Rape Pillage & Burn
Songs Of Death... Songs Of Hell
posted on 2/2009 By:
Despite having existed in some form or other since 1997, Texas’ Rape Pillage And Burn have only managed to release this one five-song EP in the last twelve years, a factoid that either explains or is explained by the members’ involvements in about seventeen other bands (Dismember, Murder Squad, General Surgery, Divine Eve, Dagon, Born Of Fire, Infernal Oak, Dark Funeral... Over half of those entries can be attributed solely to the presence of journeyman bassist and Swedish expatriate Richard Cabeza.) Apparently this EP is a precursor to a forthcoming full-length, so after a decade of relative inactivity, it would appear that RP&B are finally ready to get down to business.
So what is their business, exactly? Well, this is straight-up early-90s death metal, sometimes Swedish-styled but with moments of a more American nature. It’s grunted and growled, with a gnarly guitar tone and some bare-bones razor riffing. By “bare-bones,” I mean not that it’s empty or weak, but that it’s more open and thrashy than the modern dense, blast-heavy brutality—a distinction that I hold as one of Songs Of Death’s more appealing qualities. That said, though it gains bonus points in its sharp throwback aesthetic and immediate comparison to some of my favorite bands, it loses some in two areas—a mix that deadens the drums, and in that each of the five songs on here are respectable but not overly remarkable.
In their mix of Sunlight Studios and Morrisound, Rape Pillage And Burn satisfies my love of old-school death, even as Songs Of Death falls shy of being a lasting neck-breaking. I’m not the only one here who likes the good old days, and at sixteen minutes and $6 for download, this EP neither overstays its welcome nor breaks the proverbial bank, and so it may be a solid investment for some of you. Be it with this record or the forthcoming full-length, which hopefully will be stronger in all categories, Rape Pillage And Burn is likely worthy of a little attention from fans of vintage, venomous death metal.
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