Records of the Week With Ted and Addison Week #24
Each Friday, Editors Ted Nubel and Jon Rosenthal [usually, but this time Addison!] 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.
Light This City
Remains of the Gods
It was 2005, a year when the newly minted fusion of metalcore still meant the best of both worlds when it comes to heavy breakdowns and melodic riffing. As a teenage girl seeing this band in a small, local venue while they were on tour, I was completely blown away. Not only were their song structures and solos something to write home about, Laura Nichol's furious vocals smashed the gender binary, showing that femme vocalists were just as valid as men. And song titles like "Letter to My Abuser" expanded my mind as to how feminist topics could make it onto the final cut of a death metal record.
So yes, I still listen to this album on the regular, despite the fact that in some ways it does sound very dated and 2005. The music and concepts still hold up, and the songs still absolutely rip.
I'm pumped to see the current wave of Tony Martin-era Black Sabbath acceptance: while the five albums he did with the band range from great to questionable, his stint bears a style distinctly different from the other singers' Black Sabbaths– no doubt partially driven by the constant lineup changes and Iommi's songwriting inclinations, but the fact remains Martin Sabbath is a fascinating era for the band. It's just some excellent, gothic-tinged heavy metal that maybe didn't invent any genres but rules nonetheless. Cross Purposes came immediately after Dio's short-lived return in the form of Dehumanizer, and honestly, a lot of it does feel like it was written with Dio in mind. Martin does a quality job, though, delivering his signature powerful style and keeping Sabbath deeply connected to their doomy roots–helped in no small part by Iommi's heavy, morose riffs. Songs like "Crown of Thorns" and "Cardinal Sin" are heavy-hitting tracks that deserve way more recognition.
I mean, I'm not going to try and slot this record into Sabbath's top five, but I revisit it quite often and I suggest the unfamiliar give it a fair shake. And sheesh, could we finally get that fabled box set and get these records onto digital streaming?