Oh shit! Record(s) o’ the Month for March are only running a couple weeks late. You know, when I wrote that post about how this year “might” be a bit of a rough year for music reviewing for Ye Olde Angrye Metale Guye, I wasn’t fucking wrong. It hasn’t been rough. It’s been brutal. I am up to my fucking neck in shit to do, and most of that doesn’t involve “listening to heavy metal” or “telling the Internet why it’s wrong about the new _insert band_ record.” So, be glad that I am even taking the time to deign give you my now extraordinarily expensive, state-funded time. Because, when the Swedish state isn’t paying me to produce research that helps us better understand the world, I should be drinking beer, getting laid, playing video games, or watching sports. But no, here I am writing a Record(s) o’ the Month post for AngryMetalGuy.com. Show me your thanks via Flattr, people. We need to move hosts soon.
And without further ado…
Gazpacho // Demon — Mid-march saw the release of Gazpacho‘s newest record Demon (at least in the UK), and it’s a doozy. An awed, rambling Angry Metal Guy waxed poetic about the whole thing: “[T]he abstract nature of Demon, but the sense of familiarity and deep beauty, makes it remarkably easy to get in. This despite having tracks at 10, 12 and 18 minutes. The simplicity, fragility, yet depth, makes for an addicting and gripping listening experience. Every listen to brings forth new experiences, new ideas, new emotions and a repeated sense of having found that amazing listening experience that you’re going to love for years to come.” Or to put it differently: I got this promo in 320 mp3 and I purchased the album anyway. Record o’ the Month.
Animals as Leaders // The Joy of Motion — We often are accused of having an anti-djent bias, but that didn’t seem to be much of an issue when Kronos reviewed the band’s newest platter of technical metal: “The Joy of Motion sits in between past releases, in a comfortable hammock strung up not just between metal and jazz, but between technicality and songwriting, joy and anxiety, exuberance and restraint. Animals as Leaders have truly outdone themselves, writing brilliant tracks, performing exceptionally, and pulling together the right team to polish off this vivid inflorescence.”
Brainstorm // Firesoul — Another genre that we get shit for not spending a lot of time with these days is progressive or power metal, but Steel Druhm dropped a review and a big fat score on Brainstorm giving it high marks and high praise: “It’s crunchy, hooky metal meant to be played loud as you do dumb, possibly violent things to friends and foes alike. Leave the fancy stuff for the prog nerds and enjoy what real metal sounds like. Buy this, blast this and all will be right in the metalverse.”
Pyrrhon // The Mother of Virtues — Pyrrhon exists on the edges of the genre, pushing at melody and structure, making music that is simultaneously hard to listen to but extreme and disturbing in ways we want to love. Kronos put it like this: “The album is disturbing not in the existential way that an Ulcerate album is disturbing or the body horror way that most death metal is disturbing, but on a sort of primal level. It is disturbing because of its defiance of conventional structure and tonality and sound, because when you hear it you have no way of understanding it. It channels war and sickness and the incomprehensible into sound and offers them to you from a hand with the wrong number of fingers. A more difficult album is hard to come by.” We don’t often recognize bands for pushing at the boundaries of our comfort, but Pyrrhon does just that with a gusto.
Correction/Addition from February:
Somehow Morbus Chron‘s mighty Sweven was overlooked in the rush to produce the Record(s) o’ the Month post. Steel Druhm feels ashamed and bitter. And you should buy the record, ’cause it’s something cool and different.