Record(s) o’ the Month here at Angry Metal Guy can be tricky. This is partially because I hold on to the right to dictate them with an iron fist despite being busy, and partially because… no, that’s pretty much it. I’m a busy guy, Record(s) o’ the Month take time, and I refuse to let anyone else actually do them. You might wonder why, and I’ll tell you: are you aware of how many positive reviews Jørn Lande has gotten at AngryMetalGuy.com? I assure you, this hellhole of subjectivity we call “AMG” for short is a hive of gibbering Jørn fanboys-and-girls. It’s absurd, I know! But with that in mind it should be easy to understand how difficult it is be for me to relinquish control over the sacred Record o’ the Month post. Nay, certainly doing such a thing is a greater threat to the sanctity and continued credibility of Angry Metal Guy than most anything.

So if you care about Angry Metal Guy and the continued longevity of AngryMetalGuy.com, you’ll sit down and take your late Record(s) o’ the Month like the champ you are.

Decapitated - Blood Mantra 01

Decapitated‘s Blood Mantra dropped on a metal world that “please would like another, sir,” and these Poles answered with a relentless assault of blast beats, groovy riffs and grindy desolation. Notching it at just 40 minutes, Blood Mantra shows a band evolving despite their years of service. Their subtle experimentation in the face of what might seem like the band’s most straight-forward record yet, helps Blood Mantra to rank among the best death metal releases of the year. Or let me quote Kronos: “By subverting and confirming all the right expectations, Blood Mantra proves to be an surprisingly interesting and engaging album from a band that’s not out of tricks just yet.”

Audrey Horne - Pure HeavyAudrey Horne‘s Pure Heavy impressed Jørn apologist Steel Druhm with its slick rock n’ roll stylings, as these Norwegians continue to produce “the best American rock” in the world. While that could be a double-edged compliment—rock n’ roll is dead, ya?—Druhm‘s a traditionalist and he means it in earnest. And it’s hard to argue with Pure Heavy‘s drive and hooks, and as Mr. Druhm explains: “Pure Heavy is pure joy and if I have a complaint, it’s that it didn’t drop three months ago so it could have been the soundtrack to the summer. Music this much fun almost had to be conceived and recorded by guys half in the bag, and it’ll make you feel like you need to catch up toot sweet.” Raise your glass and give this a listen!

Dark Space III IDarkspace‘s confusingly entitled Dark Space III I was a standout in September that should not be overlooked. Weird, claustrophobic, and frankly, produced like total shit—this album has all the atmosphere that black metal fans crave and does it while still having an appealing aesthetic. The discerning listener will understand that you need patience to get into Dark Space III I to appreciate it, but once you do, it encapsulates the listener: “this album definitely makes you feel like you’re lost in space,” writes Grymm, “cold, alone, distant from everyone and everything, and always expecting something dark and sinister to happen.” Higher praise is hard to come by.

A New WorldA hat-tip needs to go to Intimate Music from Final Fantasy which I have listened to extremely often since I purchased it. I am absolutely in love with these arrangements, and without waxing too poetic about it here, I am just continually stunned at how good the compositions of Nobuo Uematsu are. These arrangements do some of my favorite music in the world beautiful justice; they are simultaneously intimate and epic, made with an eye towards music best performed in a chamber orchestral setting, and the recording is magnificent. I strongly encourage fans of classical and orchestra music to give this a chance, because it’s just so good.

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  • Soze

    Only heard one of these (Darkspace) and wasn’t crazy about it. Decapitated have been absolutely shit for years and were never that good in the first place so I haven’t even bothered to listen to this. I’ll give it a go.

    Wasn’t the new Solstafir released in September? That’s my likely album of the year let alone album of the month. October will be interesting…At the Gates, Exodus, Sanctuary and Blut Aus Nord have all released stellar albums plus the likes of Winterfylleth, Orange Goblin, Anaal Nathrakh have impressed. This month has done my bank balance no favours!

    • Of the stuff we reviewed Decapitated was easily the best, but I agree that it was a really weak month. Which was followed by a completely brutal month in October.

      • Kronos

        October is going to be SO HARD TO PICK FROM.

      • Grymm

        I mean, Godflesh, Anaal Nathrakh, and Blut Aus Nord *alone* make it a great month… and I haven’t even heard the new At The Gates yet.

    • Kronos

      Solstafir straddled sept/august but it was a really, really great record. It made the list last month.

  • But Jorn is so talented and rocking!

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    August was so huge. Im still absorbing a few releases from that time.
    I was sure that either Alunah or Solitary Sabre would be AOM, my personal favourite however would be Earth, its outta this world…or at the least should be on this list!
    I don’t get the Audrey Horne love to me it seems little more than a likeable pop rock record in my view, a bit like a Def Leopard record only 30 years too late…

    • Jean-Luc Ricard

      I believe Solitary Sabred is an October release; not sure if it would be ROTM but I reckon it definitely deserves an honourable mention.

      Also, how is “Def Leppard only 30 years too late” in any way a criticism?

      Rockit. Yeah.

      • Carlos Marrickvillian

        ha, more of an observation than criticism…I got Hysteria in my christmas stocking when I was a kid…Even Santa likes Def Leppard apparently.
        Solitary Sabred is pretty righteous metal…probably wouldn’t have cracked the september list, would have made for a nice October background tho.

  • André Snyde Lopes

    So, AMG’s subjectivity is better than everyone else’s subjectivity?

    Decapitated won September with no contest. Everyone and their mom saved their records for October so they were the only big band with enough foresight to get their stuff out before anyone else. Well deserved ROTM.

    • Yes. You will notice that I have an eponymous website.

      • André Snyde Lopes

        I meant that as a rethorical question but that is probably the best response in history.

  • Doomdeathrosh

    september had to be decapitated….october and november will be the tough ones!

    • JWG

      I, for one, predict Primordial will at least be an honourable mention for November.

      • Doomdeathrosh

        oh i didnt know primordial was releasing an album out in november…things just heated up! the competition for the november crown will be between ne obliviscaris, bloodbath and primordial!

  • tim

    I love the Decapitated CD. I’m with Carlos. I don’t get the Audrey Horne love. They’re good. But close to record of the month? Nope.

    • I love the first two AH records, but this one is weaker imo. Still, can’t deny Druhm his favs.

  • Vicente Urrutia

    That Decapitated Album is awesome!, by the way AMG… why no new Scar Symmetry review yet?! =(

    • Here’s your review: yawn.

      • Vicente Urrutia

        Aaaww

      • Zadion

        loooooooooool

        you’re so wrong but this is the most hilarious comment I’ve read on this site for a long time.

  • Lasse Momme

    September was a bomb-ass month, but honestly October has shown so much goodness that I’m having hard time remembering any of last months stand-outs. Anaal Nathrakhs new records is absolutely amazing, and At The Gates has, to my own mild surprise released a melodic death metal record that i can actually stand listening to! Inter Arma, Baptists, Horrendous… Holy shit, what a month.

  • Sui

    New Decapitated sounds awesome! Speaking of rock, it seems an album released earlier this year, Septekh’s Plan for World Domination is hugely overlooked.

  • Luke_22

    Yeah that Decapitated album is top notch, took me by surprise by how great it turned out to be. It may not suit all tastes but YOB released a great slab of doom in September as well.

  • brutal_sushi

    Of all the albums dropping in October, no one is talking about the debut full length from Black Crown Initiate… The Wreckage of Stars is a killer album and these guys are going places!

    • André Snyde Lopes

      Hell yeah, man. I’ve been enjoying that one for the last week and it’s fantastic. Great Mistake is such a great album opener!

      • Luke_22

        Yeah very impressive debut indeed. It does seemed to have dropped under the radar of many unfortunately.

      • brutal_sushi

        The whole album just flows so well, lots of emotions coming from the guitar work as well.

      • AND Linear is such a perfect album closer!

  • Innit Bartender

    November will be about Dawnbringer.
    (I hope).

  • James Ingold

    Do you guys have an easily searchable database that lets to average scores for a year, because I feel like compared to 2013, this year has been rocking it out of the water. I’m honestly having trouble keeping up with not only the greats we expect (compared to the weak showing of many of the traditional heavy-hitters last year), but also the great débuts that have launched this year.

  • Link D. LeonhⒶrt V.

    I need to get my ears on that Decapitated. Haven’t listened a full album of them.. As far as we go in this mini-list, the inclusion of Final Fantasy score and Audrey Horne makes me very happy.. Too biiiig sounding albums in a very simple and special way.. thanks for this list.. I love this blog :) <3 greetings from Venezuela, pals

  • HeartOfOak

    For my best of September it has to be YOB.