy Rush worshipers” is amazing and I’m using my executive authority (which I actually don’t have, but oh well) to name this comment of the month, possibly the year.

    • Sounds like Star Wars. Druhm-druhm could easily lead the Dark side and build a Jorn Star that destroys entire metal blogs (from the Light side).

      • Monsterth Goatom

        Rise of the Jornicator: 1993.

        • Carlos Marrickvillian

          First Jorn pun of the year!

      • Jorn is my co-pilot.

        • Hulksteraus

          The good looking one that is played by Harrison Ford?

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            Harrison Fjord, remember Jorn is Scandinavian.

          • Hulksteraus

            Doh!! That is even better!

      • sir_c

        But then we would be getting the Painkillers of British steel who start breaking the law n stuff

      • André Snyde Lopes

        Upvoted before I read the comment. Because HMG.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      I don’t know, I have a feeling Steel Druhm likes Rush.

      • Old old Rush is okay. I don’t celebrate much of their catalog though.

        • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

          It might just be me, but I can easily make a mental picture of a gorilla wearing a Viking helmet playing air drums to “Tom Sawyer”.

    • Innit Bartender

      “Wimps” and “Rush” in the same sentence is so 80s. Don’t you know Rush are cool now? ;-P

  • toefisch

    I’m really happy to see the new Abbath album up there! I’ve been listening to it nonstop since it released and it gets better with every listen. Great article as always

  • Qiyamat a tawil

    Heard of Wildernessking through AMG, they’ve been my favourite atmospheric BM band since. The new album is insane, pre ordered instantly on vinyl and is as good as TWoGitS, if not better in my opinion. Haven’t checked out Abbath yet, but everything I’ve heard/read about it seems like it would be worth a listen.

  • Alexandre Barata

    New Abbath is as exciting as seeing chess in the TV while listening to an audio-book by Proust. But it looks cool as background so I won’t criticize your horrible choice.

    • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

      If those things in tandem are that good, the wonders of piracy and free streaming have given me an incredibly cheap new hobby!

    • If that audio-book is read by Ben Stein, I’d buy it.

      • Alexandre Barata

        I would prefer it read by Tom Waits. That growl-voice of his would make it that deeper!

        • Gilbert Gottfried might work too.

        • Dr. A.N. Grier

          Tom Waits could read a fucking book on quantum mechanics and I’d buy it.

      • Kronos

        Two words: David Attenborough.

    • Indeed. I’m contemplating changing my iPhone’s longtime wallpaper that is the cover art of “All Shall Fall” to it.

      • Iain Gleasure

        What is this!

        HE LIVES!

    • You worked a long time on that analogy. Obviously we disagree.

      • Alexandre Barata

        Nah analogies are my specialty! So we agree that we disagree, now back to the chess :)

  • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

    Tried super-hard getting into Wildernessking after you reprimanded me for saying it isn’t black metal because it doesn’t sound like Live in Leipzig, Mr. AMG Boss Sir. Tried it again, framed it as “atmospheric black metal”, and then realized that the best atmospheric black metal record of all time is actually Live in Leipzig. The atmosphere here wasn’t that of a small venue in Germany in 1990 so it left me cold again in the non black metally way.

    • That’s actually really funny because I was actually thinking to myself after I made my sort of reflexive smack down “Actually, it kind of has a production that’s quite similar to Live in Leipzig.” Except I’m pretty sure that Wildernessking had a larger crowd than Mayhem was when they recorded their album.

      • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

        I heard that somewhere Wildernessking had a huge studio audience that they had to mute because they kept laughing at the drummer’s awesome jokes about Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology between takes. If you listen to the vocals closely, you can hear someone yell “Phenomenal!” periodically in the background and the singer can hardly keep it together which is why the vocals don’t sound anything like Dead on Live in Leipzig. There’s also an outtake song where they just play that middle riff from Carnage for twenty minutes and it was going to be the dirtiest song on the album but they didn’t run with it for some reason.

        • Breaking out Husserl in the comment section. Are you sure you don’t share an office with me?

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            I do, but our hours are on different days. My area at the school is Continental Cultural History, where I write about watershed cultural events in German history like when Mayhem played a live show in Leipzig in 1990. Also, the administrators want me to let you know that I’ve been spoken to about drinking your apparently hidden “Coping with Undergrads” booze.

  • dduuurrrr dddduuuurrrr

    I still like Chthe’ilist significantly more than anything here, regardless of demilich cloning.

    • dduuurrrr dddduuuurrrr

      Anyone else listening to Pensées Nocturnes and The Howling Void? Both came out this month too and I like em a lot.

      • Feytalist

        Wait, there;s a new Howling Void out? Awesome. I really liked Nightfall.

    • You wot m8?

      Batushka has pretty much been on steady rotation for me ever since the review came out. So good.

      • sir_c

        Second that. Keeps coming back in the playlist.

    • Kronos

      I quite like the wildernessking record but find it odd that AMG likes that while constantly shitting on hope done. I maintain that he’s secretly a fan.

      • You wot m8?

        Secretly…

        • Kronos

          Joke’s on me because I answer to him.

      • Thatguy

        Thank you, Kronos. I didn’t like the sound of the Wildernessking at all.

        Hope Drone rule in this niche.

  • Reese Burns

    That opening paragraph is a pure fucking smackdown, holy crap.

  • Monsterth Goatom

    With Abbath sounding so much like Dagon, this has become a stand in for the next Inquisition album I’m eagerly awaiting. Good achievement in itself of course.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Abbath doesn’t sound like Dagon, Dagon sounds like Abbath.

      • bob

        ^^^^ THIS

  • Guillotine of Papal Crowns

    DAT GYGAX ALBUM… So fucking good.

    • Totally. I adore it.

    • Grymm

      Still gets heavy play on both my laptop and my slowly-dying phone.

  • You wot m8?

    For once, I actually 100% agree with all the ROTM picks. Huzzah!

    • Then I’ve most certainly done something wrong!

      • You wot m8?

        Fine then, I’ll say it…

        Chthe’ilist was better than Gygax. You happy now?

        • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

          Angry Metal Guy is never happy.

        • NO, you’re so wrong!

        • Kronos

          I’m not happy, but you aren’t wrong.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    That opening paragraph is full of arrogance and egocentrism. I love it. A subtitle referencing Yngwie J. Malmsteen and a dare to stop clicking the adds are the icing and the cherry on the cake.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Why is Abbath’s corpse paint ” black metal’s most famous corpse paint” ? Is it because its simplicity makes it instantly recognizable? Or is it because of Abbath?

    • Hulksteraus

      It’s Abbath, and it is also nicely symmetrical and leaves a feeling of PURE FUCKING BLIZZARD BEAST WINTER..

    • You wot m8?

      Little bit of both.

  • Oscar Albretsen

    Hexvessel and Serenity are my two albums of the month.

  • trevor

    It’s still January! Get this outta here!

    • Hulksteraus

      Not from the future. In the Future it is the 1st of February…. Says one from the Fuuuutuuureeerrrerrr…. (er Aus for those that don’t know where the future is).

  • Kronos

    Gotta say I’ve ended up liking Gomorrah more than Chthe’ilist.

    • Well, now my shot at you feels a little unnecessary. And here I’d put so much time into it.

      • Kronos

        Well, you can feel good that it’s still worth it when you hear that I don’t see a big difference between the Wildernessking record and ‘Cloak of Ash.’ Except ‘Cloak of Ash’ doesn’t sound like it was recorded inside of a detention level trash compactor.

    • Tom Hardy

      Murwgebeukt over everything released in Jan.

  • madhare

    First he goes like

    What’s going to be new with the Record(s) o’ the Month in 2016? Well, pretty much nothing.

    And then he posts ROTM like a month earlier than usual!! It’s not even February yet! Appalling misdirection, I say.

    • He also picked the biggest name granting an AMG bump to someone who didn’t need it. But that’s ok, I mean, we can’t be trve if our favorite bands get popular now can we?

    • [not a Dr]

      It’s just a front for the December ROTM.
      Which is late.

  • tomasjacobi

    The Gomorrah album is very good, but for me Chthe’ilist blows everything else away. I can’t imagine how any death metal is going to top that this year.

    • Kronos

      Well, get ready, because there’s going to be some stiff competition; this year’s death metal release schedule is fucking overloaded. Compiling a brief list, we have:
      Dark Tranquillity, Gorguts, Wormed, Cryptopsy, Ulcerate, Abominable Putridity, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Obscura, Entombed, Amon Amarth, Wretched… the list probably goes on and on. It’s probably going to be a monster of a year for the genre.

      • tomasjacobi

        I’m really looking forward to the new Wormed!

        • Kronos

          As am I. That’s without a doubt the most anticipated album in my near future. If you like wormed, you should check out the last abominable putridity album. Tightly written slam.

          • tomasjacobi

            I’ll give it a listen, but I’m actually not crazy about the genre. It’s just that Exodromos is so damn good that it doesn’t matter what (sub)genre it is :-)

          • Luke_22

            I’m very hit or miss when it comes to slam, but it sure hits the spot when done right, especially when it has a strong technical bent. Wormed are operating at a whole new level, stoked for the new album. Also Artificial Brain should hopefully have an album out this year. Revocation are so damn fun and consistent, one of my favourite modern bands for sure.

          • Kronos

            New Artificial Brain confirmed? That’s good news. Gargiulo is going to be a busy man.

          • Luke_22

            Yeah I’m sure I read something recently suggesting so. Though it may not happen until later in the year. Back on the subject of slam, what do you think of the most recent albums from Katalepsy and Saprogenic Kronos? Both great examples of the style imo.

          • Kronos

            Haven’t had time to listen to them. Like you, I hate most slam so I don’t make a whole lot of time for it in my listening schedule.

          • Kronos

            I just revisited “Expanding Toward Collapsed Lungs” and I remembered why I don’t remember it. It’s good slam, but not great slam.

      • Kronos

        Also, Revocation and Meshuggah. Almost forgot about Revocation since they missed putting out their yearly LP in 2015.

      • Alexandre Barata

        Gorguts and Wormed ftw!! But we still might be surprised by any new great german band, as Germany as spawned some of the most impressive DM in the last couple of years

        • Kronos

          Care to share?

          • Alexandre Barata

            Oh I don’t know anything, but as in the last years we’ve been bombed by some great german albums (Sulphur Aeon, Chapel of Disease, Revel In Flesh, just to say some of them) I’m curious to see if zee germans keep on surprising me this year :)

      • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

        There’s Ruinous, which has members of Disma and Incantation so there’s no way that isn’t going to be killer.

      • Monsterth Goatom

        New Obscura! That got my attention.

  • WhamBamSam

    Speaking of frilly prog, did you guys not get a promo from Dream Theater, or is it just that no one’s made it through The Astonishing a full 5 times yet?

    Apart from the Gygax none of this is really my thing. I liked Gomorrah the least out of those three Death Metal records to be honest. I do wish the Chthe’ilist sounded a little clearer out of my car stereo though. Also Avantasia’s n-cheese blend turned out pretty tasty this time around. Let the Jorn descend upon you, AMG.

    • Kronos

      No promo. Also nobody here hates the other writers enough to make them listen to that for a late review.

      • WhamBamSam

        Fair enough. I was going to buy the album and give it enough rope to hang itself either way. I was casually interested in reading an opinion though, since for good or ill, DT is an institution.

        • Alexandre Barata

          Those 10 minute drum solos… I can’t think of a band that annoys me more than DT. And I’m including Babymetal in that list

          • WhamBamSam

            I’m a pretty big Dream Theater fan, though I’m not always sure why. The 3 minutes of sad piano in “The Count of Tuscany” would have been unforgivable for just about any other band, but somehow it just made me love them more. To me they aren’t just a wanky, pretentious prog band, they’re *the* wanky, pretentious prog band.

            That’s also roughly analogous to my feelings on Bullet for My Valentine though, which should be all that anyone needs to dismiss my opinion.

          • MelbCro

            what 10 minute drum solos? Think you are confused buddy

          • Alexandre Barata

            Never in studio, that would be even more boring. Only live, they can waste so many time when Mike “I have a Drumkit, look at me” Portnoy decided.

          • MelbCro

            Portnoy hasn’t been in the band for 6 years. Anyway I’ve seen them live 3 times during the Portnoy years, never saw a 10 minute drum solo.

          • Alexandre Barata

            Please, if youtube has something is his 10 minute solos…

          • MelbCro

            So you are telling me what I saw at the three concerts I attended? Fascinating, please tell me more.

          • Alexandre Barata

            Whatever, this conversation is actually as boring and jerk off as Dream Theater. Have a nice day sir

          • MelbCro

            That’s cool dude, I’d be upset too if I was caught out talking shit. Cheers.

  • Yay black metal! I actually thought Spektr’s album was the most interesting release this month in the genre. Like a cyborg Abbath invading earth.

  • André Snyde Lopes

    ROTM before the month ends? WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH AMG?

  • William Hebblewhite

    I expected Haruspex to take this to be honest. I feel it is a much stronger album; but I guess this is what happens when you live in a Dictatorship

  • 1 Screaming Dizbuster

    I vote this for album cover of the month (December) it would have been an awesome background. The music kicked ass too. Damn December releases!!

  • Luke_22

    I’ve been a slack arse through January and haven’t checked out many releases yet, aside from Abbath and my review assignments. Still listening to shit i missed, overlooked or really liked from 2015. By all accounts it was a much better than average start to the year, so I need to pull my shit together and catch up. Can’t fucking wait for new Fleshgod and Obscura to drop in Feb though.

  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    Not gonna lie, clicking on the site and having massive Abbath staring me dead in the face made me wee a little

    • Dethjesta

      It’s a fitting background as it screams (well frowns) both Angry and Metal.

      • AlphaBetaFoxface

        Spot on. I was opposed initially but I can appreciate it’s accurate representation of this website

    • sir_c

      must say it looks pretty stunning in 4K :-)

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    How good is ABBATH’s head when it’s split in half!
    Demonaz I’m sure would agree … that this is indeed a killer album…
    Not much has got me excited so far in 2016 but this has. A most worthy and righteous RotM.
    So far I’ve enjoyed Borknagar, Ravensire and Hexvessel and Im keen to check out “Chth’l’lizeawwhatever” and Cygax. But I’d be confident to say that this year, ABBATH is the top dog by a country mile.

    For the last couple of months when choosing music, I’ve been going back and checking out some albums either from AMG EOY lists or that I did’t give enough time to. One I think that seems to have slipped a bit under the radar and even been underrated, was Keep of Kalessin’s “Epistemology”. If you missed it or didn’t dig in, go back and check it out.
    Its a highly entertaining album and probably my favourite album for January.

    • Hulksteraus

      Yeah, instantly shelled out for Abbath and Borknagar (after the Winters Thrice vid, how could you not…). This may be a year of draining my wallet if the quality of Jan plays out through the year…

  • Irineu Carvalho

    No Megadeth review?

    • We didn’t get the promo so it will come this week most likely.

  • Dan

    I love this album too, but I’m gonna go out on probably an unpopular limb and say Dream Theater was the best record in Jan. It’s an amazing piece of work

  • madhare

    New year and new starts. Yes. Interestingly, I am expecting good music much more from 2016 than the previous year.

    Sure, last year we were waiting for the new Blind Guardian, Iron Maiden, etc. classics drop. But those bands are kind of have-beens, so I wasn’t expecting much from them. So the greatest music for me in 2015 were mostly fairly new acquaintances.

    2016 is going to see new releases from several bands which I consider to be close to their creative peaks. Omnium Gatherum in February. Moonsorrow in April. Even Crimfall seems to be coming out from their slumber and have announced that their third album will be “mixed in April”.

    …or it might be a year full of huge disappointments.

  • Blueberry Balls

    Everything listed here is great. its like boobs, but not boobs.

  • Óðinn

    That Batushka album is good.