Radiated Remains is GraveRipper’s first outing as members of the Wise Blood Records roster and if you’re looking for a nuclear thrash assault fresh out of the box, you’ve come to the right place. One of thrash’s most vital components to remaining a force to be reckoned with is that it’s a genre ripe with musicians that make the music they want to hear and GraveRipper has never been afraid to go all in with that ethos…..and with six tracks justy shy of the twenty minute mark, GraveRipper makes every second of Radiated Remains count.
The blink and you’ll miss it doom and gloom of “Instinctive Extinction” segues nicely into “Atoms Divide” and if you like your thrash mean and nasty, heads will be a-banging in a matter of seconds and while it’s a stretch to call “Atoms Divide” a pop song disguised as a metal song, there’s a certain catchiness to the way vocalist/guitarist Corey Parks warns listeners that they’re going to die tonight. In addition to having the highest concentration of shit-kicking reprobate riffs on the entire E.P, GraveRipper really flexes their doctorate degrees in sonic chemistry on “All Life Decays” tinkering ever so slightly with the Jeff Hanneman formula. For all of you academically inclined thrashers out there, “Cherenkov Light” will definitely have you cracking open those nuclear science books once again (and keep your head banging no less).
Like the previously mentioned “Atoms Divide”, “Complete Blinding Darkness” is another track that can be fairly described as catchy. Carrying the distinction of being the shortest song on Radiated Remains, “Complete Blinding Darkness” is also the E.P. ‘s most ruthless track, guitar solo and all. Going from the shortest track to the longest, “King Killer” is the glue that holds Radiated Remains together. Blackened thrash is a term that can be used a bit indulgently, but GraveRipper’s approach to it is not only effective but almost low-key. “King Killer” is no doubt a blackened thrash song, but the idea of blackened thrash festers throughout the entirety of Radiated Remains before violently detonating as the E.P. closes out. GraveRipper’s method of using blackened thrash to gradually smother the listener in a cloud of nuclear dust is in all honesty brilliant and more than anything it’s the approach. Whereas the majority of blackened thrash is meant to be icy and mourning, GraveRipper’s approach is the heralding of an atomic new world.
The one occupational hazard of being a thrash fan is that it’s too easy to find stuff that you’re going to like, and foam at the mouth over, and sometimes it can be difficult to pinpoint the one element that makes this band unique from that band. While this review makes no attempts to answer those questions, there’s a lot that can be learned from watching developments unfold. GraveRipper have gained a lot of momentum since originally forming in 2019 as Death Ensemble and if you’re wanting to know the bottom line on why you should listen to and/or buy Radiated Remains, it’s because this is just a taste of what GraveRipper has to offer. 9/10