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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.