Released: 2007, Spinefarm Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Here´s a rude awakening for the Amoral fans at least. First off, let me state that there are only a few bands out there nowadays that have completely managed to catch my attention for the last 3-4 years or so. Amoral, unfortunately, is not one of them. Granted, the band´s progressive and technical Death Metal (partly somewhat Bodomesque at times even) has already appealed many on their previous 2 albums (WOUNDS OF CREATION in 2004 and DECROWNING in 2005) - and granted, it can be said the guys are a bunch of skilful players and all that. However, since the overall standard of technical skills of today´s metal bands has increased on an amazingly high level over the last decade or so, you simply need to differ from the other bands in one way or the other. In my opinion Amoral don´t do that enough well in order to bring themselves clearly out from the pack for their own good and make them to shine brighter and stronger than many similar sounding bands from the same genre.
A melodic, guitar ridden wankery on REPTILE RIDE, pushes towards the surface as the most dominating thing within Amoral´s music, and there´s nothing wrong with that. Actually the band´s guitar duo, Ben and Silver, are capable of churning out massive walls of guitar riffs, clever and progressive rhythms, and somewhat intriqueing solos here and there - and it´s certain they don´t have to prove to any of us any more how talented players they are because that´s what they truly are more than anything else. A well built-up instrumental tune, “Apocalyptic Sci-fi Fun” should heavily speak for both of these two fellows´ ability to arrange a guitar shredding party where imagination plays an important role as far as the song´s structure is concerned (the same way like f.ex. Demigod sound on their latest effort, LET CHAOS PREVAIL). However, what actually pushes me away overall from their music, is the way how they use both clean - and growling vocal parts in their songs. They are probably doing so for giving more of that unique stamp over their sound, but I think it works just the opposite way because so many other (Scandinavian) metal bands have already been doing the same thing for many years. Gladly those clean vocal parts are only in a minor role on REPTILE RIDE, so not much harm is done in the vocal department. Other than that, songs like “Hang Me High” and “Mute” try to ´pretend´ to bring in more variety into wholeness by adding a bit sexier rockin´ (Sentenced-esque) thing into the band´s sound, but unfortunately that doesn´t work out too well either, I´m afraid. A mean and heavy sounding (yet still very melodic) “Few and Far Between” is what they should concentrate on doing more in the future and forget their sort of ´something-for-everybody´ mentality when collecting different amount of chords together for their songs. Also, a song called “Snake Skin Saddle” with its technical and progressive wankery, is pretty sweet.
But that´s about it. Not anything like an impressive release from the Amoral camp by any means, but has its moments nonetheless.