Ripper – Sensory Stagnation (2019)

Release date: September 30th, 2019
Label: Unspeakable Axe Records

A few months late, but I finally could get my hands on a copy of Ripper’s new EP, Sensory Stagnation. It has been 3 years since the release of their highly acclaimed second album Experiment of Existence, so the expectations for this new material were big.

After the brief intro Dissociation, The Unreal starts, and after the initial riff, the song begins dwelling into a more Death/Thrash territory that we were used to. This is specially noticeable during the slower guitar parts, which really give you a Death Metal vibe (think of early Atheist or Pestilence).

Sensory Stagnation is a bit more fast paced than the previous song, but keeps the proto Death Metal atmosphere with a lot of variety on the bass, and aggressive riffs. Best song of the EP in my opinion.

Like a Sacrilege is a cover by an old forgotten band from Santiago called Aberration. To the best of my knowledge they only released one demo in the early 90’s before fading into obscurity. Ripper‘s homage to the original song is very good, taking a faster approach in comparison to the more Death Metal rooted original, but very well executed. Also, on their first demo, Ripper made a cover of a different song by Aberration.

For closing they decided to go with a re-recording of Terror Streets, an old song that goes back to their demo days. Aside from the fact that it’s not a new composition, there’s not really much to complain about it, since it’s a fast and aggressive piece, just pure Thrash Metal mayhem.

The only downside that I see here, is that essentialy there’s only two new tracks if we exclude the intro, the Aberration cover and the re-recorded song. Now, the quality of those two songs is as high as we could have hoped for after Experiment of Existence, so take my complain with a grain of salt. The album was recorded at DM6 Studio, with Pablo Clares at the helm, so you know what to expect soundwise. The artwork was done by Bastián Velásquez, frontman of Deathsvn.

Now, what actually is important is the fact that after this album, both bass player Pablo Cortés and guitar player Daniel Poblete left the band (they play in Suppression now). Since Pablo’s remarkable and unique style has always been one of Ripper‘s distinctive elements, one can only wonder what will his departure mean to the band. Plus, he was in charge of most of the musical composition of this EP, so it’s not going to be an easy task to replace him.

Ripper definitely kept the pace with Sensory Stagnation, and also pushed the bar a little further in terms of variety and execution, venturing with a few hints of Death Metal into their music. Now, with a new lineup it will be very interesting to hear what they can come up with next, but in the meantime, this album is perfect if you are looking for a good dose of Thrash Metal.

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