A relic from extreme metal’s distant past, Monastery‘s Ripping Terror 91 demo seems to be part historical documentation and part nostalgia release. This trio of acclaimed musicians (Sinister‘s Aad Kloosterwaard and Ron van de Polder, plus Entombed‘s Lars Rosenberg) were still fresh faces in the death metal scene in 1991, because death metal itself was still young and fresh in 1991. On par with the times, this demo is a blistering sprint through six evil tunes. The songs, which have a very Terrorizer or mid 1990s Napalm Death death grindcore vibe at times, sound like they would be grind-you-into-bloody-pulp enjoyable at higher volumes.
The songs have typical atonal, unintelligible, scream-growl death vocals. Drums whirl into some blastbeating. There’s some great bass tone in his solo break, which sounds like “a feeling of impending doom”. Even on bassy headphones, the bass is buried though. The guitar has a vicious, aggressive, mean, and gritty bite, but it’s not close to the “buzzsaw” level that Rosenberg’s “other band” achieved on their genre pillar, Left Hand Path. There’s a great mid tempo neck breaking thrash break in “Monastery”, which devolves to blasty grind quickly. Is that enough to whet your palate and pine for what once was? Just take a little listen…
Monastery’s whole underground feel, convincing attack, raw talent, and unpolished sound of Ripping Terror 91 brings back memories of when this scene was brand new. Unfortunately, the ‘recorded at a concert in Rotterdam’ mix and master job is unmarketable, with the first track being extremely loud and the remaining five songs being too quiet. The errors are present on an ambient system, and also through good quality earphones. While this would be a fantastic free offering on a music historian’s blog or streaming site, it’s not something that will sit too well at retail, due to the mix issues and overall market and genre oversaturation points with music today. It’s tough enough to sell well-engineered music; what amounts to an underground bootleg from a defunct band is really best left to the tape traders.
Suspicion of Destiny