My long-standing love affair with old-school Swedish death metal has begun to wane in the last couple of years. Where I was once easily pleased, I am now much less so, and I seek the style out far less than I used to. However, Sentient Ruin’s Rites of Gore has rubbed me up the right way, so it only seems right that I share the love for this enjoyable example of the style.
Across 9 tracks, (10 with an Entombed cover), Rites of Gore pummels the listener with primetime Swedeath heaviness. Thick riffs, gruff growls, and macabre melodies are the order of business, and business is good. To be fair to the band, there are other influences that can be heard in places, (Bolt Thrower, Gorefest, Slayer, to name a few), but Swedish death metal is the main driver of this slab of heaviness.
The songs boast plenty of muscular memorability and belligerent hooks, and the replayability value of something like this is high. The steamroller grooves are flattening, and the drums will pound you into dust as soon as look at you. Sentient Horror know how to write a good riff, as well as a good tune, and this album is packed with them both. Tracks like Splitting Skulls really scratch my OSDM itch, but to be honest you could parachute into any song here and instantly start headbanging furiously.
This is well-written 90s-influenced death metal that does exactly what you would expect from the style. The band have a pretty huge recording to back up their delivery, and Rites of Gore sounds great on all fronts.
If you like the classic HM-2 chainsaw sound, then this is for you. It’s fun, it’s brutal, it’s old-school death metal carnage.
Very highly recommended.