Ripped to Shreds
劇變 (Jubian)

Ripped to Shreds has been doing this nasty, skronky, old school death metal for a while, but the style has recently taken off. There are several incredible albums in this domain so far in 2022. Namely, Molder, Phobophilic, and Tribal Gaze, to name some recent ones. There’s always been something a little more distinct with Ripped to Shreds, though. Maybe it’s the guitar tone which just sounds DEEPER than the rest, maybe it’s the soloing, or maybe it’s just Andrew Lee’s penchant for riffcraft (patent pending).

If you were worried that somehow, some way, Ripped to Shreds wouldn’t, well, rip you to shreds, you’re a fool. The first track doesn’t fuck about. It’s called “Violent Compulsion,” and despite the mostly straightforward blast fest, some of the most entertaining moments are the “ohs.” Of course, my dude decides to melt your face off with a solo a little over 2 minutes in. There’s another brilliant solo with squeals intact to end the song, too.

The third track, which is called “In Solitude-Sun Moon Holy Cult Pt 3,” is the centerpiece at over 10 minutes. At 36 minutes total, this takes up nearly 1/3 of the total running time. In the vocal department, Andrew sounds a little bit like a hoarse Chris Reifert. As far as the instrumentals, of course the main riff is fine, the first solo is a little underwhelming, BUT once it all slows down a little over 4 minutes in, you can just feel the riff and groove is going to make you nod your head. It does so aptly. Not only is this the best track on the album because of the multiple movements (I can identify), but it’s not at the end of the album.

Of course, after the longest track on the album, the band wants to make sure to grab the momentum back (although they never lost it). “Harmonious Impiety” comes next, with a killer, groovy riff to open up, and of course a quick, killer solo. A quick solo with a little less than a minute left, then an “ugh,” punctuating it ends the quick 2 ½ minute track.

The next one, “Race Traitor” does go on twice as long at nearly 5 minutes, but the name of the game is the same and Lee is to blame (this wasn’t necessary). It includes another predictably nasty riff, but also one of the longest, most extensive solo sections on the album. There are great leads all over the place.

At the very end of the album is the shortest track, which is called “Scripture Containing the Supreme Internal Energy Arts That Render the Practitioner Invincible Throughout the Martial Rea.” God damn. The song title is almost as long as the track itself.

So, if you’re into this type of filthy, nasty, old school death metal like I am this year (and most others), then you need this album in your life and in your veins. It’s top tier. Excellent musicianship, great riffs, great solos. Ripped to Shreds has done it again. Get this. You won’t be disappointed.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
November 2nd, 2022


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