Record(s) o’ the Month – August 2016

Yeah, we’re a bit late with these. Angry Metal Guy has an assload of moving parts and sometimes things get lost in the mix. For example: me. During August, I fell off the face of the earth and only resurfaced recently, with a chest cold and, I’m told by cautious people standing at a distance, a “crazy glint” in my eye. Regardless of the state of my unitary mindbody (take that Descartes!), the Record(s) o’ the Month must go on. So here you go.

Darkher - Realms

Realms is a moody, difficult record. Not only is it emotionally exhausting, but it’s difficult to classify. Grymm chose doom—and I guess that works as well as anything else—but this album rides a morose and intense atmosphere at which few doom albums truly succeed. Realms isn’t just slow and heavy, it’s harrowing and bittersweet. Jayn—who wrote, produced, and played the majority of the instruments—relies on a sometimes bare and sometimes claustrophobic production to guide the listener through realms of emotion. This is a stunning debut amidst a crop of similar successes, according to Ickle Grymmykins: “Much like Myrkur and Sylvaine before her, Darkher has staked her claim as a force to be reckoned with. Realms, with its ethereal songwriting and emotional singing, impacted me like few other doom metal releases this year.” He’s surely not alone in that assessment.

Runner(s) Up:

Inquisition - Bloodshed across the Empyrean Altar beyond the Celestial ZenithInquisition // Bloodshed across the Empyrean Altar beyond the Celestial Zenith — All the cool kids like Inquisition and Bloodshed across the Empyrean Altar beyond the Celestial Zenith does not end the string of records impressing the scene with Inquisition‘s sharp riffing, excellent riffing, and also very good riffs. After seven full-lengths, one might suggest that Bloodshed across the Empyrean Altar beyond the Celestial Zenith should have been devoid of the consistently excellent riffing which has defined Inquisition‘s career. But not so! Bloodshed across the Empyrean Altar beyond the Celestial Zenith “is another winner in a discography full of them,” writes Diabolus in Muzaka, “Inquisition is the crown jewel of American black metal, and as expected this record is a joy to hear in both music and production. The band made the right choice in making Bloodshed [across the Empyrean Altar beyond the Celestial Zenith] nothing more than another Inquisition record; sticking rigidly to form, it’s great.”1

Unfathomabe Ruination - Finitude CoverUnfathomable Ruination // Finitude — Brutal death metal doesn’t get a lot of love around here. Given the ritual beatings we normally give anything that can be called “br00tal” by dudes with crossed arms and camouflage cargo pants, I was surprised at the enthusiasm with which Kronos gushed about Finitude. Turns out he wasn’t actually wrong. Finitude is a hell of a ride and an elite execution of a well-worn style. “Unfathomable Ruination are about as good as brutal death gets,” cooed Kronos in his textual tongue bath he tried to pass off as a review, “they capture a classic death metal feel without sounding retro because they just write fucking death metal songs made of fucking death metal riffs. Finitude is the best release in the genre since Omnipresent, and might overtake even Origin‘s recent high water mark.”

Show 1 footnote

  1. Incidentally, across the Empyrean Altar and beyond the Celestial Zenith is also where I keep my one weakness guarded by the Dragons of Eternity on top of the Mountain of Despair, beyond the River of Fire. We must vacation in the same spots!
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