As Summer begins in earnest in sunny, ever-friendly New York, it’s a good time to look back on the Record(s) o’ the Month from Spring. Yes, we must look way back to the month of May, where the metal is now a bit olde. If memory holds, it was a respectable month and there were some 8 albums vying for the grand title. As always, we used our proprietary blend of cold, clinical objectivity, keen artistic insight, and brutal mob justice to determine the finalists. If you have issues or concerns, contact our representative at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hear something, say nothing.
Master Boot Record is the strange 16-bit metal project of Victor Love, and at first it was easy to write it off as a novelty, but seven years and eight albums later, the hits just keep on coming. Personal Computer continues the project’s source code, mixing programmed drums, floppy drive synths, and catchy, quirky melodies as things veer from prog to more extreme sounds. There’s an overall refinement to the sound and production, but aside from this, it’s another hyper-kinetic dose of video game metal with one foot on the gas and the other on your joystick. As flustered IT jockey Sentynel observed, “Personal Computer brings enough bangers to heartily recommend to long-term MBR fans. And if you’re not a long-term fan, Personal Computer is a great place to become one.”
Vital Spirit // Still as the Night, Cold as the Wind – Vital Spirit is another band jumping on the black metal/American folk/western wagon, and while attempting such a strange blend could spell disaster for many acts, this Canadian duo has the cattle AND the hat. Taking inspiration from the spaghetti western soundtracks of Ennio Morricone as well as Wovenhand, it’s a concept album based around the trials of Native Americans as the west was settled/conquered. First and foremost though, this is a black metal record with a slick ear for how and when to blend folk influences in for maximum impact. As our fanboying highwayman Cherd gushed, “Kyle Tavares and Israel Langlais have crafted a stunning black metal album with a laser-focused handle on how to incorporate folk elements successfully.” Yippee Ki-Yay.
Cosmic Putrefaction // Crepuscular Dirge for the Blessed Ones – Italian tech-death ensemble Cosmic Putrefaction’s third platter is a mass of writhing, twisting riffs and sickening tempo shifts. It’s plenty dissonant, but with enough structure and flow to make it engrossing rather than completely alienating. There’s a whole lot going on at all times, but the way the material is delivered allows the listener to make sense of it all with focused listening, and moments of true beauty reside alongside all the ugly madness. Their maniacal approach may not be for everyone but those who get it will get it real good. Orange Crepuscular for the win.