“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 November 4th — November 10th.
Sunday, November 4th
Exhumed – All Guts, No Glory
An in-depth explanation of what you can expect to find on All Guts, No Glory is, I think, unnecessary. This is Exhumed doing what Exhumed does best, harder and faster than usual. This is Gore Fucking Metal, and it is an Epic Fucking Slaughter. “So Let It Be Rotten… So Let It Be Done.” [Jeremy Morse]
Monday, November 5th
A Forest Of Stars – Opportunistic Thieves Of Spring (2010)
A Forest Of Stars’ music is filled with distinctive individual elements, but it’s the overall tone and feel of their songs that really sets the band apart. Each track on Opportunistic Thieves Of Spring offers a plethora of varying musical ideas that somehow come together into a singular whole, and it honestly feels like these guys could throw in some country hoedowns or free jazz segments and still have it fit in with their vision. The songs tend to lead the listener back and forth between fierce bursts of aggression and stirring ambiance; just when you’re getting comfortable with the direction the band are going in, they switch gears. [Chris McDonald]
Tuesday, November 6th
Fall of the Idols – The Seance (2008)
Full-length number two from Finland’s Fall of the Idols, The Seance, finds the band treading a surprisingly darker path compared to what was delivered with 2006’s excellent Womb of the Earth. To the un-doomed ear the difference is perhaps negligible, but those who’ve spent a fair share of time with this style—particularly of the Finnish variety—you will quickly notice the familiar funereal flavor the instant the grim cloak of “Nosophoros” settles upon your world.
The afflicted riffing at the heart of the opening cut is every bit as fitting of a funeral march as anything heard from the Equilibrium days of Cathedral, and the grim knell of bells melding with the heavy-hearted start of “The Conqueror Worm” is only eclipsed by the way the tune eventually CRUSHES the listener beneath the grievous wave that is its tragic end. In short, The Seance is a mother-fucking bummer of a record. The kind of bummer that would charm most any metal fan who holds slow-crawling doomy-gloom close to their heart. [Captain]
Wednesday, November 7th
Argus – Argus (2009)
Argus’ debut full-length bleeds influence from a wealth of metal’s grizzled elite. Piles of melodic twin guitar attacks recall vintage pursuits such as Thin Lizzy and Iron Maiden, so those who pitch tent from the blazing fretwork of bands such as Slough Feg or Brocas Helm should definitely take note. But where Feg and Helm aren’t afraid to inject a healthy dose of merriment and pedal-to-the-metal hard rock, Argus favor a more sullen and serious delivery that’s magnified by the doom imprint in the crux of their foundation. Classic doom—the sort that ducks the misconception that things have to always be sloooooow from beginning to end. As such, expect plenty of mid-paced galloping that emphasizes a belting heaviness. [Captain]
Thursday, November 8th
Portal – Vexovoid (2013)
Vexovoid does very little to change Portal’s approach to composition. Where it does present a bold new step for the band is in the relative clarity of the album’s sound. Portal’s wholly wrong-sounding interpretation of death metal has nearly always been built just as much around the scuzziest kind of nearly-impenetrable sonic murk as around the band’s trope-defying songwriting. And that’s fine, really: sometimes the discerning heavy metal ear demands that songs this queasy be swathed in a “let’s eat the neighbor’s cat” sort of ugliness. But on Vexovoid, Portal drops nearly all of the characteristic scrambled density. It’s a canny move for the band to make, both at this point in their career, and at this point in the ongoing saturation of bands plumping a similarly woozy, shit-smocked misreading of death metal’s early ‘90s playbook. And most important of all, Vexovoid provides ample proof that the closer Portal gets to a conventional sound, the more crystal-clear its unconventional music becomes. Seriously, the better you can follow along with these songs, the harder it becomes to deny how perfectly fucked up they are. [Dan Obstkrieg]
Friday, November 9th
Cripple Bastards – Nero In Metastasi (2014)
If there were a Grammy for Riffiest Grindcore—and there should be—then Cripple Bastards would’ve won it hands down in 2014. The most refined attack the Bastards have released thusfar, Nero is an artillery barrage of killer riffing, from the dissonant and deathy to the blasting and punky to the whip-tight and thrashy. Beneath Guilio’s array of screams and barks, Der Kommissar churns through one riff after the next with no respite, the whole of it combining into a blistering mass of razor-sharp grindcore that achieves the perfect balance of the hyper-aggressive and the instantly and insistently hooky. Occasional odd-time shifts add a progressive flair, and all in all, Nero In Metastasi is a new level of refinement for these long-running Italian noise-punk-grinders, and it’s their finest hour (although the rawer, punkier Desperately Insensitive remains another high point). [Andrew Edmunds]
Saturday, November 10th
Negură Bunget – OM (2006)
While they’ve always had a large dose of subtlety throughout their music, with past albums Negura Bunget seemed to have had a fairly singular and clear cut direction. OM meanders playfully, developing and expanding ideas, pondering its own purpose and nature, with each tumultuous passages coming and going as if a dream. “Epic” does not even begin to describe the stunning panorama this album entails. The stylistic and dynamic variety on OM is absolutely phenomenal. The versatility of the vocals is an interesting parallel to the extremely tasteful implementation of percussion, each musician effortlessly shifting seamlessly from raging blasts and lacerating guitar lines to more conserved moments highlighted by the implementation of unconventional instrumentation, creates a lucid portrait of a band that is both capable of pernicious wrath and experimentation. The clear and warm production undeniably fits OM with a stripped down organic approach that gives the material room to breath and swell rather without the performance becoming clinical. In fact, the entire presentation is nothing short of breathtaking. [Jeremy Garner]
See you next week.