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Ripper – Sensory Stagnation – EP Review

Totally bonkers, classic-sounding, South American thrash!

Here at Worship Metal, we pride ourselves on the fact that we listen to metal in all its many guises and enjoy most, if not all, of it. So, when a new release from a South American thrash metal band drops, we tend to get a little bit excited (understandably). After all, this fine continent has played a big role in the metal world and has an impressive heritage in the thrash and death metal genres (Sepultura, Ratos De Porao, Sarcofago and Chakal, to name but a few).

Which brings us to Sensory Stagnation, the new EP from Chilean thrashers, Ripper a band who’ve been on the go since 2007, releasing a few demos, a couple of EPs and 2 full length albums. So, they have a little experience behind them then. Looking at the EP cover, it’s like a tick-box of all things thrash – weird sort of mystical drawing which probably has a message in it? Check. Symmetrical logo that can be just about read? Check. Four scruffy, hairy dudes on the back looking moody? Check. It’s all there.

Ripper have the thrash look sorted, but what about the sounds. Well, if you like Schizophrenia-era Sepultura and Pleasure To Kill-era Kreator, then you’re in for a treat (for the record, Worship Metal LOVES this era). Sensory Stagnation really does take you back to the mid-1980’s with a raw, almost under produced sound, and a vocal style that swings between Max Cavalera and Mille Petrozza.

There are 5 tracks on the EP….well, 4 and a bit as the first track is a rather grandiose intro promising great things to follow. Do Ripper deliver? Yes, is the answer. After the intro, “Dissociation”, is done being all ‘epic’, “The Unreal” kicks in. Initially, its a mid-tempo number but it soon launches into top gear when the chorus arrives, classic South American thrash style! The rest of the track flits between the mid-tempo in the verses and the bonkers, bars out thrash in the chorus. It’s a good start.

Next is the title track, Sensory Stagnation. It starts off at breakneck pace and doesn’t really let up. There’s a bit of a breakdown in the middle, but even here, the bassist and drummer are working very hard. Overall, it’s a proper old school thrash metal track, almost verging on death metal. “Like A Sacrilege” is probably the slowest track on the EP but it’s no less heavy for it, and the aural assault continues apace. This is a well constructed piece of music, though, and it’s probably the strongest track on the EP. So, we come to the final track, “Terror Streets”. Finish with a flourish, they say, and Ripper certainly do. This track is pretty frenzied from start to finish and is a great way to end this journey.

Overall, Sensory Stagnation receives two thumbs up from Worship Metal. While there’s nothing particularly new here, thrash metal as a genre has been knocking on nearly 40 years now so there’s not much left to discover! However, what these four fine fellows have done is tap into that classic, underground, mid-80’s thrash/death sound and executed it rather damn well. It’s a grower this one, and sounds better with each and every play. 7/10

About Darren Robb (17 Articles)
Petrolhead, metalhead, dunderhead. Lucky enough to have experienced Thrash Metal from the beginning. Still nostalgic for the 1980's. Having a love affair with Stout, although I am open to other beers. Old enough to know better.

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