Album number five, Revel in Flesh (RIF) still make an unearthly racket! For those who made it to their UK show of recent times you would have witnessed a really cool proper death metal guitar tone, a howling old school vocal but a style mixed with many dark influences. This is retained on this current release called ‘The Hour of the Avenger’.

The variance of melodic tones added on their last couple of releases makes a further appearance, the particular track of choice for me would be ‘Blood Oath’. However, if you want the traditional old school blast, then look to the thunderous ‘Deathblow’. The energy and relative simplicity is immense and very effective. The expected intricacies of the death metal riffs coupled with their tone match the scene leaders. As RIF are very much established now, hey, they’re in this club.

The artwork has a sobering sense of realism to it, I feel more connected with this, maybe it’s the colour palette, but it does seem less fictional, more realistic. The production is awesome as usual, the ability to capture the easily decipherable vocals with such a brutal backline is tremendous. Whilst I don’t figure this as my favourite release by RIF so far, it’s pretty close. It covers a few bases and augments their sound development that’s occurred over the last couple of releases. As a closer, there’s a vibrant cover of Motörhead’s ‘Rock Out’ (from ‘Motörizer’) which in itself is refreshing as it’s not from their “classic” period, a lot of the bands latter material is immense!

(8/10 Paul Maddison)