As much I love some good ol’ (or new) caustic D-beat, for maximum enjoyment, the album needs to be short of length – we’re talking half-hour, tops – and long on attitude. Anything over that magical 30 minutes, and my attention quickly wanes, largely because the band’s begun to recycle its own ideas, and – due to the limitations of the style, maybe – it’s all just monotonous.
Not so with Sweden’s REAPER, the duo returning with 2021’s The Atonality Of Flesh, if anything more fierce and, yes, varied than the Unholy Nordic Noise debut of 2019. MIDNIGHT is a reference, blackened thrash spewing from ‘Dogs Of The Crumbled Firmament’, snatches of melody in the coda the wink from the pretty girl before ‘The Sweetness Of The Wound’ delivers its black studded fingerless-gloved fist to the face. ‘Come Nature, Come Cruelty, Come Death’ is what TOXIC HOLOCAUST wishes it had been thus far, a fair helping of shameless cock rock solo antics exploding in an orgiastic speed metal bukkake, and my personal pick of the album.
Bass interlude ‘Nightgaunts’ sleekly slides into ‘Raid The Heavens’, which, for some reason doesn’t grab me, and I can’t put my finger on why. Thanfully, by the time ‘Architecture Of The Flame’ ignites, riff and rhythm battering from all sides, screaming solos streaking overhead, you’re at war and in the heat of battle, hoping at best to end the day soaked in blood, piss and the glory of gore that signifies victory. ‘Rise Epimetheus’ is catchier, more memorable than it has any business being for what it is ala some of SATANIC WARMASTER’s work, and it’s this, among the aforementioned elements, that let you know you’re not on some simple D-Beat trip here.
I’d still trim a couple songs, but The Atonality Of Flesh is solid, definitely warranting repeated spins.
Review By: Lord Randall
The Atonality Of Flesh
Iron Bonehead Productions
3 / 6