Ribspreader – The Van Murders Part 2 (Xtreem Music)Monday, 11th June 2018
One of Rogga Johansson’s more well-established bands, Ribspreader has been cranking out ye old school Swedish death metal since 2003. More interesting this time around is that this album is the sequel to the 2011 album (The Van Murders of course) and contains the characters “The Cleaner” and “Mr. Filth” for another round. But as is the case with many sequels, the question is whether or not it can top the original.
The standard response is that Ribspreader is bringing out more of the same. Those down with the first album or any of Ribspreader’s previous releases undoubtedly know exactly what to expect. The band doesn’t deviate from what has worked well for them over the past 15 years. This is Swedish death metal that leans in a slightly more melodic direction (think Edge of Sanity over Entombed), and has less of an emphasis on the thick, buzzing HM-2 sound despite its otherwise notable presence. The material sticks to the mid-tempo, with some up and down ticks tossed in for good measure, and for their part, the riffs certainly work. “Back on Frostbitten Shores” has some immediately catchy hooks with its driving riffs, and “Meat Bandits” gets absolutely destructive in its groove before its closing remarks. There’s usually a few hooks in each track for the listener to grab ahold of, which make the 30-minute album quite easy to get a few spins out of.
Ultimately, one’s enjoyment of The Van Murders Part 2 is highly dependent on their view of Ribspreader. The sound is pretty much locked in concrete at this point, and their particular Swe-death sound brings everything you’d expect in a predictable fashion. It’s fun and enjoyable, but it completely tows the line from previous releases.