12 gatefold (ob chlopne otevrene).inddThis German band is one of my favourites within death metal with consistently good releases that stay within the confines of purist deathly filth but always offering something different as this fourth album sees the band delve into more tuneful realms utilising more melodic riffing and song structures.

As ever the album starts with an intro that erupts into the title track opener with a blistering riff and savage drum attack that beats hard yet precise with sporadic blast breaks when required. The melody of the riffs on this album underpin everything about it as the album roars into “Casket Ride” with a typically Swedeath beat and density which is, as it should be, thunderingly heavy. “Fortress Of Gloom” has fantastic riff, exuding a dramatic aura that is amplified by the slow double kick and vocal bellow. The riff is one you’ll hum continually as the track side steps into a punchy beat that allows a doom like atmosphere to materialise.

This album is packed with great riffs, not a duff one anywhere. As yet another memorable riff starts “The Dead Lives On” accompanied by a ferocious blast that is clear yet uncompromisingly dense as the double kick hurtles the track along at a relentless tempo. Mixing things up is “Lord Of Flesh” which has doom qualities with an intimidating atmosphere that makes the doleful riff sound funereal and in some respects a little like old Asphyx. The track picks up the pace of course and it is that ability to vary the songs that make Revel In Flesh such a top death metal outfit as the lengthy “Dead To This World” sees the band shift into a slightly more experimental approach. The tunes density is fortified by another mournful riff and slow but punishing double kick. True death metal doesn’t get much better than this as this album will almost certainly make my top ten death metal releases of 2016.

As a bonus, there is an interesting cover of UFO’s “Doctor, Doctor”, yes you read that right, as it seems that death metal bands have decided to branch out with their cover versions as this version starts with a Hellraiser film sample before the riff to the tune starts. Sticking to the formula of the riff works with their guitar tone, but the vocals are weird to listen to when you know the clean variety so well, but they’re decipherable and the track is likely to go on my compilations to gigs purely for the humour.

(9/10 Martin Harris)