Records of the Week With Jon and Ted Week #12
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.
Show No Mercy
There's something about short-ish thrash metal albums that just feels right—fast music, fast record, all is well. Show No Mercy, at 35 minutes, is the perfect length for what it is, which is a vicious slice of sorta proto-thrash metal that's got a good amount of heavy metal and speed filling out its runtime. Back before "melodic thrash" and "thrash" were different things, Slayer had no problem blending a lead-driven approach with tight, chunky riffs, nor with experimenting with completely different approaches across the album. It's all unified by the record's permeating sense of evil (and Dave Lombardo's killer drumming).
After this record, they'd go on to innovate on their formula multiple times with increasing commitment to insanely punishing thrash metal, so Show No Mercy almost feels light-hearted when you compare it to Reign In Blood.
This isn't the first time I've discussed Lugubrum on Invisible Oranges, but their discography is such an adventure through style and character honing that I feel it is important to dig into yet another era (which has been resurrected with their new album Bruyne Kroon).
To put it lightly, Lugubrum has always been weird. Even in their earliest "boersk blek metle" era -- long before these farmers made it to the city -- Lugubrum's idiosyncratic style, largely due to songwriter Midgaars' uniquely busy guitar-and-banjo playing approach, reached a new peak on 2001's Bruyne Troon (trans. "Brown Throne"). Simply put, this is a strange album, and gross on top of that (though not as gross as its sequel, which was released yesterday). Black metal is supposed to be the art of hatred, but I think Lugubrum was simply too drunk to hate, well, anything, at least at this point in their discography*. Instead, Lugubrum wants to have fun with their music, and the very unusual musical work, when paired with now departed vocalist Barditus' drunken screeches and howls, results in a very dark and singular work, complete with music which doesn't explicitly sound like black metal, leading to the 2003 "Brown Metal" tag coining by writer Nathan T. Birk. Heavy hangs the brown crown, perched upon its scatological throne (oh right, expect a lot of really, super gross toilet humor -- you've been warned).
*the band would go on to express some pretty pointed things towards King Leopold II in their 2008 album Albino de Congo.