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Forget Bloodbath - 84%

haikuholocaust, May 21st, 2004

I can't say much else than Ribspreader is fucking sick, evil-sounding, disgusting, brutal, totally fucking great melodic death metal in the vein of the early '90s Swedish style (Carnage, early Entombed, Dismember, et cetera). You know, that genre that Bloodbath was supposed to pay tribute to but ended up sounding nothing like? Yeah, that one. Well, Ribspreader did Bloodbath's job for them, and in the process made really one of the best albums of that genre, even beating out stuff that actually originated back in the early '90s.

Of course, Dan Swano had his hand in Ribspreader, as he did in Bloodbath, but Ribspreader is much more Rogga's project than anyone else. His vocals are unbelievable, sounding quite similar to Akerfeldt's vocals in Bloodbath but adding a little more throaty, gutteral, real sound. The guitar sound is low, and just fuckin' evil sounding; and the melodic leads (there aren't really many solos, more just... harmonization) just draw the music to another grand level.

I guess if there's anything to complain about, it's the drum sound, which doesn't have enough bass/double bass. But the cymbals/hi-hat/snares sound pretty tight, sharp and good. I just want to be able to hear more than the tap tap tap of the snares at times, and double bass seems to be rather scarce here.

But really, I'm not gonna complain much about this piece. It fucking kills the whole way through. I can't get enough of the guitar sound, which I think beats out Clandestine/Left Hand Path-era Entombed even in its sick, dirty sound. Of course, no band can ever match the dirty, beatiful guitar sound that Edge of Sanity produced, but Ribspreader does a great job.

The songwriting is great to go along with the great guitar sound and leads. There are enough time changes to keep us death metallers interested. I'd like to hear some solos and a little wankery, but that's just me. There are some great solo-like interludes, so I shouldn't really bring that up.

There's already another album in the works, again featuring Swano and perhaps some more songwriting from Swano (I believe Rogga wrote most of Bolted to the Cross). Let's compare that new Ribspreader to the new Bloodbath when they both come out; I have a feeling Ribspreader'll easily conquer them again.

Overall, this album is worth buying two or three times; keep a copy at home, in your car and at work. Sure, you could just buy it once and copy it, but it's so good, you'll want to own a hundred copies. Download it if you must, but this is a must buy of epic proportions.