Record(s) o’ the Month – May 2020?

Oh my God. Well, guys. I’m going to level with you: see, right now I am in the throes of what one might call “a really bad time.” I feel like Grymm should probably interview me about the state of my mental health as I try, in vain, to put together a dissertation manuscript that I hate worse than everything except Cherd‘s taste in music. I would say that I’m miserable, but I feel like the word “miserable” doesn’t carry the weight of the kind of choking, horrific depression and burnout in which I find myself. Never before have I felt this incapable and yet, so pressured. And with this COVID bullshit interfering with public defenses and everything getting pushed around, I’m going to be honest: these Record(s) o’ the Month aren’t really mine so much as usual. While I do enjoy the top two quite a bit, rather than complaining about my taste, this time it’s probably best for you to just blame The Angry Metal Mob.

So if you’re mad, that means you finally understand what kind of shit I have to put up with. Anyway, assuming I am still capable of putting up a Record(s) o’ the Month post in however-many-weeks-time, we’ll see just how despondent I am and how that reflects on June’s RotM post.

I remember when my buddy gave me some ..and Oceans back when I was playing in a band that did covers of Danzig and Six Feet Under. …and Oceans were one of dozens of bands that I admired as a young metalhead, fighting to keep up with a burgeoning European scene that was finally getting distro in the USA. And I remember, quite vividly, watching them and so many of the bands that we loved merge away from the metal we had fallen in love with. So, there is a lot of pleasure in getting an album this good after this much time. As Holdeneye gushed in his review: “After decades of wandering, …and Oceans find themselves back where they started, but older and wiser. On Cosmic World Mother, they’ve imbued their original symphonic black metal style with bits of the atmospheric and electronic elements they’ve picked up over the years, and it works like a charm. This is easily one of the best black metal albums I’ve heard in quite a while, so I suggest that you grab your bathing suit and floaty and brave the waves.”

Green Carnation // Leaves of Yesteryear — Oddly, the second album that spoke to me and the plebs from May was Green Carnation’s Leaves of Yesteryear. Again, just the name brings me back to the early 2000s and all the different stuff that was going on in my life at the time. I’m so happy that we had the good Dr. Grier around to review it, because he’s had a long relationship with these guys. As he explained, “Though I’ve known these guys for damn-near twenty years, Leaves of Yesteryear is not what I expected. I guess I don’t know what I expected, but this isn’t it. Gone is the rocking character of A Blessing in Disguise and The Quiet Offspring. Gone is the absolute darkness of Journey and Light. This five-track masterpiece is still Green Carnation, but with a new twist on an already twisted catalog. […] Nordhus sounds great, Tchort’s writing feels fresh and unforced, and the bass guitar—which was such a staple in the early days—is beefier than ever. Leaves of Yesteryear won’t pull on my heartstrings like Light of Day, Day of Darkness did. But the journey was worth the wait.

Havok // VHavok’s development has been a long time coming. As Dr. Wvrm explained, “Warbringer, Lich King, Gama Bomb, they all fucking sounded the same. And each, in turn, developed a sound that was wholly their own, even within the thrashscape. This album completes that evolution for Havok, producing a landmark in the career of these once and future thrash kings. [… and while] V still isn’t my favorite Havok album—not yet—with a little time and a few thousand listens more, it very likely will be. It certainly features the band operating at their peak. They’ve managed to land on the holy trinity—mastery of their sound, mastery of their abilities, and mastery of their influences—all at the same time. The result is the best Havok record in a decade.”

In an effort to save the remaining shreds of our cred make our playlists more focused, we at AMG Playlist Consolidated Conglomerations are trying something new this year. Instead of inundating you with our awful and awfully redundant tastes week after week, each month we’ll be selecting our favorite songs released the month prior. Shuffle-friendly and tailored with your listening pleasure in mind, I’m pleased to present the AMG Staff’s Songs of the Month, May 2020 edition.

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