REAPER "Unholy Nordic Noise"
"Unholy Nordic Noise"
REAPER from Sweden is pretty much a BATHORY tribute band that just happens to write original songs instead of covering their heroes. These guys draw inspiration strictly from the first two BATHORY albums from well over 35 years ago, showing how much Quorthon's sulfurous early take on VENOM-ish punky metal still reverberates even today.
Anybody out there breathing fire and wearing chicken bone necklaces should be over the moon upon hearing "Unholy Nordic Noise". Make no mistake, this is 90% BATHORY's "goat" album with maybe 10% influenced by "The Return". It's utter chainsaw guitar rifferama like VENOM and MOTORHEAD squeezed through a nuclear reactor. I didn't get a name on the vocalist (I'm sure it's not Reginald van Smythe III) but this fucker does Quorthon's troll-like croak so well that he could probably fool a voice recognition system. Drums and bass are the bare minimum,. solos scream for a few seconds and then give way to more ripping rage. The odd thing about REAPER is that so many of their songs begin with an awesome blast of gnarly BATHORY worship...some of the better ones being "Arctic Wrath: BLood and Bone", "Order of the Beelzebub" and "Surrender to the Void"...but they end very abruptly, before they reach what feels like a proper climax. This results in a compact album that doesn't last too long, but I wouldn't have minded more of a thunderous conclusion to some of the tunes.
I find total band worship like this to be rather on the creepy side. I will always be more in favor of a band taking a favorite influence and adding their own touch to it. But I can't deny the filthy fury of REAPER here...if you wanted Quorthon to ditch the Viking stuff and thought even "Blood Fire Death" was too overdone, this is for you. Total ancient goat worship...