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Review: Replica - Riven by Grief
Riven by Grief

Label: Independent
Year released: 2008
Duration: 47:55
Tracks: 12
Genre: Thrash Metal


Review online: September 5, 2008
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
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Some interesting stuff here.  Replica play a mix of modern and old school Thrash with a pinch of crossover elements.  Add to this a few traditional Heavy and Power Metal elements that pop up occasionally, and also a few very obvious nods to modern Venom and modern Exodus.  What sets this apart the most is the overwhelming presence of melody (including a number of very well done acoustic parts) throughout the album, almost always present even in the heavier, sharper and aggressive parts.  You get some harsh vocals with razor-sharp guitars blazing away and there's that little "happy" (for lack of a better word) sound that's accompanying them, like an ice cream truck driving through a street gangs shooting war.  The sound here is crystal clear for the most part, maybe a little too much for those who prefer the rawer edge of Thrash, but for those who like it clean, this is bound to please more than a few.  It's rather "light", sometimes branching into a heavier mood, but not very much so compared to other newer Thrash bands, for example.

Musically this is very good overall, but the vocals are hit and miss - about 70% good, but there are a few sour grapes here.  The majority of the vocal work is a harsh but clean style, but there are some more "messy", when not somewhat childish vocal styles used here and there, and that makes my teeth hurt every time.  Mood breaker alright.  I'm sure there was a reason behind the change in style, but frankly this album would have been better off without. Also, one could argue that a somewhat cleaner vocal style would increase their appeal to the "clean Thrash" crowd.  Still, this is overall very enjoyable, when not downright fun "Thrash with a twist."

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