Released on March 12th 2019 via Sliptrick Records, Rise is the debut album from British thrash newcomers, Reaper-X. Originating from Corby in England, this five-piece promise a modern take on a classic metal sound.
Mighty and heavy, Reaper-X have arrived with a thrash metal record that showcases a young and hungry band with plenty of potential. Their 9-track debut effort promises a lot with a contemporary take on a classic heavy sound and in extremely pleasurable news, it delivers.
Beginning hot, the screeching guitars of the intro give us a flavour of what we can expect before Blood in the Air explodes. A familiar thrash tempo led by the drums, the first proper track is filled with chunky riffing and gruff declarations by the vocals. It’s punchy in that Slayer way but with with the kind of fast-paced guitar rhythm one might associate with the likes of Anthrax or Testament. It really gets the head-nodding along but that will quickly turn into head-banging with the synchronised slam that leads to a short but hyper guitar solo.
It’s no easy task to follow that but Reaper-X are no one-trick pony as Reaper’s punchy slab of dirty sounding guitar groove shows. Then we have the power that exudes from Fury in Flames, a track that bleeds classic thrash threat and aggression. The latter has the vocals with some extra snarl to the delivery.
Adrift then takes things in a slower and more mellow direction at first and although it does ‘heavy’ up, the more chilled tempo makes for a nice break in proceedings. In particular, the bass really echoes nicely, it shows off some welcome vocal range and that guitar solo in the latter part is simply brilliant.
After what can best be called a ‘thrash ballad’ it’s Diplomatic Solution that pushes the hair-raising aggression back to the forefront. Followed by two substantial efforts in the form of the title track and Red Menace. The former, the lengthiest track on the album, is a showcase of power from a band willing to prove their understanding of the old-school thrash world while still putting a modern spin on it. The latter is no slouch either length wise, but sharpens the hooks for some flesh-gripping moments.
The future thrash heavyweights then wrap their debut up with one last trip into the sound of yester-year with frantic riffing, a tumbling drum beat and sharper vocals. It’s one last chance to head bang your way into oblivion.
A brilliant release from a band we can rightly call a future thrash heavyweight.
Reaper-X – Rise Full Track Listing:
2. Blood in the Air
4. Fury in Flames
6. Diplomatic Solution
8. Red Menace
Reaper-X - Rise (Sliptrick Records)
The Final Score - 9/10