Albums of the month: November

The year is soon over and with that we only got one last albums of the month article to go after this one and of course the album of the year list. The competition is fierce yet another month with heavy weights such as Nile, Ragnarok, Cattle Decapitation and Despised Icon releasing killer albums. However they got bands like Iapetus, Sentient Horror, Avslut, Immanifest and Unfathomable Ruination breathing down their necks. We’ve been blessed with a very good year for metal, with the album of the year list going to be really hard to finalize but that’s a good problem…. Don’t forget to give the bands a like and check out the labels too. The Spotify playlist is updated with music from November so get following, discover all the best new extreme metal music! New for this month is that The Metal Gamer Community has also been voting for the best albums in November and the poll has been running for a week. At the end of this segment you can see who got voted into the top 5. Don’t forget to join the growing community which is now close to 300 metal gamers! Thanks for your support!

Album of the month:

Unfathomable Ruination – Enraged and Unbound

What can I say when a band release the best brutal death metal album since Defeated Sanity put out Passages into Deformity in 2013 then I’m totally spellbound. Any fan of the heavy meaty sounds will love this. You can read the review here.

Unfathomable Ruination – Enraged and Unbound was released November 22nd via Willowtip Records.

Runners-up:

Nile – Vile Nilotic Rites

Nile is definitely a band I consider one of the best ever created for extreme metal. Their discography is vast and full of groundbreaking music. Vile Nilotic Rites is a great follow-up to What Should Not Be Unearthed and possibly their best album since Annihilation of the Wicked. Pure gold.

Nile – Vile Nilotic Rites was released November 1st via Nuclear Blast.

Ragnarok – Non Debellicata

I know there are a few doubters out there when it comes to Ragnarok since Jontho switched his drumkit to a microphone. I for one see it as a new era and I still have a lot of love for a band who I see being in my personal “the great four” of Norwegian black metal (along with Tsjuder, Emperor and Immortal). Non Debellicata is an album I spin regularly, its fury and speed might be something some see as one-sided but I see it as hellfire fuel that gets me up in the mornings.

Ragnarok – Non Debellicata was released November 15th via Agonia Records.

Schammasch – Hearts of No Light

I enjoy myself some Schammasch but I honestly didn’t think they would release one of the best black metal albums of the year and what possibly might be their crown jewel when they look back at their career. Hearts of No Light blew me away on the very first spin and it’s a big positive surprise.

Schammasch – Hearts of No Light was released November 8th via Prosthetic Records.

Sentient Horror – Morbid Realms

Sentient Horror is a very young band but they prove they are here to stay with yet another killer death metal album heavy influences in the Swedish school. Morbid Realms is one of my most listened albums during November with catchy hooks that will grab a hold of you, never to let go. A rather complete swe-death experience for modern times. You can read the review here.

Sentient Horror – Morbid Realms was released November 29th via Testimony Records (Europe) & Redefining Darkness Records (North America).

More great albums of November:

Abigail Williams – Walk Beyond the Dark
Cattle Decapitation – Death Atlas
Iapetus – The Body Cosmic
Paganizer – The Tower of the Morbid
Blood Incantation – Hidden History of the Human Race
Mara – RÖK
Immanifest – Macrobial
Krater – Venenare
Mesmur – Terrene
Midnight Odyssey – Biolume Part 1 – In Tartarean Chains
Sarke – Gastwerso
Aeons Abyss – Impenitent
Blind Guardian – Twilight Orchestra: Legacy of the Dark Lands
Second To Sun – Legacy
Esoteric – A Pyrrhic Existence
Cannabis Corpse – Nug So Vile
Kaamos Warriors – Shadows of Northern Chaos
Obscure – Darkness Must Prevail
Ganondorf – Ancient Ruins
Guru of Darkness – Ararat
Nordic Frost – Ov Blasphemy and Other Rites
Depressed – Into the Putrid Fiction
Ashen Crown – Obsolescence
Mourned – Devoured Humanity
The Drowning – The Radiant Dark
Third Chamber – Harvesting Our Decay
Despised Icon – Purgatory
Cryptic Brood – Outcome Of Obnoxious Science
Bednja – Doline Su Ostale Iza Nas
Zarraza – Rotten Remains
Crusadist – The Unholy Grail
Nerbrus – Dark Forces Reign
Obsequiae – The Palms of Sorrowed Kings
Celtefog – Outlands
Avslut – Tyranni
Hideous Divinity- Simulacrum

The Metal Gamer Community albums of the month: November

Album of the month:

Cattle Decapitation – Death Atlas

Cattle Decapitation took the first place in style and there was no doubt who The Metal Gamer Community saw as their favorite of the month. Personally I’ve never really fallen in love with their sound which is why you don’t see it in my top 5 but I can’t deny their impact on the scene and that they got no fear of doing their own thing.

Cattle Decapitation – Death Atlas was released November 29th via Metal Blade Records.

Runners-up:

2/3. Unfathomable Ruination – Enraged and Unbound & Nile – Vile Nilotic Rites

A two-way tie with Nile and Unfathomable Ruination proving to be high on everyones lists just like mine. Brutality prevails!

4. Abigail Williams – Walk Beyond the Dark

This was an album that went in and out of my top 5 all month. Prior Walk Beyond the Dark I wasn’t that big of a Abigail Williams fan but this is by far their best release yet and absolute killer. Who knows, given time, it might be higher up my end of the year list than some of the albums that were above it this month.

Abigail Williams – Walk Beyond the Dark was released November 15th via Blood Music.

5. Schammasch – Hearts of No Light / Ragnarok – Non Debellicata / Avslut – Tyranni / Obsequiae – The Palms of Sorrowed Kings

Here there was a bundle of bands with two of them finding their way into my top 5 as well. Other than that I can say that Obsequiae were actually recommended to me by a member of The Metal Gamer Community and it’s one of the best atmospheric black metal albums of the year. Avslut I know has a lot of fans, especially in Sweden, but again it’s a band that I’ve never really connected to and I even personally think their full-length debut from last year was slightly better.

Avslut – Tyranni was released November 29th via Osmose Productions.
Obsequiae – The Palms of Sorrowed Kings was released November 22nd via 20 Buck Spin.

The Metal Gamer songs of the month playlist

Albums of the month: October

With October being done and dusted we’re closing in fast on the end of the year. As expected heavy hitters of the month such as In Mourning, Insomnium, The Great Old Ones, Mayhem and Hour of Penance delivered wicked stuff while we also had some pleasant surprises (in my book at least) from bands such as Xoth, Vukari and Shadecrown to make October yet another stellar month for extreme music. Has October even been the best month of the year so far? Many thinks so but I’m still on the fence there but I do think it’s been one of the strongest months for sure (along with May and August) we’ve had so far. Will November and December end it with a bang or has the best of the year already been released? Who knows but we will know very soon! Again don’t forget to drop the bands and labels a like while also checking in The Metal Gamer playlist for all the latest in music! Also a side note but this post is the 500th blog post for The Metal Gamer! Hails and thanks for all the support over the years!

Album of the month

In Mourning – Garden of Storms

When a band like In Mourning produces their best album since the crown jewel Monolith then you know it’s one that will be high up the album of the year lists for most. A must listen! You can read the review here.

In Mourning – Garden of Storms was released October 4th via Agonia Records.

Runners-up

The Great Old Ones – Cosmicism

The Great Old Ones are back with yet another stunning Lovecraftian atmospheric black metal album. They seem to be able to do no wrong and the band has only strengthen what is already a very strong discography.

The Great Old Ones – Cosmicism was released October 22nd via Season of Mist.

Insomnium – Heart Like a Grave

I’ll be honest I didn’t get into Winter’s Gate as much as most people seem to have. A great album sure but I don’t think it was close to the levels of Above the Weeping World nor Across the Dark for example. I do think that’s the case with Heart Like a Grave however. Their best album in ten years!

Insomnium – Heart Like a Grave was released October 4th via Century Media Records.

Necronomicon – Unus

One of the best albums I’ve heard this year and the best Necronomicon has done to this date where the Necronomicon of old and new fuse together seamlessly, creating some of the best music of 2019 over 30 years into their career. You can read the review here.

Necronomicon – Unus was released October 18th via Season of Mist.

Shadecrown – Riven

Finland has a new mighty warrior to push their melodic death/doom music forward! While Insomnium is obviously a giant in the scene we now have Shadecrown who surprised me big time with Riven. The album is insane and it’s funny to think what this band can do in the future when they have already gotten so far into creating a quality sound with only a couple of full-length albums under their belt.

Shadecrown – Riven was released October 11th via Inverse Records.

Honorable mentions

Exhumed – Horror
Ehlder – Nordabetraktelse
1349 – The Infernal Pathway
Gatecreeper – Deserted
Entrails – Rise of the Reaper
Totengeflüster – The Faceless Divine
Xoth – Interdimensional Invocations
Vukari – Aevum
Cell – Ancient Incantations of Xarbos
Messora – The Door
Singularity – Place of Chains
Profanatica – Rotting Incarnation of God
Svartby – Big Boss
Esogenesi – Esogenesi
Signs of the Swarm – Vital Deprivation
Konkhra – Alpha and the Omega
Barbarian Swords – Totemic Anal Turbofucker
Sarcasm – Esoteric Tales of the Unserene
Thrashfire – Into the Armageddon
Blood Eagle – To Ride in Blood & Bathe in Greed II
Coffin Rot – A Monument to the Dead
Profetus – The Sadness of Time Passing
Mortiferum – Disgorged from Psychotic Depths
Rimfrost – Expedition: Darkness
Hour of Penance – Misotheism
Arx Atrata – The Path Untravelled
Sun Worship – Emanations of Desolation
Horrocious – Depleted Light and the Death of Uniqueness
Hell’s Coronation – Ritual Chalice of Hateful Blood
Defenestration – Scalped on the Pavemenet
Mayhem – Daemon
Rings of Saturn – Gidim
Temple – The Last Pact
Undead – Existential Horror
Cleric – Serpent Psalms
Vermicular Incubation – Chapter of the Vermain Domain
Shrine of Malice – Sheol

The Metal Gamer songs of the month playlist

In Mourning – Garden of Storms (Progressive Melodic Death Metal)

Not long ago I reviewed the latest Netherbird album and stated they were one of the most underrated bands in Swedish metal. Along with those comes now another band I feel doesn’t get enough praise, In Mourning. They’ve been going for 19 years now (20 year anniversary tour next year please?) and every single album has been wicked with their crown jewel Monolith being one of the best albums in its genre to drop this past decade, if not the best. It’s obviously been hard to beat that when the bar has been set so ridiculously high but despise that both The Wright of Oceans and Afterglow have been killer records who both were high on my list for the best of 2012 and 2016 respectively. With a slight line-up change for Garden of Storms I still had very high hopes In Mourning would keep their level of excellence just like before.

Kicking of Garden of Storms are the two previously released singles “Black Storm” and “Yields of Sand”. Both beings songs I’ve had on my playlist since they came out, proving the line-up changes hasn’t done anything negative to In Mourning at all. Top quality tracks from a band I expect nothing else from and this is the type of quality only a few bands such as Be’lakor, Insomnium and Opeth could deliver apart from In Mourning in this progressive melodic death metal style. Each song got their own standout quirk to it but always keeping that red thin line of In Mourning signature sound to it, perfectly executed and makes it very easy to have this album on repeat for weeks onwards while always finding a new favorite track along the way.

I really enjoyed Afterglow when that came out but Garden of Storms has taken it one step further with just about every aspect. The only track I can’t really stand behind here is “Hierophant”, which I find being weaker than the rest of the album. However when I say that it’s just nitpicking as for most bands out there that would probably be a standout track, just that when In Mourning has such a high quality stamp even good songs can feel a bit flawed compared to the rest. October is only a week old and already we got two album of the year contenders in our hands with In Mourning and Insomnium leading the pack. This is In Mourning’s best album since Monolith, hell I’m even close to saying this is their best album but I’m just not ready for that statement yet seeing this album is still really new and I’m all hyped up and I was close on setting that 5/5 score. What I do know now though is that you need this album!

Written by J.B.

Artist: In Mourning
Label: Agonia Records
For fans of: Be’lakor & Insomnium
Release date: October 4th, 2019
Favorite song: Black Storm
Score: 4.5/5 Incredible

Decrepit Birth – Axis Mundi (Technical Death Metal)

Decrepit-Birth-Axis-Mundi

Here comes another release from a band that shouldn’t need any introduction. Decrepit Birth, formed 2001, are definitely considered one of the best techdeath bands in existence with their last two albums Diminishing Between Worlds and Polarity being masterpieces. It’s been seven long years since Polarity came out so Axis Mundi is a long awaited album for many metalheads out there. So how does Axis Mundi hold their ground against the rest of the bands discography?

I’ll say this straight away, Polarity remains my favorite album from Decrepit Birth but Axis Mundi is a damn close second. They do differ quite a bit in sound and approach of style so that being said Axis Mundi is another beast all together. Again a top class release to add to their already great discography either way. They are still a force to be reckoned with after all these years. Whereas I had some problem with Origin not being brutal enough Decrepit Birth still is. The riffs, the solos, vocals, drumming and production, Decrepit Birth nails it all yet again with Axis Mundi. Be it Spirit Guide, Hieroglyphic, Transcendental Paradox, Mirror of Humanity or Epigenetic Triplicity you will have a freaking good time. The instrumental track Embryogenesis and Orion are also personal favorites of mine. I mean hell as you already see that’s more than half the album right there being instant techdeath classics of mine. That’s how good this album is. I just can’t grasp how many times I started to headbang as there was a sweet tempo-change with killer riffs or solo going on for days in my mind as I air-guitar away on my seat. The change from being more towards the progressive death metal side on Diminishing Between Worlds and Polarity to mixing it up with adding the more brutal sides they had on …And Time Begins is what makes this yet another masterpiece from them. Which means it doesn’t matter which album you like the most from Decrepit Birth, they have something for everyone in here!

For me this is the best technical death metal album released so far this year. Axis Mundi will be one of the albums every band will want to beat and I am not sure anyone can. Decrepit Birth made a wonderful return with Axis Mundi and I hope we don’t have to wait seven years for another album.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/decrepitbirth
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/decrepitbirth
Label: Nuclear Blast and Agonia Records
For fans of: Origin and Necrophagist
Favorite song: Epigenetic Triplicity
Score: 5/5

Origin – Unparalleled Universe (Technical Brutal Death Metal)

originunparalleledcd

From the crazy White Ward jazz-post-black metal experience I go to something I feel right at home with. It’s time to review one of the technical brutal death metal greats, Origin. A band which has given us mortals some of the best brutal techdeath that’s ever existed since their formation in 1997. Since then the band has released one EP and Unparalleled Universe will be the seventh full-length release, something very few techdeath bands have even done actually. With heavy hitting albums like Antithesis and Omnipresent fresh in mind how does Unparalleled Universe stand next to them?

Have to be said Origin still got it, even seven albums and 20 years into their career. However I lack that Wrath of Vishnu, The Aftermath and All Things Dead feel to it. It’s a good album but next to a discography like Origins they almost slay themself. I always hate reviewing albums like this in all honesty. When a band has a really good discography should they get punished for releasing something not on the very very top? I mean if this was a debut or even a sophomore album I would say something along the lines of “omg this is one of the best bands that will tear the future apart!!!”. I don’t know, this is a freaking great album but knowing what Origin has done in the past I know I can expect more. A great album doesn’t cut it this year within brutal death metal, not with Dying Fetus, Broken Hope, Decrepit Birth and Suffocation getting releases out. Mithridatic, Dajjal, Burden of Prescience and Origins longest track as of yet Unequivocal are the highlights of this album and especially Unequivocal makes me go all headbang mode and presents Origin in top form. It’s a good album and any Origin fan should get it. As I said they still got the touch. However I know there is more brutality to be unleashed from them, some songs are just too soft for my liking to make this a real heavy hitter as an Origin album should be.

Unparalleled Universe is out now through Agonia Records in EU and Nuclear Blast in the US. With this review I am also bringing back the score scale, this time instead of a 1-10 scale it will be a 1-5 one. 5 being the highest grade and 1 the lowest.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Origin
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/OriginBand
Label: Agonia Records (EU) and Nuclear Blast (US)
For fans of: Nile and Decrepit Birth
Favorite song: Unequivocal
Score: 3.5/5

Best of 2017 so far

Picking a top 10 is always hard, I personally try to mix it up with various genres as well. There were some albums which on any other day could be in this top 10 but this is what I am sticking with! Also just like last year I only choose albums I’ve reviewed. Meaning there are some albums that’s actually good and been out before this is written but I haven’t had the time to review them, hence they are not in the running. So here you go The Metal Gamer top 10 albums of 2017…..so far!

Mordbrand – Wilt (Death Metal)
Review
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HerezA – I Become Death (Death Metal)
Review

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Havukruunu – Kelle Surut Soi (Pagan/Black Metal)
Review

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Svartsyn – In Death (Black Metal)
Review

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Svart Crown – Abreaction (Black/Death Metal)
Review

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Hideous Divinity – Adveniens (Technical/Brutal Death Metal)
Review

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Shadow of Intent – Reclaimer (Deathcore)
Review

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Firespawn – The Reprobate (Death Metal)
Review

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Evocation – The Shadow Archetype (Death Metal)
Review

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Hour of Penance – Cast the First Stone (Technical/Brutal Death Metal)
Review

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Svartsyn – In Death (Black Metal)

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Fresh from the pits of hell Svartsyn are back to bring darkness onto the world of the living. For the Swedish black metal scene Svartsyn has been one of the cult bands that you know always deliver sinister mid paced, traditional black metal that we all love. Originally named Chalice and formed in 1991 it’s one of the oldest bands still going with In Death being the bands 9th full-length release. Something very few bands can be proud of. That being said it’s quite hard to fathom that Svartsyn are not known by a wider audience than they are today. Not only due to the amount of albums they’ve released but because they’ve been such an influential band.

What you will notice from the get go is that fans of Svartsyn will feel right at home here. It’s just as brutal and devastating as ever, exactly what underground black metal is about. The song-writing is on point with In Death reeking of… you guessed it death, Satanism and darkness. Fans of the purest of Swedish black metal will definitely have a great time with In Death as it captures some of the best moments in Svartsyn’s vast discography and a lot of similarity with other Swedish black metal legends Ondskapt, Arckanum, Ofermod and Craft can be heard during the album.

My favorite tracks from the album are Dark Prophet, Black Thrones of Death and Exile in Death. Be sure to get In Death and support one of Swedens best underground black metal acts. In Death is out now through Agonia Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/svartsyn666
Label: Agonia Records
For fans of: Ondskapt and Arckanum
Favorite song: Exile in Death