As it turns out the ‘return’ of Ripper in late 2019 was more or less a final push-through for songs co-written with former bassist Pablo Cortés who is now in Ancient Crypts and has reignited Suppression. With those songs from ‘Sensory Stagnation‘ out in the world, and counted among the very best of last year for my taste, the Talagante-based trio have been in writing mode for their next release with Sangre Guerrera‘s bassist entered into the fold. The result of their labors thus far is ‘Paranormal Waves’, a four song demo that the band have released digitally until physical copies can be announced by the appropriate parties and distributed once the current worldwide viral plague calms enough to allow it. If you were stunned by the classic progressive death/thrash metal verve of their last EP and missed some of the raw-ripping murder of Ripper‘s first two full-lengths you’ll have good reason to be excited by this slightly more characteristic brutal thrash demo.
‘Paranormal Waves’ strikes immediately at the core of what any Ripper fan expects: Teutonic and violent South American thrash riffing woven into Sadus, Pestilence and Death influenced death metal twists. Though the prominent bopping and flailing shred of Cortés’ bass is initially missed on this demo Jose Piutrin still does a fine job on the fretless bass, emphasizing those death/thrash rhythms with a distinctly late 80’s/early 90’s Florida death/thrash sound. If you are like me and you focus on the drum/guitar interplay on the first listen you’ll undoubtedly hear ‘Schizophrenia’, ‘Spiritual Healing’, and maybe a smaller dose of ‘Pleasure to Kill’ riffing this time around when firing up the opener/title track “Paranormal Waves”. The combination of these influences is always a “win” in my book and I was not surprised at all that Ripper continue to be one of the strongest providers of recognizable ‘old school’ riffing in the Santiago area.
These four songs feature the sort of wailing solos, sharply turning rhythms, and absolutely satisfying true death/thrash metal spirit that one can expect from Chile’s brilliant underground biosphere but they haven’t entirely pulled back on the (early) Atheist-esque advancements of recent years. “Uncontrolled Abjection” has a sort of Demolition Hammer punch to its double-bass intensive parts but as with most of these songs, there is some indication that pre-‘Symbolic’ death and the extended works of musicians involved in early Death all serve as a sort of central influence. Instrumental track “I Origin” speaks this influence loudest while giving the fretless bass the most room to really emphasize its bounding rhythmic movements.
A demo like this is merely a suggestion of greatness to come considering the quality these guys have brought in the past but, I wouldn’t say it is just a plain ‘teaser’. If anything it is a very powerful statement of intent from Ripper, a war-like bolt of riffs that assure they will continue to kill it as they evolve their methodology while continuing to express fine taste in classic thrash and death metal music. A high recommendation for this one, particularly if you are already a devout lover of their discography as I am.
High recommendation. 4.0/5.0
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