July has actually been a bit of a strange month. While every other month of the year has had some really amazing releases and it’s been difficult to choose, the competition was a little weirder this month. There wasn’t really anything that destroyed anything else—instead, the highest score that we gave out during July was a 4.0. It was also weird, because we reviewed up-and-coming vest metal rockstars Castle who, at least Steel Druhm and I, agreed deserved recognition. But since the record was not released in July, it was not eligible.

All that notwithstanding, the Record o’ the Month goes to Testament‘s new slab o’ thrash metal Dark Roots of Earth. You already probably read Mr. Druhm’s review, so I thought I’d just add my thoughts to the mix: Alex Motherfucking Skolnick. Seriously, the guitar solos on that record are really what pushes it over the edge for me. While some of the vocals are a little cringe worthy, and some of the songs are a tad slow—I kept coming back to the Dark Roots of Earth for Alex’s guitar work. Stellar.

Testament - Dark Roots of Earth

Runners Up: 

Vindicator - United We FallVindicator // United We Fall – Far be it from me to only bombard you with thrash metal hits for July, but we did get a shit ton of thrash metal in July. Running up after Testament (not so bad playing second fiddle to one of the greats) is Vindicator‘s excellent new thrashterpiece. This shit is a riff a kick ass thrash attack that will rock you guaranteed. WTF are you waiting for? Get this record already!

Father Befouled - Revulsion of Seraphic GraceFather Befouled // Revulsion of Seraphic Grace – Since we never review death metal, this probably came as a surprise to many of you, but the new Father Befouled is a rather beastly, creepy record that we all fucking loved. Seriously, if you’re into gritty, nasty death metal this is your shit. Consume, consume, consume my pretties!

Zonaria - Arrival of the Red SunZonaria // Arrival of the Red Sun – This is probably one of the least expected on my list. I hadn’t thought when I got that Zonaria record that I was even really going to think it was super, but man… it just crawled under my skin. I recommend you check it out if you’re into classic Swedish melodeath. It’s great and I expect better from these guys in the fuckin’ future.

Castle // Blacklands – Last, but certainly not least, we have the new Castle record that actually came out in April. So, fuck. But still, if you’re a budding vest metal fan, you should check these guys out because they do it right. Old school, but not moldy. Dig it, cool cat.