Yes, this is a bit late, but we were so bitter, we just couldn’t rouse ourselves to do our AMG duty to you, the readers. You see, 2013 is fast becoming a remorseless factory of sadness [Sadness Factory™ is a registered trademark of Angry Metal Guy Inc.], with major release after major release disappointing or underwhelming (and sometimes flat-out sucking). While this trend is alarming and disturbing, let not your heart be troubled, for even in the most rancid of compost heaps, treasures can be found if one digs deep enough. However, it seems we will be relying on the lesser known and in some cases, completely unheralded acts to bail our collective fat out of the proverbial fire this year, and no month demonstrates that better than May.


The Record o’ the Month for May is the surprising rebirth by NWoBHM rockers Satan. Though these chaps have been knocking around since the late 70s and had some solid and influential early output, nobody was expecting the high level ass kickery Life Sentence  provides. Sounding as if it burst right out of 1982, Life Sentence is full of engaging, old timey riffing and top-notch vocals that take the listener back to the formative days of Saxon, Maiden and Diamond Head. Catchy writing and a slick style rule the day and although it’s another retro, throwback to the past, it’s so damn good, you can forgive the lack of originality and innovation. Sometimes a good metal album is just a good metal album, so enjoy it, you snobs!

Honorable Mentions:

immolationkingdomImmolation // Kingdom of Conspiracy – Beating the trend of lackluster 2013 releases as soundly as they beat the listener, Immolation returned with more predictably savage death metal while maintaining their high level of output. There’s nothing new with their approach, but the classic Immolation sound still rings true and the musical proficiency is top flight and never gets too techy or wanky. As reliable as a band gets, these guys bring the swarming, suffocating death with the best of them.

Joel Grind // The Yellowgoat Sessions – In what appears to be a one-off project for theJoel-Grind-The-Yellowgoat-Sessions mastermind behind Toxic Holocaust, Mr. Grind unleashes a furious, blackened thrash attack designed to pay unholy homage to Bathory, Celtic Frost and the Dark Lord Himself (oh, and goats too). It’s simplistic and old school, but the song writing kills and the man knows how to write a thrash anthem that tears right into your heart. I love a good one man band!

Misanthropic Propaganda CoverQuest of Aidance // Misanthropic Propaganda – A rare super-group success story, Quest of Aidance features members from various death and grind bands and together they strive for a technical, yet brutal sound as the rock a concept album based on the cult 1980s TV show V. If that doesn’t have you intrigued, you’re a weirdo.

  • André Snyde Lopes

    “late 70s”, “right out of 1982” “old timey” “retro, throwback to the past” “nothing new” “classic” “old school” “cult 1980s TV show”

    I think I’m recognising a pattern here…

    In all seriousness, that Satan record is fucking awesome. Same is true for Immolation, who managed to escape the “dissapointing albums by well established acts” curse of 2013.

  • Garksa

    Major releases may have been weak but it’s not like there’s been a shortage of good stuff in 2013.

    I rarely like throwback metal of any type, but Life Sentence is great. Genuinely surprised by it.

    • Mike Eckman

      I agree 100%. Its so hard to enjoy anything throwback or retro. Even the bands who nail it perfectly, Id rather listen to the original stuff, than a new band duplicating the sound perfectly. But in this case, Life Sentence is the rare combination of nailing a classic sound and still being interesting enough to enjoy as a new release!

  • Игорь Чернов

    oh my freaking GOD, thanks DIABOLIC we almost waited a record of the month it’s a.. wait.. it’s.. OH MY DAMNED BRAIN – INSTANTLY IT’S A SATAN, here is a twist..
    really i waited soooooo loooong, and here we are, on the best albums i hear in this boooring year, so cool, old fags satan come back from gates of hell, and give some real deal, in this post modern shit age.

    also: my favorite song – tears of blood, great riff, cool band, right choice – angry HARRRR!!!1

    • I think he’s happy….

      • Игорь Чернов

        who? I?! emm.. it’s just like a feeling.. when somebody in this universe, have a same point of view, a same taste, of music, and i have really great pleasure when, angry metal buddy, call a album of the year – Sabaton band, i just glad to see meeting of very qualified guys, in metal (and i hope in other genres of music..)

        Angry = best!

  • Mike Eckman

    Great pick for May. I have enjoyed Life Sentence immensely after reading about it here. This is definitely something I would have never considered checking out had it not been for this site.

    And finally, a record of the month for 2013 with a cool cover! 2013 is not only the year of mediocrity and disappointment, but also the year of terrible coverart!

  • Slammin Rushdie

    You waited so long because you didn’t want to take down the Ocean cover and replace it with a cheesy NWOBHM one, didn’t you? It’s all good, no worries.

  • hubcapiv

    After buying it on your original recommendation, I just listened to Life Sentence for the first time today. Nice pick!

  • There’s been some good stuff released this year — no home runs perhaps but we still got time. I will admit to being slightly disappointed in the newest Avantasia record, I’m not finding myself going back to it and that’s a shame. On the other hand, some bands that I had thought myself losing interest in the past have come back to grab my full attention with new albums so eh, lose some win some.

  • nunka

    You know, it’s technically not cheating if you bump Omega Arcane to May. I mean, it *was* released in May, despite the review date. Just dooo it. We’ll look the other way and pretend this never happened!

  • MeatWolf

    2013 is doing fine as of now, though I can’t say there are many great things I anticipate. Maybe it doesn’t have a lot of stellar things but quality stuff it does have a lot. Though there’s a masterpiece already and that’s Amorphis. Omnium Gatherum, Shade Empire, Soilwork and Masterplan are very good as well.

    And also there’s that wonderful Àrsaidh record.

  • Anders Von Hibbert

    Wow Satan deserves that top spot. Even with consistent bands releasing great albums this year/month, Life Sentence is amazingly fresh and new. 2013 has been surprisingly great.

  • Barry Neilson

    Was really surprised to see Quest of Aidance mentioned on here. Beast of an album. I am a bit of a Christian Alvestam fan boy, and that guy just seems to be able to write in so many different styles. Plus, any band that records a video for a song that is less than 50 seconds long is a winner (Anyx).

  • Satan was one of the really unexpected triumphs of 2013. Also I can assess that this is a great gateway album, many non-metal acquaintances have loved this so much they have been open to hear some other metal stuff I have to peddle.

  • Wemund Eriksen

    I think Leprous-Coal should have a honorable mention. ;)

  • swlong

    Sort of off topic, but I’ve been thinking about buying a nice pair of headphones and was wondering if anyone has any recommendations. Preferably not more than about $300 and something that is particularly good for metal. Thanks in advance!

    • Kalsten

      Grados SR225i are a very good headphones for rock/metal, but they do not isolate from the environment, so people will hear your music without problem. Therefore, I only see them useful at home.

      I also have Ultrasone HFI-780, which are closed, to play music in my office without bother anyone around, and they are good enough for metal, but I don’t see that they are killers as Grados. However, with a good amount of burning-in (getting used to their sound) make then a very good all-round headphones too.

  • Kalsten

    Why is there no change of background this time?