Thursday 5 November 2020

ALBUM REVIEW: R.I.P., "Dead End"

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 09/10/2020
Label: Riding Easy Records

“Dead End” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. Streets of Death
2. Judgement Night
3. Dead End
4. Nightmare
5. One Foot In The Grave
6. Death Is Coming
7. Moment of Silence
8. Buried Alive
9. Out of Time
10. Dead Of The Night

The Review:

One of the most exciting and original doom bands to emerge in the last few years, R.I.P. Have really knocked it out of the park on this one. The intro is more akin to a Wu-Tang Clan album and when the track “Judgement Night” kicks in... it's obvious that the band mean business. “Dead End” is their best album yet. Why? Read on...

Their debut, “In The Wind”, was cool- great artwork, some good songs and excellent song titles. Their sophomore, “Street Reaper”, is a record I have played a fair bit over the last couple of years- it had a grimy street vibe, encapsulated by the front cover photo. Very cool, very American- and quite different thematically to most doom out there. “Dead End” is a meaner and nastier proposition than both.

Whether this is in the doom sphere is very much open to debate. The opening few tracks here are pretty fast and furious. There is precedent for this in the genre (Hallows Victim!) but it's pretty unusual. This sounds as much like frantic street punk or even proto-metal as it does like doom. “One Foot In The Grave” is pacey and full of attitude- it's fantastic in the same way The Stooges were.

There is a cowbell on “Death Is Coming” (bonus points achieved) to match a seriously killer vibe. The fact is, this is cool- it's not wizards and warriors, it's retro films and black leather- worn in a climate that is really too hot for it. The record is focused without being samey (thus outstripping the debut) and varies tempos to good effect. This never creeps into endless two chord drudgery at a snail's pace, instead opting for mid tempo or faster most of the way. It's a master stroke as that sets the band apart from 90% of the 'doom' competition immediately.

Importantly, there are good hooks here; the title track is really catchy and you'll find yourself singing the chorus to yourself, along with a few of the other tracks. Naturally, there is a creepy instrumental in the form of “Buried Alive” to match the excellent “Streets of Death” intro and then the album signs off in some style with two tracks blasting out from the crypt.

The riffs on “Out of Time” and elsewhere are straightforward and all the better for it. There is as much of the MC5 as there is Saint Vitus, but, crucially, the band is its own entity. In an ocean of Sabbath/Vitus/TGOS/Electric Wizard clones, R.I.P. don't really sound like any of them- even if there are aspects of any band mentioned in this review to be found. By the time they sign off with “Dead Of The Night”, you should be convinced. This is different, pretty daring and definitely one of best albums of the year in the doom/stoner sphere.  Come to the dark side.  You won’t regret it.  

“Dead End” is available HERE

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