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Gorefest split up in 1995 but reunited again in 2005, signing with Nuclear Blast. A lot of the Dutch death metal band criticized the death ‘n’ roll efforts of the reformed band but Rise To Ruin might just be the cohesive to stick the fans to the band again and restore faith.
The death ‘n’ roll sound has in practice been extinguished and replaced with a modernised observation of old death metal with a more European tint and a touch of melody in the ensemble. The musicianship is good although more creativity would have pushed this release into much higher opinions of people.
‘Revolt’ is like a solid punch to the face. The drumming in the introduction is thunderous, the guitars are catchy and the vocals are suitably coarse. It is a good representation of what the listener will be listening to for the next 45 minutes.
The album is a showcase in thick heavy guitar riffing, frequently varied and decorated with melodies and scorching solos, although at times these solos can appear to be fairly brief and leaves you begging for more, such as on ‘Babylon’s Whores’.
The biggest downfall of this full-length is the track ‘Murder Brigade’. This track is simply filler, offering nothing new or interesting to the album, unlike all the other songs present.
Overall, this is a well assessed collection of death metal songs with various tempos, a good use of melody and the odd sample here and there, used incredibly sparingly. Gorefest are back on the death metal track with this one. Recommended to all death metal fans.
Originally written for www.rockbeast.co.uk
Gorefest used to be a band which reduced me to a squeeling fanboy. When “False” came out, it was on my “things I couldn’t do without an a desert island” and “things I would put into a ‘space capsule’” lists. Yeah, embarassing – to put it mildly. I even enjoyed “Erase”, which alienated much of the band’s death metal fanbase, and it was only the death’n’roll excesses of further releases which managed to finally put me off them for the next decade or so.
When “La Muerte” came out I was nearly impressed again. Still, nice though the album was, it had some major flaws. It felt a bit overlong and incoherent ( or sloppily-written, if you like). Take track three –“You could make me kill”; it starts with King Diamondesque guitar harmonies and is, by and large, a slow heavy metal song , but with unimaginative death metal drumming, which sticks out like a sore thumb. I could muster a similarly scathing comment about most songs, which just goes to show the album wasn’t exactly what I had been expecting the re-formed Gorefest to be capable of ( not that I really had been expecting that much; just a figure of speech, see? ).
Then “Rise to Ruin” was released and my prayers were answered. I’m back in the fanboy mode. I’m in awe. It’s almost religious. Most nights for the last couple of months my going-to-bed routine has been something like: “Gorguts? Gorerotted? Surely not Gorefest again?! ... Yeah, go on then…”
What exactly is so good about the latest release? In a word: everything. Although it doesn’ t feel so much different from “La Muerte” (take first tracks: similar sound, similar structure, similar riff count) it is that little bit better in every meaningful area. But then again, a little does suffice. Gorefest may not have been major mould-breakers at any point in their career, but this is the second occasion when they have used all the right ingredients in perfect proportions to achieve top-notch output. You’ve got it all here and then some. Apart from the trademark lotsa sludgy goodness interspersed with faaaarghst death metal passages and melodic leads there are some pockets of, well, experimentation? Nothing too off-kilter, of course. Take that middle bit in “Revolt”; it’s like a death metal version of the recitation passage in Maiden’s “Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner”, isn’t it? Still, it does the trick surprisingly well, creating the much desired ominous atmosphere.
The overall sound of the guitars is a surprisingly contemporary mean of “False” and “Erase”. There is plenty of attention to details and though I would never call the band’s songwriting baroque there are lots of little hooks that dig into your subconscious. The first twenty-five seconds of the album alone make it worth your money. Isn’t that buzz of amplified guitar pick-ups with a few muted string creaks a brilliant idea? It gives you the feeling of having the band play a private show in your house, or you being in their rehearsal room. Then the riff kicks in and then the lead arpeggioed fast as hell in that unmistakeably GOREFEST way. Yes!
It’s just not my style to do a track-by-track, so I think this will have to do for now. If, like me, you love the masterpiece that is “False", you are likely to enjoy “Rise to Ruin” as much as I do. Quality, mate! Can they match it in future? I certainly hope so.
Whatever happened to faith in comeback albums? I mean the usual pessimism is somewhat understandable depending on the group and such, but with a band like Gorefest, you just can’t doubt their impending success. Having already shown the world a hearty chunk of classic death metal after a long hiatus with “La Muerte,” Gorefest have actually improved from such a positive state to an advanced euphoria that shows clear traces of progression with 2007’s “Rise to Ruin.” Death metal is something these guys have always mastered, and the utter domination on “Rise to Ruin” continues Gorefest’s ever-lasting supremacy in both usual and uncommon ways.
It would be improper to call this a full-blown death metal CD, because it displays so much more than Gorefest’s earliest physique. Though it does contain an excellent sum of grinding death metal, “Rise to Ruin” opens up its boarders and allows commanding doom influence, technical elements, and slight rock subdivisions to roam freely across the land of Gorefest without fear of discrimination. Such a free-willed ideology brings forth a new strain of death metal that actively combines old-school death metal with new experimentations; a flawless mixture in the end.
Still, this acquired approach is found in every waking moment of the album, and is completely void of all possible errors. Songs like the epic “Babylon’s Whores” show storming blastbeats and rapid riffs at maximum velocity for just the right amount of time before a nifty dose of crushing doom passages filled with Jan-Chris De Koeijer’s earth-shattering vocals penetrate the sound barrier. Of course, the overall record shows several new forms of musical experimentation previously unknown to Gorefest, but everything sounds great nonetheless.
To match this poetic display of barbarism is Jan-Chris De Koeijer’s demonstration of growling that goes beyond the trend of just hitting low notes. Sure he uses the demonic vibe without any trouble, but our Dutch buddy focuses more on a twisted, bombastic tone rather the than the deep sound itself, and the result is nothing short of otherworldly. De Koeijer’s voice is not only forceful, but dangerously original, which is certainly something the typical untalented belcher lacks compared to Gorefest’s energetic singer.
The specialty of “Rise to Ruin” lies within the record’s evolutionary concept and Gorefest’s destructive perseverance as an old-school death metal squad. Everything found within this CD represents the hardy traditions of just kicking ass without the fear of proper exploration; it’s truly a great listen. Though it may not receive the deserved press, “Rise to Ruin” strictly upgrades the fierce characteristics of Gorefest’s pounding brutality with a neat poetic balance; truly a unique take of death metal here.
Okay, I’m simply gonna make a simple statement here. ‘Rise To Ruin’ is the best album Gorefest have made since 1992’s False and it actually is the best death metal album to have come from The Netherlands since the 1995 Acrostichon album ‘Sentenced’. Yes, the earlier Gorefest reunion album ‘La Muerte’ was nice, but over all too slow, safe and generic. This time the speed is more prominent and combined with the extreme doomy parts, experimental Thin Lizzy influences and industrial tendencies it results in one of their most varied and therefore extremely enjoyable, suprising and refreshing album.
Opening track ‘Revolt’ is an up tempo death metal assault with catchy chorus and an ingenious break in the middle. All music stops and makes way for a clean guitar with spoken words before plunging in again. What an opener. The title track is decent but turned out to be the least interesting song on the album. Can’t say much about it. Listened to it 24 times now, but it still doesn’t do it for me.
‘The War On Stupidity’ starts with a not so impressive intro but then evolves into yet another up tempo pounding piece of death metal with a blast speed chorus. The intro ‘A Question Of Terror’ has a very nice lead, a mid tempo double bass verse follows that builds up nicely to an eerie middle section that is both inspired by later Symbolic-era Death as well as industrial.
An obvious highlight then follows. A 9 minute (!) death metal epic. Babylon’s Whores has got all tempi familiar to Gorefest and never gets dull. Quite an achievement really. ‘Speak When Spoken to’ has the best title and is also one of the best songs continuing the ‘War On Stupidity’ style. Raging up tempo death metal with a doomy middle section and the best chorus that would even sound cool on a Napalm Death album.
‘A Grim Charade’ starts as a slower paced song and almost has a dull verse but this is saved by a nice guitar lead. The bridge increases pace and the song then keeps this pace to the end. ‘’Murder Brigade’ is one of my favourite songs on the album. I can’t help but screaming ‘Rat, Filth,’ out loud along with Jan Chris every time I hear this tune. The middle section is very slow with a extremely beautiful lead.
Last song ‘The End Of It All’ takes some time to get into but has slowly become one of my favourites on the album as well. It starts slow once again before plunging into blast speed death metal excellence. The break after 2:44 minutes keeps giving me the chills. Such grandeur and a great performance by drummer Ed Warby. From that point on the song slowly works to the end of the album in a hypnotising way. It all ends with a suiting ‘and so we rise to ruin’
What a trip, what an album. Normally I’m not chauvinistic but now I am. Gorefest have achieved recording an album that includes a lot of different influences (industrial, seventies harmonies and even an incidental black metal riff) without losing themselves and still keeping the album over all a real death metal album.
After some failing efforts, the re-formed Gorefest is back with a solid album. Amazing production and a decent mix make this album worthy. The drums are perfect, the guitars/bass have a great beefy tone and the vocals sound like taken straight from the "Mindloss" era.
The performance and execution are flawless. These guys have grown as musicians and composers and this shows throughout the album. Some solos are kinda out of place, but that is a minor detail (yes, I am picky when it comes down to the "solo" department).
The opener, "Revolt", gives you a perfect example of what to expect from the rest of the album. "Rise to Ruin" switches from mid-pace pounders to full speed ahead songs. Surprisingly, there are some blast beats here and there, perfectly placed to enhance the structures and to keep things interesting, without being repetitive.
There are some good melodies in some of the songs, but the whole "death'n'roll" style these guys were playing is gone for good. This is death metal the way it was meant to be: Fast, heavy and brilliant. And the most important thing: No fillers! Every song keeps up to the album.
I discovered Gorefest way back in the day by buying their demo tapes. And then they progressively went down the drain, IMHO, so I was really looking forward to this one. "Rise to Ruin" is a great comeback. and it has "early/mid 90's death metal with a modern twist" written all over it.