Ripper – Experiment of Existence (2016)


The Americans invented speed metal with Metallica’s Kill ‘Em All, which came out the same year as Slayer’s Show No Mercy and early European projects like Bathory, Sodom and Hellhammer. The European scene fused these together into a speed metal that used proto-death riffing as exemplified by Destruction, Kreator and Merciless.

Ripper picks up in the Merciless vein and keeps that Swedish landmark as its guiding force. This band keeps the attention of listeners however through its spirit and its refusal to adopt clichés. It uses riff forms found before, but keeps them specific to the song so that they relate to the other parts, preventing songs from being “grab-bags” of former ideas.

Its weakness comes in one of the hardest tasks for any metal band: distinguishing songs from one another when they have a similar approach to tempo and vocal patterns. Here, Ripper lag behind their mentors. This is the only flaw. The Instrumentation is top-notch and creative: the riffing reflects the theme of each song and displays competence and wrestling complexity from simple power chord clusters while vocals are both harsh and complement the music.

Incorporating melodic and instrumental elements, Ripper keeps the intensity high. This creates the type of listening environment that bands like Angelcorpse perfected: both intense like aerobic activity in the presence of terror, and somewhat monolithic because so much of it hits the same sweet spot of rhythm and motion. But its spirit never flags and the resulting enjoyment of the music, for listener and musician, forms a bond that far surpasses what most of the underground has been doing for the past 20 years.

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23 thoughts on “Ripper – Experiment of Existence (2016)”

  1. thewaters says:

    It is interesting because I hear everything from Morbid Angel, to Slayer, to Kreator, to Pentagram (Chile), to Sepultura on this record. Everything is a nod to their “mentors” but it still manages to have a voice of its own. Good Album!!!

  2. Crow says:

    Less void, more being please!

  3. former Metal Hall user says:

    First off, I`m not a troll. I would like to ask you guys an honest question. I`m looking for doom metal bands to add to my collection. Plain doom metal bands NOT doom-death or funeral doom or what have you, just heavy-doom metal bands.
    Can anybody here please point me to a good band that I might be missing? I appreciate your help and thank you in advance.

    Here are the bands I already have:

    St. Vitus
    The Obsessed
    Solitude Aeturnus
    Iron Man
    Memento Mori

    1. Poser Patrol says:

      Creepmime – Shadows

      This one is essential. The vocals are growled but the riffs are total heavy/doom metal with uncharacteristic harmonic depth.

      Some other bands worth mentioning, though non-essential, are Argus and Warning. Dantesco has also seen some praise from this community but I haven’t heard them in a while.

      Memory Garden
      Reverend Bizarre

      1. Poser Patrol says:

        Oh and Atlantean Kodex is good too

      2. Creepmime is crappy Carcass worship.

        1. Poser Patrol says:

          Nigga you must be high. 90s Carcass is a crowd-pleasing hook-based butt-rock cheese-fest, they don’t even come close to the songwriting acumen displayed by Creepmime on Shadows.

    2. Robert says:

      Skepticism. They’re funeral doom but hey, you’ve pretty much named all the legends in your comment. There’s always Black Sabbath but I’m sure you’ve heard their stuff. Doom metal is a pretty limited for of metal when it comes to quality. There’s only so much you can do with it before it turns trivial. You can also try Neurosis — another band that comes to mind.

      1. Neurosis is fat stoner in a tie dye shirt rock.

        1. C.M. says:

          Neurosis as a punk band was pretty cool though.

          1. morbideathscream says:

            They were respectable hardcore punk on their first album, but descended into coma inducing stoner sludge afterwards.

        2. Robert says:

          I’ve never really heard a bad Neurosis album yet.

    3. Witchfinder General’s debut.

    4. AzureMurakumo says:

      Solstice (UK) is excellent.

    5. Vae Victis says:

      I highly rate:
      Scald – Will of Gods is Great Power
      Sorcerer (SWE) – In the Shadow of the Inverted Cross
      Mgister Templi – Into Duat
      Isole – Throne of Void

  4. OliveFox says:

    I think it is a hell of an album, for sure. But I agree with the review in the sense that after 4 or 5 songs you get the idea and don’t particularly need to hear the rest of the album, even if the other songs are strong. This problem seems to be systemic within most metal albums outside of the classics. Speed metal in particular. I can’t remember the last time I listened to a Kreator or Sodom album all the way through. I personally think that if they cut out the two instrumentals and maybe got the albums play time in the sub 35 minute range this would be a much better buy.

    Still worth the money and I hope lots of people support these guys!

  5. Egledhron says:

    I missed your reviews so fucking much Brett.

  6. HH says:

    The genre was dead and buried before half of this band’s members were born.

    1. disremember says:

      Never underestimate the undead…

  7. Poser Patrol says:

    I like David’s in-depth, highly abstracted reviews just as much as the next guy but sometimes its nice to have a straightforward kind like this one that answers questions like:

    Does it avoid cliché/rehashed/obvious riffs?
    Does it hold the listener’s attention?
    Is the listening experience ultimately enjoyable?

    Ultimately, weightier questions that relate to theme, world-view, spirit, communication are subservient to those more humble and direct questions.

  8. Fairies Queefdom says:

    When Brett Steven kicks the corpse of metal, at least he gets a pulse. I’ll never listen to this again though.

  9. morbideathscream says:

    Really killer shit! Much more intense than most of the retro revival bands. Besides the obvious influences that were already mentioned in the main article, it’s a bit reminiscent of Sauron’s “thrash assault”. Another band that captured the spirit of Sodom and Kreator effectively.

  10. Demonseed says:

    Rules! Awesome compressed punchy bass and riffs.

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