Rape Pillage And Burn- Songs Of Death… Songs Of Hell

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Monday, April 6, 2009

They have technically been around since 1997, but Dallas based death metal band Rape Pillage And Burn just released their debut EP only a couple of months ago. Perhaps the main reason for this is that many of the members have been involved in numerous projects over the years, but regardless of this the group has finally put out their first EP, Songs Of Death… Songs Of Hell on Ibex Moon Records. Offering listeners five tracks of old school death metal, Rape Pillage And Burn won’t blow people’s minds but is still a decent effort.

All five of the songs on Songs Of Death… Songs Of Hell feature riffs that sound similar to much of the old school death metal out there (think Obituary, Grave, and Dismember and you have a pretty good idea of what to expect). Considering how many bands lately have been obsessed with technicality it is nice to hear a band that is focused on bass heavy, crushing riffs that are able to get people moving and head banging along. However, unlike some of the previously mentioned bands Rape Pillage And Burn isn’t quite as memorable at this point and quite a few of the riffs on this EP do tend to blend together. If they can vary the solos a little bit more and offer listeners a few more hooks that stick out, but for now this group just blends in with the rest.

One element that really helps Rape Pillage And Burn is their vocalist. Michael Sleavin (who is also in Divine Eve) has a very low pitched growling style that is on par with the other death metal vocalists out there. Bassist Richard Cabeza also provides backup vocals on occasion, and the combination of these helps to really flesh out the group’s raw and rough vocals. Rather than offering a pitch that contrasts with Sleavin, Cabeza’s growls are similar in style which works well for Rape Pillage And Burn. I realize that this is a small touch, but it would be great to see the backing vocals play an even bigger role in the future.

Rape Pillage And Burn are off to a decent start, but listeners could just as easily go back to their old Obituary albums and hear music that is very similar. However, if this band can find ways to stand out and still appeal to the old school death metal crowd, they could definitely become a bigger name. Don’t give up on these guys just yet, as if they really hone their experience from their other bands than they could make Rape Pillage And Burn truly worthy of your attention.


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