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Reek – Death Is Something There Between

Death Is Something There Between
by Cherie Wong at 07 May 2020, 8:33 PM

On April 24, 2020, REEK released their debut full-length album “Death Is Something There Between.” REEK is a Swedish band that was just formed in 2019 by prolific Rogga Johansson (PAGANIZER) and Håkan Stuvemark (WOMBBATH). The lineup is rounded out by Jon Skäre and Mathias Back. The band got together and ended up making a Death'n'Roll album that was very much inspired by mid-90’s era ENTOMBED.

I am not familiar with Death'n'Roll as a genre in the slightest, but I have an idea of what it should sound like based on the name alone. What I imagined is exactly what REEK sounds like, a mix of rock and roll attitude with death metal extremity. The production is just raw enough to add an edge to the music that the genre demands. The bass guitar is a strong feature on this album, providing a constant low rumble of energy that serves as a good backdrop for high pitched guitar licks and solos. The drums are usually a frenzy of activity, helping to propel tracks forward. Like rock and roll, the tracks on the album have straightforward song structures, catchy hooks, and a decent amount of guitar solos. The death metal elements are a bit harder to pick out. It is sometimes heard in the slower paced sections of certain tracks, but those are not common.

Condemned by the Hands of Pain” is the opener and it kicks off the album with a fast-pace and driving riff. The next track, “Flesh Golem,” starts off similarly, but stands out with a lengthier, kick ass guitar solo. By the third track, “Gold in your Throat,” it’s evident that the strong suit of REEK is their guitarists and songwriting abilities. The fifth track “Horror Waltz” starts off with a comparably melodic guitar riff. It’s a good start and also builds into a great guitar solo. At first, I felt it relied too heavily on generic rock tropes and musical elements, but it ultimately became an earworm. I guess generic elements in rock exist for a reason.

The middle track “Foaming at the Mouth” is a good blend of death metal and rock and roll, due to the mix of slower paced, doomier riffs and fast paced passages. “Tyranny of the Blood” began with a grand introduction that led me to expect a death/doom track but went a completely different direction. “A Matter of Time,” however, also began with a grand introduction and ended up being a slower, more death metal track.

Overall, I recommend this album. I did find myself wishing the band would blend in more death metal elements, maybe a growl or blast beats, to truly mix death metal in. Nevertheless, this album is a fun combination of death metal and rock and roll. The raw edge and energy brought from the rock and roll pace is not often found in death metal nowadays.

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

3 Star Rating

1. Condemned by the Hands of Pain
2. Flesh Golem
3. Gold in your Throat
4. The Eaters
5. Horror Waltz
6. Foaming at the Mouth
7. Tyranny of the Blood
8. A Matter of Time
9. Black Hole Star
10. Fuel for the Pyres
11. Rain Down Salvation
Håkan Stuvemark – Vocals, Guitar, Lead Guitar
Rogga Johansson – Guitar
Jon Skäre – Drums
Mathias Back – Bass
Record Label: Testimony Records


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