On the road to finishing my dissertation, there will be many bumps. Today’s bump? I’m writing the Record(s) o’ the Month for July which robs me of time for completing my real goal. My real goal right now is to pump out 2,500 words a day of lifeless academic text that will suck the joy out of a fascinating topic for readers so that the ancient Blood God Academius, whose grotesque form lives solely upon the sacrificed blood, sweat, tears and writers guilt of innocent and naïve graduate students, can be sated.
So, take your precious Record(s) o’ the Month, vermin. Complain in the comments like the entitled brats you are. I will be busy exsanguinating myself for the Blood God. And with my blood will go my lust for knowledge, and sense of control over my life, to be replaced with a desperate shot at an exploitative work relationship that will push me even further into suffering until I become just like those who came before me: twisted, bitter, hardened by years of rejection letters, competition, unnecessary administrative work, and ready to watch the joy and desire to understand crushed out of the young and idealistic.
Much like the legacy of [Luca Turilli / Lione] Rhapsody [of Fire] itself, people will complain that this outcome was predictable. Sure, a new Luca Turilli record and AMG peeks his head out of his hole and makes it Record o’ the Month. But Zero Gravity deserves special consideration because it is a special record. Rather than being predictable, it builds upon the greatness that went before it, but expands the palette. And so, this album is one that I continue to come back to. When I should be reviewing the new Opeth? I’m listening to Rhapsody. When I should be investigating the other RotM nominations? I’m listening to Rhapsody. And that’s because after all these years, Turilli, Lione and company have built a foundation that simply works and now they finally feel free to explore. That’s what the “Rebirth and Evolution” of Zero Gravity is. As I raved in my own review: “On Zero Gravity, Turilli and Lione are speaking to the fundamental nature of true artistry: humans must explore. There is a spirit of adventure here and, better than that, it has carved out the space for Turilli and Lione to continue pursuing experimentation and new ideas. And it’s this evolution and development that really moves Zero Gravity from a very good or great work into the realm of excellence.”
Record(s) o’ the Month — Runner(s) Up:
An Isolated Mind // I‘m Losing Myself — Turns out, my experience as a dissertator is also the encapsulated in the title of our first runner-up for July.1 And An Isolated Mind‘s album is an exploration of the mental health issues of its creator, which results in a release that is genuinely “genre-defying” but also heavy and difficult. It is, however, precisely its depth and the discomfort that made it such a hit around the AMG offices. Reliable lover of the weird, Grymm, took on the job of reviewing I’m Losing Myself and found “the result, both musically and in terms of talent, terrifying,” but also thoughtful, giving voice to its founders struggles in a way that raises awareness to mental health issues. This album is worth your time and consideration.
Fall of Rauros // Patterns in Mythology — I’m not sure how comfortable I am with the level of excitement that MoM has for Fall of Rauros. In fact, when he wrote that it was the “perfect sunny day black metal soundtrack,” which sounds like the opposite of an endorsement of a black metal album but was said positively, I just about called a meeting to fire everyone again. But the much more stable, likable and trustworthy Dr. A.N. Grier also found Patterns in Mythology to be a continuation of this band’s above average discography. And while everyone can imitate early Ulver via their popular American imitators Agalloch, not everyone can do it well. And that’s where Patterns in Mythology differentiates itself from the pack, creating an album that is gripping, interesting and just plain good. To put it in phrases even the not-particularly-bright themselves can produce: “Fall of Rauros haven’t reinvented the wheel with Patterns in Mythology, but they’ve definitely made most of the competition look like a bunch ov bitches.” Really? We published that?2