|Review: Gorefest - Rise to Ruin|
|Rise to Ruin|
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2007
Genre: Death Metal
Review online: April 15, 2009
Reviewed by: Nahsil
for:Rise to Ruin
Gorefest, like Dismember, have been playing Death Metal for a while now. Apparently they went through a death 'n' roll phase, but I haven't heard any of that material so it won't affect this review. I bring up Dismember specifically because there are a few comparisons to be drawn. First and most obvious is the story of their respective careers, with both bands starting out in the late '80s/early '90s playing European Death Metal, moving on to a "more accessible" style in the mid '90s, and recently staging a return to their Death roots. Smart move on Gorefest's part, as this album is a lot of fun and should satisfy anyone wanting a modern Death Metal album filtered through an old school state of mind.
To tell the truth this isn't pure Death Metal, but a firm DM foundation with creeping punk and other influences. The opening song "Revolt" could be confused for crust or crossover, featuring a shouted group chorus and the infamous d-beat style of drumming (which can be heard all over the album and is more prominent than blasting). This is also partly because Gorefest's vocalist, while similar to Dismember's Matti Kärki in ways, possesses a bellowing "clean" growl that is very understandable and has less of Death Metal's typical grit. That's not so much a complaint; I enjoy his vocals, and they're not altogether inappropriate for the kind of mid-paced madness making up this album. Furthermore, his mid-range bark is able to summon a lot of power and charisma. Metalcore should be taking notes; there's real strength channeled through Jan-Chris De Koeijer that you won't find in too many vocalists of this kind.
Rise to Ruin has impressive highs but a few tracks shouldn't have made the cut or should have been structurally revised. "The War on Stupidity" and "A Question of Terror" are both high quality crushers with great guitar leads/solos and fist-raising vocal lines, not to mention well-mixed drumming (old school analogue reigns supreme) and some excellent early Swedish sounding riffs. And they aren't the only good songs, but the songwriting does take a dip in certain places. Interestingly, there's not really a full song that fails to meet quality standards, just sections of different songs. Riff patterns have a tendency of sometimes repeating, and there's a lack of variation in the drumming/overall composition. These flaws are minute when considering the album as a whole, however, and I have no reservations recommending it to people who normally enjoy this kind of stuff. Don't expect a world class effort and you won't be disappointed.
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