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Rigor Mortis' self-titled LP is absolutely flawless. The gnarly trio put theirself on the map as thrash metal on the fringe of death. The intro, Welcome To Your Funeral, is saturated with gritty, yet melodic riffs. It is a sign for things to come.
Track two delivers us to Demons. This had to be the heaviest thrash around in 1988. In fact, it’s quite complicated to play as loud and aggressive as Rigor Mortis without sounding like shit. Rigor Mortis instills a killer melody into deafening riffs. Demons blew me away when I first heard it. The riffs are furious and the solos are extraordinary. Some say they don't like the vocals…. Yes, Corbitt is flirting with death vocals, but he has the perfect voice for it. His violent and raspy singing goes hand in hand with the brutal lyrics.
After listening to Demons, I thought things couldn't get better. Bodily Dismemberment proved me wrong. These murderous lyrics are backed by more amazing riffs. Warning: Its melody may prompt you to kill the nearest living being. Things just keep improving. Track four, Condemned To Hell, has to be one of the greatest songs of all time. Mike exterminates another solid riff. He twists every note into the perfect form, inflicting a lethal rhythm over Corbitt’s vocals. The chorus is perfect, Bruce wails the refrain as if he was descending into hell himself. I can't even think of a band to compare this too. Perhaps one can describe it as a more melodic version of Dark Angel or Kreator. But, even that is pushing it. Rigor Mortis is fast, unique, and ruthless. I couldn't ask for more.
Wizard Of Gore keeps up the pace. The initial riff is a little slow, but it picks up with the chorus. Great lyrics, astounding variation of guitar solos and unblemished riffs. Scaccia kicks out another similar riff for Shroud Of Gloom. The chorus comes into play about 25 seconds into the song. It’s wicked, and quite impressive. It’s a miracle to the scene that they’ve reunited. Bands these days just can't seem to produce such violent tunes. Die In Pain, what can I say that hasn't been said above. Another brutal song, with a top drawer extended chorus. There isn't a bad track on Rigor Mortis. Vampire will have you screaming "She Will Rot" around the house. Rigor Mortis exercises forceful thrash without going overboard and sounding stupid. Re-Animator is a song about a nutcase retrieving bodies from a morgue and trying to turn them into zombies. It fits quite appropriately with the album. The LP is concluded with Slow Death. It's initiated with an ingenious intro, hideous sirens and screams. Orr;s high backing shout over the sirens sounds murderous.
Anyway if you like thrash/death this album is for you. I can't see how a thrash fan wouldn't like this. The only thing that might deter one is the raspy vocals. I'm usually not a fan of them myself, but they sound well with this album. Best place to listen to this album: The cemetery at night. If you discover this album, and you are a true thrash fan, make no mistakes and purchase it.