Artist: Rites of Thy Degringolade
Album Title: An Ode to Sin
Label: Nuclear War Now
This is the third full-length album from Rites of Thy Degringolade, a Canadian band playing chaotic black/death metal.
The sound on this album is dominated by the drums, which are crazy as always. AT times it almost sounds as if there ought to be two drummers, considering the amount of fills, cymbal hits, and other madness here. The guitars and bass take a subordinate role, though they're still quite clear. Vocals are a bit more difficult to comprehend than on previous albums, but you can still make out most of what's being said. As always, these guys have fascinating lyrics.
The songwriting on this album follows the trend from The Caryatid to Totality; just as Rites' second album was more coherent than the first, this one is more coherent than the second. As expected from an ex-Sacramentary Abolishment band, the individual riffs and fills are insane, but the songs sound like they've been much more deliberately crafted than before. Songs like "Of Purist Impurity" are more conventional in their approach, without losing the bizarre edge that makes Rites so interesting. Rites has always been a very blasty band, but there are quite a few slower sections here. "Asylums" uses these to great effect, building up a massive feeling of oppression before the song begins in earnest. In fact, the atmosphere gets downright doomy at times, though the band never takes long to get back to blistering speed and technicality.
This is a pretty short album -- just under half an hour long -- and while that may annoy some people, I found it to be just the right length. You get a good, solid chunk of metal, but not so much that the songs start to bleed together. Besides, this one is easy to listen to continuously, so how can you complain? This is easily the best thing Rites of Thy Degringolade have done so far. For fans of Axis of Advance, Sacramentary Abolishment, Conqueror, and other chaotic Canadian metal, An Ode to Sin is a must. Highly recommended.
Standout Tracks: "In the Name of Rites", "Of Purist Impurity", "Release the Flies"