Gorefest Rise to Ruin

After many years of silence, the Netherlands’ finest death/thrash export Gorefest returned to the international scene with 2005’s La Muerte, a typically lethal homecoming from a band that peaked in the mid-’90s. Rise to Ruin, however, is a more accurate comeback, as front-man Jan-Chris de Koeyer growls more frighteningly than ever before. Opener "Revolt” (and later "The War on Stupidity” and "Babylon’s Whores”) attacks with a force akin to Sepultura’s Beneath the Remains, yet at the song’s midpoint an abrupt stop allows resonant strumming as if Rush’s "Cygnus X-1” came out of hyperspace. The title track features guitarist Frank Harthoorn wailing in a Ralph Santolla-esque shred fest and "A Question of Terror” and "Speak When Spoken To” (the latter with Celtic Frost-worshipping grunts) lean back to the calculated chug of 1995’s masterpiece Erase. Harthoorn steps up again in "A Grim Charade” and "Dehumanization” for more ultra-melodic fretwork, as drummer Ed Warby displays his polyrhythmic prowess. Rise to Ruin is another triumph for Dutch metal, and an invigorated Gorefest show no sign of slowing down. (Candlelight)