Records of the Week With Jon and Ted #5
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.
In Anadi's Bower
The glut of heavy, weird rock in the 1970s was such an important force in the development of later heavy metal that most of it, even the more obscure acts, have generally been tacked on to "must listen" lists for heavy metal fans and command respect regardless of if they were actually successful or not. Norway's Lucifer Was would easily have been amongst these bands, except that they broke up in 1974 before actually recording an album. Fortunately, however, when they reformed in the 1990s they set upon putting their own brand of gloriously strange rock to tape (well, at that point, CDs).
Their second album, In Anadi's Bower, is a classic case of good music with odd font choices on the album art that might not indicate just how killer the tunes inside are. Heavy progressive rock with mellotron and flute driving melody alongside guitars, it has this proto-doom sensibility that is entirely out of place with the fact that it was actually released in 2000, not 1975. Upbeat and intense, thoughtfully dark and lyrically dense, it can take a few listens to get everything that's going on—but the stellar guitar work, driving rhythms, and passionate vocals are easy to latch onto.
Paradise Belongs to You
The world of Romantic death/doom metal is ruled by a select few, and then there are tiers beneath that, which I honestly find to be bullshit. Yeah, the "Peaceville Three" revolutionized music in the public eye, and I love those bands dearly, but bands which "came after" (Saturnus formed in 1993, close enough) almost… did it better, at least for me. Danish death/doom band Saturnus' 1997 debut Paradise Belongs to You put the sadder end of death/doom metal's two halves under a microscope and amplified both equally, resulting in something both extraordinarily sad and extremely brutal.