Ripping Death - Tales of the Ripper [Iron Bonehead - 2015]
Iron Bonehead winds down 2015 with the debut demo release of Ripping Death, Tales of the Ripper. This limited edition tape shows that old school death never dies, and Ripping Death fly the flag proudly. Though brief, the three originals and one cover churn and burn with a nice, old ferocity that make the runtime fly by, and beg the listener to hit play as soon as the fourth track finishes. The slow, stomp worthy beginning of "Midnight Terror" ends with a groan into a classic sounding death riff. Eschewing the current trends of hyper speed or ultra sludge, Ripping Death rocks forward with a very vintage mid-paced death. Comfortably scratchy growls bring the grimness to a head and complete the sound. Dotted with solos, the chug is nicely broken up and the old school, headbanging madness continues with fist raising results. "Night Ripper" riffs along with a thrash sound (definite Metallica vibes on this one) while keeping the hoarse vocals. A ripping solo wails in the middle (as expected), and adds a nice base for the arpeggios that are peppered throughout. Stomping forward is the third and final original, "Death Blow." Not changing up the formula, Ripping Death only throw a couple of catchy riffs at the listener, and hope the hooks settle in. The solo is fun, and plays nicely over the slower, main riff. Closing out the tape is a cover of Cianide's "Rage War." Simple but effective, "Rage War" moves along at a pace consistent with the previous three tracks. Not that Ripping Death needed an old school cover to add credibility to their sound, but it's nice to hear and a solid ending to this EP.
Short, sweet, and headbanging, Ripping Death's debut is a fun slice of old school inspired metal. In a time when overreaching complexity can scuttle an album, their approach to a simpler style is refreshing. Let the riffs speak for themselves, raise your fist, and bang your head.Paul Casey