Released: 2008, Violent Journey Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Lots of things have happened to the Finnish death/thrash combo Reprisal Scars since the band´s 4th and last demo, titled DEAD END ROAD. The most remarkable thing must be the fact that Reprisal Scars´ vocalist Teemu Kupari and guitarist Santtu Rautio left the band due to personal reasons right when the band had started to climb uphill as far as the band's increasing popularity was concerned.
Despite these setbacks, the 3 remaining guys decided to push forward, and soon two new members were recruited to complete the line-up of Reprisal Scars. Sakke Paavola took the vocal duties for himself and Teemu Kauppinen was recruited to handle the 2nd guitar in the band. The band was ready to start intensive rehearsing again and hit the studio to record the band´s debut album for the Finnish label Violent Journey Records.
With 13 songs in their hands, the troops of Reprisal Scars entered the studio, and 10 were chosen for the band´s debut album, which carries the title, KILLING ART OF SELF-DECEPTION.
Basically Reprisal Scars continue from where they left off on their last demo, DEAD END ROAD. All the 4 songs off that demo have also found their way to this record, and due to the change of vocalist and addition of another 6-string shredder, they also sound a bit different compared to the demo songs, which shouldn´t be that much of a surprise to anyone, I guess.
The band´s hybrid of both modern death and thrash metal turns out to be a good mixture, in which deadly and heavy riffs melt together well with catchy melodies that this album has been amply blessed with. Especially in the sense of some certain ear-capturing melodies, these guys have got a good grip on things. Also, with the amount of heavy riffage and groovy rhythms, the band is undoubtedly hacking their way through the hearts of many metalheads.
Sure thing, the band has done their homework well - no doubt about that, but some fine-tuning could still be expected from these Finns as far as their material on KILLING… goes. I myself am not that convinced about Sakke´s skills in taking over Teemu´s place as a vocalist in the band. Sakke´s growls seem to be perhaps a bit too monotonous, and not as powerful as Teemu´s while he was in the band. Also, if they can come up with massive and muscular sounding songs like “Grand Assertion of Hate!”, “Dead End Road” and “Done Is Done”, then they are definitely heading toward more vast and thicker waters. The guys prove clearly to be at their best when it comes to a more epic and ´bigger sound´, so hopefully they can maintain at least that as far as their future stuff is concerned.
KILLING ART OF SELF-DECEPTION is a good debut album from Reprisal Scars all in all even if I personally wasn´t so fully impressed and satisfied with the outcome. Expected a bit more, to be honest with all of you.