|5 (1 votes):|
From the United Kingdom, comes the freshman album of thrash metal/metalcore band Reaper-X, entitled Rise. Released via Sliptrick records, Rise serves as a firm introduction to the bands skill set, and displays a soulful potential ripe with energy and packed with various influences, metallic and not-so-metallic. From the songwriting, to the mix and production, and to the lyrics, everything is on point and share a similar level execution more or less. That’s not to say everything is perfect or even to an extent, extraordinary, but rather great at best, and at worst forgettable and unmentionable.
To begin with, most of the songs never go full throttle in terms of speed, instead choosing a more hardcore approach, and allowing the listener to mosh and head-band along to the track. This album is like a movie, with passages of the aforementioned riffing, interlaced with high speed solos, and even a rock-ballad in the middle to slow things down and even out the tempo. But even then the track “Adrift”, with its rock and pop punk based ballad has a solo rich with skill and technicality, whilst also providing a piercing and melancholy, yet uplifting melody. However, while the whole album is rich with headbangable and catchy riffs, it does have a fair share punky, bouncy breakdown riffs. Thankfully, these riffs are usually played for rhythm and are layered behind an impressive solo, like on the track “Diplomatic Solution”. And it is a saving grace that as chuggy as these parts can get, they are just as brief, and followed up by more thrash laden riffs that keep the tempo nice and relatively high. The more chuggy/hardcore riffs are the real downside of the music, as in their presence, the music slows down significantly and becomes almost dreadfully repetitive, as seen on the longest track, “Rise”. But like I mentioned before, the hardcore elements are the minority in this album, and the metallic thrash side shines through like a golden glimmer.
Speaking of hardcore, the vocals of this album definitely lend themselves to a more punk like approach. Vocalist Scott Austin does a superb job at shouting out his parts, in a clear yet aggressive manner. His enunciations though at times are a bit distracting, due mainly to some of his patterns having him clearly pronounce every syllable he utters. Though, he also does offer some variety in his technique, going from a clear shot, to more death/black metal growl, as well as peppering in some gang shouts here and there. The guitars as well have a forceful and down tuned, death metal vibe to them in the rhythm parts, and pierce ceaselessly in the leads and solos, providing a dichotomy in the sound and tone, going from a brutal warpath to a moody peak. The drumming, while not anything special in terms of technicality or skill, packs a strong punch in terms of sound, and in the presence of the other instruments, is fine addition in the barrage of sound and energy. The mix isn’t particularly bass heavy, but still pretty warm, with vocals at the forefront and the bass having an almost strong and noticeable part.
From a flurry of vocal styles, to a cavalcade of various forms of riffs, Rise stands out in an interesting way. The album however does suffer from its more punk like influences, but it doesn’t hold itself back too much. The riffs, while bouncy at times, can still catch me off guard and get my head nodding along to the track, while the war like sound pounds away at my ears. When it wants to be, it can range from dynamic, furious and energetic thrash rich with power and violence, to emotional, if not a bit sappy, ballad like rock with metal influences. Definitely worth a peak, if not just to get a taste at what the full–length can offer, and worth a purchase if you’re a fan of thrash and/or metalcore.