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4.25 out of 5 skulls
August 22, 2014 | ,

Ribspreader Meathymns

Rogga Johansson is an unstoppable death metal machine. The Ribspreader mastermind churns out albums and bands like his life depended on it. In the last year and a half alone, the guy has been part of roughly nine albums through just as many projects. That’s, for lack of a better word, awesome.

With the sixth full-length under the Ribspreader moniker, Rogga probably has captured some of his most catchy and infectious music to date. Meathymns is drenched in old-school death metal, but not in the same vein as say the buzzing, chugging riffage of Dismember or Entombed. There’s a solid bit of melody weaving in and out sick lead work and pummeling (programmed) drums. The overall effect is an album jam packed with songs that are not only unrelenting but damn memorable, as well.

That said, there’s really nothing new under the sun here or innovative, but goddamned I’ve been spinning this album continuously. But when all is said and done, who cares when songs like album opener “Orchestrating the Cacaphony” remind of simpler times, when all you needed to do was play louder, faster, harder. It certainly doesn’t hurt that the rhythm si fuel for serious head bangning — not to mention the Feast of Flesh era Bone Gnawer similarity which I totally dug.

“Cemetary Dreams” is chock full of churning mayhem that will have necks sore by the time it’s half way through. “As the Blood Flows” has even catchier guitars and rhythm as it flows effortlessly like, well, blood from a freshly severed femoral artery. Hell, it’s even got a little “Utopia Banished” vibe that I dig. “Asylum of the Rotting” has a title describing the gym I go to work out — I’m the youngest by 30 years, and I’m almost 40 myself. Musically, the track is full of rolling rhythms, driving guitars and lead work that sticks with you for a while, sort of like the scent of sweaty old folks.

“Worm Infested” has great, gore-infested lyrics and is delivered with catchy, violent aplomb. Rogga hits all the marks with this song. Memorable lead work, unrelenting rhythms and his gravelly growls all come together in a classic death metal track. “Skeletonized” is probably my favorite of the bunch, with great song-writing and delivery. The open guitar work is mournful, desolate and enduring as it leads into seriously, pile-driving riffage and heavy-handed drums. And don’t get me started on the chorus — holy fuck.

If the album ended with that song, I’d be a happy camper, but Rogga, as he does every now and again, throws us for a loop with the album title. Echoing similar guitar tones from earlier in the album, “Meathymns” is an instrumental that leans heavily on the electronic. I’m not a fan of it personally, and I hope it’s not a sign of things to come from the Ribspreader brand, but I suppose if you’re churning out as many albums and projects as this dude, then you’re allowed a little creative freedom to refresh the mind.

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