Review: Ripper – Experiment of Existence


South America? Space? Spine-shifting metal?

Fuck yes!

Prior to thrash legend Simon Pheonix’s awesome comprehensive primer on Chilean maniacs Ripper back in June last year, I was unaware of their existence. And prior to their new album Experiment of Existence, the top shelf of the thrash category of my metal library was gathering a little dust. This album blew the dust off, 3 coats of lacquer and several of my epidermal scale layers. It’s that fucking great.

Last year a few of us depraved bullet-belt clad relics of a seemingly forgotten era were pleased with a couple of thrash albums; for me in particular they were Besieged and Profanator. But while Besieged offered a sound more akin to the death-tinged Arise-era Sepultura, and Profanator had some serious mid-80’s Slayer vibes, they really made me keen for some pure chaotic South American thrash. This is where Ripper deliver in spades. Experiment of Existence sounds like it belongs in the gap between albums like Schizophrenia and Beneath The Remains. Now I don’t want to make direct comparisons to Sepultura but… what am I talking about?!? Of course I fucking do, I love those two albums and revere them as two of my formative metal albums.

As soon as you click play on the incredible album opener “Magnetic Solar Storms” your ears will be swarmed by a million tiny fists, their spike-clad wrists perforating your eardrums as they charge through your tympanic membrane, trampling your unsuspecting cilia on their way into your brain, where they will assume residency. TovH’s very own Moustachioed Bear described it to me as “one of the best thrash songs he’s heard in years,” and guess what? I don’t argue with bears. The production throughout the album has that killer 80’s feel but without the poor sound quality. You can turn this one right on up to 11, which is what I’m sure you’ve already done anyway.

Everything about this album is ferocious; from the menacing vocals, the top-quality riffage, to the overall tempo in which the snare is almost never sitting at half-time, it just rips (sorry, I had to). The solos are well executed and had me getting callouses from the shredding being performed on the steering-wheel of the work truck. There were even some differing lead-tones used in parts which was a nice touch. While the leads might not have been as instantly recognisable as Andreas Kisser’s, they still encompass a broad variety of techniques and are an integral facet of each track.

With that said, the enormous bass sound more than makes up for any minor qualms you might have about the solos. The bass on this album is on another level, both in terms of presence and prowess. Pablo undeniably adds more to these songs than most bass players add to entire albums. There are a plethora of moments where he not only strays from the root note pitfall but rather carves out vast expanses of space, filling them with brilliant runs and creative wizardry. Offering more than just a nod to Paulo Jr.’s tapping solo at the end of the classic “Stronger Than Hate” (check the end of “Stellar Evolution”), he even takes a shot at a classical-interlude akin to ‘”The Abyss” with his bass solo “Chromatic Fantasy.” At the time of writing this, I do not have the lyrics available to me, but from what I can assume from the great cover art and the song titles, it has a sci-fi theme and to think Vektor (interview) and Voivod are releasing albums this year too, 2016 is shaping up to be the year of space-thrash. No complaints here.


If I try to be critical (my natural state) I can only really find a couple of minor gripes with this album. One is the album pacing. I feel that after coming out of the gate so strong with the first handful of tracks, things die down a little towards the middle. Not so much in terms of speed but in terms of memorable songs. This could just be a function of the freshness of the album. I suppose it is inevitable that some tracks will stand-out more than others at first, and I don’t doubt for one second that each track on this album will be given plenty of time to appeal over the years. This is one of those albums I would like to see the kids of today begging to be played in full at a live concert on its 20 year anniversary in 2036. My other problem with this album is that because I’ve been using it as a morning adrenaline rush while driving, I’ve been getting to work earlier than normal and I fucking hate my job.

At a time when many thrash bands are blending other elements to form a fusion of styles, most commonly blackened thrash or the slightly comical cross-over crowd, it is refreshing to hear some bands are content with putting out pure quality thrash. Unspeakable Axe (interview) clearly see there is a genuine desire for this type of metal and have wisely picked them up for this release. I sincerely doubt fans of the genre will rate this less than a 4/5, and I’m sure many will think it deserves a 5/5. I’m going to sit in the center and give Ripper’s Experiment of Existence

4.5/5 Flaming Toilets ov Hell


Experiment of Existence is out now on Unspeakable Axe

(Image via)

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  • Lacertilian

    The instrumental has had me all..

    • Guppusmaximus


    • I’m convinced you have a pet bearded dragon that you dress up for these kinds of pictures, because, i mean, there cant really be a bearded dragon picture for everything can there?

  • EsusMoose

    Great review, I’ll give it another try later, liked anthropopgatata something and the rest blew by me so I didn’t get too good of a listen.

  • Guppusmaximus

    Kind of reminds me of Atrophy. When you don’t rely on studio magic it really tells you what the band is capable of..

  • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross


    Killer review LizardKing! I agree with all of the points you made. Unspeakable Axe is grtti g some serious love from the Toilet this week!

  • RustyShackleford

    Damn. That is some good shit. Awesome review Lizard. I definitely hear the Sepultura comparison, and those are obviously killer albums. Jamming this now and super hyped for the bass solo track coming up haha. Yup!

  • Great job, Lizard!!! I just want to grab this record, play it and destroy everything around me.

  • Great review! I had lost interest in thrash for a while now, but this record brought me back!

    • Stanley
      • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

        More “hammer” named thrash!

          • Stanley

            I’ll be having this but I’m going on holiday soon and I don’t trust the polish mail service to get it here on time.

          • Idk Batushka was relatively timely IIRC. I think..hmm maybe not.

          • Stanley

            And I’ll be getting that Bloodthirst EP at the same time. Pagan Records shipping costs are bueno.

          • Lacertilian

            You’ve almost certainly been on more holidays in the past year than I have in my entire life.

          • Stanley

            I like holidays.

          • Lacertilian

            I love them.

        • Stanley

          Umlaut FTW.

          • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

            You should check out my new band we’re called Umlauthammer.

        • more beer

          I think these guys being back covers that.

        • hopefully we can hear more “deathhammer” reunion news, that NEVER gets old 😉

      • I like you Stanley, you are a person about which I would say you are a cool person.

        • Stanley

          One of the best thrash choruses from last year. Catchy AF.

      • Phoenix of the House Tendies

        Yuuuss. I knew I wasn’t the only one who loved this album.

        These Serbians don’t play.

    • Spear

      I think a certain psychotic crimelord might have a few suggestions for you. There’s some cool stuff happening in the thrash world these days.

      • I was hoping the new Exmortus album would do it but that was a hard “meh”

        • Spear

          I still haven’t listened to that one, despite W’s hyping it awhile back. I imagine they’re still fun as hell live, anyway.

          • Saw them live with Allegaeon and Arsis about a year ago, can confirm, very fun live.

          • Spear

            Yeah, I think I saw that same tour the day after you. I think I also bought the band’s copy of United In Regret. Good job, Miles.

          • I remember asking greg for a copy of “Threshold of Perception” and immediately thinking “god fucking damnit”

          • Spear

            At least you didn’t link Abbath to Emperor.

          • My hands aren’t small enough for such mistakes.

          • Spear


            They have an easier time with manual tasks requiring accuracy to minute details.

      • there’s always cool happenings in the thrash world so long as Warbringer is alive! *looks down* yep, wore my “pleb” shirt today

        • Spear

          It’s okay, McÑulty. The Toilet is a safe haven for plebbery.

        • Lacertilian

          Oh man, I forgot to tell you about a Warbringery type band that came across my path the other day.

  • High on Vallenfyre

    Hey! Something I listened to before reading about it here. Go me!

    • Upvoted for your name.

      • High on Vallenfyre

        Thanks buddy! Drunk me thought he was incredibly clever.


    I need to get mailmanbro on this one.

  • Spear

    Ripper does indeed rip. Much rippage.

    • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

      All the rippage.

      • Spear

        If you need something ripped, you know who to call. If you don’t need something ripped, TOO LATE! They already ripped it.

        • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

          Spear, that ripped.

          • Spear


      • more beer

        Yea so far this is very good.

    • High on Vallenfyre

      Ripping and tearing. Ripping and tearing.

  • Stanley

    The Sepultura comparisons are apt, but there’s a heaping dose of Kreator-worship going on as well. Good stuff.

  • Speaking of thrash, and ripping and things of that nature, new Vektor!

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    Dis be a rill gud.

  • Óðinn
  • Owlswald

    I’m going to run this to album tomorrow morning. I can already tell I’ll PR the shit out of it.

    EDIT: Oh hey! New Dark Funeral:

  • Orgiastic Disembowelment

    bought the lp version last week without any prior listening, just because of how good I heard it was….. the rumors were 100% true

    • Orgiastic Disembowelment

      I’m a sucker for audible bass, and this album has some seriously good audible bass

      • Dubs

        It’s disheartening that so many bands overlook the bass. It can provide so much depth to metal.

        • nooooooooo! bass players everywhere are happy being out of the limelight. now they gotta shave, shower, etc.

          • Waynecro

            When I was a metal bassist, I wanted to be heard but not seen. On stage, I often hid in the shadow of the fat guitar player.

      • Lots of bands as of late seem to have realized that audible bass is awesome.

  • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

    Wow…listening to that track kinda transports me back to the day I first listened to Cavalera-era Sepultura.

  • Dubs

    Good review, mate

  • Rob M
  • Waynecro

    As always, great review, duder!

  • Sadistikexekution

    Great CD!
    Takes me bakk.30 years!

    • Ted Nü-Djent ™


      • Sadistikexekution


  • The Unicorn

    Late to the party, but glad I came. Great review. This disc SMOKES.