Congratulations, you’ve stumbled into a weekly column where Simon, our station’s resident metal-head, tells you about a new metal album that you haven’t heard and why that needs to change as soon as possible. Bask in the glory of the riffs, dear reader!
Rigor Mortis! Sound familiar? It should, but chances are you’re more familiar with this definition than the one that I want to tell you about. THIS Rigor Mortis is a kickass thrash metal band from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. They formed in 1983, which is pretty unusual considering the thrash scenes developing at the time were primarily on the west and east coasts, not so much in Texas. Not only did these guys basically create the metal scene in Texas, they also just released their first album since 1991, Slaves to The Grave, on October 7th. It is also, unfortunately, their last, due to the passing of guitar player Mike Scaccia (also of Ministry).
Luckily for us, Mike was able to put his finishing touches on his tracks for the album before he passed, and his riffs and solos are front and center on a killer thrash album with Rigor Mortis’ usual horror-themed jams. Last week, I wrote about Black Crown Initiate, a more forward-thinking progressive death metal band that has a wicked combination of melodies and heavy sections that are some of the best in modern metal. This week, we’re going back to the basics, with more traditional thrash about murder, horror, and all of our FAVORITE things.
While Rigor Mortis hasn’t been the most active band in their career, the members have been involved in GWAR, Ministry, Warbeast, and probably a few others that I’m forgetting to mention. This is a fun band, not a bunch of guys who think they’re reinventing the wheel or something like that. Anyone who was once a bass player in a band where he was supposed to dress up as a character named Beefcake the Mighty (look at this shit! It’s awesome!) probably isn’t trying to revolutionize the way we think of metal.
Now, that idea can make bands lazy and result in poor songwriting. Alas, not so with this album! These are thrash songs you’re going to be singing along to and whipping out your air-guitar moves, even if you’re just walking to class and all the sorority girls are looking at you like you’re a fucking weirdo. If you’re like me, that’s already every day of your life, so get over it and jam this!
The thrash is thrashy, and there are enough slower passages to shake up the pace on the album so you’re never bored. The production is not perfect, but definitely better than a lot of the other bands playing retro-thrash these days. The guitar isn’t obnoxiously loud and there’s no clipping. You can actually hear the bass lines! Okay, it’s not Steve DiGiorgio on there but it’s somewhere between that and the I-just-hit-the-low-E basslines of Tom Araya. You want to bang your head to some new horror-inspired jams? You’ve come to the right place. Anyone else? NOPE!