TMO Albums Of The Month – July 2019

The summer heat provides fertile ground for the grim cold of metal

Immortal Bird – Thrive On Neglect

by Neill Bird

This is what taking your time sounds like. Everything in the Immortal Bird repertoire has been improved upon and refined, and the band continues to impress time and time again. The music is more intricate, the vocals more commanding, and the flow is just perfection. Since their debut EP, Immortal Bird has improved and improved and get more and more tight in their songwriting and presentation. The backing of an excellent label should help this band finally get more of the recognition they’ve always deserved, and some high profile tours make this an album and band to always keep in mind when talking about the heavy hitters in modern extreme metal. A true contender for album of the year. 

Valis Ablaze – Render

by George Dan

It’s only a matter of time until Valis Ablaze starts picking up a lot of steam. The british five piece plays progressive and djent in it’s most elegant form. This is a young band and Render is only the second effort, coming less than two years away from the debut, yet feeling every bit as mature as long standing acts in the field, such as Tesseract, Periphery or Skyharbor. The atmosphere is intense and immersive pumped up by great vocal lines, and the math metal dimension brings down the grooves with some serious chunky bass and drums. While it may not be the most original output, the delivery and execution of the music is flawless and its energy will definitely have you coming back again and again. I’m loving this now and I firmly believe that it can stand the test of time.

Sabaton – The Great War

by Kane Paul Gagenparry

Amidst the salvo of excellent albums this month, Sabaton’s The Great War stands above the rest. With ten pounding, ultra-anthemic heavy metal tracks and a beautiful choral closer, there’s a fair amount of variety (by Sabaton’s standards, anyway) that will especialky please the diehard fan. There’s also a hefty dose of epic choirs, as well as some classical details that add some sophistication to the album. Combine this all with the best drumming that’s ever been seen in a Sabaton record and you’ve got yourself a seriously strong monthly pick!

Tomb Mold – Planetary Clairvoyance

by Nathan Hare

On their third album in as many years, Toronto’s death metal juggernaut Tomb Mold shows no sign of relenting. Planetary Clairvoyance sees the band covering some new ground, as it incorporates some spacy, sci-fi atmospherics into their patented Finndeath assault. This slight tweak to their approach, combined with more prominent doom undertones, makes this the darkest and most expansive album the band has released thus far, while the savage riffs and punishing blasts remind us why the band piqued our interest in the first place. I don’t really have a lot to add that Jackson didn’t cover already in his review, but suffice to say this album arrived with a lot of hype and it delivered. 

Batushka – Hospodi

by Alberto Mancini

Batushka live up to the promises made and deliver an album that, although different from its counterpart, results atmospheric and intriguing, completely packed with great riffs and mystic choral arrangements, thus resulting in one of 2019’s highlights. Recommended to fans of the band and newcomers eager for an excellent modern black metal album alike.

Hatriot – From Days Unto Darkness

by Larry Best

Gritty, nasty, speedy, furious and vicious – this is exactly how I like my thrash. Featuring some sort of family connection to Exodus, and souding just like Gary Holt & co. but on steroids, Hatriot are the bearers of the best thrash metal album of 2019 so far. Seventy percent barbaric metal at breakneck speed, twenty-five percent relentless pounding groove, and five percent maturity through its complex song structures and well-executed lead breaks. Not only is this riff after riff of razor-sharp thrash metal godliness, but it also features the most brutal performance from Zetro Souza to date (or if it’s not him, it’s a man who deserves an impressionist award).  I feel bad for only just hearing of these guys, but I will be eyeing them like hawks from now on. Thank you so much, Hatriot, for making my neck hurt like a motherfucker.

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