July 9th, 2012
Release length: 26:57
Reaper’s Consecration has a pretty strong audio quality to it, focusing on a deeper, almost twanging distortion on the guitars, as well as on the louder bass guitar, which is suiting to the Swedish Death Metal melodies and crushing atmospheres being woven. The drumming has a superb echo on the snares, coming off very distant despite the click of the bass kicks being right at the forefront along with the natural and clear cymbals. The vocals tie everything together well, having a mixture of deep gutterals with more of a shouting growl approach that makes up much of the release. The higher end production doesn’t wipe away any of the bite, in fact helps the distortions used to create a rather dirty sounding experience while finding all the instruments as crisp as possible.
Most of the songs here end up lasting well past the five minute mark, while still offering enjoyable experiences that aren’t padded out and extended pointlessly. “Deathrides” is the only shorter offering, clocking in at just under four and a half minutes. While the longer offerings really stand out as crushing and often atmospheric experiences, this one just pummels away at the listener from the start. Unfortunately, it isn’t as fast as the introduction sets things up to be. The crushing guitars and pounding drumming grab the listener as the aggression in the performance continues to hammer away. There are some slower moments scattered about that open up a far more devastating journey, but these are transitioned into well, and end up having you bang your head along harder than the main verses, though the guitar solo definitely gives them a run for their money. Unfortunately, these typically don’t last too long here, but thankfully do tend to appear for longer periods of time in other songs, such as “Dead Today, Dust Tomorrow.” This welcomes the listener in with a commanding mid-tempo pace holding a rather brutal groove to the riffs that is hard to fight banging your head along to, even when the pace picks up and the snares really take over in the drum performance, catering more to a blastbeat fueled approach. The transitions in and out of the two speeds are handled quite well, and the haunting chords that come into play when the speed it toned down makes it all worth jumping back and forth to.
Of all the longer tracks, it’s “I Am the Reaper” that stands out the most. This track carries a bit of a Heavy Metal attitude with it as well, which is largely found in the guitar solo and some of the adjoining passages, as well as some of the bridges. This track also has some of the hardest hitting and most enthusiastic material the recording has to offer. The vocals often have a slight echo effect when pushing into more energetic ground, while the chords and drumming feel tighter and more frantic. There are mid-pace sections that don’t quite have that same furious bite, rather toning down the impact a bit more, but feeding in a little extra crushing atmosphere to the mix, especially when it ends up enveloped by a hopeless crawling performance around the four minute mark. Admittedly, this does feel as though it’s padding the song a bit, as there’s no real need for that passage to be there, but in the end it still sounds pretty good, and introduces that speed prior to it hitting in the aforementioned solo so you at least get acquainted to it. This isn’t the only good song of the second half, as “Necrohell” is also worth checking out, and “We Stand Alone” carries over the energy that “I Am the Reaper” had quite well, closing with a mid-tempo section riddled with gang chants that will make you want to throw your fists in the air and shout along.
In the end, Reaper’s Consecration is a pretty strong effort, especially for an EP’s worth of material. With only one section to “I Am the Reaper” really feeling like padding, and plenty of hard hitting songs that really push a blunt edge forward from the deeper tones and dirty distortions, there’s no denying that this does make for an impressive follow-up. It isn’t the most awe-inspiring Death Metal release you’ll find, but there is plenty of material that will make you bang your head along, or at the very least get the blood flowing thanks to the often energetic performances that are captured here. Zombiefication put their best foot forward, and if this really was a limited edition pressing, it’s great to have it finally offered in a less restricted manner, as fans of the style will easily find plenty to enjoy that, chances are good, they may not have had the chance to hear before. Well, at least legally.
01. Dead Today, Dust Tomorrow – 5:23
02. Deathrides – 4:29
03. Necrohell – 5:22
04. I Am the Reaper – 6:04
05. We Stand Alone – 5:39
|Overall Score: 8.5/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by Pulverised Records.