Rise To Ruin
5/16/2008 - Review by: David Loveless
When Gorefest reformed back in 2004 and unleashed La Muerte in 2005, fans worldwide were blown away by its heaviness and intensity, and praised the mighty Gorefest for returning to their death metal roots - something that was missing on 1996's Soul Survivor and 1998's Chapter 13. I myself - being a Gorefest fan since the early 90's, was extremely excited about their return, but at the same time, skeptical of future releases. That brings us to 2007's Rise To Ruin, an extreme death metal assault that just may be their greatest album to date. With the songs heavier and faster and Jan Chris de Koeijerís vocals sicker than ever, Rise To Ruin easily crushes La Muerte and solidifies Gorefestís place in death metal history.
The album opener, Revolt, is a fast, thrashy number and sounds as if it could come off of one of their earlier releases. In the middle, the song suddenly halts to a quiet acoustical dirge before exploding back into the thrash attack. The second song, Rise to Ruin, is reminiscent to Erase-era material, as the metal is slow and heavy with pummeling double bass drums. The third song, The War on Stupidity, has some great twin-guitar work in the beginning then blasts into that classic death metal sound and even mixes in some sickening blast beats. Next comes A Question of Terror - a slow thrasher that epitomizes the Gorefest sound. With low, chunky guitar riffs and a steady double-bass beat almost all the way through, A Question of Terror is a solid track from start to finish. The epic track, Babylon's Whores, follows and shows a different side of Gorefest as this track clocks in at over 9 minutes long. Starting off with crushing blast beats, and a heavy dose of thrash riffs, the song slowly transforms into a slower, thrash attack - and even an acoustic part - before kicking off the blast-beat laden death metal again. The next song, Speak When Spoken To, is another in-your-face death metal attack that Gorefest tackles with ease. The next song, A Grim Charade, is a slower song, but not less brutal than the rest of the album. Koeijer's vocals are exceptional on this track, delivering some of his best hate-spewed anger since False. Murder Brigade follows next and is another killer track of brutal death metal. With a mix of both thrash metal and doom metal parts, Murder Brigade represents Gorefest at their best. The final song, The End of It All, is a slow thrasher that spins into an all out blast beat attack. With a towering thrash riff throughout, only Gorefest can add the elements to make it an instant death metal classic. In addition, there are two bonus tracks: Surrealism and Dehumanization that continue on with the classic Gorefest sound and are welcome additions to this death metal masterpiece.
With 2005's La Muerte, it was nice to see Gorefest regain their Death Metal composure and on 2007's Rise to Ruin, it's great to see that their metal performance is as consistent as ever. With the horde of death metal bands out today, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish one from the other because they tend to sound the same. Fortunately, the same cannot be said for Gorefest as they have mastered their own style and sound within the Death Metal genre and are easily distinguishable from the thousands of other death metal bands. Rise to Ruin may be Gorefest's best album to date as represented by its brutality, superior songwriting, and masterful playing. If this is any indication as what is to come in the future, then we all better prepare for the mayhem!
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