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I’m not sure what’s up with Rogga Johansson… Either he’s born with an insane amount of talent and ideas, or he spends his entire days writing riffs and sorting out the really killer ones. If you’ve ever heard Paganizer, Putrevore, Ribspreader, Bone Gnawer, The Grotesquery or Bloodgut you’re familiar with his work, and this is just the handful of bands I know and had heard (with a couple of them being true personal favourites). Revolting is, as you’ve probably guessed if you didn’t know already, one of his bands. This is the first album not released on Razorback, which sucks for them ‘cause to me this is the best effort of the constellation.
One thing that sets this apart from its two predecessors is the fact that it sounds somewhat more serious, with less frivolity. Not that they weren’t good albums, but In grisly rapture just sounds more dense, intense and with a greater sense for melody. What we’re dealing with, like all the other previously mentioned bands, is old school death metal, and in particular that of the Swedish style. The riffing’s solid, and the guitar lines deliver catchy, yet often quite fierce, melodies, which on top of the typical drumming of their agenda and accompanied by Rogga’s wicked voice, are cause for a majorly effective album. I have no doubt in my mind the guys have fun whipping this up, and with the extremely horror flick inspired lyrics courtesy of Dezpicable Desmond (never heard of the guy, but he’s also the one responsible for the utterly awesome cover art) it still sounds like a Revolting album; just more serious.
The chunky and heavy production really gives note to the bass drums, and in my awesome speakers (and at the right volume, of course) really echoes through my gut. The bass might not take to the forefront, but it’s most definitely there, albeit with the guitar predominately mixed. Sound-quality wise this is just wicked. And with the gore-spewing, blood-drenched, limb-cutting (all metaphorically, of course) death metal there really is no reason for you not to check this out, ‘cause I have to say I was hooked half-way through the initial spin. Just imagine a mix between Ribspreader and Bone Gnawer, or in case you’re not familiar with either act a mix between Unleashed, Grave and Blood Freak. Killer in every which way.
Originally written for My Last Chapter
Here is Revolting’s 2011 album, In Grisly Rapture. At first, I saw it labeled as melodic death metal and was quite wary of it, as most melodic death metal reeks of Gothenburg-scented perfume and other flowery things. However, to my glee, this is actually a great slab of Stockholm melodic death metal! For those who don’t know the difference between the two, let’s just say that Stockholm melodic death metal is actually death metal that’s melodic, where as the Gothenburg style of melodic death metal is comprised of bands using harsh vocals over “that At the Gates riff” all over Slaughter of the Soul, then throwing a bunch of Iron Maiden leads on top of it, and occasionally adding in some keyboards. Gothenburg is the crap like In Flames. Stockholm is like Revolting.
From the first seconds of ‘Hell in Dunwich,’ I can already tell what this is going to sound like. It has this incredibly thick bass tone that just pummels through the music, while the guitars set up the melodic tremolo picked riffing that’s about to occur. The drumming is not nearly as extreme as traditional Swedish death metal, although the blastbeats are certainly there. If anything, this is just a perfect example of Stockholm melodic death metal–it’s a slowed down, more melodic version of bands like Necrophobic, while still retaining the qualities of actual death metal.
‘The Plague of Matul’ is the catchiest track here, as the main motif of the song is simple, repeated often, and fits wonderfully in the context of this groovy, yet fast tune. The riffs here are really well composed, alternating between tremolo picked glory and loveable chuggery when needed. The chuggy riffs sound so beefy with that bass underneath! This is about as simply structured as a death metal song will get, but the simple structure works very well with the other elements at hand in this song.
In Grisly Rapture is simply another great old school throwback album, and frankly, I’m loving the resurgence of this style of death metal. Some people complain that old school death metal has no more purpose, as it doesn’t do anything new. Well, why fix something that isn’t broken? It’s particularly great to hear a death metal band with production fitting of a death metal band, and this album is close to that. While the cymbals really suffer from over-compression, otherwise, this sounds great. Nothing else sounds sterile or fooled around with in a studio. The guitar and bass are all incredibly thick and full sounding, and the vocals are naturally deep. A lot of modern death metal (think about your average Metal Blade, Relapse, Season of Mist, or Nuclear Blast band) just sounds so plastic, like a mockery of the old style of death metal, instead opting for a more marketable sound, be it via simple song structure, sterile production, or a lack of anything “brutal” whatsoever that made death metal what it is in the first place. Luckily, Revolting ignored that crap and made an actual death metal album.
This is about as by-the-books as Stockholm melodic death metal can get. Some of the songs certainly aren’t as good as others, but overall, we’re presented with a solid package here. In the year 2011, we should be quite accepting of this as a death metal album, as it sticks to its roots about as well as any new death metal album will. This isn’t breaking any new ground, and nor would I want it to. While I find some of the riffs to be a bit uninspired, the majority of this album is quite good.
Written for http://thenumberoftheblog.com/
It's occurred to me that Rogga Johansson might not actually be a single, distinct entity, but more a series of human clones reared on the classic death metal of the 90s. This army of identical twins is bent on single (errr...many-handedly) overrunning the entire sub-genre of Swedish death metal, slightly edging out the scumbags and poseurs until it consists of merely him and his selves, and those lucky enough to be his co-conspirators. Revolting is one of his myriad projects, and one of the best at summoning forth the composure of forebears Entombed, Grave, Dismember, Edge of Sanity and Unleashed into the now, with an endless series of originally but admittedly derivative songs that will have much of the purist audience in heat to grind their teeth on its meat.
In Grisly Rapture immediately seems somehow more...serious than either of its predecessors. Not that the decapitated heads, bloodied stumps and genitals on the cover are an indicator, but just through the composition alone. Stylistically, it's not a far cry from either Dreadful Pleasures or The Terror Threshold, but there's a more sour sense for melody inherent in tracks like the opener "Hell in Dunwich", "The Plague of Matul" or the bridge of "Human Exterminator". Then again, this is just the opening batch of material. Later on the album, we have "Dr. Freudstein", "Sucked Into the Sand" and the rockin' "Devil Witch", all of which bring back that frivolous flare, that inanity which distinguished the earlier records as all too fitting for the Razorback roster.
Unfortunately, while this is indeed a solid set of riffs with some obvious care placed in their construction, I just didn't find it to live up to the last release. To Rogga's credit, he does not seem exhausted or entirely out of steam here. There is some fraction of creativity being applied to the riffs, even if they're largely paraphrased from the genre classics, or his own work in other bands like Demiurg, Paganizer, and Ribspreader. The production is good, the vocals and guitar tone all too sincere, but unlike Dreadful Pleasures or The Terror Threshold, I was not struck with the immediate desire to keep spinning through its contents. Not a waste of productivity, and perhaps satisfactory to diehards for all things this sub-genre, but the guy's done a lot of better albums than this and I'm sure he will again in the future. Ghoulish good, but not ghastly great.