If you are ever looking for some highly enjoyable and fiery rock ‘n’ roll with the muscle to snap bone, than Australian rockers Reapers Riddle is always a potent port of call. Previous EPs and singles have persistently proved the fact but fair to say the Perth band has simply outdone anything which came before with debut album The End Is Nigh. The twelve track adventure sees the band push their fusion of metal and heavy rock to new imaginative and bold heights; each encounter within its apocalyptic walls a singular protagonist within an overall emprise that forcibly grips ears and imagination alike.
Emerging in 2009, Reapers Riddle quickly whipped up attention with the release of a self-titled demo that same year. It was the A Touch Of Death EP two years later which opened up broader interest and appetites outside of their local scene though, the internationally acclaimed release stirring up the underground across the globe with just as wide radio play. The following period saw line-up changes and shows with the likes of The Getaway Plan and Misfits before the single Drop, and its video, revealed the bold growth and invention which had brewed in the band’s sound over the same period. Second EP Game Over only confirmed and pushed the band’s growing stature as well as an imagination which The End Is Nigh now reaps.
From the portentous Intro and its alluring dawning of the end, the album initially seduces ears with melodic tempting and melancholic ambience as Disintegrate brews up its subsequent roar. As much a statement on today as the first chapter in the album’s darkly prophetic theme, the track is soon swinging across the senses with ravenous riffs and robust rhythms with the recognisable and potent growling tones of vocalist Clayton Mitchell expressively colouring the emerging landscape. Guitars, led by the sonic prowess of Kristen Sanfead, burn the air as they flame with heavy metal and melodic rock enterprise, searing across the rugged rhythms prowling ears in turn.
It is a powerful beginning to The End Is Nigh matched by War on Indulgence and surpassed by the album’s title track. The first of the two rumbles and grumbles from the off, the bass of Jason Edwards a grouchy predation against the sinew swung beats of Andrew Burt with guitars again bringing a creative and inventive fire to scorch the hefty prowl of the song. With vocal diversity adding to the bestial weight and tone of the encounter, the track is a well-crafted mix of contrasts quickly over shadowed by its successor and its groove spun creative theatre. Vocals flirt and excite ears early on, again imaginative variety adding to the enticing spice of guitar and arousing bait of rhythms. At times the album is like a ‘rock opera’ with, as in this magnetic treat, the narrative’s drama as much as anything leading the inventiveness on show.
Rise of the Macchina slowly comes to life next, its compelling air and body rising to its steeled feet in predatory manner as an industrial air smothers monotony lined rhythms and their automated suggestiveness. With Mitchell again mixing up his delivery impressively, the incitement blends predacious roams with vociferous roars, the resulting a track which again leaves body and emotions hungry for more.
A shuffle of tenacious rock ‘n’ roll provides the heart of Welcome to the Wasteland, the stomp a celebration in the barren climax of all with riffs and rhythms rabid inciters wrapped in sonic revelry. A party at the end of the world, the exhilarating arousal makes way for the bluesy toxicity of Write of Passage. Swaggering in, clothed in tangy tendrils of guitar and carrying a devilish vaunt to its attitude and voice, the song is like the carnival barker at the end of days; the doorman to hellacious landscapes welcoming and intimidating in equal measure.
Those suggested hostile outcomes emerge as Valley of the Damned next, a thumping cascade of ravenous rhythms and gnarly riffs descending with merciless appetite upon ears, each clutching and clawing at the senses. Mitchell’s voice along with spicy sonic endeavour tempers the carnal heart of the track, merging with its antagonistic energy to spawn another invigorating rock ‘n’ roll anthem before the sobering croon of Last Breath envelops the imagination. A reflectively provocative smoulder of imposing shadows and melancholic angst, the song is a tantalising affair just as potent bursting into emotion fuelled cries becoming more captivating and irresistible with every listen.
Hollow is a heavy metal romp which at times lacks the punch of its companions but in other moments has body and voice fully involved in its brawly fun. Think Misfits sings Black Sabbath with an eager smile and the song will thickly please before it is forgotten in the might of Dying Breed, and alone the rhythmic enticement of Burt. Turning out to be as primal a predator as anything on the album, the track swings and roars as it enslaves, taking the listener on a boisterous canter lined with easy to devour hooks bred from unpredictable imagination; simply Reapers Riddle at their dynamic best.
Every album should have a song which puts the cat amongst the pigeons of expectations and closer Tnaryt Esir is just that. A theatrical exploration in its own right, the song opens with soaring classically honed female vocals which are soon replaced with darker gothic tones as rhythms engagingly skip along. Featuring Darkyra Black and Sophia Marie, the thirteen minute offering entwines rapacious heavy rock and a varied mix of metal to match the mix of tyrannical and engagingly enticing vocal delivery on offer. It challenges and fascinates, and though an undulating success in personal tastes at times across its unconventional soundscape it only breeds a want to explore deeper which in turn only leads to thicker pleasure found.
Reapers Riddle is ready to make a global impression with The End Is Nigh and show all just how good they are.
The End Is Nigh is available now through most online stores and @ http://reapersriddle.bigcartel.com/products
Pete RingMaster 21/01/2016
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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