November follows up an October that was pretty phat in terms of the number of phat ass records that dropped on our unsuspecting, and largely also phat, asses. And while 2014 has been an extremely up-and-down year for me, November has produced what I think are the year’s most consistent albums across the board. So while I can be sassy about the lateness of this post, or the ways in which Steel Druhm‘s heavy metal credibility is in constant question due to his love of Jørn, I almost feel like that downplays what an extremely good month for heavy metal November really was. So let me just get right down to it. The Record o’ the Month for November was…
Soen‘s Tellurian is a masterpiece. With a better mastering job and production, this record is easily among the best records I have reviewed in my time as Angry Metal Guy. This time of year in Sweden is dark, hard, heavy and emotional. Tellurian has become a my soundtrack for a dark, dreary winter. The writing, which developed so much between Cognitive and today, is not only progressive, but it’s also gentle, delicate and groovy and rock solid. But it’s the combination thereof that I wrote about in my original review: “It is, I think, finally the fact that Tellurian is so artfully crafted and emotionally evocative that pushes it to the next level despite [some] audial limitations. As the record slopes towards its conclusion, I [was] struck over and over by the mastery of the melody and feel that Soen has. These moments of piercing beauty combined with the epic writing, the powerful performances and the next level of heaviness is sprinkled across the record makes Tellurian special.” This won’t be the last honor that Tellurian gets here in 2014.
Primordial // Where Greater Men Have Fallen — Primordial are basically the closest thing that I can think of to a universally revered band now that Enslaved‘s production has started to flag. So the slow growing Where Greater Men Have Fallen hit me right in the “that’s what I wanted to hear!” spot. Moving, morose, melancholy, (occasionally meandering) and truly original, Where Greater Men Have Fallen continues a tradition of immense records from a powerful band. Grymm could have been more laudatory, but then I would have suspected that Metal Blade was paying him, entoning with fanboyish glee his “great pleasure that Primordial have definitely sidestepped [Angry Metal Guy‘s] Law of Diminishing Recordings™ and brought forth a powerful album worthy of the band’s heritage.” Seems legit.
Voices // London — We here at AngryMetalGuy.com all miss the shit out of Akercocke. Let’s all just take a moment to reflect on what a fucking cool band that was. Okay, now that we’ve taken that moment, you should know that parts of that band are back with a new and stellar record entitled London in the form of the band Voices. Resident Chief Star Trek Pun Officer Jean-Luc Ricard was simultaneously impressed and disturbed by London‘s “septic atmosphere,” and discordant riffs “designed to alienate and erode the listener’s stamina.” And while no one will claim the record is perfect, “it succeeds spectacularly in delivering the concept. You might not enjoy every moment of your listening experience, but you’ll be completely captivated right until the final excruciating note.”
Baring Teeth // Ghost Chorus among Old Ruins — While we’re hanging out in Ulcerate‘s wheelhouse, it should be mentioned that Baring Teeth‘s latest album didn’t slip by our very own Kronos. The band’s latest is “not morbid but moribund, a cloak draped across an invisible threshold whose folds and wrinkles shift as unseen forces perturb them. The album is a musical ghost story, compelled by doubt and creeping fear of the unknown that artistically holds more in common with Edgar Allen Poe or Ambrose Bierce than Morbid Angel or Spawn of Posession.” Baring Teeth‘s peerless approach should cause fans of the wave of dissonant death metal to stand up and take notice.
Ghost Brigade // IV – One with the Storm — Moody despondency seems to have been our monthly theme here at Angry Metal Guy, and Steel Druhm—who incidentally is undermining the credibility of this blog by constantly drinking the Jørn Aid in public—found himself hooked on Ghost Brigade‘s latest offering. Despite uttering the word Seether at AMG without following it with the word “sucks” or leading in with the word “fucking,” Mr. Druhm‘s impulses weren’t wrong on IV – One with the Storm, it is indeed “a rich, engrossing piece of downer metal for fans of Katatonia, Anathema and other such bummed out balladeers.”
Intentionally Not Included on this List
Ne Obliviscaris // Citadel — Due to the extremely poor taste of my staff, it has come to my attention that Ne Obliviscaris‘ Citadel received a shamelessly high score and laudatory review here at AngryMetalGuy.com. The author, one “El Cuervo” (who I’m fairly certain had been disinvited from all of my parties because he either gets angry or naked… or was that José Cuervo?), claimed that “Citadel is nigh-on masterful. Credibility permeates everything, from the complex song-writing and varied vocals to the superior riffing, violin-work and interesting drumming. A melancholic note overhangs the record, reflecting the theme of a destroyed society, which gives this record better direction than Portal of I.” You should know that I have damning evidence this man is a Jørn sympathizer and possibly even a member of the Jørnunist party; his opinion is questionable and I suggest that you do not under any circumstances check out this record which is why I am specifically excluding it from this list.