Rigor Mortis
Slaves To The Grave

In the realms of 80’s thrash metal, Rigor Mortis are one of those bands that people in the know constantly rave about. Though the band has only released one full length, their mark on extreme metal has been felt quite a bit over the last two decades. However, for all of the excitement surrounding the release of Slaves To The Grave, their first new album in 27 years, there is also the sadness that it is also their last. Sadly, guitarist Mike Scaccia passed away due to a heart attack in the middle of a gig around Christmas in 2012. Fortunately for the band and their fans though, the guitar tracks for Slaves were already recorded and after a few finishing touches, the band is now able to cement his legacy and theirs for good.

One of the difficult things about writing about music, especially for reviews, is deciding what is worth being nitpicked and what isn’t. In the case of Slaves To The Grave, the album really only has a few flaws that I couldn’t get past, but they are enough to lessen its shine just a bit. The most glaring thing for me is its production. For all of the wonderful riffs on the album, it just doesn’t seem to be mixed very evenly at all. Vocalist Bruce Corbitt’s voice completely dominates the album’s sound a lot of the time and there is no real punch to the guitar parts. Due to the overabundance of Corbitt’s vocals, it brings the lyrics to the forefront and sadly a lot of them are kind of over-the-top cheesy.

When you put the production and the sporadic cheesiness aside, what you have is a pretty fantastic thrash album. Songs like “Blood Bath”, “Rain Of Ruin” and “Flesh For Flies” have a lot of very cool riffs and great hooks that completely rule. “Curse Of The Draugr” and “Ludus Magnus” also feature very strong performances from Corbitt that really show how good of a vocalist he can be at times. Though Slaves is far from perfect, there are more than enough merits here to make it a great final chapter in the band and Scaccia’s career. (Brandon Ringo)

Purchase Slaves To The Grave here: http://dirtheadmerch.storenvy.com/

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