When I saw the name Rifftera, I thought their music would be riff oriented and with a big Pantera influence. The first thought was of course an open door, because what is metal without riffs… The second one is far from truth, although there are lines with thrash music, Pantera is not the band I think of first.
The style on this debut of the band from Finland is mainly melodic death metal, but with some other influences as well. You could describe it as music build on In Flames and Soilwork fundamentals, with Fear Factory influences and lots of keyboards and thrash elements. Take for example the second song “One Step Closer”, in which clean singing in Fear Factory/Soilwork style passes by and the keyboards have a major role. In the next song some industrial sounds in Fear Factory style underline this influence.
Janne Hietala is responsable for the harsh vocals and the other guitar player Mikko Kuoppamaa takes care of the clean ones. The songs are rather long in general, all over 5 minutes and the final song with 11:48 as winner, but due to the variety and some nice melodic parts they keep me focused. The thrash riffs in “Ashes Fall” combined with clean vocals and a softer part with a melodic solo in the middle show the variety. After that, a real thrash monster called “Rotten To the Core” takes over with Björn Strid (Soilwork) as guest shouter.
“Open Wounds” starts overwhelming with again a typical keyboard sound underneath the heavy music which creates a kind of spooky (black metal kind of) atmosphere. In general I have the idea that the second part of the album sounds a bit darker and heavier, but that can just be my own imagination.
Now we have come to the final song, which has to be interested enough not to get bored because of the length. An acoustic intro opens after which some black metal riffing takes over and in combation with the keys they create a kind of symphonic black metal style for a moment. What I enjoy most are the keyboard lines underneath the music, it forms a nice carpet. Halfway some choirs appear and twin guitars Iron Maiden style take over towards the end and even a keyboard solo is added to the track.
No, this a not a regular typical melodic death metal band, it would be too easy and not fair to describe them like that. There is a lot of variety to make this album very interesting and I have to say that I get more enthusiastic about it spin after spin. I give the album 8 devils, but perhaps it should have been almost 9. An interesting band with big potential if you ask me.
01. Back To Life
02. One Step Closer
04. Ashes Fall
05. Rotten To The Core
06. Open Wounds
07. The Ruins Of The Empire
08. Pitch Black
Playing time: 53:00
Release date: August 28, 2015
Label: Inverse Records