To celebrate 30 years of heavy metal, Germany's Reaper brings a new album, An Atheist Monument. It's an interesting fact and somewhat odd, however, that in 30 years, aside from some demos and compilations, the band has only produced four albums. Little has changed over the three decades, Reaper still plays traditional heavy metal.
From the album title and art work, you might find a theme, maybe not so much in all the songs, but definitely in the band's mind set. Reaper, as their promo material suggests, have 'a profound aversion to organized religion.' However, this is curious. While not necessarily all that organized, atheism is also a religion, probably one of the larger ones at that. They merely substitute the gods of religion for themselves: atheism is like 'selfie' worship. But I digress.
Reaper's metal speaks for itself. It's basically the no nonsense, keep it true, classic Eighties metal variety. Toss in some momentum and you also have that touch of speed/power metal. The riffs are large and blistering, the leads ripping, and the rhythm section bracing and quick in the speedier moments. And mostly that's how the speed or power metal comes, in breakdowns as most songs offer a moderate, even foreboding, pace, while not venturing into doom metal. Alternatively, a song like Ship of Fools is basically quick right from the start and keeps up the pace. The wild card for some may be Daniel Zimmermann's vocal style. While hardly on the death or hardcore side, he does have a gruff, sometimes raw delivery, like coarse sandpaper being rubbed over your ears.
The problem I had was, after a few spins, I couldn't come to definite conclusion about the album. It's certainly not a bad album, and for traditional heavy metal certainly not disappointing. It's probably because nothing truly stuck out, no song really hooked me and encouraged me to keep listening beyond doing so for the purpose of writing a review. And now that the review is done, I probably won't listen to the album any time soon. This is not to say that Reaper fans will not enjoy the album as they will certainly welcome it with open arms.
Celebrating 30 years in the business, Reaper returns with an album of classic Eighties heavy metal which will please their fans.
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