Another year, another 12 chances to get the Record(s) o’ the Month in on time. Sure, it’s January, the time for fresh starts. And sure, this is on time. But don’t lose hope, not only will I continue to troll you by having excellent taste as compared to your banal, trendy, and/or pretentious opinions, but I will continue to be arbitrarily late and inconsiderate of groupthink when I choose my Record(s) o’ the Month.

Fully expect that 2018 will be more of the same. My resolution is that you should suffer more. More suffering, gnashing of teeth, wearing of sackcloth and ritual self-harm in the comments section is precisely what I need to keep this blog up and running. Because I’m going to level with you: I love it. I suck down every sweet, Trve Gvy tear. They sate my appetites and fill me with a warm sense of contentedness. They also confirm my status as a superior being, here above the plebeians who simply read this blog, while I write it! I am a unique island of independent-mindedness. I am an individual who has pulled himself up by his bootstraps. I am truly unique! Free of influence from anywhere! I spit in the face of consensus! I think thoughts that no one has ever thought before! I read Nietzsche! Something something Dasein!

Right, so yeah… anyway, here’s your Record(s) o’ the Month for January 2018. Enjoy of deep sweaty back and man bun for another month, crybabies.

EDIT: Obviously I wasn’t planning on leaving a joke cover up for the whole month. Y’all need to lighten up.

Hamferð - Támsins likam

Hamferð starts off 2018 with what is easily one of the best records I’ve heard in the last two years.1 Deep, brutal and thoughtful, Támsins likam (displayed here with its beautiful limited edition original cover, I hope you were able to get your hands on a copy!) is a true triumph. These Faeresians Faeroesians? Faeroeites? Faeroeinians fine gentlemen from the Faeroe Islands crafted an album that feels like attention was paid to every detail. Everything works perfectly to crush the listener; leaving one rooted to the floor. The band’s fastidious approach helps to make Támsins likam feel enormous, and the music shines through. Few albums are as crushing, as delicate, and as beautiful as this one, and Hamferð is tremendously talented and promising. As I gushed in my review, Támsins likam “exudes depth, intensity, loss and sadness. [And while] I can wax poetic about Aldará’s voice, the stellar musicianship, or the artful composition, Támsins likam is an album that should simply be allowed to speak for itself.” I fully expect this one to be something I return to again at the end of the year.

Runners Up

Tribulation // Down Below — I have not dug through the comments yet, but I suspect that Down Below will be a controversial record. It is, of course, the continuation of the band down the path that many metal bands find themselves as they mature (age): toward something less extreme. Something guys in comments sections will decry for its character as “commercial,” and the band for “selling out.” It’s a shame, really, because Down Below is easily my favorite Tribulation yet. With its run-time down and its song-writing tightened up, Tribulation demonstrate their talent and chops without a doubt and come out on the other side with something that feels distinctly their own. Dr. Fisting and I couldn’t agree more on this one, “Down Below is one of those rare instances where a band manages to transcend their influences and their own back catalog, and come out stronger as a result.”

Orphaned Land - Unsung Prophets & Dead MessiahsOrphaned Land // Unsung Prophets & Dead MessiahsUnsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs is an album that may have some trouble living up to its predecessors, but it is a great album nonetheless. The bar for Orphaned Land is still quite high, and the longer I spend with Unsung Prophets… the more I like it. I was particularly struck when Kobi said it was a “protest album about humanity.” This insight helped me to find the core of Unsung Prophets… and to start to love it. As I wrote in my review, “At their best, Orphaned Land is one of the most exciting bands in metal, and this album shows them near their best.” And while to some that might seem like a backhanded compliment, it isn’t. Not every record can be an era-defining masterpiece, but Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs does need that to be a great record.

Show 1 footnote

  1. Also, interestingly enough, both of my RotM’s from January in 2018 and 2017 were produced at the same studio.