Well, my fellow heathens an cretins, it’s that time of the month again where I get blood all over myself as I struggle to pick my top albums of the month. Maybe it’s because I’m paying closer attention with each passing year and month of my life, BUT DAMN, another great month that continues a great year of metal! Let me remind you again, I haven’t listened to every single album that has come out this month or any previous month. Who has that kind of time!? I wish I did and I’m determined to make that happen someday.
Astra – The Black Chord (Metal Blade)
Black Breath – Sentenced To Life (Southern Lord)
Cynic – The Portal Tapes (Season Of Mist)
Worm Ouroboros – Come The Thaw (Profound Lore)
Les Discrets – Ariettes Oubliées… (Prophecy)
5. OSI – Fire Make Thunder (Metal Blade)
Minimal techno, experimental, electronic progressive metal is the only way to desribe Fire Make Thunder. And alas, this might be the year that I re-embrace my progressive metal roots and OSI is one of those many reasons. The fact that OSI make their albums by emailing bits and pieces of compositions back and forth to one another is mind-boggling. A phenomenal ambient experience in a world of cheap knockoff metal progressives.
4. Sigh – In Somniphobia (Candlelight)
Sigh had me at the saxophone. I’m a sucker for the sax. Any metal band that can effectively incorporate jazz instruments into their sound deserves a nod. Not only do I give Sigh a most epic of head nods but also a fist full of metal raised in the air. These guys have become one of my favorite bands due to their experimental and playfulness with their sound – listen for the well placed synchronized hands claps – that defies genre labeling – listen for elements of folk, black, industrial, psychedelic, bordello and more throughout.
3. Meshuggah – Koloss (Nuclear Blast)
Koloss is wrought with brutally delicious complexities that new, old, and forthcoming Meshuggah fans will consume with gluttonous bliss. What more is there to say except… “M” IS FOR MESHUGGAH THAT’S GOOD ENOUGH FORE ME! OH! MESHUGGAH! MESHUGGAH! MESHUGGAH STARTS WITH “M”!
2. Germ – Wish (Eisenwald)
Ethereal, atmospheric industrial black shoegaze metal – can that be a metal genre? Well not it is. I just coined it. Germ snuck in under my radar and Wish slapped me across the face with a mighty backhand. This album is an incredible amalgamation and complex layers of heavy metal and beyond. A truly beautifully mesmerizing piece of auricular transcendence.
1. Borknagar – Urd (Century Media)
Wow! Wow… Finally… This is THE Borknagar album I’ve been waiting for since 2000’s Quintessence. Urd takes these last 10 years of Borknagar and blends it with the strengths of old for a truly dramatic, dynamic, and impactful album. The return of ICS Vortex to join forces with Vintersorg as they bring Øystein Brun’s Borknagarian vision to life is truly a thing to behold. I guarantee you, Urd will be on the top of my list and many others come year’s end.