Record(s) o’ the Month – September 2022

Where is the horse and the writer? Where is the ale horn that was blowing? They have passed like rain on the mountain, like wind in the meadow. The days of 2022 have gone down in the West behind AMG HQ into shadow. Who shall gather the smoke of the dead staffers burning? Or behold the flowing promos from the Sump returning? How did it come to this? Why is the Score Safety Counter bleeding? Welcome to the September Record(s) o’ the Month.1

The tattered banner of Middle East and North African-infused death metal still flies, and Aeternam are among the elite vanguard. On fifth opus Heir of the Rising Sun these stalwart Canadians spin gorgeous tales of Constantinople and the wars for conquest that racked the city over the ages. Blending folk and MENA elements into their stout death metal core, Aeternam continue to show a deft hand at composing memorable metal moments as grand as history itself. Fleshgod Apocalypse and Orphaned Land comparisons are inevitable, but Aeternam remain a distinct beast with true chops and the song-smithing here is grand and glorious. As a fanboying GardensTale emoted, “Beautifully written and impeccably executed, Heir of the Rising Sun is another shining jewel in Aeternam’s crown.” This is the kind of conceptual melodeath masterpiece that these brilliant Canadians have been threatening to accomplish for years.

Runner(s) Up:

Darkest Era // Wither on the Vine — After nearly 8 years of waiting for a followup to Darkest Era’s last mammoth slab of epic, Viking-friendly doom, I had abandoned all hope of hearing from them again. Lo and behold, 2022 sees the Irish collective roar back with Wither on the Vine, and just like that, all is forgiven. Far from withering over the long years, the band’s sound remains strong and their compositional skills are undiminished. Wither on the Vine is a pornucopia of stirring doom sagas loaded with emotion and weight, blending folk elements in a near-perfect way to accent the melancholic buffet. Benefitting from the world-class vocals of frontman, Krum, tales of misery and woe soar high as the vines flower with deep despair. As Steel Myself exclaimed as I rode into the night, “I felt like we would never get another Darkest Era album and if we did, it would pale compared to Severance. I was wrong on both counts.” Mistakes were made.

Strigoi // VisceraWell-traveled Paradise Lost and Vallenfyre guitarist Gregor Mackintosh is no stranger to the doom and death genres, but on his new project Strigoi he’s going for something way meaner and grindier. Viscera is a nasty slab of rancid doom-death with a bad attitude, and that makes it tough to hate. The riffs weigh a fucking ton and gnaw at your exposed flesh as ghastly death vocals roar and rage against the cursed light. Dark, deadly, and horrible in all the best ways, Viscera will put a hurting on your eternal soul. Mr. Grymm put it well when he proclaimed, “Of course, leave it to one of the godfathers of modern doom metal to puncture you silly with a bludgeoningly heavy death/doom work of grotesque beauty, and Viscera sees Strigoi staking their claim.” Get StrigoiedER.

Show 1 footnote

  1. Not gonna lie, I normally discourage Steel Druhm from this kind of stuff. But this one, it’s good. I like it. Any time we can reference Lord of the Rings around here, I think we should do it. Kudos, big guy! – Angry Metal Guy
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