This band is harvesting good words from the German press. Underground zines and prestigious magazines like Rock Hard and Legacy have given them good ratings, almost everything you read about these guys is drawing. This is the first real album and musically it’s quite traditional. Juvenile idolatry is an honest thing but the guys clearly have something up the sleeve that eventually will unleash something more interesting in future albums, has the next Death Metal Reich already arrived?
I wouldn’t think so just yet. IMMORTAL RITES are just one of the many Death Metal jukeboxes we have today. Brutal and melodic Death Metal is the bands choice of weapon. There’s nothing wrong with their album, it has the standard qualities; good drives, well played, some nice touches here and there, you know the drill...but.
The problem is that you’ve heard this somewhere before. That’s right, those solos appeared on DARK TRANQUILLITY’s “The Gallery”, those technical leads melodies were used on “Individual Thought Patterns” and that tapping melody on “United Scars Anthem” had some small variations when it was played on “Scream Bloody Gore” some 15 years ago. Vocals are pretty standard and roughly mixed, it’s the usual aggressive singing you hear from a Death Metal vocalist. A few passages have some lame clean/narrative vocals that could have been done better.
The first three songs are more brutal and fast but still melodic in between. Once you get to “United Scars Anthem” things go into a more melodic pace created by the originators of the Gothenburg Death Metal back in the mid nineties. “United Scars Anthem”, “Hallucinating Overture”, “The Utter Dark” and “Pathetic Patterns”, these tracks have some unique IRON MAIDEN influences. What do I mean unique? Let me explain. Ever wanted to hear the “Somewhere In Time” album played in Melodic Death Metal fashion? I know this might sound strange but the band does manage to capture that particular lead tone, the melodies have that same feel, just listen to the samples above if you don’t believe me.
Alexander Krull (ATROCITY) and Liv Kristine (ex THEATER OF TRAGEDY) are two names that definitely should attract more people to this record. Krull has a guest spot in the aforementioned “United Scars Anthem” (great song by the way) and also takes care of the sound, which is surprisingly well done thought not perfect. Kristine also has a guest spot in “Mirror Reflections”, one of the more accessible and lighter songs on the album.
You probably hear about a lot of new Metal bands, if you’ve got some time for more good Melodic Death Metal I recommend IMMORTAL RITES “Art Of Devolution”. (Online April 24, 2004)