It is often predicted that whatever records I review in a month will be the Record o’ the Month. This makes sense, as I have repeatedly referred to this as “Angry Metal Guy‘s Record(s) o’ the Month.” What’s little known about this process is that we do actually vote. The votes don’t always move the needle on what I ultimately choose, of course. However, writers frequently point me, as The Decider (that means that I decide), toward what they and you, the fans, are enjoying. This is quite helpful for everyone involved. So yes, as I’ve routinely pointed out, these are my Record(s) o’ the Month. But this time around, there was also a pretty strong consensus behind closed doors which albums should be the Record(s) o’ the Month, making the process even easier. Given the ease of the process, I elected to post this one nice and early, just to fuck with you. And now you can enjoy the hell out of this wallpaper for the next six months…
As many of you predicted, Queen of Time is the Record o’ the Month for May. I did, indeed, wax lyrical about this album and I’ve listened to it an absolute ton. Easily my favorite Amorphis album since Skyforger—which, incidentally, was the first review posted on this website—Queen of Time was also a staff favorite.1 Queen of Time is a significant album in that it launched the band in the direction of a new sound, introducing orchestrations into the band’s epic sound. It’s also significant because it shows just how vital these guys are after all these years and thirteen albums. As I gushed in my review, Queen of Time “sports unforgettable material throughout, and sees Amorphis doing its best bumblebee impression, staying afloat in spite of [Angry Metal Guy‘s] Law [of Diminishing Recordings™]. May they continue this trajectory for years to come.”
Lik // Carnage — Lik‘s debut went down well with El Cuervo back in ’15,2 and he was pretty happy to see this corpse rise again in May of 2018. Carnage shows that while the OSDM movement is nostalgic, there’s a reason we’re nostalgic for Stockholm’s days of yore. Lik‘s riffs are sharp, their songs are short, and their tone screams 1990s Stockholm with buzzsaw guitars and simplistic groove. The combination of slick writing and sick riffs makes for an album goes by in the blink of an eye. There isn’t a bad song on here and each and every one will make you want to bang your head. Lik has taken the corpse of ’90s Swedish death metal out for a ride around town, and to quote a satisfied El Cuervo, while you know you’ve heard it before “it is impossible to dispute that this is a great record [that] is very easy to love. If you want some old-school death metal, pop this shit on and revel.”
Alkaloid // Liquid Anatomy — Despite being three former members of Obscura and sporting a metric ton of Morbid Angel and Cynic worship, Hannes Grossmann and company’s initial foray never hit home with me.3 Liquid Anatomy is different from its predecessor. It’s sharper and experimental, but not too sprawling, and that’s precisely what makes it worth hearing. Despite possibly divisive Cynicesque vocoder vocals, Liquid Anatomy rips out some of the best proggy and techy death I’ve heard in a while. Drenched in high tech and sci-fi themes, Alkaloid pumped out a long—but surprisingly lean—record that really shook things up and awakened a delighted L. Saunders from a prog-induced boredom. As he raved in his breathless review: “Liquid Anatomy solidifies Alkaloid as an adventurous and unique force in the modern metal scene, successfully crafting dazzling new dimensions into their complex, genre-blurring, progressive death mindfuck.” If a “genre-blurring, progressive death mindfuck” isn’t a blurb that makes you want to buy the album, I don’t know what will.
- Don’t kid yourself, guys. We literally use Amorphis‘ old logo as the basis of our current site logo. We’re fucking fanboys. ↩
- When he was wearing an onion on his belt, as was the fashion at the time… ↩
- I was alone in the opinion that Grossmann’s debut solo record is better. An opinion I still hold, by the way. ↩