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!

Runners Up:

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!

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  • The staff just probably had a hard time choosing the records because there weren’t a lot of 4.0, 4.5 records in September. In fact I think the only 4.5 was Hellwell (Btw Great record) whereas the August “record o’ the month” article had 4 records with 4.5 on it, so it was easier to choose the highlights of that month.

  • Colin Stuart

    I really liked the Enslaved album :(

  • Hurenhugo

    October HAS to be Anaal Nathrakh’s “Vanitas”… just saying ;)

    • Is that a threat???

      • Hurenhugo

        No, it’s not a threat…. IT’S A PROMISE!

        (okay, that doesn’t make any sense… it’s just the most badass thing that came to mind :P)

    • Oh no, it isn’t! It’s Dethklok’s “Dethalbum III”!!!

    • My vote would be for Wintersun’s Time I. Now if only their was a review up here…

  • I’d hardly call the new Enslaved lackluster. C’mon, thatsa borderline case of jackassery.

  • Chronic-Headache

    I call shenanigans on Epicloud not being Album of the Month!

    • Tough nuggies!!

    • Michael Imbornoni

      What’s your favorite track? They honestly all sound bland and uninspired to me. I can’t get into it.

      • Chronic-Headache

        Grace, True North, LIberation, and the remake of Kingdom are all awesome tracks, Angel is a bit of a grower, but I’m starting to love that one too

    • Well, I’d’ve probably dropped from the list if I’d written this thing. i really think it’s not so great.

  • Mike_Callavaro

    I didnt like any of the september albums.

    Hooded Menace was not bad but to me it wasnt a record I would keep coming back to. The rest didnt seem my taste based on the reviews.

  • I remember also liking the Hellwell album, but I couldn’t decide if the vocals were cool or too strange..might give it another try

  • RU63

    cool album! I’m glad I stopped by to see what was selected as album of the month.

  • RU63

    cool album! I’m glad I stopped by to see what was selected as album of the month.