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

Habitual Depravity – Realms Of Abysmal Servitude (Brutal Technical Death Metal)

Habitual Depravity is a new name on the ever growing death metal scene hailing from Australia. I personally came around them as I follow the Realityfade Records quite closely as their releases is usually of really high quality and guess what? To no surprise at all fate would have it that so is this release!

What better way to start off one of the best brutal death metal albums of 2018 with a crushing intro where the drums will slam your face in? I don’t know about you but that’s exactly how I want to get up in the mornings, works better than coffee. Having Marco Pitruzzella (Six Feet Under, ex-Brain Drill, ex-The Faceless and ex-Vital Remains) on drums surely helps a ton as he is a pure mastermind on drums. Overall I think that’s one of the stronger points to take from Habitual Depravity’s debut Realms of Abysmal Servitude as it’s such a standout performance it’s hard not to take an extra liking to it. That being said it’s not like the other part of the deadly duo Jonathan Urwin does a bad job. Quite the contrary as his vocal range is great and reminds me a lot about Frank Mullen of Suffocation and if that wasn’t enough he also does all the other instrumental works. A very talented duo we got here for sure. The instrumental parts of Realms of Abysmal Servitude is a highlight of the year and even if the album would come without vocals it would be a joy to listen to, which can’t be said to many albums.

As each song passes by and I give the album more and more spins it gets to me, all the songs stand out very well on their own. They each got their own thing going on, and even though there is a brutal death metal core there is a lot of different technical aspect to it which breeds differently on the tracks. It’s brutal, technical and got a lot of variety to it with each song being a whole different beast that wants to tear you apart limb from limb. The production is great and the only real problem I got is that I would like the album to have a track or two more but from the 29 minutes we get this is pure technical brutal death metal on the high tier levels. The closing track, which is the album titled one, get my favorite song choice here as it offers me the perfect blend of brutality along with great riffs and bludgeoning drums.

A superb album that would land on my best of the year list if only it had only come out sooner. One every brutal death metal fan should have in their collection.

Written by J.B.

Label: Realityfade Records
For fans of: Suffocation and Brain Drill
Release date: December 30th, 2018
Favorite song: Realms of Abysmal Servitude
Score: 4/5 Incredible

Of Hatred Spawn – Of Hatred Spawn (Death Metal)

Close to Christmas I got one last album to review. What better genre to review before going on a break than the one I love the most, death metal! Of Hatred Spawn were formed in 2017 by the two brothers Remy and JJ Tartaglia who later on added ex-Annihilator bass-player Oscar Rangel and Matt Collacott on vocals. Hailing from Toronto, Canada they are said to play old-school death metal in the vein of Decapitated, Suffocation and Dying Fetus. So far so good right?

The first thing that catches my eye is the cover art, a great looking fantasy painting that captures the lyrical themes of slavery, darkness and the balance of evil well. What awaits in the musical section is modern extreme metal meets the ways of old. The razer edge guitar plays fused with groove and blast beats along with the superb vocals from Collacott is nothing short but great music to my ears. As soon as the opener Global Dehumanization hits me with it’s fast paced aggression I am hooked but the 28 minute span the album offers is over too quick, I want more. I do hear a lot of grindcore death a la Dying Fetus, Aborted and Benighted influences when I listen to Of Hatred Spawn, mainly due to the way Collacott sings, which is like a blend between Frank Mullen of Suffocation, Sven “Svencho” de Caluwé of Aborted and Julien Truchan of Benighted. There is also a lot of technical death metal aspects as the drumming and riffs leans more towards newer Suffocation, Misery Index or even Hour of Penance at times than for example Obituary or Entombed.

There is really nothing negative to say about this album, it was solid throughout albeit a bit short for a full-length. Sure it isn’t anything groundbreaking that re-invents the wheel but the skill involved in this group is more than enough to win me over. Death metal fans should definitely check this out as here is something for everyone.

Label: Boonsdale Records
For fans of: Suffocation and Aborted
Release date: December 21st, 2018
Favorite song: Nocturnal Swarm
Score: 3.5/5 Very good

The Metal Gamer Best of 2017

Another year another best of the year list! This one is long overdue as I planed to post this several weeks ago but something always came in the way. Some of you might know I also write for Swedish site Rocknytt and I’ve of course submitted a best of to them as well. Difference from that list versus this one is that, just as last year, my list here will be based on albums I’ve reviewed in this blog. So the two lists will differ but I rather keep my blog to the more underground music (even though I do review some mainstream stuff as well). Some big changes to this year is that the list is now a top 40. I’ve added some more categories as well with best debut, concert and more. List is in no order (except for the categories I’ve chosen) and without further ado here it is, The Metal Gamer albums of the year!

Album of the Year: Archspire – Relentless Mutation
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The complete Top 40:
Archspire – Relentless Mutation
Trivium – The Sin and the Sentence
Havukruunu – Kelle Surut Soi
Decrepit Birth – Axis Mundi
Ereb Altor – Ulfven
Evocation – The Shadow Archetype
Dying Fetus – Wrong One to Fuck With
Mordbrand – Wilt
Hour of Penance – Cast the First Stone
King of Asgard – :taudr:
Firespawn – The Reprobate
Svart Crown – Abreaction
Mordbid Angel – Kingdoms Disdained
Shadow of Intent – Reclaimer
Desultory – Through Aching Aeons
Coffin Creep – Corpse Defiler
Hideous Divinity – Adveniens
Inanimate Existence – Underneath a Melting Sky
Shaarimoth – Temple of the Adversarial Fire
Throne of Heresy – Decameron
Amentia – Scourge
Legacy of Emptiness – Over the Past
Dzö-nga – The Sachem’s Tales
Solbrud – Vemod
Ofermod – Sol Nox
HerezA – I Become Death
Svartsyn – In Death
Entrails – World Inferno
Oceano – Revelation
Lorna Shore – Flesh Coffin
Enterprise Earth – Embodiment
Wolfheart – Tyhjyys
Mors Principium Est – Embers of a Dying World
Persefone – Aathma
Benighted – Necrobreed
Gutslit – Amputheatre
Corpse Garden – IAO 269
Falls of Rauros – Vigilance Perennial
Rings of Saturn – Ultu Ulla
Ne Obliviscaris – Urn

Deathcore album of the year: Shadow of Intent – Reclaimer
Technical death metal album of the year: Archspire – Relentless Mutation
Death metal album of the year: Evocation – The Shadow Archetype
Atmospheric black metal album of the year: Solbrud – Vemod
Black metal album of the year: Havukruunu – Kelle Surut Soi
Debut album of the year: Coffin Creep – Corpse Defiler
Best concert I went to in 2017: Avenged Sevenfold, Disturbed and Chevelle (Royal Arena, Copenhagen, March 4th)
Five albums I missed but need to listen to:
Necrot – Blood Offerings
Phrenelith – Desolate Endscape
Fit For An Autopsy – The Great Collapse
Azarath – In Extremis
Wolves in the Throne Room – Thrice Woven
Most anticipated album of 2018: Necrophobic – Mark of the Necrogram

Amentia – Scourge (Technical Brutal Death Metal)

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From Belarus a techdeath band named Amentia have come to surprise us all with some of the best brutal technical death metal you will hear all year. They might not be a household name within the genre, yet, but Amentia have existed since 2003 with Scourge being the bands third full-length release, six years after their sophomore album Incurable Disease. Having never heard of the band myself I was caught off-guard by the bands tight riffs and blasting drums. To me this is close to a perfect score, everything just seems to hit the right notes at the right times.

Not a single song on the album is even close to being bad and Scourge has been on repeat several times these past days. Only thing is that the songs tends to be a bit indistinguishable which makes it hard for the songs to stand out to one another. Sometimes that can be a good thing, sometimes not and in this case I would like there to be some more variation. In a year when heavy hitters like Decrepit Birth, Suffocation, Hideous Divinity and Hour of Penance are releasing killer techdeath Amentia are making a great effort to stand tall next to those monsters. This is the perfect opportunity to get to know a great upcoming band with an album you do not want to miss.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/amentiabelarus
Label: Satanath Records / Amputated Vein Records
For fans of: Defeated Sanity and Decrepit Birth
Favorite song: Noble Death
Score: 4/5

Plague Throat – The Human Paradox (Technical Death Metal)

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From India we have one of the biggest death metal surprises of the year so far in Plague Throat and their album The Human Paradox. The band plays a heavy and technical death metal style that reminds me a lot of Nile, Origin, Suffocation and Hour of Penance. That’s some big names and hard market to break into but Plague Throat makes a really good try at it and this is in all honesty the best music I’ve heard coming from India, not that I’ve heard a big deal of bands from the area though but still. So how does Plague Throat fare against those heavy hitters?

Fact is they can stand tall against them, The Human Paradox shows a lot of promise and songs like Fallible Transgression and Hour of Darkness are just as technical and good death metal like the bigger names out there. They might not have the vast experience and originality some of those bands have (or used to have at least) but The Human Paradox is an album they can build on. I totally get how Plague Throat can go on to win Wacken Metal Battle India and be seen as one of the upcoming exports that can hit it big from India as they sure got a lot of the boxes checked in for doing so.

In all honesty I had just as good of a time listening to The Human Paradox as I had with Origin’s latest album Unparalleled Universe. Only thing is it misses that stand out song like Unequivocal for example but in return I find this a more tight album all around. One thing is certain, Plague Throat is definitely the band to look out for from India as they are bound to spread their plague upon the world eventually.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/plaguethroat3
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/PlagueThroat3
Label: Transcending Obscurity India
For fans of: Hour of Penance and Origin
Favorite song: Hour of Darkness
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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