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Rat King - Santa Hipocresía

Rat King
Santa Hipocresía
by Matt Bozenda at 09 March 2022, 2:36 PM

In Warhammer lore, the Skaven, or “Ratfolk”, worship a deity known as the Great Horned Rat. Though for different and sometimes conflicting dogmatic purposes, all skaven living in strongholds such as Skavenblight or Hell Pit believe they are working towards the singular goal of ushering the Horned Rat into the Mortal Realms, thus spreading their verminous kind across all corners of the world.

Well, one may or may not have already suspected that Seattle would be part of the Under-Empire, so there’s no surprise that it’s where we find RAT KING. Formerly a trio in the Stoner/Sludge camp, the band is now firmly under the twin banners of Death Metal and Grindcore, made all the more evident in their latest EP, “Santa Hipocresía”. Following their well-received 2020 full-length effort “Vicious Inhumanity”, the band continues to do solid work in the studio.

Every gate in the Death Metal slalom is hit very quickly in the opening title track, with tempo changes and blast beats galore. All the while, however, there’s the efficient sound of Grindcore coupled with it, offering a more cohesive structure to not only the first track, but indeed on all five. When “Killing Art” wraps it up, you’re only left wanting more.

An almost Punkish sort of mentality can be heard on their shorter tracks as well. “Maldición Del Alma” manages to get a lot done in just under three minutes. Then there’s “False Prophet”, achieving just as much and in half the time, a white-hot fleetingly intense and yet complete song, not unlike MOTORHEAD’s classic tribute “R.A.M.O.N.E.S.”

Whatever petty criticism can be levied at “Santa Hipocresía” may be limited to the lack of a true-blue hit. It should be in the rotation for metal radio, but this EP ultimately comes up without a palpable suggestion that the next album is going to blow away the last one. If it ends up being business as usual, at least they’ll be hitting the wall with some finesse.

They really should not be hitting any walls, though, with or without finesse. RAT KING has previously shown the talents to be truly their own unique band, and their evolution thus far suggests they can still trend upward. “Santa Hipocresía” is good Death/Grind, but in fifteen minutes you never once hear the sort of Latin backing rhythms you got on a song like “In Quiet Sleep”. There’s only the limited dynamic of genre mixing.

Having already proven an above-average competence to play the combo of brutality and efficiency, what RAT KING needs is that glimmer of difference to set themselves apart from everyone else. “Santa Hipocresía” is proof they can do it, but only the next album will tell if they’re ready to make good on their potential.

Musicianship: 7
Songwriting: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Santa Hipocresía
2. Maldición Del Alma
3. False Prophet
4. Morboso
5. Killing Art
Lineup:
Daniel Racines - bass, vocals
Ricardo Racines - guitars, noise
Carlos Delgado - drums, backup vocals
Record Label: Within The Mind Records
     


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