There’s a scene in Bob Guccione’s “Caligula” where a wall of rotating blades, spears and spinning scythes move down a Roman Street splitting slaves and servants in two, lopping off heads and altogether moving as a behemoth killer destroying all in its path. Like this cascade of power and rage, GOREFEST’s “Rise To Ruin” plunders on down its own path, slicing and dicing all in its way. This is a slab of pure Death Metal fury with thick, meaty chords, slamming percussion and a vocal attack that decapitates as it steamrolls over anyone listening.
Proving that their brilliant return to form with 2005’s “La Muerte” was no fluke, the Dutch masters latest effort is an all out assault to be reckoned with in the Death Metal scene; killing with its vigour and brutalizing with a measured pace of ferocity. During the opening track, “Revolt”, and in the middle of the 9 minute opus, “Babylon’s Whores”, the band slows to a serene terrain but just for a few seconds until the band restores there sonic fierceness with choking, mountain sized riffs and routing drums. Just as vicious and penetrating are Jan-Chris de Koeijer’s throaty vocals; almost another instrument he is both discernable and menacing at the same time, rasping off his political and social commentary with a rapier’s precision. This is Death in the Swedish vein along with the likes of GRAVE: a solid, crunching dam of might that expresses itself whether fast or in the more measured pace of the aforementioned. There are even moments where you’ll be singing along, like in the opening track ‘Revolt” or “Murder Brigade”. Another sublime level weaved into this already rich cavalcade are a few sumptuous solos, bringing a touch of melody and musicianship that many Death Metal albums lack. Shifting cadence and guitar tones, “Rise To Ruin” isn’t a one-note assault a la HATE ETERNAL (blah); no, here is a more nuanced and well written album that loses none of its rage whichever pace or tone it follows.
(Online April 16, 2008)