Release DetailsLABEL New Aeon Media
RELEASED ON 5/18/2004
Bolted to the Cross
posted on 6/2004 By:
I love Dan Swano. I love everything he does. However, I admit I'm confused as to why he's involved in both Bloodbath as well as Ribspreader. They're pretty damned similar to me, although Bloodbath stands out more and sounds a little better. Playing groove-oriented mid-paced death metal, this is akin to bands like Dismember, Entombed, and Grave. I was really excited to hear Ribspreader as soon as I heard about them - but I'm slightly disappointed. I usually cringe at the "old-school" tag, simply because I've yet to hear anything to blow me away with classic revivalists. I usually feel like I'm listening to a really good cover band. Ribspreader is no exception, doing absolutely nothing to convince me that this album needs to keep being remade.
Surprisingly enough, Swano isn't doing the vocals. Wha? So Rogga Johnson (Paganizer, Edge of Sanity) has the exact same growl as Swano? If you say so, liner notes. I won't complain. I could've sworn they were Swano's, but I guess upon closer listen they do resemble David Vincent a little, too. Admittedly, they're superb. Swano did do a lot of the guitar leads on here, and they're as outstanding and melodic as you'd expect from the guy. If anything sets this album apart from all the other bands playing this same style of old school death metal, it's the leads. Unfortunately, I really don't think anything sets this album apart other than that, and I wouldn't personally spend money on an album simply for good guitar leads.
The production has that sparse and hollow drum sound - those undeviating basslines, and the chunky guitar tone which was constantly used in the early 90's. When you hear the drumming, you'll feel like you've been sucked in a time warp to 12 years ago. They're those really steady and basic drumbeats that really knocked everyones' head around when they first heard them, but now are completely dated. The production's handled by Dan Swano and really couldn't be any closer to the original sound. They pretty much hit the nail on the head. Just a little too well.
Yep. You're probably not going to hear it played any better than Ribspreader does unless you go back to the originals. It's too bad it's so damned derivative, because it's good. It's just so fucking boring except to people who somehow snoozed on all the monumental bands of the early 90's. If this had come out back then, it would've been a classic - no doubt. But it didn't. So it isn't.
The bottom line is, it's old school Swedish death metal, although so overdone, at least it's done well. If for some reason you missed the boat the first time around, or you're really fucking convinced that all those old albums need to keep being remade (over and over again), pick up Bolted to the Cross. It's about the best you can do as far as this style is concerned.
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