Crossing the Thrashold: Ripper
I am vexed at you, citizens. Infuriated, enraged, FOOKIN livid. The butthurt is strong within my veins this day.
I take a hiatus from major writing for the Turlet to rebuild my weapons business and I come back to find out that the lot of you hold thrash in such disregard that you would make a Whiff of the Week dedicated to it? The audacity, the fucking NERVE. I have a good mind to incinerate you all. I have more than enough napalm to do so. SCORCHED EARTH, MOTHERFUCKERS!!!
At least this was my initial reaction. After choking the life out of a subordinate I came to the horrific epiphany; the blame is almost entirely mine. I have been far too lax in my duties. The last Thrashold article was back in February. It is now the beginning of June. This must be put right. I now have enough time and resources, and more than enough bands to put in the spotlight; old school and new. My determination is stronger than ever to bring the gospel of the palm muted mosh fodder to the Turlet masses. Ya’ll done fucked up now.
The criminal maniac has returned toileteers, and with my return comes the onslaught of thrash majesty. You will murderdeathmosh or perish in the fucking flames.
There is no better band to start this revival with than with the band that made my favorite thrash record of 2014. Indeed citizens, we go to the desert dominated country of Texas… I mean Chile and put the spotlight on death/thrashers Ripper.
From the days of Incas cutting out the hearts of their captured enemies to sacrifice to their distant gods; to being conquered by the Spanish and subsequent rebellion and independence, to war with Bolivia and Peru, to iron-clad rule under Augusto Pinochet, Chile is a sparse rough country that has violence and bloodshed ingrained in its very bones. Hell, the very name of the country comes from a native word meaning “End of the World”. That violent disposition has carried over to the present day, and has in turn spawned an excellent metal scene that is inspired by and thus similar to that of their neighbor Brazil, but is perhaps more visceral and more distilled in their adherence to the almighty riff. Many fantastic metal bands have come out of this country over the last two decades, and Ripper just might be one of the absolute best. From a country that sports the likes of Pentagram (not that Pentagram, this one), epic doom maestros Procession, and recent Satanic thrash darlings Invincible Force, that is a very bold statement, but one I make with no hesitation.
Ripper is a four piece from the city of Talagante; Venus Torment on vocals and guitar, Daniel Pobelete on guitar, Pablo Cortes on bass, and Nicolás Villanueva on drums. They’ve got three demos, one EP, one split, and one full-length to their name. After gaining some recognition among their local scene they released the Fatal Memories EP under the Metaltifus Productions label in 2013. Afterwards, Ripper hunkered down and worked on improving their already vicious sound, and the result was their debut full-length. Raising the Corpse was released to the unsuspecting world by Underground Defenders Productions in May of 2014, being re-released by Iron Pegasus in October of the same year.
Let’s make one thing clear citizens; these guys truly could not have picked a better name for their band than Ripper. They do exactly what the name implies, and that is to rip your feeble eardrums to pieces with sheer sonic force. They play a very old school blend of thrash and death metal that focuses on speed and riffs upon riffs galore instead of endless blasting and being “br00tal”, similar to their aforementioned countrymen Pentagram and Cali legends Possessed. Or to put it more bluntly, Ripper sounds like Beneath the Remains era Sepultura with a more enhanced (not modern) production. If the riffs don’t crush you, Torment’s vocals will. They are a particularly fast and nasty snarl that can tear flesh from bone as it spews rants of political and mental strife. It sounds incomprehensible most of the time but the occasional word darts out toward your ears like a cobra attack. Oh and the drumming, dat drumming is as cold and precise as a 7mm Remington Magnum from a M40A5 through the back of of an unsuspecting poser’s skull. Don’t believe me? Listen to a song like “The Last Day” or the sprawling album closing title track and then come and beg for my forgiveness for doubting my ability to sniff out awesome bands. More evidence, you say? Check this live video then you bloody poser.
So where can you obtain Ripper’s music? Well sadly they don’t have a Bandcamp page of their own and neither does Underground Defenders. They’re not on the Spotify or iTunes either. And unless you personally know a fan of theirs in Chile, you’re not going to find any of their demos, but you don’t really need them. Your best bet is to order the CD of Raising the Corpse from Iron Pegasus here. It also has the Fatal Memories EP on there as bonus tracks so it’s an excellent deal. Some good news though: esteemed label Unspeakable Axe Records has signed Ripper and will be releasing their follow-up album, which is allegedly close to completion. If it’s anything like Raising or better I will burn down entire city blocks in celebration. Fuck it, I’ll likely do that anyway.
But seriously, do not sleep on these guys. They stand proudly atop the pile of corpses that consist of their modern thrash peers. Go on their Facebook page and tell them to hurry up and finish their new album or just let them know how awesome they are.
Until next time toileteers, mosh and be well.