Apparently the heavy metal gods waited for September 2013 to unleash a shitstorm of fantastic records. Indeed, it’s difficult to understand how the year could be so goddamned back-loaded as it has been. Up until this point there were some good records and then suddenly September came along and we apparently hit the year’s goldmine. So, if you don’t see your favorite record taking the Record o’ the Month trophy home, or even being recommended it’s because that band probably should’ve released the album in May or March instead. They have only themselves to blame, because in September, 2013, metal reigned supreme—for real. Without further ado, then, I present to you the Record o’ the Month for 2013. Carcass Surgical Steel.

Carcass - Surgical Steel

Carcass // Surgical Steel — While it was no White WizzardSurgical Steel astounded our local jaded Carcass fan, Fisting that Andrew Guy, who exclaimed with an unusually ecstatic gusto that “somehow, Surgical Steel capably channels the classic Carcass sound and upgrades it for modern-day warfare. Walker and Steer have mentioned in recent interviews that their only goals were to match previous career highs Necroticism and Heartwork, and to reclaim their sound from their many imitators. Mission fucking accomplished, gentlemen.” Really, with that kind of endorsement, wtf are you waiting for? You can even buy it on TAPE! I mean, c’mon, motherfuckers.

Runners Up: 

Haken - The MountainHaken // The Mountain — You like prog? Me too, and that’s why I couldn’t stop listening to The Mountain for the weeks I before I had to finally arse myself to write a review. These guys rock the modern prog movement in ways that bands like Riverside and Leprous, but they also do it with a nice, ’70s flair. Or, as I put in my original review, “Haken is one of those rare bands that can write a 70 minute record that is entertaining for every minute while wandering between all sorts of different styles. The record feels fluid, flowing seamlessly from one awesome variation to the next; sometimes heavy, sometimes somber, sometimes funky or jazzy, but always excellent.”

Atlantean Kodex - The White GoddessAtlantean Kodex // The White Goddess — In the Ye Olde School Doome Metale camp, Atlantean Kodex has been a pretty underground, but remarkably fresh voice. As Mr. the Steel Druhm wrote in his unusually laudatory review, “The White Goddess is bigger, tighter, more grandiose and addicting and it cements their status in the pantheon of great doom bands. This sounds like  the Album of the Year and it will be tough to beat at the end of year reckoning. If you like melodic doom, drop whatever you are doing (unless you’re holding a baby or puppy) and pre-order this absolute beast of metal.” And when Steel Druhm tells you to do something, you know damn well that he’s willing to back that order up with Ye Olde Schoole Ass Kickerye. So, uh, I recommend you buy it.

In Solitude - SisterIn Solitude // Sister  As if Steel Druhm hadn’t gotten enough of a metal-on over Atlantean Kodex, he also flipped a proverbial (metal) titty (to mix my metaphors) over In Solitude‘s newest slab of old school heavy metal: Sister. As he put it: “I would have been totally happy with In Solitude remaining a shameless Mercyful Fate copycat, but what they’ve become on Sisters is so much more interesting. There isn’t an off moment to be found and every song is a killer. More evidence that 2013 is back-loaded, Sister is a big winner and another contender for Album of the Year.”

Týr - ValkyrjaTýr // Valkyrja — Oh mercy. The Faroese are invading! Or, well, they invaded a while back and everyone got excited over them except for me. But slowly but surely the band has been blossoming into a serious force in traditional metal that I can’t seem to get enough of. Valkyrja (which never got reviewed and I apologize for that) is a romp through the band’s unique and interesting sound; a waltz into power metal, away from what I vaguely recall thought was a very Bathory influenced beginning (though, I did fall asleep while listening so I might be wrong). Unlike the band’s earlier material, Valkyrja pumps out track after track of testosterone laced heavy metal that only the totally true and seriously unhappy could dislike. It’s a great record. Dig it. Watch this space for a review.

Non-Metal Record o’ Note:

Vienna Teng - AimsVienna Teng // Aims — So uh, this isn’t metal. But if you’re interested in pop music and you have a soft spot for poppy prog, you might really like this stuff. While the record isn’t quite as good as her previous one, Inland Territory, it still hits a lot of the right notes with its interesting arrangements, cool writing and excellent performances. A must-have for the discriminating metal guy looking for a break from double kick drums and heavy metal posturing.

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  • I feel sexually harassed!

  • LGT

    I honestly thought Haken would take top spot this month.

    • Kyungmi Nam

      Me too but then again, I still haven’t listened to Surgical Steel. About to do it right now, actually.

  • Kyle McDonald

    Love the Vienna Teng inclusion in here. I remember you reviewing her work a few years ago and it’s nice to see her back on here.

  • Zadion

    I was hoping the Vienna Teng record would be reviewed, to be honest.

  • Carlos_Marrickvillian

    New Carcass record is ####ing excellent but I gotta say I rate the new Gorguts slightly higher, Its blowing my mind in new ways with each listen.
    For a year thats copped some flack, 2013 seems to be pulling everyones pants down…

  • OzanCan

    It was no surprise Carcass was the record of the month this month. Hell for I know, it is one of the best candidate for the record of the year!
    With all said and done, I am seriously waiting for the Tyr’s latest album review. C’mon guys don’t be lazy :)

    • We can only do so much!!

      • RU63

        Instead of the Aska review, you could have reviewed Tyr. Same thing happened last month with Gorguts!

        • That isn’t how it works. Sometimes a reviewer can’t get a specific review done and we are rather short staffed most of the time.

          • RU63

            I understand,but maybe some of these records should be prioritized I read all the reviews on this site because they are informative and are written well. You guys like Tyr and Gorguts, so I trust they are good; Iwant a a review before I buy them though ;)

          • We do prioritize, but it doesn’t always work out since we all have full time jobs and squeeze in our AMG duties when we can. We’ll have a late review of Goreguts up soon, But Tyr is not likely to get a review.

        • Are you implying that Mr. Druhm is supposed to steal my review!? >:O

          • RU63

            Well someone should write the Tyr and Gorguts review ASAP. I don’t see how they can be runner-ups if they don’t even get reviews on this site. . . just sayin’.

          • “just sayin'” eh? I’m sorry, is this No, this is Angry Metal and I am that Angry Metal Guy. I get to make whatever I want to make runner ups.

            Now that I’ve said that: we’re working on it. Obviously I’d prefer everything was getting reviewed, but we need to be realistic.

    • Týr is my bad. I don’t want anyone else to review it, but I’m swamped with work.

  • Kalsten

    And now the webpage seems like you are selling medical stuff haha!

  • Arjan Zwamborn

    I realize this is utter blasphemy, but Carcass doesn’t really do it for me, in the sense that I’d rate it as high as it was here. I wasn’t really consciously around listening to metal albums when they were still around back in the old day, so maybe that’s why. Haken is excellent though – not quite my cup of tea genre-wise, but still a very enjoyable listen nevertheless.

    My personal favorite from September is Ataraxie with L’Être et la Nausée (which was released at September 1 I believe), while I also enjoyed Vattnet Viskar´s Sky Swallower a lot.

    • Blasphemy!!!

    • Shahir Chagan

      Yeah, well, that’s just like, your opinion, man.

      • Arjan Zwamborn

        You’re absolutely right about that :)

        • Shahir Chagan

          Just quoting the Dude Lebowski, man, just quoting the Dude.

  • NeverBlack

    I never heard of Vienna Teng, but thanks to AMG, I just checked some of her songs, and well, she’s fuckin’ amazing! Good stuff, for sure!

  • Shahir Chagan

    You’ve got a heck of a soft spot for Vienna Teng, don’t you, AMG? :P

  • Surgical Steel is excellent. If I ever see them live I’m going to yell “Play Noncompliance to ASTM F 899-12 Standard!”

  • Ernesto Aimar

    Thanks for reviewing Haken! I’ve listened to the album and it’s marvelous. BTW, Why Leprous latest album hasn´t been reviewed?? I find it awesome. Tyr’s great also, but the album it’s quite the same to “The Lay of Trym”

  • Eryops

    It’ll take something pretty fucking special in the next few months to knock Carcass off of the Album of the Year pedestal. I liked them well enough back in the day (can’t remember if I actually owned any of their albums), but Surgical Steel has pretty much been my playlist over the last week.