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Rifftera - Pitch Black

Pitch Black
by Aaron Eerdekens at 28 October 2015, 10:27 PM

After having previously released three demos, Finnish Melodic Death and Thrash Metal band, RIFFTERA, have now released their first full-length album, called “Pitch Black”. It’s the Melodic Death Metal that dominates this effort.

Not many Metal bands start of their album with some electronic sounds, but RIFFTERA doesn’t care. It’s only a couple of seconds into “Back To Life” anyway, before the guitars begin to ooze penetrating melodies and the drums start banging fast and loud. They don’t shy away from keyboards and fast guitar solos either, and the singers display screams as well as a clean voice, which makes for a very nice balance.

“One Step Closer” begins with a keyboard riff that reminds me of DREAM THEATER, as do the guitars up to some point, but when the vocals come in the similarities abruptly end. For a Melodic Death and Thrash Metal band, the music gets to points of haunting beauty, especially when the clean vocals take over. But don’t you worry, metal heads around the world, it’s first of all about heavy melodies and fast guitar solos. In “Lightbringer”, they don’t hold back for a second, but immediately get right to the point with some of their most lethal playing yet. When the ten thousandth riff of the song kicks in and the other instruments shut up for a few seconds, it makes for an attack of acute goose bumps. The guitar solo drips with feeling, and makes for the most enjoyable one yet.

“Ashes Fall” begins the way “One Step Closer” did, with keyboards and guitars, but doesn’t explode as immediate as that one. A lot of feeling in this guitar solo as well, like a Death Metal Slash one. “Rotten To The Core” once again takes right off at the beginning, and balances between violent attacks of sound and some heartfelt singing. “Open Wounds” is no different, and even though there’s variation in the songs themselves, there is not a lot of it between the songs. However, it makes it clear they are very comfortable with their own sound, and by rights they should be. Not a moment of boredom in this one.

“The Ruins of The Empire” starts off a little ominously but then burns right into their own selves again. They end with title track “Pitch Black” which obviously is their most versatile song. It begins with acoustic guitars, which is a first and a nice change of pace, before opening the gate to the demon world beyond. In this one they once again display their abilities of songwriting and playing their instruments as if they were born to do it. A must hear and an excellent album.

4 Star Rating

1. Back To Life
2. One Step Closer
3. Lightbringer
4. Ashes Fall
5. Rotten To The Core
6. Open Wounds
7. The Ruins of The Empire
8. Pitch Black
Janne Hietala - Guitars, Harsh Vocals
Mikko Kuoppamaa - Guitars, Clean Vocals
Antti Pöntinen - Keyboards
Jupe Karhu - Bass
Record Label: Inverse Records


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