I know. We just gave Inhuman Condition‘s Fearsick a pretty bad rap. And for cause. This 2022 record just serves as a weak offshoot of what Rat°God had in store for the Death Metal adepts about one year earlier. And I am aware of course that we shouldn’t dish out judgment on a line or two. But sometimes, things are so obvious, they can’t be denied.
Rat°God here thrives on the savoir-faire of one Terry Butler, late of Massacre. The man who found himself two very knowledgeable younger adepts of the Death Metal art. And by doing so, created yet another straight-in-yer-face Death Metal outfit. One that could easily have existed way back somewhere in the ’80s. And that down to the cover art that strangely reminded us of those flimsy booklets of rashly written novellas in the heyday of the pulp fiction era.
And indeed, the caveman-like qualities of the god of rats could easily have emerged somewhere in the ’80s. Yet here, you’ll get a rich, meaty mix of good ol’ Massacre with hints of Six Feet Under and Sepultura at times. And – one kind of wonders why Rogga Johansson‘s ghost always seems to traipse about somewhere backstage. Well, it’s because Rogga currently slaps dat bass at Massacre. So, no doubt Inhuman Condition‘s 2021 record really resonates in that department. It’s right down his metallic alley.
And true to the above, Rat°God takes off like a friggin’ rocket with a war cry in Euphoriphobia. That’s the true spirit, raw power on steroids straight down old Death Metal lane. Barebone enough to please, but still sufficiently meaty to avoid being ground into the mercury-laden dust out there. Powerful, stone-crunching riffs, courtesy of one Taylor Nordberg, followed by short, blasting solos that suddenly ring out without prior warning. Breaks, changes of tempi when there should be none, and large sections of unexpected groove will round up the overall picture.
It’s this change from fast to mid-tempo scorching metallics, snazzy thrash infusions, and the bass with a voice somewhere in the background that truly sold us. And I mean, how could it not? Butler here is Death Metal royalty. So, even if they stuck to the middle of Death Metal lane with no forays into unknown territory, this record induced a fair amount of headbanging right in the holy halls of the RMR office suite. And come to think of it, Tyrantula might qualify for at least some innovation. More thrashy than others, Jeramie Kling really pulls out the stops on that one.
And there is a sense of rough urgency to Rat°God that made us welcome that very short 33-minute airplay. A duration that EPs are usually made of. Yet here, high-intensity albums like this will get a full review, they’re that good. And besides, more of that hot fare out to win that loudness war and our ears would have burnt off our mutual heads. Now, the production feels pretty pristine with almost all tracks on that record a winner. As in Death Metal savagery that’s only diluted by tracks like The Neck Step. A piece that may be too barebone for its own good.
Ultimately though, Rat°God sports enough dumbed-down metallic fun to keep yer internal DM storage facilities well-stocked for a few days. It’s all there, the red meat, the blistering riffs and solos, relentless drum work, vocals to brutalize you to kingdom come, and boundless energy that never leaves the building until the last note echoes off the walls. It’s a juicy reminder of long-gone times when Death Metal was still the cool thing on the block. And whilst the RMR crew thoroughly enjoyed its wares for an afternoon or two, it may not resonate too far beyond the year of the Rat°God 2021. Time will tell, though, if it will be fondly remembered or only be referred to as ‘that rat record’.