Ripped To Shreds
Craneo Negro Records
Despite the fact that there are now thousands of one man bands out there, its nice to know that more than just a few of them have worth and merit. Take California’s Ripped To Shreds for example with their debut album 埋葬. The disc which as I can discern, is a quite warm and classic listen that reminds me heavily of the rough and dirty Swedish slabs of old. The disc doesn’t feel polished, nor should it. I think more polish would have ruined the performance, even though the leads are quite clear in the mix with the vocals coming off like they’ve escaped from the mouth of a ravenous beast given the chance to form his own band. I like that I’m getting more man than monster here, which seems to go well with the Swedish death and gore that I’m experiencing during this performance. I do believe the drums are programmed, but once again I am shown that technology is becoming a real beast in the fact that we may not even need drummers in the next decade. So what will drummers do?
It is essentially intriguing that one man can make a great Swedish slab all by himself, which is actually much better than the current efforts from many Swedish bands still pursuing this style. Lee manages to keep it fresh, keep it groovy and most of all to not stray too far from what made this style of music what it is. This is the kind of album that sounds so good, it might make the progenitors of this style rethink their current efforts. For fans of classic death metal, this is worth it’s weight in gold, but without a doubt, it won’t do much for the current generation and lacks the degree of technicality and genre phasing that is so heavily praised in the scene right now for some reason. While Bury is definitely bare-bones in that regard, it is a reminder that classic Swedish death metal still exists and has never sounded better than it does from, well… California. My, how the world has changed. Not to mention the fact that one guy did all of this by himself, which is a truly potent sentiment regardless.
One man managed to do in his own home what used to require several men and expensive studio equipment, which equates the digital music production of today to Eli Whitney’s famous cotton gin, a device that pioneered manufacturing in the United States. Listening to this album isn’t just a sheer pleasure, it’s a shocking reminder of how far we’ve come in art production processes. That being said, I offer this challenge to listeners: After you’ve heard the album, go back and listen to some of the classics that inspired it, perhaps early Entombed or Dismembered. Do you feel that the digital production on this album sounds as crisp as the analog-based performances found on those older albums? Do we truly have the ability to emulate a classic style at peak efficiency? It’s definitely a question worth pondering over.
In spite of all this, be sure to give this monstrosity a listen from the link below, because it definitely sounds like all of your favorite Swedish death metal acts, particularly during their prime eras. What better a recommendation could you need than that?
(8 Tracks, 36:00)
Purchase HERE (Bandcamp)