Welcome to Source of Steel - The Heavy Metal Museum. For the metal head who likes to own or collect physical CDs, Source of Steel is my website dedicated to the love of physical metal on shiny plastic discs. Micro-reviews, thoughts, pics of my own collection and random utterances galore. The site started out purely as a way of sharing my rarities to like-minded fans, but now (for longevity's sake more than anything) it is open to new physical metal music bits I've picked up, including new releases and other random shit.

Ripping Corpse - Dreaming with the Dead

Ripping Corpse are one of those bands who, although they were appreciated at the time of their existence, gained more reverence and admiration after their downfall. Despite only being renowned by some as the band that nurtured old big-lips himself (Erik Rutan) into the burgeoning death metal scene, Ripping Corpse actually had an excellent thrashy death metal trademark of their very own, with 3 top notch demos paving the way for this, their only full length release before their untimely demise.

Opening with 'Sweetness', the guitar tone is quite a jarring thrashy oriented one, fitting the semi-technical music perfectly, allowing the riffs to be pushed to the forefront so every note can be heard clearly through the generally muddy production. Scott Ruth's vocals remind me of a cross between Paul Baloff (high pitched screams of the highest order, and swift vocal exhortation) and a more intelligible John Tardy (the inhuman howls and barks) - quite a combination I'm sure you'll agree, which is why I think that he was one of the most overlooked vocalists of his time (although he's still shredding his throat for Dim Mak nowadays, albeit sounding nothing like he did back in his Ripping Corpse heyday). The shredding riff-work is interspersed with flailing solos, as well as melodic Rutan-esque echoing licks and intelligently arranged almost progressive compositions (progressive in the way that they don't follow the usual standard death metal song structures) harking back to Altars of Madness era Morbid Angel. Rather than relying on destroying your senses with blastbeats, the drum work is varied and interesting with early Death drummer Bill Andrews being a good reference point for a similar styled of fast drum work without the use of constant double bass. The generally short song lengths add to the powerful frenzied attack this album hits you with (being on average 2-4 minutes long), with songs like 'Chugging Pus' and 'Anti God' managing to encompass just about every tempo, varied drumming, and cramming technical riffs into every available nanosecond. Thus, although making it nigh on impossible to bang your head to without looking like a special needs person, it still manages to flow perfectly well, stretching your metal boner to bursting point with its overwrought possessed sound.

While not being an immediate classic upon first listen, this is a definite grower which to this day still stands proudly on its own two feet in the annals of death metal history. Another 'must own' for your death metal collection.

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