Last Rites’ Facebook Albums Of The Week: August 12th – August 18th

“Album Of The Day” is a Last Rites Facebook feature we started 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 feature that gathers the albums in a single piece on a weekly basis.

Here are the seven albums we picked for the week of August 12th — August 18th.

Sunday, August 12th

Voivod – The Outer Limits (1993)

For a minute there, The Outer Limits looked like it might’ve been the final frontier for the classic Voivod line-up—bassist Blacky (he of the godly Blower tone) was gone, having left after Angel Rat, and vocalist Snake would leave after the Outer Limits tour cycle concluded. Thankfully, the band would regroup, somehow manage to overcome the death of guitarist Piggy, and soldier on, release the brilliant Target Earth with new guitarist Chewy, and have a new album coming out soon—but we’re not there yet…

By 1993, the remnants of Voivod’s thrashy beginnings had fallen away—Nothingface began the trend, and Angel Rat saw them almost wholly pared back to a more accessible style, yet one still experimental and psychedelic, less aggressive, more refined. The Outer Limits furthers that trend, and manages to step up a notch from Angel Rat‘s underappreciated perch. Like all Voivod, it’s a combo of sci-fi weirdness and oddball arrangements, riffs, and melodies, and as those coalesce into the songs themselves, The Outer Limits becomes, if not one of the ‘Vod’s outright classics, still at least one of the most interesting albums from a band that, for the most part, consistently makes interesting albums. The nearly eighteen-minute “Jack Luminous” is a brilliant prog-rock excursion, while shorter and more concise numbers like “Fix My Heart,” “Moonbeam Rider,” and the cover of Pink Floyd’s “The Nile Song” show that Voivod could be equally intriguing in more streamlined form. This band is godlike, and even their weirdest albums are greatness. [Andrew Edmunds]

Monday, August 13th

Hypocrisy – The Final Chapter (1997)

The Final Chapter was originally planned to be the last Hypocrisy album (hence the name), but as 21 additional years of the band have shown, that decision was quickly reversed. HAD it been the final release by Peter Tägtgren and company, it would have been a monstrous final shot… and one with a curious construction. The album basically switches off between raging, speedy death metal and melodic doom/death every other song, and it works like gangbusters! Included are some of the band’s most iconic tunes: the infectious, hook-driven “Adjusting the Sun,” the apocalyptic doom/death masterpiece “Request Denied,” and the desperate, self-delivered epitaph of the title track. An absolute timeless classic of doom/death, melodeath, and regular rippin’ death metal, all in one. [Zach Duvall]

Tuesday, August 14th

Mötley Crüe – Shout At The Devil (1983)

The patron saints of the Sunset Strip, Motley Crue were the poster children for ’80s sleazebag party boys, banging hairsprayed groupies in a drug-fueled haze and living the rock ‘n’ roll dream. Every now and again, they also released some absolutely stellar hard rock—from the gutter-trash glam of Too Fast For Love to the mega-slick Dr. Feelgood, every Motley record has at least some top-notch arena rock (although Theater Of Pain is clearly the bottom rung). This sophomore effort is the band’s heaviest by a wide margin, flirting with faux Satanic heavy metal in both image and style, and filled to the brim with street-level riff-rockers like the stomping title track, the early MTV staple “Looks That Kill,” the instantly catchy “Too Young To Fall In Love,” and the blistering “Red Hot.” Motley was never an out-and-out metal band, but for this one moment, they were as close as they’d ever get, and it’s their highest peak, even now. God bless the children of the beast… [Andrew Edmunds]

Wednesday, August 15th

Warlock – Triumph And Agony (1987)

Although Triumph And Agony may not be Warlock’s finest hour—that honor probably belongs to their debut, 1984’s Burning The Witches, which wins on spirit even if it’s a far less polished affair—it is their final release, and a fittingly triumphant close to a short career, offered up to the metal gods just before the Queen Of Metal herself, one Doro Pesch, went off to focus on her solo project. Opening with the custom-built metal anthem “All We Are” and ripping through burners like “Cold Cold World,” “Three Minute Warning,” and “Touch Of Evil,” Triumph And Agony is a brilliantly fun—and occasionally corny—exercise in traditional metal glory. “I Rule The Ruins” and “East Meets West” are as classic as that opening track, and the moody closer “Fur Immer” is easily the better of the two ballads on hand. Throughout it all, Doro’s voice is wickedly powerful, alternating between a biting snarl and piercing screams, and the tandem of new guitarist Tommy Bolan and the returning Niko Arvanitis spit out NWOBHM-influenced riffs and fiery solos with relative ease. Classic metal, through and through, and still a good time, thirty years later. [Andrew Edmunds]

Thursday, August 16th

Born Against – Battle Hymns of the Race War (1993)

Before Brooks Headley left a life in punk rock for a career as a celebrated pastry chef, he drummed on Battle Hymns of the Race War, the final 10″ LP from Born Against, the New York-based hardcore/punk act known for radical leftist politics and DIY agenda. Although this final incarnation of the band (after relocating to New Jersey) was somewhat brief (maybe not in punk terms), it was the group’s most prolific period. Longstanding members Adam Nathanson and vocalist Sam McPheeters steered the band towards a lyrically cynical route, ultimately overshadowing their political agenda and eventually leading to the demise of Born Against. Proving that “what is dead may never die” is true, multiple posthumous albums were released, and the band continues to be influential, relevant and sonically shocking. The tag “legendary” doesn’t come close to doing justice for the legacy of this critical act. [Manny-O-War]

Friday, August 17th

Type O Negative – Bloody Kisses (1993)

25th Anniversary!

While they made quite a bang with debut Slow, Deep and Hard, many of that album’s less doomy traits (the rawness, the gang shouts, the hardcore punk passages) shared more in common with Peter Steele’s previous group Carnivore than with the goth metal for which Type O Negative would become known. No, the full Drab Four experience would have to wait a couple years for the arrival of Bloody Kisses, a masterstroke combination of tongue-in-cheek gothiness, serious doom riffs, some actually serious sadness, and a whole bunch of Halloween. From the iconic singles “Christian Woman” and “Black No. 1” to the desperate trudge of the title track, hardcore punk/doom sandwich of “We Hate Everyone,” and the combination arena rock/beautiful balladry of “Too Late: Frozen,” Bloody Kisses only made sense as an album in its total commitment to not making sense (there’s even a doom metal cover of a Seals and Crofts song). At this point, Type O Negative still fell about half into the “great on accident” category, as they would become far more accomplished musicians on the following two albums. But Bloody Kisses remains their most iconic moment: a weird, offensive, ludicrous, and undeniably infectious conglomeration of rock and metal sounds that actually went platinum. For kids that came of age listening to the few non-nu mainstream metal bands of the 90s, there weren’t and aren’t a lot of albums that can induce such a wide grin. [Zach Duvall]

Saturday, August 18th

Made Out of Babies – Coward (2006)

Julie Christmas and her Made Out of Babies cohorts released three beastly, demented noise/sludge records, but Coward was likely their most efficient, balanced effort. This Steve Albini-produced collection of jangly, grungy tunes is as ferocious as it is deceptive, lulling the listener into a false sense of security with quieter passages before the full power of the band’s heft and Julie’s rage is unleashed upon the listener. And while the band is exceptional (bassist Eric Cooper’s pulses are particularly essential), there is little doubt that Julie is the star. From her wails, screams, and whispers to her undeniable lyrical prowess (“We sing and scream / it seems our dreams are spools of string and pigs with wings” is a particularly terrifying favorite), she’s a one-woman powerhouse. [Zach Duvall]


See you next week.

Posted by Last Rites


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