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RIPPER - Speed and Violence

Release date January 25/19 (Bandcamp)

Initiating with a soft acoustic guitar track, almost flamenco in its feel, the listener is eased gently into this 20-minute EP. That is until the follow up 'Power of Speed' comes racing out of the speakers, jarring the listener from his/her reverie. Youthful, exuberant speed metal up the yazoo, this quick picking ditty will work its way insidiously into your brain cavity as it tests your headbanging abilities.

The 'Hammer of the Gods' instrumental follows, bringing the tempo down slightly, lots of lead guitar sections to appease axe fanatics out there. Love the nod to Iron Maiden's 'Where Eagles Dare' in the mid-section rhythm break too. Back to the track meet for the following 'Brothers of Steel', the Colombian unit clearly having a blast kicking out the jams, complete with a righteous bass guitar solo!

The concluding 'Sacrifice' starts out with a guitar flourish a la Priest's 'Ripper' before settling down into another speed metal assault. Juan David Hoyos' vocals really settle in on this one, his bark adding an earthy grime to the affair similar to Tony Portaro of Whiplash fame.

Some may decry the production values on this one (sounds like this was recorded over two different sessions given the sound differences between tracks), but that would be nitpicking. The bottom line is that this had me reaching for the repeat button numerous times. Give me a full length dammit!

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