Laws Of Devastation
Review by Felix on May 28, 2023.
The Greek metal scene is well known for its bands who love experimenting with innovative sounds. But innovation is not the objective of Riffobia. They avoid new approaches like the devil avoids holy water. While feeling comfortable with old school thrash metal, the band walks along the well-trodden paths of the genre. I am not sure whether this approach is of great artistic value. But honestly, this is irrelevant from my point of view. Authenticity and attitude are more important. And it goes without saying that the production has to be right. So what about “Laws of Devastation”? The multi-coloured cover points in the wrong direction. The similarity with the illustrations of bands like Municipal Waste does not mean that you will find stylistic devices of fun punk. Riffobia hate to have fun. They offer a dry and direct sound that leaves no room for humour. One rather gets the impression that the band had to work hard for this output.
The eight songs last as long as they need to while avoiding redundancies. Nevertheless, it leaves me with a slight feeling of dissatisfaction that this album offers a running time of less than thirty minutes. I know, “Reign in Blood” and so on… But it gives a poor impression if a newcomer band offers a debut with such a short running time. Immense creativity looks different.
At the end, however, the music plays the key role. The strengths of Riffobia are based on the combination of rasping riffs and simple but well prepared melody lines. Although their name may suggest otherwise, they do definitely not have a phobia concerning metallic riffs. These riffs form the foundation of the songs which are conspicuously often presented in mid-tempo. But the pieces do not show a lack of tension so that you will not miss anything. Due to their outstanding guitar lines, “Invisible Hate” and “Remnants of Faith” mark the highlights of this record. With regard to the latter, the contrast of the casual riffing and the stressed singing gives this song a special touch. The vibrant double bass and the catchy chorus must also be emphasized. “Invisible Hate” develops from a distinctive bass guitar line which is attacked by riffs that become more and more dominant. It may well be that the Greek State has gone bankrupt. However, Riffobia draw from the wealth of coherent song ideas, at least for the album´s running time mentioned before.
The band does not add anything new to the genre. But while doing it in the traditional way, the music, and this is crucial, is well performed. If you find some completely new elements in the working results of this thrashing bunch, please feel free to add it here ____. Thank you.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10108