When I was asked to review the new Reptilian Death album, I was a bit torn between wildly conflicting thoughts, what to expect from the album and in what terms to review it. As is obvious, Indian metal scene is still infant and need to spend more years still to match up to the global standards, in terms of both creativity and the will to create a sound unique enough to blow the minds of listeners, both Indians and those on the other side of the fence. But I decided to review this album on the same basis I judge other international releases and not how cool it sounds compared to the Indian standards, and honestly, I was a bit disappointed.
My first move was to evaluate the lyrical quality of the album, and all I found were some substandard rambling, just to serve a purpose. Just a lot of random clichéd death metal fare thrown here and there, without any meaning or without any relevance to anything et al. “Now open your scrotum and shower us down.
With blood, semen and poison.
We drink your seed, your elixir of truth.
Rancid and fecal, fit for a brute.”- (What does it mean? Does It have any deeper meaning than I comprehend?)
I don’t understand why bands work so hard on that oh so polished sound and don’t work on the lyrics. Maybe because they think no one tries to search for anything worth listening beneath the gruesome and guttural growls the albums of this genre feature.
When I started listening to the songs, I hoped for something new and something which would blow my mind to smithereens (something which the album arts points at, in a very subtle (sic) way). And then there was disappointment. Again!
The first track Prim Evil, is a very stock death metal intro which gives way to a bit more complete Inchoate( oxymoron alert) featuring some very well done drumming by Sahil Makhija and riffs I have listened to a thousand times. Therein lies the next problems, which is that all the songs have very thin guitar sounds and drum arrangements which are in no way novice, but plainly, very boring. To me almost all the songs sound the same with same diminished guitar riffs and same blast beats with practically zero variations. “Stimulate. Hike. Impel. Tear” is a slightly better track, even the best track of the album along with “O” which also features a guest guitar solo by Daniel Rego. “Emerge, Hatred, Emerge” is the only other song out of the dozen songs, which I can instantly recognize if I was made to listen the album again and name which song was which. All the other songs “Distorted By Bondage, Blood And Bestiality”, “Unnervingly Perverted At The Altar”, “Marvelous Gods - The Apple Of My Eye”and “Patchwork And The Art Of Skinning” follow the standard death metal checklist-
Nothing more nothing less.
The album ending track Emergence – The World, Your Playground starts of in a very predictable fashion but ends well, all thanks to a very melodic and opeth’ish guitar solo by Daniel again. But not all’s well that ends well. If I were to award this album a score comparing it with the Indian metal scene, it would have easily scored above 8. But it would have been unfair to the ultimate goals we Indian metal heads are striving for, which is to see an Indian metal band as genre bending and genre defining as Opeth, Death, Lamb Of god were to their respective eras or the to the regions they came from. But sadly we still have a long way to go. Maybe we need to suppress our altruistic nature and start making music which not only serves the purpose of making money but also something which is creative.