Records of the Week With Jon and Ted #3
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.
The most difficult thing about this column is, ironically, the lack of restrictions. Turns out, picking any record to talk about is monumentally more difficult than having boundaries! Anyway, sometimes you just need to go back to the albums that have stuck with you, and Vampire Circus is one of those.
I discovered it before I really got into full-album listening, actually: Pandora would play a few tantalizing songs from it, including the title track, sparking a thirst to hear the whole thing. So, I ordered the CD and discovered Earthride's magic. At the heart of the band is some of the best stoner-doom riffs ever put to tape: the type of simple, yet compelling stuff you can loop for an entire song. And they basically do do that, with generally a few riffs per track (plus excellent solos) serving to be more than enough backing material for Dave Sherman (Spirit Caravan, The Obsessed) to sing over, his gravelly voice making every song's chorus heavy and unforgettable. Simple words, true now and forever: "All this darkness / has got to give."
In Absentia Christi
An absolute classic of underground gothic/doom metal from the mind of a very important person in underground metal. The brainchild of Wounded Love/Avantgarde Music's Roberto Mammarella, who released my pick of the week from this column's last installment, MonumentuM's (stylized, as always) early fusion of doom metal, gothic rock, and darkwave still makes for an enchanting listen 25 years later.
Having been released on legendary early second wave label Misanthropy Records and featuring guest vocals from Ataraxia's Francesca Nicoli, MonumentuM's multifaceted sound pulls from a variety of sources, from Mammarella's own groundbreaking labelwork to the library of extracurricular music he actually enjoyed (take, for instance, the Lycia album he just reissued). In Absentia Christi's mournful sound can be traced across the sea to the Peaceville sound, fine, but the dramaturgy found within this album in particular is distinctly its own monster.