November was sure to be a much easier month to sift through than October, which was outright ridiculous. Of course it had its share of standouts, but most of the AMG intelligentsia was in agreement where the November crown should be placed. Since this is such a rare occurrence, we were able to render a timely posting, which is in itself quite rare. We are about to enter the dreaded month of December (also known as the Season of Good Cheer etc. etc.) where labels seek to dump the offal, awful and regrettable product left in their storehouses, so now would be a good time to stoke the fire, sip some fine spirits, bask in the quality of the esteemed platters below and be thankful.

dark-tranquillity_atoma

Given our runner(s) up, this is going to get flamed so hard, but once again the Angry Metal Scandinavian Bias™ strikes. My bias aside, it helps that Dark Tranquillity delivered their best album since Projector and what may shape up to be one of my favorite albums by them ever. But it’s Projector that Atoma reminds me of most. This album is thoughtful and reflective, but it sports razor hooks. 2016’s ‘grown up’ incarnation of DT has finally balanced their Depeche Mode side with the Gothenburg sound that drove them to worldwide success, and that defines this album. Every song for 50 minutes is strong (though “Faithless by Default” is my fav), and it says something that the bonus tracks—which would have pushed the album up to nearly an hour—have essentially become part of the record when I listen to it. Atoma adroitly balances the morose, the reflective, and Stanne’s reedy vocals and simple, but insightful, lyrics to place an exclamation point on 2016. As Steel Druhm summed it up: “Atoma is the most definitive statement on the health and vitality of melo-death in a long while and one of the best moments in Dark Tranquillity‘s lengthy career. It’s also one of the year’s best releases and one you should not miss.” [AMG]

Runner(s) Up:

saor-guardiansSaor // Guardians – Andy Marshall’s brand of blackened folk has been gathering ardent followers at an accelerating rate, and Guardians is going to keep that momentum rolling in his favor. Taking the Moonsorrow approach of crafting long, folk-intensive blackened tapestries loaded with emotion, Saor keeps things epic and also highly engaging. Featuring instrumentation beyond what most bands are capable of, from the fiddles, strings or bagpipes, everything is integrated superbly and seamlessly. Though the songs are lengthy, they never feel dull and many get better as they go along. It drove our resident fanboy El Cuervo to the verge of sedition: “Your heart will soar, wrench and swell as the album flows and it’s truly one of the most emotive things I’ve heard this year. It’s just so epic. Guardians has something which will make even the most cricket-playing, Pimms-drinking, colony-acquiring Englishman rip his trousers into a kilt and cry for the blood of the South.”

WitcheryWitchery // In His Infernal Majesty’s ServiceWitchery has become a bit of an enigma over the years, part gimmick, part serious act. Regardless of your stance on the band, it’s tough to deny the thrashy charm of In His Majesty’s Infernal Service. Their usual blackened thrash sounds more vicious and with the addition of Nekrokraft frontman Angus Norder, this sounds like a whole new rabid beast with nasty riffs piled on nasty riffs. Lord Lucan summed it up best: “…everything combines to create a record that sounds heavier than the sun, without at any point losing its distinctive character or descending into an all-out wall of noise.”

 

 

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  • Dr. Wvrm

    Somewhere, El Cuervo is applying war paint and drinking his mid-afternoon, pre-battle, post-nap cup of tea.

    • El_Cuervo

      It’s lunchtime here so I’m actually tucking into my haggis.

      • Dr. Wvrm

        “tucking into my haggis”

        Nothing about that statement registers as English to me.

        • Sounds like something that would get you arrested in New York.

          • Carlos Marrickvillian

            #grabembythehaggis

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            At first I read it as “fucking into my haggis” which most likely would get you arrested somewhere.

          • GardensTale

            A Scottish American Pie remake: “Scottish Haggis: Under the Kilt”

          • jetblindracos

            Me too!

        • El_Cuervo

          “tucking into” is a very English phrase. The haggis not so much.

      • Dethjesta

        Love Haggis. Sadly It’s impossible to get good Haggis in the south of England.

        • Monsterth Goatom

          Good with a dram of Highland Park 12.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    Hard to argue but fuck it I will…. Actually no I won’t, not when your throwing more cricket references out there…
    Would’ve been SAOR for me it’s got more layers, dimensions and epic grandness…
    Though despite this and the fact that Atoma sounds at moments like it could be from the Erovision song contest It is an excellent album.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      I think the ending melody on Guardians’ last song has to be one of the most beautiful things I’ve heard in metal.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      I keep missing the crickets! Those pesky chirping bugs! ;)

  • Diego Molero

    Guardians is my pick, is just better than Atoma, is simply superb. Plus, the site would look awesome with that artwork as the background.

  • Monsterth Goatom

    Awesome selections. Atoma continues to impress me with every listen. Bonus tracks can be hit or miss: disposable on Anaal Nathrakh’s latest, but stellar additions on Amorphis’ Under the Red Cloud.

    • Diego Molero

      I like the bonus tracks on Anaal Nathrakh’s latest album. They aren’t great or anything, but they are fun, I like them.

      • Monsterth Goatom

        Fun, granted, but I mostly skip them now. The Specials cover gets annoying with the repeated “Nuclear Attack” phrase, at least for me.

        • Diego Molero

          Yeah, I give you that, it is an annoying phrase. The cover of “Powerslave” is way better.

    • Reese Burns

      I fully agree. I couldn’t believe Winter’s Sleep didn’t make it onto the record proper! That song absolutely floored me when I first heard it.

  • Eddy Ferreira

    Saor is my pick not saying Atoma sucks, but it is Legions better than Atoma and just does it for me, I picked it up and have not been able to put it down.

  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    On one hand, you have possibly the best folk metal release of 2016, on the other, you have a good Dark Tranquility album.

    Something doesn’t add up.

    • Kronos

      Folk metal sux.

      • Reese Burns

        I.. I don’t understand..

      • AlphaBetaFoxface

        Ack. My sensibilities. You uncultured swine. I ought to clock you with a mandolin. Kids these days.

      • Dymanic

        There may be a lot of swill in the folk metal sphere..

        But melo-death? Holy moly. Coma-inducing, mid-tempo quicksand with trite melodies over boring riffs and seemingly more in common with Evanescence than Carcass. I don’t get it.

        For me, Atoma may be slightly above average for the genre. Slightly.

        Is this the best melo-death has to offer? Listening suggestions welcome.

        • Shawn Cypher

          I haven’t heard Atoma yet, but “The Gallery” by Dark Tranquillity is one of my top ten albums of all time. (I’d also recommend and “Projector” and “Haven”)

          Other than that, the typical In Flames.

          I don’t know .. is Sylosis considered Melo-death? “Dormant Heart” was pretty good.

        • Kronos

          In general, Dark Tranquility is the best melodeath out there. I’m totally with you that the genre is overplayed and not the most innovative or there. Ever since Soilwork came along it has been flooded with imitators. There are some real gems out there. Haven’t heard the new Insomnium but my colleagues here tell me it’s quite the record.

        • Gage

          Melodeath typically IS garbage, and I don’t understand why people love DT. But Be’Lakor and Insomnium are quite good.

          • basshole

            People love DT because of their massive back catalog and consistency. The Gallery, Skydancer, The Minds I, Damage Done, Character.

          • Larry Grover

            And let’s go ahead and add ‘In Flames’ Lunar Strain which had Stann on vocals and was IF’s most aggressive album.

  • GardensTale

    I can’t complain about this, although it looks like most of the comments can. Saor has not yet clicked with me, but I’m giving it another whirl to see if prolonged exposure is what it takes. Atoma is among my favourite records of the year though. It’ll be hard to dethrone for November.

    • Reese Burns

      I always imagined the vocals as echoing through a valley, or cave, or some other scenic place. I can see why they’d be offputting though

    • basenjibrian

      Yeah. I am just not getting the rave reviews of Saor. It is just kind of “there” for me. It’s nice. Melodic. Nothing obnoxious or abrasive (in bad ways). But nothing clicks for me.
      I keep trying, because people whose opinions I respect love the album and its predecessor, which I also bought based on rave reviews at various places.

      • GardensTale

        If an instrumental version of this album is released I’m all over it. But I feel like I have to pause my enjoyment and wait out the vocals every time he starts borking.

  • BernBern17

    I’m yet to listen to any of these. Guess I know what I’ll be doing while I’m ‘working’ tomorrow.

    • Reese Burns

      I’d say give Saor a go first. It’s out of this world.

  • RuySan

    I like Atoma, but the mastering is so loud that I’m surprised it wasn’t complained about in AMG camp.

    • It’s pretty bad, DR 4… Could be part of why it feels ‘less interesting’ than it should to my ear.

      • tomasjacobi

        It’s DR6.
        Yes, it’s loud, but not a detriment to enjoying the album IMO

  • AndySynn

    Solid, but unremarkable sums up Atoma for me.

  • PurpleDoom

    Can’t complain about the top pick.

    Can complain that when I saw DT on their North American tour they didn’t play “Faithless by Default”. That stuck out to me as an obvious song to play live!

  • razerwolf

    Hot damn, this was pretty much on time this month. Know what I’m listening to on the train home.

  • Reese Burns

    In my opinion, Saor wins this month. DT is also excellent, but man, Guardians is beautiful.

    • Feytalist

      Word.

      Barring any last-minute upset, Guardians is my AOTY.

    • Agreed. After my first spin through Saor it was already Top 5 of the year for me. What an incredible album. DT is surely pretty good, but seems more like a “nice job” of a record than the “holy shit” that Saor delivers.

  • Dethjesta

    I’ve only just got around to listening to Atoma, stupid work getting in the way of me checking out the latest releases – I’m gonna have to find myself a sugar mummy…. is that a thing?……. probably….. anyway, where was I……

    Oh yeah, I was impressed greatly with it but that Saor album is just so majestic. Not sure I could rate the new DT above that, personally.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Wasn’t convinced that any of the three releases mentioned deserved top spot so I went back and checked what was released/reviewd in November and quickly realized that the only way this could be turned into a fierce contest was if it was “worst Album Of The Month”. What with releases by Cognition, Shark Infested Daughters, Defiant, Devilment… It would have devolved into a shit throwing match of the highest order. And I’m still leaving bad stuff out of the list for the sake of hygiene.

    • Asral

      Well, they could have picked Metallica*.

      It would have been fun to see just to watch the comments explode, and who wouldn’t want that horrific album art plastered over the site for a month? ;)

      * I still haven’t listened to most of it, not judging it until I hear the rest but my expectations are low.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        Metallica as album of the Month after 1988? Only possible if theirs was the only album of the month.
        Worst album cover of the month would have also been a really tough competition…

  • Asral

    Nice picks.

    Atoma is fantastic, but I haven’t listened to Saor yet so I can’t compare.
    That Saor album art would look amazing as site background though.

  • ashcindersmoke

    First time commenter here. Just like to say thank you guys for your hard work and helping me discover some amazing music the past year and a half. Haven’t listened to the new DT yet but my vote goes to Soar hands down. Incredible record.

    • Kronos

      Thanks for reading!

      • ashcindersmoke

        I was meaning to ask you Kronos, did you by chance give the debut from Setentia a listen? It almost beats out the new Ulcerate for me

        • Kronos

          Yeah I have listened to it. It’s good, but it’s a lot more of a typical brutal death metal record than Shrines. A step down from Ulcerate’s style. It seemed pretty similar to the last record from Dawn of Azazael, so check that out if you haven’t.

          • ashcindersmoke

            I will thanks for the recommendation!

          • Name’s Dalton

            I dunno. I think it’s more along the lines of Shrines Of…, than The Tides of…, and in some ways, I enjoy the Setentia album a little more.

        • Dobbie03

          Just about beats Ulcerate for me too.

    • Daneel Olivaw
    • OzanCan

      Hell yes, I mean DT is always a safe harbor but Saor’s Guardians…! Even though I am not Scottish, I’d shout out for Scotland!!!!

    • Serjien

      Ditto!

  • Kronos

    Go! Onward to the singularity!

    • The Nerd.

      Finally a sane comment.

  • At least it will be a gentle transition from the Khemmis artwork to Atoma.

    • Feytalist

      For a second there I thought the Atoma artwork was already up. Surprisingly similar edges.

    • André Snyde Lopes

      The Saor artwork would look absolutely gorgeous as the bg.

    • Eli Valcik

      Awwwwww but we had so little time to enjoy khemmis’s artwork

  • Daneel Olivaw

    Saor album was really impressive!!

  • Ernesto Aimar

    DT is a band that deserves any kind of recognition, in fact even more than they ve ever had. I’m so happy they manage to deliver (once again) that which Construct (probably their weakest album up to date) did not. I was kindda affraid since Henriksson is no longer in the band, and he had always been a key songwriter. But Atoma is truly a declaration of DT’s finest virtues. Maybe not their best since Projector, but definetly since Fiction which IMO is their last magnum opus. Horns held high for what is the best melodic death metal band, ever so consistent and coherent

  • Nag Dammit

    Have listened to all above except Witchery (will correct that asap). Though I like DT & Saor my vote would have been for ‘Invasion of the Tentacube’ as a more technical / experimental / fun / downright nuts release.

    • WhamBamSam

      Invasion of the Tentacube really floored me. It very nearly unseated Vektor for my AotY spot.

  • Bandido

    I like Spiritus Mortis album .. and Saor is a good album too …. I going to listen full Atoma .. only I have listened two tracks and doesn’t catch my attention… eyy Angry metal crew thanks!.. I have discovered a lot of good albums thank to your work… peace!!

  • Zach Ward

    Can’t seem to ever get into Dt at all. I liked the Gallery but every time I listen to them I just lose intrest. Happened with this album as well. Will continue to give it chances but fuck me, I’d like to fit in if I could.

    • Yeah, I’m having the same problem. One or two songs are ok, but as a whole the album bores me.

      • Zach Ward

        And ive heard some people say that it is the best melo death album of year, but i just cant get into it for that long. I’d just much rather listen to Winter’s Gate, or Vessels.

        • Winter’s Gate is far superior in my opinion. It’s interesting, pulls from a variety of genres, it’s oddly addictive and even makes you lose sense of time…

          • Zach Ward

            I couldn’t agree more. Makes me angry Spotify can’t play it in order.

          • Viktor Svensson

            It can if you pay for it.

          • tomasjacobi

            Plays just fine on Spotify for me…

          • Ernesto Aimar

            Totally agreed. Still Atoma is one hell of melodeath piece, by no other than one of it’s three founders, and ONLY one faithful to the gengre for more than two decades in a row.

        • Dymanic

          I’ll have to give Winter’s Gate a listen. Sigh. Can’t help myself.

    • Arjan Zwamborn

      I wouldn’t say Atoma’s one if DT’s best albums to get into. If you liked The Gallery, I’m sure you’ll find plenty to like on ’97s The Mind’s Eye. Otherwise, ’05s Character has most to offer in terms of DT’s more ‘modern’ sound, if you will. Finally, ’99s Projecter is a good place to start if you’re into DT’s more sensitive and progressive side.

      There’s a lot to like over the course of their career methinks :) hope you give ’em another chance!

      • Zach Ward

        I’m sure I’ll try to listen to em again. It’s just when I have, I only listen to a couple songs then stop and listen to something else. I just can’t maintain a whole album by them. I get bored. And it sucks cause I want to like them, I just can’t.

        • Arjan Zwamborn

          I understand what you’re saying, I have this experience all the time with other bands as well. Sometimes at some point it just ‘clicks’, sometimes it does not. I hope it does for you! :)

    • Dymanic

      I absolutely understand and agree.

      I am the same with almost the entire melo-death sub-genre. I have listened to Amorphis’s entire discography, albums by Be’Lakor, DT, In Mourning, Insomnium and others. I have made the effort.

      I find them all so trite, boring, unengaging. Those slow tremolo-picked melodies over tired riffwork – ugh. It feels almost “pop-metal” to me. So safe. No excitement. No ENERGY.

      Like you (I assume from your avatar), I am a big fan of Ahab’s Boats of the Glen Carrig. Many would argue that funeral doom exhibits all the above qualities even more strongly. However I find that I personally love the crushing heaviness and general feel of that genre much more interesting and engaging. For want of a better phrase, it feels like METAL, whereas most melo-death doesn’t, to me. And hey, not everything needs to feel like metal, but it at least needs to be interesting…

      Subjectivity is a funny thing.

      I also understand when you say you “want to like” a particular album or artist. You put in the effort, give it a chance to sink in, give it every chance and it just never happens. And it sucks because you hear all these other people who are getting a lot out of the music, naturally you want to share the enjoyment.

      But I’ve found that, in the end, after giving it a few listens, it’s better to admit that that particular emperor has no clothes, at least for me personally. I had that experience with Tool, could never quite work out what the fuck everybody saw in them. Life is too short, move onto listening to what you actually enjoy.

      • Zach Ward

        I agree with almost everything you said. Melo death isn’t a genre I’m too familiar with, as i don’t listen to a whole lot of bands within the genre but the main ones I do listen to would be Be’lakor, Insomnium, and The Black Dahlia Murder. They’re what I would call the top of the genre, and all of them I would class as Interesting. They’re the bands that make me pay attention pretty much the whole way through an album, something that Atoma sadly, fails to do.
        Regarding Melo death and how you say it sounds “Pop Metal” I honestly wouldn’t be sure how to respond or counter that. Now, it’s obviously metal, but a lot of the bands do make songs that sound a little too catchy, if you get what I’m saying. While Ahab do have a lot of Really light moments within their music, I don’t feel they get that catchy/poppy feel to their music. But when im listening to Further South, it’s really fucking hard for me not to try to mimic their singing near the end of that song, because, it’s really fucking good. But I don’t think that sounds poppy at all, comparatively to some songs by tbdm who don’t use cleans at all, but still have a way of soundin kind of poppy in their music. If you listen to just the chorus of Raped in Hatered by Vines of Thorn, you could definitely hear some similarities. But to me, that doesn’t make them uninteresting. I enjoy their music, so what if it’s kind of poppy. Leprous is one of my fav bands and their poppy as fuck lol.

        Sometimes trying to get into a band for a while works out in your favor, and others it just falls flat. I’m sure everyone has countless examples of this. You could never get into to tool, like I couldn’t and still haven’t gotten into Dt. It’s all about at least giving bands a chance, even st first you don’t really like it much, but if it at least perks your ears, than give em some time.

        (Sorry if this response was shit when actually talking about the genre as a whole, I’m not a reviewer, I can’t fucking explain every detail in every sub genre, so my mistake if I sound kind of stupid at some points. I just enjoy things, please don’t ask me to explain. It’ll be shit. Cheers)

        • Dymanic

          I am no reviewer either, and I’m sure a lot of my points are uninformed / unwarranted too (in fact my current anti-melo-death ranting comes as a reaction to returning to metal after a long absence, hearing that this “melo-death” stuff is the spiritual successor to Carcass, having a listen and saying “what the FUCK about this sounds like Carcass?”. So I definitely don’t have an encyclopaedic knowledge of the genre).

          My “pop-metal” point may not have been stated very clearly and might be a bit hard to defend. It’s very subjective and hard to quantify. Thing is, I love Leprous too, and you’re right – their songs are catchy and accessible. So it’s not about that. I can’t quite put my finger on the issue in a succinct way. Maybe it’s just because Leprous are sold more a prog-rock band, while DT and their ilk are sold as death metal so my expectations are different. There’s just some quality to most modern melo-death which irks me.

          Or, maybe I was just in a bad mood while listening to Atoma, who the fuck knows.

          Anyway I’ll have a listen to your suggestions, cheers.

  • Berit Dogg

    You can go to a beach, while I fall into abyss! Is all I’m saying.

    • Best/worst line o’ the year.

      • Berit Dogg

        In stiff competition with a bunch of other lines from the same album.. . My record of the month for sure.

  • Akira Watts

    I haven’t yet gotten around to listening to the Dark Tranquility album, so it would be churlish to object to it snagging the top spot. That said, it must be a damn near masterpiece to beat out Saor’s Guardians, which is itself a damn near masterpiece.

  • The Nerd.

    It was a battle, but I agree with the Pick of the Month. Saor is fantastic, but I felt Atoma was just so much better.

  • Oscar Albretsen

    Wow, Dark Tranquillity? I didn’t even read that review, because I didn’t think they were ever gonna release a great album again. I’ll definitely be checking this out now. Nice to see album of the month decided a week after the end of the month as opposed to 5 weeks.

    • We go at our own pace. Quit yer bitchin!

      • Oscar Albretsen

        Hey, it was a compliment! Well, it was supposed to be. You’re just a big meanie!

  • YES! Atoma is fantastic. Though to be honest, both that and Guardians is Top 10 for me. I also really liked Trees of Eternity, because I’m a softie.

  • IndignantN00b

    Saor… I just don’t get the big deal. Seems like yet another flavor-of-the-month post-rock band with tremolo riffs and weak screams which somehow passes for black metal now. These bands are everywhere and all sound like the same collection of riffs and builds and yet each new one continues to froth the hypesphere. Post-rock turned into a tired collection of cliches and rehearsed postures a decade ago but somehow a whole new generation got stuck on trying to recreate Explosions in the Sky albums with foggy forests on the cover. Makes it hard to find the real thing.

    That Panphage album is at least two weight classes above this stuff.

    • I agree. And not.
      I’m quite sick and tired of the glorification of post-whatnot myself, but a few bands nail post-[insert whatever] and atmosphere in a brilliant manner. Saor is one of them in my opinion, but the albums needs time and patience for the fog to clear up and the Scottish highlands to take shape.

    • basenjibrian

      Agree. Don’t see anything that distinctive.

    • tomasjacobi

      I liked Saor’s previous album, but the new one is a definite step down in both songwriting and production.
      I think everyone will have forgotten about it in a month or two…

  • Loved the three picks. I can finally say: I THINK ANGRY METAL GUY IS COOL.

  • mtlman1990

    Saw most of Atoma live. Meh

  • ArtifeX

    Just wanted to jump on the train and support Saor for AotM. Guardians is top 5 of the year material, hands down!

  • Arjan Zwamborn

    I am a humongous DT fan, yet I find myself only sporadically as impressed by their latest three releases as I used to be by their work, from Fiction and further backwards.

    I mean, I am still very happy every time these fine gents craft a new record, I just hope they’ll find the creativity somewhere along the way to do something new and exciting with their sound, as they did many times before.

    • Dead1

      They ran out of any creativity around Fiction and have been scrapping the literal bottom of the barrel since.
      I’d say with Atoma they’ve finally run out of ideas.

      • Ernesto Aimar

        I guess you are Faithless by Default ;)

      • Arjan Zwamborn

        I wouldn’t go that far. There are moments of brilliance scattered also throughout their new releases. We Are The Void had “Her Silent Language”, “Arkhangelsk” and “Iridium” – Construct had “For Broken Words”, “Uniformity” and “None Becoming” – and the new Atoma has “Forward Momentum”, “Faithless by Default” and “Merciless Fate”.

        It’s just that as a whole, these albums have much less of an impact than their predecessors. Also the variation between albums has become much less.

  • It seems like most of the community would rather see Saor on the throne.

    Well, me too.
    I could never get into DT; the music itself leaves me cold, but there’s something with clean vocals that even annoys me. I didn’t knew what it was exactly, until now: I just realised that 2nd, 3rd and 8th track on “Atoma” start with almost identical boring vocal melody. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard it somewhere on “Construct” as well.
    On the other hand, listening to “Guardians” feels like an escape from four pokey walls somewhere into wild mountains, where I can fulfill my lungs with fresh wind.

    • I wouldn’t just prefer to see Saor on the throne, I’d also love to see the magnificent cover art as AMG backdrop for a month.

  • METAL OTTER

    A lot of commenters seem saor about Guardians not getting ROTM…

  • Dead1

    Clearly a very weak month if that DT turd burger gets album of the month. IMO it’s DT’s weakest album of all time (even weaker than Haven or Construct). And I liked Projector so no bias against them mellowing out. But Projector had great songs for most part and also a great vibe. Atoma is shallow and tepid.
    Definitely weak when an average Witchery album is a runner up.
    Alas the only other contenders are the decent if predictable Vader and the less than satisfactory Metallica.
    Though both are better IMO than the averageness of Witchery and the sheer crudeness of DT.

    • Larry Grover

      Haven was weak? There was some great tracks on that one man! Sometimes while I’m at work I listen to music on a shitty bluetooth earpiece and Haven is one of the extreme metal albums that sound great on it. Very clean production & sound.

      Gallery, Minds I & DD was better but Haven is not far behind to me. Agree that everything after Fiction is a shit burger.

  • JWEG

    I definitely should start a Witchery / Double-Oh-Seven cover band called “On His Infernal Majesty’s Secret Service”.

  • bolok

    its been three solid months of druhm driven goodness

  • gus rodrigues

    No Deathspell Omega? Their new EP is simply amazing….

    • Name’s Dalton

      Perhaps it didn’t receive consideration because it was an EP? My vote is for the Face of Collapse reissue by Dazzling Killmen.

    • Kronos

      We didn’t get promo for it, and no promo generally means no review means no ROTM. It will probably be covered as a thing you might have missed.

      • gus rodrigues

        Thanks for the reply guys! I imagined that you could possibly have not received the promo, but I would like to read your take on the album. To be fair I was quite anxious to hear the album myself and the first time i listened it I did not enjoy it (with perhaps the exception of the last track). but then I insisted and with each additional listening my admiration of the work they presented increased exponentially. It even made go back to their previous EP (Drought) which never clicked with me (I’m a huge fan of their past works, especially Kenose, Chaining the Katechon and Paracletus) and it finally (after 4 years) it clicked…

        • Kronos

          I had a similar experience, but the album isn’t quite living up to the standards set by Paracletus and Drought on my end. The music is denser, but it’s not really more interesting for it, and overall it’s just not very memorable. There are some quite impactful moments, but I think overall it’s not the end of year contender that I hoped it would be.

          • Gabriel PérezMolphe

            Has anyone heard the released track of the new Dodecahedron?. Is less dense than the debut, but I’m really linking it.

          • Kronos

            I have to go find that now. Thanks for the tip.

          • Kronos

            Listened. This band fucking delivers.

    • As a general rule we don’t review EPs… once in a while we make an exception if the length makes it worthwhile.

    • SegaGenitals

      My favorite thing they have ever released

  • 1 Screaming Dizbuster

    Haven’t spend much time with Atoma but I enjoyed what I did, really dig Whitchery, and I’ll have to check our Saor – I guess I missed that one. My personal AOM is one AMG didn’t cover (not that anyone else really did either) but the debut from Italian death/doom/post-rock band Raspail – Dirge is excellent.

  • AOTM should have been Spiritus Mortis. Still listening to Witchery so undecided about how good it really is. Saor can piss right off along with all those other utterly boring folk-post-black bands.

    Had no idea about Setentia, so thank you ashcindersmoke for that one. :)

  • hubcapiv

    I feel like Witchery isn’t getting much love in the comments.

    Old Metal Guys like me (and I bet some of the reviewers here) have a soft spot for Witchery. The turn of the century was a strange spot for metal. The first wave of Earache and Morrissound bands had fizzled out; the whole corpsepaint/my-guitar-is-an-angry-bee-with shitty production! thing was still too weird; Coal Chambers and Korns polluted the land.

    So when bands like The Haunted (with their debut “You like Slayer? We like Slayer too!”) and Witchery arrived, well, it was a revelation.

    Turns out you didn’t need a turntableist or trempicking or soaring cleans or breakdowns to make great metal. Just guitars, drums, yelling and riffs. So many riffs.

    AS GOD INTENDED.

    It’s true Witchery never really put together that one killer album. And that they have never broken new ground. But if you take your favorite 2-3 songs from every Witchery album, you will have yourself one unimpeachable metal playlist. And that’s more than I can say about most bands.

    In His Majesty’s Infernal Service upholds that standard. There’s no bad tracks, and there’s a handful of tracks fit for that killer playlist. It’s not an Album of the Month, but it is a worthy runner-up.

  • Mr T

    “Saor – Guardians Review
    By El Cuervo On October 31, 2016”

    October 31 is the first day of November right?

    • Time is an illusion that AMG don’t comply to.

    • Album released 11th November

    • El_Cuervo

      Strangely, we often post reviews in advance of release date…

      • SegaGenitals

        Burn!

  • Late to the comment-fest as I am, I still think a RoM post is a nice place to post my own favorites, because the bands in question deserves the extra attention. And so, I encourage others to do the same.

    In no specific order, I haven’t gotten around to sorting them:
    Khonsu – The Xun Protectorate
    Futuristic “Sci-Fi Metal”. Amalgamation of clinical industrial BM and avantgarde atmosphere.
    Eternal Deformity – No Way Out
    See Eldritch Elitist’s review.
    Death Fetishist – Clandestine Sacrament
    Eclectic and claustrophobic dystopia from Ævangelist main-man.
    Tardigrada – Emotionale Ödnis
    Gloomy and mournful dsbm with post-effects, but devoid of its monotone toothless anemia.
    Unlight – Antihelion
    Majestically Swedish-sounding German melodic black metal.
    Krypts – Remnants of Expansion
    See L. Saunders’ review.
    Arkona – Lunaris
    Sinister, doomy, saddened and testy Polish BM, soaked in vile depravity.
    Saor – Guardians
    Would have made the most beautiful AMG-backdrop ever, but oh no, for a month to come, we have to look at those fungal shapes of Atoma.
    Please reconsider!
    Misanthropic Rage – Gates No Longer Shut
    Dreamy, yet nightmarish ceremonial progressive black metal.

    And a short but brilliant EP for dessert:
    Cynabare Urne – Fire the Torches
    Bestial and diabolic death metal from two members of the late 0 X í S T. Raw, malicious, proud and erect as roaring hellfire.

    • Kronos

      I need to check out the Death Fetishist album again, didn’t pay a whole lot of attention the first time through. You should check out “Mute Books” by aurochs as well.

      • I had Death Fetishist lined up for review but it was so unimpressive that when Bethlehem came along, Bethlehem completely blew it out of the water.

        I wouldn’t waste your time on it.

        • Two incomparable but very good albums in my ears. It is, to a certain degree, all about the ears of the beholder, even if I put a little more thrust in objective qualities than mr. Autocratic Metal Guy ;)

        • Kronos

          Got damn cool cover art though.

      • Sounds nifty. Will have to listen more.

      • SegaGenitals

        Mute book is interesting, but a bit divisive for me. The album art is sweet.

  • Gage

    I am completely indifferent to DT. Don’t like them. Don’t hate them. But I’m glad 2016 is such a great year for melodic death metal (which usually sounds like watered down death metal.) December may be shitty but I still have Terminal Redux and Finitude to keep me company until next year.

  • herrschobel

    meeek. Never could get into DT. they always sound ridiculous to me-. ‘Dramatic’ in a bad way. i mean if you want to sound like Depeche Mode with heavy Guitars and Growls, fine. not my thing. Whereas SAOR is spot on !

  • basshole

    No way in hell is Atoma better than Damage Done or Character or even Fiction. Laughable man!