Summer is a time when thoughts inevitably turn to love, sun worshipping, cold beers and good friends. Maybe that’s why the AMG staff was so egregiously delinquent with their Record(s) o’ the Month selections for June. More likely is because they’re all a bunch of slack-jawed yokels1 with the work ethic of an entitled Siamese cat. I’m certainly not looking to point fingers since that kind of blamestorming is juvenile and unproductive, but all the writers share the blame except me. Now that we have that negativity out in the open, maybe we can move on like the mature music journalists we are,  put this whole thing behind us and get the July post ready before the September deadline. Place yer bets!

Goatsnake Band 01

It took almost 15 years to deliver, but the boys from Goatsnake dropped a righteous doom bomb on the faithful with Black Age Blues, taking their southern fried swagger into the modern era and making it work by sheer force of riff. Excellent song craft, powerful performances and a strangely festive atmosphere make the music sound like a deep south church revival mixed with a rowdy funeral, and the audio moonshine (and monkeyshine) just flows and flows. If you miss the salad days of Down and Crowbar, your riverboat just came in with a cargo of bourbon and BBQ. One of the best albums of the year and one of the most addicting doom platters ever.

Runner(s) Up:

Night Flight Orchestra – Skyline Whispers 01Night Flight Orchestra // Skyline Whispers – With a title ripped from a trashy romance novella available at supermarket checkout stands, Night Flight Orchestra is clearly playing fast and loose with standard metal conventions. In fact, they eschew them entirely in favor of gloriously cheesy and plastic sounding 80s rock. And that’s the beauty of this musical lark made up of members from Soilwork and Arch Enemy: they’re doing what they want and having fun at it, unconcerned if anyone else gets the joke. And it’s hard to resist these “Survivor meets Journey at a disco in 1984″ slices of 80s silliness because they’re too damn good! Guilty pleasures live here.

Shape-of-Despair_Monotony FieldsShape of Despair // Monotony Fields – Funeral doom is like that dog at the back of the shelter that’s a little…tough to love. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but great for a patient owner who can deal with personality issues. But Shape of Despair aims to make the adoption process much easier by cramming their slow motion depression with beautiful and haunting harmonies and leads. Taking the best elements from acts like Swallow the Sun and Saturnus, this is funeral doom for the masses, and while it’s still slow, it’s a palatable slowness that sinks in deep and makes you believe.

The staff is now on the clock.

Show 1 footnote

  1. “Some folk’ll never eat a skunk.. then again some folk’ll, like the angry metal yokelllls!”
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  • brutal_sushi

    I have been listening to the new Shape of Despair non-stop.

    • hardysponge

      Me too! Since the nice double vinyl arrived it is also easier to slice this 70minutes chunk into smaller slices.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    Mmmmm doomy, i want to say you’ve missed something but I can’t think of it…

  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    Wait, what month are we in? I’d like to say AMG’s monthly best-of lists don’t act as my calendar but this probably explains why I missed my mum’s birthday. And got fired. And was just evicted.

    I might just invest in a calendar

  • Nice. For me june was all about Abyssal and Vattnet Viskar I guess. And bits of False and Vanum. But this selection is nice and doomy. I like it.

    • AlphaBetaFoxface

      If you liked Vattnet Viskar’s new release, check out ARCHIVIST. Their new LP (self titled) is completely free on Bandcamp and worth the listen! And this is a very nice selection. Nice to see more doom on this site!

      • Hey this is nice stuff, thanks for the rec, man!

        To return the favor, if yóu like those bands, too, you might like The Clearing Path. I absolutely love it – one of my albums of the year already. https://avantgardemusic.bandcamp.com/album/watershed-between-earth-and-firmament

        • AlphaBetaFoxface

          Dude, this is pretty nuts! Upon a few more listens, this could be in my end of year list, loving the vibes! Thanks dude!

        • Monsterth Goatom

          Me likum big time, too. Thanks. Reminds me a bit of…. If I said “Deafheaven”, would you hold it against me?

          I’ve added it to Kronos’ Bandcamp Corner on the forum.

    • Grymm

      Vattnet Viskar was my pick, personally.

      But still a good month for releases!

      • Monsterth Goatom

        I listened to Vattnet Viskar again last night, and, as you said in your review, the production is miserable. I’m not a drummer, but the only clear sound I hear is Seamus hitting one of the Toms (I think). Everything else is muffled. Kind of like he was banging on a toy drum. But the music… man, it’s good.

  • Dr. A.N. Grier

    “Yokel” is not the worst thing I’ve been called. Besides, I am not seeing my voted album here… Blasphemy!!!!

    • Tentacles

      “Voted album”? I thought site this was an autocracy ruled by the iron fist of AMG?

      • Dr. A.N. Grier

        Exactly. As you can see…

        I will tear this place apart from the inside out. Starting with HR.

        • Report to HR.

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            Well, well, well… I’ve been waiting for you!

  • Monsterth Goatom

    Skyline Whispers has become my soundtrack for the Summer.

    • Beau Kemp

      Same here. Love it!

  • Tom Hardy

    The new Abyssal and Shape of Despair stood out.

    • Garak

      It’s all about that new Abyssal. And somewhat less about Sunset in the 12th House and Lucifer.

  • Kronos

    This July has been the best month I have seen in my admittedly brief tenure at this site. I reviewed like 5 albums and didn’t give out a single bad score. It’s been raining 4s and above and that AotM post is going to be a bloodbath.

  • Celaeno

    This one surprised me a bit, although I loved Black Age Blues, so maybe not too much. Shape of Despair and Night Flight Orchestra are DEFINITELY up there. Only thing missing is a little Arcturian! Now I will spend my day listening to all of these again. o/

    • Pimpolho

      Check last month’s Rotm post, friend. Arcturian is there.

      • Celaeno

        Yeah, you know, I think I even commented on last month’s ROTM. Don’t mind me, my brains are just scrambled lol

  • Oscar Albretsen

    Good choice for album of the month. Woulda been happy to see Failure – “The Heart is a Monster” get mentioned, too.

    • Celaeno

      Hear, hear

  • Tentacles

    Wow! I didn’t think Goatsnake would actually make it to the top spot.

    After I was so enthusiastic in the review comments I started to think that maybe it wouldn’t have the required staying power, although I’m certainly still digging it. Need to spend more time with Shape of Despair too. 2015 is throwing up some real humdinggers for doom fans.

  • Shape of Despair, definitely. Fitting, since I tend not to remember June too clearly because Exam Month of Eternal Suffering.

  • OzanCan

    I’d never heard the Goatsnake before until I stumbled upon the review, it was a great find. Thanx AMG m/

  • This cd makes me want to fondle myself uncontrollably.

  • Kronos

    This is a very Steel Druhm list.

  • Kees van Laarhoven

    I don’t hear much doom on this record of the month… this is a dissapointing release. Sounds just as Gov’t Mule or Radio Moscow… old…