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!
Immolation // 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 the 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!
Quest 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.