Each Friday, Editors Ted Nubel and Jon Rosenthal will share their picks for Records of the Week — not necessarily what's out this week, just whatever's on our mind or on our record players.


Jon Rosenthal

The Morningside

The Wind, The Trees And The Shadows Of The Past

Oh, how I have loved this record for the past 15 years. Lost somewhere between old-logo Katatonia and Pale Folklore-era Agalloch is Russian atmospheric doom metal band The Morningside's debut. Melodic, mournful, and nostalgic–all wrapped in a nice, not-so-compact package–The Wind, The Trees And The Shadows Of The Past's stylistic worship and band-specific-genre fusion hits the ol' heartstrings in a really special sort of way. This record takes me back to a time of naivete, discovering bands every day and finding "forever favorites" as a teenager which would shape my taste for years to come. Those who love Brave Murder Day will find comfort in The Morningside's excellent use of rock and post-punk influence, but frontman Igor Nitkin's higher-pitched vocal presence speaks more to the American answer to Katatonia's take on melodic death/doom metal.

I hate to be so reductive as to say "this sounds like Agalloch and Katatonia playing together," as name-dropping other, unrelated bands in reviews tends to be something I hate to do, but… trust me here. If you like these bands, or even Empyrium's first A Wintersunset…, but with better musicianship and vocals (sorry, guys), you're going to very much enjoy The Morningside's debut (and their most recent album Yellow). American black metal legend Panopticon's Austin Lunn agrees, having released this album on his short-lived Lost Forty record label, where he also reissued Falls of Rauros' legendary debut Hail Wind and Hewn Oak.


Ted Nubel

Orange Goblin

Coup De Grace

So, I checked, and Invisible Oranges is grievously lacking in Orange Goblin appreciation. Let's fix that a little bit.

Coup de Grace is a singular, never-revisited point in Orange Goblin's long and storied history, which has continually evolved from cosmic-inspired stoner blues and toward their definitive post-2000s sound: a snarling mixture of angry stoner rock and heavy metal. The record, released in 2002, captures Orange Goblin engaging in what might be their drunkest, most belligerent-sounding stoner rock yet, avoiding cosmic themes in favor of violence, horror, and general misconduct. They toy with heavy metal (and a Misfits cover), but these songs mainly just lurch from one whiskey-fueled groove to another, with vocalist Ben Ward's signature bellows leading the charge.

Not only is it a fun record, but there's this undercurrent of prickly, punky menace to it: the low-fidelity fuzzy guitars and boxy drums create a thumping, rickety sound that both appeals to my inner caveman and lets the band tell stories with a little venom. This is a sound they'd make even meaner on Thieving from the House of God, but it was never as, well, gloriously inelegant as on Coup de Grace. "Born with Big Hands" is one of my favorite Orange Goblin tracks in general, describing an inclination to ultraviolence with perhaps one of the band's most absurd, yet badass choruses, and "Jesus Beater" is a cheerful dose of blasphemy. Closing track "Stinkin' O' Gin" fully revels in the album's inebriated glory, closing it out with a lengthy hymn to an overabundance of spirits.

In later albums, Orange Goblin would continue moving more and more away from their laconic stoner rock roots to become a vicious practitioner of heavy stoner metal, but Coup de Grace remains a triumphant, uncouth landmark in their career.

More From Invisible Oranges