July was a crazy month here at Angry Metal Guy studios. Not only did we have our best day ever (again), but we all agreed on what should be the Record o’ the Month for the first time in a very, very long time. There was little self-flagellation or—as the case usually is—n00b-flagellation. Instead, we all gathered around the fact that Angry Metal Guy‘s word is law. It’s nice when that’s the case, it makes a guy want to post the Record(s) o’ the Month a mite earlier than usual.

Trials - This Ruined World

Trials‘ This Ruined World was the clear winner, even after Dr. Fisting removed his finger from the scale. This record blew us all away, and if you’ll check the comments over on the review, we’re not alone. What makes This Ruined World so special is, well, basically everything: it’s that sweet blend of Metallica riffs filtered through a love of Carcass and a heavy dose of Morbid Angel riffs to top it off. But why gush here, when I gushed so well in my review? “The songs on here are razor sharp,” I wrote lustily, “tightly edited, written to be dense, technical, and immense—and it’s the balance Trials strikes between throbbing intensity, harmony, dissonance and a fine understanding of dynamics in all the right places which makes this album stand out. I don’t know if these guys are harbingers of a new wave of metal that’s unapologetically interested in cutting the bullshit and writing great songs, or if they’re just a fluke in a wave of stoned kids with bell bottoms and bad mustaches.” But This Ruined World is the real deal, and Trials is a band to watch.

Too bad the art is going to make the website look like we shop for clothes on Amazon.

Runner(s) up: 

Alustrium_A Tunnel to EdenAlustrium // A Tunnel to Eden: Is atheism the new Asatru in metal? Will I have to wear a Flying Spaghetti Monster pendant? I sure hope so, and if so, Alustrium would not only be an excellent progressive death metal band, but also they’d be trend-setters! Regardless, there ain’t much to hate about A Tunnel to Eden: it’s fun to listen to, technically interesting, throbbing with energy, it gorgeous cover art and guitar gymnastics galore. Kronos, who spent the whole month drooling all over his keyboard, put his tongue back in his mouth and got cleaned up long enough to write that  A Tunnel to Eden “may very well be 2015’s best prog-death album, and Alustrium the best up-and-coming ‘traditional’ progressive death metal band  in years. The band are obviously fantastic writers and performers, and A Tunnel to Eden is truly epic and inspired.” And sure, his 4.5 reviews are a dime a dozen these days, but he can’t always be wrong.

Khemmis - AbsolutionKhemmis // Absolution: Sure, Steely D gives every retro-doom record that lands on his very large and very metal desk a 4/5. But now that he’s got this gun to my head, I think I agree with him that Khemmis is a special case. With its throbbing Kyuss riffs and stellar vocalist, these guys manage to make 42 minutes feel like just 40 minutes. And even if they are wearing bell bottoms and are likely pretty stoned, Absolution shines, and Druhm has a theory why: “This is one polished humdinger of a debut and it’s travelling like a bullet up my Records o’ the Year list. I can’t stop spinning it, and if this is what legalized marijuana delivers, then I hope Colorado (and by extension, Khemmis) never emerge from their Rocky Mountain haze.”

The only downside of Absolution is that the lady on the front of this album most likely died very painfully after she finished posing for it because she forgot her armor at home.