“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 September 9th — September 15th.
Sunday, September 16th
White Zombie – La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. 1 (1992)
After wallowing in obscurity as a horror movie-themed noise/punk band for much of the 80s, White Zombie finally took their tongue-in-cheek creepiness to the arena it always deserved: heavy metal. La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. 1 was a non-stop barrage of grooving semi-thrash riffs, catchy if relatively rudimentary leads from Jay Yuenger, Rob Zombie’s charismatic vocal presence, and about 10,000 horror movie samples. In short, the record was a complete blast from start to finish. From the hits (the iconic “Thunder Kiss ‘65” and irresistibly bass-driven “Black Sunshine) to the deeper cuts (the epic “I Am Legend” and beastly closer “Warp Asylum), there wasn’t a lean moment on the record, even at an admittedly bloated 57 minutes. Their next record upped the industrial and groove elements, dropping a bit out of most metalheads’ comfort zones even if it maintained the quality, and then the band broke up so Rob could pursue a career making mediocre-by-comparison solo records and inconsistent movies, leaving La Sexorcisto the ultimate reminder of what could have been. [Zach Duvall]
Monday, September 17th
Anthem – Anthem (1985)
Generally speaking, Loudness is the name most often mentioned whenever discussions turn to the early/mid-80s metal scene as it relates to Japan. An understandable reaction, given that band’s greatness and the fact that three of the four original members continue to soldier forward with lightning power today. But alongside Loudness on a fairly similar timeline and trajectory (yet 500km east of Osaka in the bustling heart of Tokyo) was the equally impressive Anthem, a band that likewise mixed elements of glammy hard rock with walloping heavy metal, and a band that additionally featured a flashy guitarist (Hiroya Fukuda) with a penchant for wild, fiery leads. Anthem’s self-titled debut didn’t make as big a splash in the U.S. as did Thunder In The East in that same year, but it is every bit as galvanizing and with perhaps an even heavier slant, so it’s absolutely worth celebrating by anyone interested in hard-rockin’ metal with a sassy, combustible edge. Bonus hails to Anthem for releasing their SEVENTEENTH full-length last year, Engraved. [Captain]
Tuesday, September 18th
Godflesh – Hymns (2001)
More than anything, Godflesh built their mechanical monster using a drum machine, loops, noise, and one of the heaviest guitar-bass tandems in rock. And while Hymns wasn’t their only album with real drums, it’s the only one that sounded like a band just jamming in a room together and beating the shit out of their instruments. Here, Justin and G.C. were joined by veteran skinsman Ted Parsons, delivering something that is extremely stripped-down by Godflesh standards, but no less heavy. If anything, the straightforward nature of the album only served to emphasize the lumbering backbone of their sound. Tracks like “Deaf, Dumb & Blind” and “For Life” are built upon bottom-heavy drives and thick grooves, while the closing “Jesu” is among the heaviest of the band’s material, despite the name being used later for Broadrick’s softer shoegaze project. A different kind of Krusher, this one. [Zach Duvall]
Wednesday, September 19th
Emperor – Prometheus – The Discipline of Fire & Demise (2001)
The final Emperor album was also in a way the first solo Ihsahn album (he wrote every last note and word, but Trym and Samoth still played it with him). He injected the album with his most capital-P Prog spirit yet, deftly combining some still-very-harsh black metal with even more spry, mind-bending riffage and a twist on their symphonic side that was either playful or demented. “In the Wordless Chamber” and “Thorns on My Grave” call to mind the most merciless songs from Anthems, while “The Prophet” centers on a clean-sung chorus and “The Tongue of Fire” features a middle riff that is nothing short of sassy. Prometheus was, like the three previous Emperor records, extremely unique within this hallowed catalog. Unique and brilliant, of course. [Zach Duvall]
Thursday, September 20th
Aspid – Extravasation (1993)
The grip thrash had on metal’s throat had seriously subsided by 1993, thanks to ever-increasing interests being thrown toward the burgeoning death and black metal scenes. There were still a few stragglers, however—underwhelming releases such as Overkill’s I Hear Black, Nuclear Assault’s Something Wicked and Vio-Lence’s Nothing To Gain, plus a handful of outsider records from the more progressive-minded acts like Depressive Age, Anacrusis and Believer. Nothing produced in the thrash realm in that year managed to hold a candle to the debut dropped by Russia’s Аспид (Aspid), though. Unfortunately, unless you happened to live in Russia, your chances of actually hearing Кровоизлияние (Extravasation) back then were about as good as the Buffalo Bills’ chances for coming back to beat the Cowboys in Super Bowl XXVII (P.S. the number correlating to that chance was as zero as zero could possibly get.) Thankfully, Metal Race Records decided to eventually lend a helping hand by reissuing this gem in 2014, 2015 AND 2016, so now everyone can get acquainted with the wonderfully knotty world of Aspid and their terrifically under-appreciated one-and-done masterpiece, Extravasation. [Captain]
Friday, September 21st
Motörhead – 1916 (1991)
A whole lot of both fans and detractors like to claim that Motörhead had no range. All one has to do is listen to their first album of the 90s to realize that’s a bunch of poppycock. The obvious curveballs tossed in by Lemmy, Philthy, Phil, and Würzel were the creepy “Nightmare – The Dreamtime” and soft war balladry of the title track, but the variety extended to the more predictably hard rocking stuff. There was everything from heavier blues rock romps (“The One to Sing the Blues”) and brighter sounding arena-friendly material (“Voices in the Sky,” “Angel City”) to a Chuck Berry-on-booze throwback (“Going to Brazil”) and a punk tribute to punk gods (“Ramones,” which was frequently covered by its namesake). Simultaneously one of the most roots-rich records they ever made and one of the most mature, or at least as mature as an album can be while having a song named “I’m So Bad (Baby I Don’t Care).” [Zach Duvall]
Saturday, September 22nd
Clutch – Jam Room (1999)
The fourth album from Maryland’s then-ever-shifting hard rockers Clutch was barely even a proper album at all. Rather, Jam Room was a collection of songs, undeveloped jams, and nonsensical (but funny) skits all delivered through a rough production (jammed, in a room). But look past the oddball construction and you’ll find some true gems of their catalog that wouldn’t have fit in anywhere else. “Big Fat Pig” is a beastly slice of slamming funk that contains not just some of Neil Fallon’s most clever lyrics but also a rare harmonica appearance; “Basket of Eggs” is a less dense bit of melody in an era when they weren’t really delivering such songs; “Release the Kraken” is almost unbearably silly but also pretty heavy (and a live highlight for a long time); and “Raised by Horses” is pure Clutch fun. Who wants to rock? Well, everyone, hopefully. [Zach Duvall]
See you next week.