Sunday, May 2, 2010


A perfect death metal album, lost in obscurity and shrouded in the mists of time. Svart Records has given this occult gem a breathtaking reissue on a gorgeous gatefold LP preserving the astonishing, heroic artwork along with a clearish gray slab of vinyl.
Rippikoulu were a Finnish entity recording in the early 90's and left behind only two works, this and an earlier demo which regrettably has not yet seen reissue. The quality on display here is such, however, that even were this the only thing the band ever did it would still earn them a place in death metal Valhalla. This is death metal the way it was meant to sound-all huge, tar-soaked ultra-compressed guitars, goopy farting bass, drums that sound like they were recorded in an isolation chamber and super-low, guttural batrachian vocals that sound like they're coming from under six feet of moist earth. "Musta Seremonia" is reminiscent of the best of the genre and deserves a place alongside such undisputed classics as Entombed's "Left Hand Path," Konkhra's "Sexual Affective Disorder" and Illdisposed's "Four Depressive Seasons." This was Nordic death metal taken to the highest peak, the perfect distillation of Bathory's later period heathen-fetishizing and Black Sabbath's perfection of the head-nodding groove. Rippikoulu are simply bludgeoning and all of today's death metal revivalism seems like weak, worthless shit when stacked up against this masterpiece.
Over the last few days i've wondered what else i could add to this review. Upon deeper reflection i have decided to leave it where it is. The statement has been made, other reviews have lamented the waning of death metal as a genre. This is is an outstanding, necessary piece of extreme metal art. Highest recommendation.

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