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Resurrection - Ritual Slaughter
Review: Demonstrating great potential, then turning off half of their audience by having some clever monkey sprawl out spoken word cryptids of humor between tracks, then vanish, Resurrection sowed the seeds for a past they would need to disinter back in 1993 when "Embalmed Existence" represented a potential direction for Florida death metal: the chanting choruses of Exhorder mated to the slow melodic build-up of Obituary, with the charging riff creativity of Monstrosity.
Returning from the past back to the present, Resurrection attempt to forge a new path for their name with a new release which shows a great deal of promise but has not yet found its balance. Filtered away from rhythm, songwriting has improved with a line-drive style that incorporates disparate riffs without getting lost and brings back the thunderous chorus entrypoints of heavy metal bands. It has simplified itself without losing the dynamics of radical tempo shifts and riff form alteration that made the original great. Like Celtic Frost's "Monotheist," it often resembles expressively self-reliant music in search of an aesthetic outlook. Songwriting reaches us through rhythm and phrasing which have been simplified as those aforementioned Exhorder elements devolve toward Pantera-levels of simplicity.
The reduced riff salad serves the tonal development of each song well but backs down from the flourishing of pattern wisdom that makes death metal distinctive, complementing a tendency to establish fertile harmonic ground for melodic lead rhythm patterns which evoke the best work of Iron Maiden or Metallica; the stripped-down song patterns, much like those of Immolation, allow atavistic creativity through forging unison on recognition of rhythmic focal points. This strength is a weakness however; riffs bouncy in the style of Exodus lose much of their metalness, and while this album has great potential, it buries it in strobing recursions of expectant rhythm which lead it away from aspiration to a compromise seemingly designed to please an anticipated audience.