Self-Released: September 2018
It is immediately clear that the signature Ride for Revenge sound has not undergone any changes. Saying this, however, it would also be obvious if these guys produced a phoned-in, uninspired album. The entire concept of this band is based in pure passion, and the execution of the vocals is the first indicator that Ride for Revenge are back with a menacing vengeance. The disjointed guitar leads coupled with the unhinged vocal attack in the first song “The One and Same and All” create a dizzying effect of melodicism and barbarity, only kept afloat by the ceaseless ritualistic drum pounding. Next up is the chart-topping, smash hit single “Naked and Ready”. This is easily a new highlight for the band that will surely be permanently added to their live setlist. The drums are simplistic yet varied, perfectly complimenting the madness of feedback that accentuates the main riff. The heavy, fist pumping energy of this song is absolutely undeniable as the listener’s body is caught in the sexual haze, involuntary moving with the perverse rhythms.
The self titled track “Sinking the Song” is our first of two forays into the toxic waste area of long songs by this band. The opening riff is simply crushing, with that raw, blown-out production that has become a Harald Mentor trademark. Unlike a lot of their other albums, this production also has an underlying warmth that is evident on this main riff, making the aura all the heavier. Although there are a couple fast tempo changes at the beginning, as the song wears on, the droning gets slower and slower as it ultimately succumbs to a massive discordant wave, by all accounts sinking the song. This is also the inclusion of the hallmark demented guitar solo that is present on every Ride for Revenge album, bringing the sickest sort of smile to your face. This track is where all the uninitiated will run for the nearest exit. From this point on, the crazed sounds are somehow appealing to a select breed of maniac; the wisdom of the few. The intro of the next track “Keep Your Children Safe” recalls Ride for Revenge of old, utilizing just bass and drums with spoken word vocals that have a similar vibe to classic track “Key of Knowledge”. The newfound warmth of the guitars is evident as the crunchy main riff bursts forth from the darkness and clutches you while you ride on the dark wings towards this ritual trance. Although the track is five minutes long, the time just melts away as every second is satisfying in an indescribable manner.
The most important asset to the blackened aura of Ride for Revenge is consistency. The band never deviates from their feedback-laced danger or the white artwork with the red logo that adorns each album. Something else that is present on each album is the inclusion of sexual themes within the lyrics; the band wants to channel the glorification of sin not only through music, but through voice as well. Along with aforementioned “Naked and Ready”, “Horror in Heat” dials up the perversity on the grandest of scales. One glance at the song title and length signal the danger ahead as we board the ghost ship for a classic 15+ minute Ride for Revenge descent into pure audial hell. This track possesses that same sinking phenomenon, and somehow gets more unlistenable as the minutes float away. Vocals are sparse in this dystopian landscape, and the lyrics “I feel horny for the perfect match between the living and the dead. Let all hell break loose” are the last moments of clarity before the very end of sanity. All hell does indeed end up breaking open to torment our souls with endless feedback and ritual drums amidst what can only be described as a lengthy, distorted conversation with the dark lord himself.
Most bands tend to end albums on an epic note, and this album is most certainly worthy enough to have ended with “Horror in Heat”. Instead, Ride for Revenge summon two short psalms of urgency to end the album strong. “Living Dead of the Ancient Civilization” is relentless and absolutely void of any variation whatsoever, simply existing as a channel for monotonous barbarity. “Riot in the Hall of Mirrors” has more flavor and variation with one of the greatest and most deceptive riffs on the entire album. The oscillating synth solely serves to confuse and disorient, with the entire formula being immensely effective despite only lasting ninety seconds. If you’ve learned anything throughout this hellacious experience, then you would guess that ritualistic feedback would be the last sound you hear, and that’s exactly what is gifted on outro track “Ask It Again In Hell”. Ride for Revenge are not reinventing their original wheel on this album, and if you are familiar with all the other material, then you could possibly survive without experiencing this album. But why wouldn’t you?
I travel under the blackest waters
Hair of the drowned corpses slowly waving
Guardians dead for ages