Rise Of The Raging Death
posted on 4/2010 By:
I’m not extremely well-educated when it comes to bands from the Netherlands, so Autumnal Reaper was a completely new discovery beyond my usual listening habits. Pinning the band down to one specific stylistic locale is very difficult since they exhibit traits from almost all the major death metal breeding grounds in Europe and the United States, but damn if they don’t perform like a finely-tuned machine.
It’s become a common way of life to hear albums like Rise Of The Raging Death, the kind of death metal album that borrows liberally from the black metal playbook in regards to upping the number of thinner, sharper riffs normally associated with corpse-painted flock. But Autumnal Reaper are very specific and selective with the way they tackle their more dismal material, usually by incorporating decisive doses of high-speed melody in a way that brightens the misery rather than casting it among typically colorless shadows. Even with the occasionally cold and Nordic vibes intact, tracks like the bruising “Flag Of United Despair”, the build-and-fall dynamics of “Realms Of Gold, Inhabitants Of Greed”, and the riffy Dismember-isms of “Requiem” put these guys firmly in the death metal realm, sometimes reminding me of more recent Darkthrone and a much more creative and precise Jungle Rot. That comparison might not seem like anything to go out of your way to seek out, but when put into action, there’s nothing but solid, energetic songwriting jam-packed into every nook and cranny.
One good, loud listen on headphones is all it takes to get those eardrums tingling, with a production job that probably could have let the bass make a little more impact since the basslines often trace the rhythm guitar rather than lock down with the drums, although you can hear a little bit of bass seeping from out of the cracks of “Guilty of Divinity.” Regardless, it sounds professional without losing even an ounce of heaviness or raw strength, and as far as musicianship goes, these guys absolutely know their shit and display it without any wasteful wankery to suffer through. They’d rather just wallop you with riff after ripping riff of brute and direct force done with dignity, and there will always be a place in my listening time for a band like this.
The wheel is just as round as before, but Autumnal Reaper have fastened enough spikes to their ride to make sure someone’s gonna bleed when they roll over them. It wouldn’t have made much of an impact on my year-end list for last year, but Rise Of The Raging Death certainly stands steadfast alongside many other death metal releases and would make for a complimentary addition to the collection of anyone who is a fan of bands like The Forsaken (Swe), Malevolent Creation, or Paths Of Possession. Worthy of further inspection.
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