“Album Of The Day” is a new Last Rites Facebook feature we started recently whose purpose is quite straight-forward: highlight one album per day and say a few words about it. Understanding that not everyone chooses to participate in the booking of faces, we thought it might be nice to toss in a new feature that gathers the albums in a single piece on a weekly basis.
Here are the seven albums we picked for the week of April 1st — 7th.
Sunday, April 1st
Skyclad – Wayward Sons of Mother Earth (1991)
At some point on the heavy metal timeline, folk metal seemed to morph into “any black metal band that mopes in the forest with an acoustic guitar.” Back in 1991, however, Skyclad pretty much got the ball rolling after the very colorful Martin Walkyier decided to leave the increasingly unpredictable Sabbat. Violins, whistles and a general sense of jigging give ‘Wayward Sons of Mother Earth’ a very lively and “pagan” feel, and Walkyier’s excellent vocals (and lyrics) serve to nail home its urgency. [Captain]
Monday, April 2nd
Gorgoroth – Antichrist (1996)
Gorgoroth has always been too inconsistent and too riven by personnel changes to rank near the top of the second-wave black metal heap, but almost implausibly, on their second album ‘Antichrist’, which clocks it at not even twenty-five measly minutes, they achieved a true minor classic. With Satyricon’s Frost on drums and vocals split between original singer Hat and his eventual replacement Pest, Infernus had a wide palette of talent to draw from and squeezed every last drop of goodness into this compact album. The song “Gorgoroth” is a clear highlight, with its haunting midsection and flighty guitar leads, but the thrashy “Possessed (By Satan)” is another glittering jewel that offers hints of the harsher direction to come on ‘Under the Sign of Hell’. Be sure to stick around for the despondent funeral march of “Sorg” that closes out the album; you can even imagine it eulogizes a version of Gorgoroth that thrived before all the tabloid drama and Gaahl memes. [Dan Obstkrieg]
Tuesday, April 3rd
Obituary – World Demise (1994)
Wanna get dumb? Listen, Obituary wasn’t just the swampiest, grooviest, easiest-to-love of the early Death metal generation, they also set the standard for GETTIN’ IGNANT. World Demise was a new high/low bar for wonderful stupidity in death metal when it came out in 1994. At least half of the album is basically the breakdowns from a Biohazard record with John Tardy screaming his throat out, and if you think that’s a knock, you’re dead wrong. This album deserves the Kennedy Center Honors for Swingin’ Balls Riffs. Combine that with a monstrously chewy production and Tardy’s most overtly gleeful performance (he doesn’t CAAAARRRRRREEE), and you get a filthy good time. [Zach Duvall]
Wednesday, April 4th
Funeral Chant – Funeral Chant (2017)
Last Rites missed out on Funeral Chant’s debut from last year. Shame on us, because the record represented a perfect collision between a wonderfully raw form of punky black metal with an adequately chasmal style of swinish death metal, punctuated by quick bursts of surprisingly pretty melody. You know, the U.S. NWOPBCSDM that really seems to be taking off lately that a site like ours normally loves to promote. Upping the ante for many with their finger on the pulse of the Bay Area’s underground extreme metal scene: Funeral Chant happens to be comprised of 4/5 people who made up the under-appreciated and too-quickly-collapsed Dead Man. Maybe one dude showed up to a photo shoot wearing a top hat and cape and the rest of the guys snuck off during a sandwich break without telling him what was going on? Nevertheless, Funeral Chant is great, and you like great things. [Captain]
Thursday, April 5th
His Hero is Gone – Monuments to Thieves (1997)
With the release of their second album in 1997, His Hero is Gone had firmly cemented their status as America’s foremost innovator of crust-laden punk rock. Virulently attacking the status quo of human politics, (statues built for bastards) Monuments to Thieves tore the dressings off the long festering sores of institutional racism, oppression of workers and the inequality of class politics. This album would go on to become the defining album of not only the sound of His Hero is Gone, but the sound of an entire scene. Bursting at the seams with talent, members of this outfit would go on to form Deathreat, Severed Head of State, Warcry, Union of Uranus and Tragedy. [Manny-O-War]
Friday, April 6th
Dismember – Like An Ever Flowing Stream (1991)
There it is, that sweet sweet Sunlight tone, that beautiful buzzsaw bite, all fuzzy gnarly edge and midrange warmth, the sound that kickstarted the second-hand HM2 market. A year behind the groundbreaking Left Hand Path comes this Dismember debut, and I’d hold it to the be the greatest achievement in all of Swedish death metal, a perfect slab of carving riffs balanced on the knife-edge of the brutal and the catchy, hinting at melody without ever falling prey to any of the trappings of what would become melodic death metal. Thrashing goodness abounds in the rifftastic “Override Of The Overture,” in the ultra-hooky crunch of “And So Is Life,” in the guitar-laden “Dismembered”… Rife with riff and Matti Karki’s powerful grunt, this is an everflowing stream of wall-to-wall Swedeath glory, with no wasted riff and no mistakes, no prisoners taken and no shits given, and it’s still as vital today as it was nearly thirty years ago. [Andrew Edmunds]
Saturday, April 7th
Swallowed – Lunarterial (2014)
Finland’s Swallowed released their dark voyage into schizophrenic death/doom madness in the fall of 2014. Covered in an eerie grime like the dirt on the floor of a haunted sanatorium, Lunarterial is truly a voyage, progressing through deeper and deeper horrors as it descends and devolves into twisted crevices of madness. Loose song structures add to the unsettling atmosphere, leaving hidden terrors around every corner. While the album’s highlight is most certainly the epic 25 minute “Libations” at the conclusion of the record, songs such as “Reverence Through Darkness” and “Black Aura” capture the essence of what Swallowed are all about. This is not just a bunch of filler leading up to one high point but a meticulously thought-out and well rounded trip through some of the most horrifying death metal the genre has to offer. [Ryan Tysinger]
See you next week.