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Rites of Thy Degringolade – The Blade Philosophical

Rites of Thy Degringolade
The Blade Philosophical
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 20 March 2018, 6:44 AM

Canadian Black Metal trio RITES OF THY DEGRINGOLADE formed in 1997, originally as a one-man project. They released their debut full-length in 2000, and present now their fourth, titled “The Blade Philosophical.” The album is a “recapitulation of the band’s earlier work and a continued expansion of the boundaries of extreme metal,” and contains six tracks.

“Above the Highest” is the opening track; a ten-minute opus. It opens with a mesmerizing drone and spoken words. Soon, the Black Metal comes crashing into the scene like a runaway train. The vocals are raspy but discernable and the riffing is dissonant. Of course, it’s dark and harrowing but they really bring a diversity to the sound that is missing in a lot of traditional Black Metal. The title track is just a bit shorter. The opening slow grind is augmented again with discord riffing and some deeper vocal growls that sound like they could be coming from the Underlord himself. There is some variation along the way that takes the song to completion.

“The World in Three Parts” is a seven minute track, opening again with a calculated, lumbering grind, where the vocals are uniform in their note delivery. But chaos ensues shortly thereafter, and much of the discussion centers around the universe. “Totalities Kompletion” is the odd track out here, at just over two minutes. It rears its head and bites quickly, retreating as quickly as it appeared. “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Knife” is back to eight minutes. Sonically, there is a good deal going on here. There are faster passages of brutal riffing, and slower ones that build a level of suspense.

“The Final Laceration” is the closing track; five minutes of body pummeling madness. Once again they are able to create a varying landscape of diversity in sound by constantly shifting but not affecting the core of the sound. Overall, I enjoyed the album. It has enough of a traditional sound to please old school purists, as well as some modern complexities that keep it from being stuck in the past. Considering is their first album in 13 years, it appears the band still has plenty of fuel in the tank, and the burning desire to keep creating their own music. The word “degringolade” means “a rapid deterioration, a sudden decline in condition, or a sudden downfall.” The thematic element of their music on this album support this message very well. Pick it up and give it your attention!

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Above the Highest
2. The Blade Philosophical
3. The World in Three Parts
4. Totalities Kompletion
5. I am the Way, the Truth, and the Knife
6. The Final Laceration
Paulus - Drums & Vocals
Wroth - Guitar & Vocals
N.K.L.H. - Bass & Vocals
Record Label: Nuclear War Now! Productions


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