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Rites of thy Degringolade - Totality - 90%

vorfeed, May 11th, 2004

Artist: Rites of Thy Degringolade
Album Title: Totality
Label: Realms of Darkness

This is the second full-length album from Rites of Thy Degringolade, a Canadian group that sprung from the ashes of Sacramentary Abolishment. They play chaotic, technical black/death metal.

The drums are the most notable aspect of this album. They're all over the place - pounding, slamming, marking time only to spin off into wild improvisational passages. This makes sense, considering that the central member of this band, Paulus, is also the drummer. Still, the guitar and bass are equally punishing. Vocals are a straightforward, easily understandable growl.

The songwriting on this album is a great improvement over Rites' previous album, "The Caryatid". That album was just as chaotic, but not so coherent, whereas this one is much better polished. This is still extremely complex music, though, so much so that it's almost overwhelming at times. The technical skill on display here is matched only by the unrelenting nature of the music. This album rarely gives the listener a break, and when it does, it immediately takes off on another attack. This constancy makes for an immersive listening experience, as do the lyrics, which are much more thoughtful than the usual fare.

I'm not sure why Rites of Thy Degringolade doesn't get more press - they're at least as good as Axis of Advance, another band that came out of Sacramentary Abolishment, yet they rarely get mentioned with such frequency. It's a shame, because this band is more than worth the attention. Highly recommended.

Standout Tracks: "Twenty-Six Triumphant Years", "The Feast of Reason", "Hail Pain"

Review by Vorfeed: