Yes, we know the September Record(s) o’ the Month is tardy. Unfortunately, the staff of AMG has been unavoidably detained with top-secret genetics research, LARPing tournaments and plenty of inspirational beer swilling. In retrospect however, if there was a month to skimp on, September was likely it. With lackluster releases from the likes of Enslaved, Cryptopsy and of course, Steve Harris, it was a pretty damn unimpressive month in the Metalverse (made even more so when one considers the shitload of great stuff August spat at us). In short, we were preoccupied and we sincerely apologize for the lateness. Now stop your whining, carping and caterwauling!
I’m sure it will ruffle some feathers and cause some to cry fowl (see what I did there?), but the bright spot for September was clearly Hellwell‘s unheralded debut, Beyond the Boundaries of Sin. Composed of key members of uber KVLT classic metallers Manilla Road, Hellwell crafted the best traditional metal outing in recent memory (and sadly, the best Manilla Road album in forever). Loaded with melody, hooks and a set of true metal balls that could only be forged in the foundry of the early 80s, this thing is a slobberknocker of old school fun and your Record o’ the Month for September!
Devin Townsend Project // Epicloud – The mad man from Canada came back with yet another release (does he ever sleep?) and even the cynical and snarky F.A.G. couldn’t help but be won over by the catchy and positive rock/metal on display. Loaded with hooky anthems, overblown power-ballads and pleasantly mellow “chiropractor metal,” this is yet another window into the strange and wonderful mind of Mr. Townsend.
Behexen // Nightside Emanations – Finnish black metal maniacs Behexen erupted with a new release squarely in the mold of the Second Wave of European Black Metal. Nothing new here, but their raw, unforgiving and hate-filled delivery more than makes up for the lack of creativity (it IS black metal, after all).
Hooden Menace // Effigies of Evil – Doom-death gets Steel Druhm all geeked-up and Hooded Menace really seems to get his goat (and he’ll be wanting that back). Slow and heavy, yet incorporating plenty of Amorphis and Insomnium worship, they keep things from becoming too monotonous or boring. However, some moss peeping may result for those less patient among us.
Hexvessel // No Holier Temple – One of the weirder releases of the year, Finland’s Hexvessel uncorked a whole lotta “psychedelic forest folk” on the unsuspecting masses. Moody, atmospheric, sedate and hippie-pleasing, everybody from Agalloch to Kansas gets referenced as this lava lamp of an album floats along. Sure to appeal a very small subsection of metal fans, but definitely an interesting and trippy release by a band to watch.
Now you have it. Be prepared to cut us some slack when the Record(s) of the Month for October comes out around Turkey Day!