Rats of Reality
The Art of Debiliation EP

Lately, my wanton lust for grinding, d-beat flesh is insatiable.  It could be the nice weather, a mental illness or some other factor bringing it out of me again, but shit man, I got the bug.  Scotland’s own sewerborn hellspawn Rats of Reality are really hitting me with a ball peen hammer right between the eyes on their second EP, The Art of Debilitation.  The trio is less death-y and more frozen over by a Norwegian blizzard than say Come Back from the Dead or the thrashing Halshug, yet they sport a similar penchant for circle-pit serenades that make them good company for the aforementioned decimators.  If you created a sonic scientific lab experiment that used equal amounts of the alchemical properties Darkthrone, Fall of the Bastards, Bathory and Venom, balanced by generously filled test tubes of Discharge, Hellshock and His Hero is Gone…the anti-matter entity thusly created from the resulting explosion would probably go on a killing spree with those bands on its Walkman.

“Shallow Bastards” is a graven, straight to hell jam with James McBain’s risen dead riffage cleaving its way right through the ribcage in bursts of ear-bleeding minor key licks, pelvis shattering doom stomps, catchy punk-runs and whiplash tremolo loaded on meth that are summoned from a wasteland void far beyond the realm of the living.  Peter Barron keeps taught control over this sleaze sermon, delegating the majority of his work to the snares and toms…damnation fills, traditional d-beat and godless blasts the lion’s share of his arsenal.  Bassist Clark Core’s low-end detonations are mixed just loud enough to have an impact as they become a particular highlight whenever the fray pops a few Vicodin and creeps into a sludgy, medicine cabinet march.  Handling the vocals, James and Clark flank the eardrums in a volley of curdled shrieks, sick screams and midrange roars that are all fang n’ claw…you can forget the nice stuff, these guys would rather rip out your spinal cord and play it like an accordion.

The triumphant, melody minded guitar-work that introduces “Faceless Ones,” stands gloriously on a battlefield of the slaughtered weak and mangled timid.  It places a regal, ruby embedded crown on the top of the song’s lice-infested scalp.  This is a d-beating with blackened touches, seeing as the punk elements are the main course and the sick, abrasive whiteouts really only infect the instrumental/vocal tones.  It’s certainly a favorite of mine on this EP and the shreddin’, rock n’ roll raped guitar solo in the 2nd half is overflowing with a “Fast” Eddie Clarke inflection.  A dumptruck load of rancid sludgy gloom stinks up the early going of “Liferuiner” with a deliciously sweet scent that induced me to pleasantly vomit on myself.

While the hardcore punk overtones are applied to the rhythm/tempo arrangements, the high-end vocal/guitar impalement would please Vlad with no questions asked.  Closing the EP, the title track provides electroshock therapy to the brain with an intro of placid, cleanly plucked chords before chugging, mutilating and sprawling akin to Celtic Frost on a meth binge.  There’s more grease n’ cholesterol in the bass lines than a McDonald’s kitchen and the guitars follow their path in a lard-y, mid-tempo dosed up on derelict thrash grooves.  The songs travels much distance on the castle grounds…twirling in the great halls of d-beat, stopping to watch the torture in a dungeon of despondent black metal and ascending to the keep where a serene though inherently damaged vision of melodic doom sweeps across the tranquil English countryside.  These executioners don’t always play by the textbook when sharpening their fuckin’ axe, that’s for sure.

The Art of Debilitation is a goddamn keeper.  I must also mention that the prior Self-Titled EP is very much worthy of your time as well.  Who gives a shit about a poetic review ending when you just had your ears stretched on the rack and hastily thrown into an iron maiden?  Rats of Reality will kick your stomach out your asshole and make soup with it, which is exactly what this type of music damn well ought to do!  Recommended!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jay S
July 15th, 2015

Comments

  1. Commented by: Timothy D White

    “will kick your stomach out your asshole and make soup with it”

    haha awesome :-D


  2. Commented by: Jay

    Thanks Tim! Ha ha! Couldn’t help myself with that one. :)


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