RIDE FOR REVENGE
Enter the Gauntlet (2014) By xDemoNx

“Enter the Gauntlet” is an album that I have received for quite some time now. So after listening to it for a lot of times, the time has come to write about it. The band which is responsible for this particular release is called Ride for Revenge, it comes from Finland and it exists into Black Metal since 2001. This three member band has released a demo, two EPs, a lot of split albums and five full lengths. “Enter the Gauntlet” is their previous release, which was released in May of 2014. The album contains eight compositions which last for one hour and thirteen minutes. Yes, as you understood, this is not a typical Black Metal release. So here the band is presenting to us an edition of Black Metal sound mixed with torturing Doom and intensive ritualistic elements.

The music of the band wants to torture the listener by putting him into a dark and dirty environment with no exit. The entire album is playing with the psychology of the listener mainly through the absolutely dark atmosphere that it creates and the through the slow and threatening riffs. The pace is torturing – slow with rare violent outbursts, someone could compare this to the feeling that you get by a long wondering into a dark labyrinth, searching slowly into the darkness for the exit, but coming across the threat in order to begin a fast hunting which will lead again to the torturing search of the exit. The riffs reminds heavy Doom – Death riffing, they are dirty, minimalistic and dark. The tracks are long as their structure is quite different from the usual one. The repetition of the riffs for long periods of time is a characteristic of the tracks and it shows the slow evolution that the band wants to give to the tracks which into some parts are too close to Funeral Doom while in some other parts an ambient approach is noticed.

Easily you can understand by the description so far, that the instruments also have a minimalistic approach. Indeed, all the instruments are minimalistic and dark. The guitars have a dirty and absolutely dark sound, while they are played with accuracy and intense feeling. The bass is heavy and dark while its lines are simple. The drums are played with passion while their lines are absolutely minimalistic, without many changes, someone would say that they just keep the pace. The vocals are heavy, somewhere between Death and Black Metal, they are quite expressing and they create the intensity demanded by each moment of the album. The production is clean and bass, while it puts out a very dark, heavy, warm and wet sound. The mixture is balanced and it delivers a very solid sound. The lyrics are written in English and they are contained into the cd. They narrate dark and violent horror stories, mainly of metaphysical content.

Many of you might not like the music that you will find into “Enter the Gauntlet”. The sure thing is though, that the experience that Ride for Revenge offer, is very intensive and very influential for the listener’s phycology. Personally, I didn’t like much the repetition of some ideas from one track to the other and the monotonous approach into the sound was tedious in some parts. However I appreciate the effort of the band and the overall experience that it offered to me. Those of you who are fans of the torturing Doom – Black sound, buy it. The rest of you listen to it. You may discover some new paths that you didn’t know until now.

1. Nights Possessed 07:54
2. Dead Insane 05:29
3. The Fog Is Green and Pungent 23:38
4. Absolute Mystical Doctrine 03:03
5. Presence of the Reaper 02:43
6. Frozen 13:19
7. Victorious 13:53
8. Enter the Gauntlet 03:02