Over the past year or so, the Portland, OR-based doom metal quartet, R.I.P has added themselves to a lengthy and eclectic list of mainstay artists I’ve written about throughout the history of this site. And as you may recall, the Portland-based doom metal quartet have long operated off the belief that heavy metal crawled up out of the gutter, where it writhed to life in the grit and grime of the streets — and unsurprisingly, the band dubbed their scuzzy and grimy approach to doom metal as “street doom;” however, interestingly enough if you heard Black Leather” and “Tremble,” off their full-length debut In The Wind, the band’s sound seemed to be indebted to Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Hawkwind and Soundgarden.
Street Reaper, R.I.P.’s highly-anticipated sophomore effort is slated for an October 13, 2017 release through RidingEasy Records, and the album is reportedly inspired by Rick Rubin‘s legendary and influential 80s productions — think The Beastie Boys, Run DMC and LL Cool J among others — and Murder Dog Magazine, and as a result, the members of the band have crafted material with a streamlined and punishingly, raw ferocity, meant to evoke the days when metal and hip-hop were reviled by the mainstream the work of thugs intent on destroying the very fabric of America and its youth. And unlike their debut, Street Reaper reveals a subtly expanded songwriting approach, rooted in their belief that doom metal shouldn’t be pigeonholed into a particular tuning or time signature but rather, a particular mood that inspires doom — in this case, terror, uncertainty, chaos, war, etc.
Unsurprisingly, the material on Street Reaper is influenced not by doom metal’s typical sci-fi, fantasy or mysticism but within an inescapable, horrible and fearful present, full of what seems to be the impending collapse of democracy as we know it in the US, of economic failure, dwindling resources, increasing inequity and inequality, nuclear war, civil war, and a primal fight for survival; in fact, album single “The Other Side” may have arguably been the the Portland-based band’s most blistering and impassionaied playing — and while it may be a desperate howl into a growing void, there’s a feral urgency within the material that sets them apart from their contemporaries.
“Unmarked Grave,” continues in a similar vein as its predecessor as it features blistering, impassioned, face-melting power chords, a motorik groove, forceful drumming, an arena friendly hook and howled vocals, and while being equally urgent, the material manages to sound as though it were indebted to Badmotorfinger-era Soundgarden, Queens of the Stone Age and Ozzy Osbourne, complete with a sweaty, whiskey and hallucinogen-fueled frenzy.