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‘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‘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!
Darkspace‘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 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.