The Helsinki-based AMORAL continue to deliver melodic riffs and two-part leads with their 3rd full-length release “Reptile Ride.” The guttural offerings from vocalist Niko Kalliojärvi add little in terms of originality, but an overt focus on tonality, production, and composition make this release more than just another CD to hear – it’s one to own.
The release truly begins with the fourth track, “Mute.” Here the melodic compositions take a back seat to catchiness, which results in one of the strongest tracks of the AMORAL catalog. “Few And Far Between” boasts a sludgy tempo laden with melodic wanderings that illustrate an impeccable taste for choosing the appropriate tones and effects to accentuate each progression. The production on “Reptile Ride” captures all instruments quite well, but the strategic layering of distorted and clean guitar adds a depth to each riff that only a handful of artists use.
The remaining tracks captivate the listener with extreme talent, dexterity, groove, and musicianship. Metalcore influences appear in the technical breakdowns of “D-Drop Bop” and “Apocalyptic Sci-Fi Fun”, while the majority of the release showcases a Thrash heritage in a modern Progressive Death Metal format. The release takes on several ambitious directions and explores them all fully. Fans of Melodic Death Metal will find little to criticize on “Reptile Ride,” and those who prefer the darker and more dissonant Progressive acts like OPETH will find a few surprises in the mix as well.
The catchy riffs on this release will appeal to a wide variety of tastes while the production and execution will provide for plenty of praise. All in all “Reptile Ride” adds yet another mature release to the AMORAL discography.
(Online August 16, 2007)