Album Review: Ryth - Deceptor Creator
Reviewed by Sam Jones
I couldn’t tell you the last time I checked out an extreme metal record that found it’s origin in the Middle East, let alone a part of the world deeply within the Arab Emirates yet that is precisely where we are headed with Ryth and their first full length record: Deceptor Creator. The band may be releasing their first studio work late this year but we can’t overlook how Ryth have been looking to excel since 2008, and only very recently finally got themselves off the ground running with their first work, a Split that brought together multiple Bahrain-based metal bands, Ryth included, into a live recording. If this demonstrates anything, it’s how there is a burgeoning extreme metal scene coming out of the Arab Emirates of all places just as Indonesia has a sprawling Brutal Death Metal scene. Therefore, out of such an interesting place, we have Deceptor Creator, an album I was absolutely fascinated to begin with.
If there’s one thing to mention regarding this record, it’s that Ryth are certainly a band that you can easily follow. Owing to the nature of their songwriting there’s no difficulty pertaining to what route their riffs will take you along nor is the power of their performance going to be lost due to excessive pacing. The crunching yet steady pace at which they play at has resulted in a sound that doesn’t try to outrace your attention span, but one that seems to move alongside you so that while you’re following its interweaving and changing songwriting, you always manage to experience the full scope of what the band always planned for you. The band for the most part utilise songwriting that is rather gradual and doesn’t seem to be the speed machines other bands may try to be, yet that doesn’t stop Ryth from periodically raising the ante and roping in more aggressive and breakneck sections to give their songwriting the variety required. Even during these spurts of adrenaline, your attention never waned nor does your ability to follow the route which the band move at.
I will also say that in spite of the band’s tendency to explode with more energy and ferocity as hitherto explained, the overall tone to their production is surprisingly clean. This doesn’t mean the general essence of their sound is ultra safe and doesn’t take risks; the general approach to Ryth’s sound is one that feels infused with mean attitude. What it does mean however is this isn’t a record where you’ll need to go searching for the riffs or the strength by which they’re looking to imbue us with. The band don’t hide their sound; they haven’t come into the recording or mixing processes looking to downtime their sound unnecessarily with anything overtly cavernous or cacophonous, it’s clear and on full display for the audience to take in. If anything, it’s this style of clear but lean riffs that provides the majority of power the band have been able to deliver on. Allowing their riffs to fully exert their crunching tone without sonic barriers interfering enables us to fully immerse ourselves into the songwriting.
You have to love how dynamic the vocals are throughout this album. During the course of their performance, it needs to be noted how versatile the vocals are here. This not your typical one-note vocal performance whatsoever. With every oncoming track the vocals impart something a little new, a little different that you wouldn’t have heard beforehand. The overall approach to the vocals may be pretty rooted in conventional death metal aesthetic but that doesn’t mean Ryth wanted that to be the totality of their identity. You’ll receive the general delivery as you come to expect it, and truthfully you do receive just that but then you have moments where the vocals may suddenly drop in timbre, or rise with ecstatic mania. Their vocalist will be undergoing his performance and shortly you’ll hear them gradually rise to a scream, well controlled and delivered, that doesn’t feel out of place at all. But then you have a genuinely surprising addition of these super clean and soaring vocals that steam diametrically against typical death metal conventions. This example is only seen once or twice throughout the record yet it completely throws off any established ideas we may have had regarding this band’s mission with this album. Ultimately, we soon learn that nothing can be expected any longer; Ryth have us exactly where they want.
I find it fascinating that Ryth have such a diverse track running where songs can be anywhere from 2 minutes to almost 9. What it demonstrates is Ryth, much like their songwriting, didn’t want their album to simply be one 5-minute track affair after another; doing so would have rendered the record deeply predictable and lessened the potential impact their sound would have on their audience. By consistently altering the time by which their songwriting would be working with along each ensuing song, Ryth help to prevent any sense of boredom that would otherwise begin stirring during the halfway point. Even as you approach the record’s closing section, your attention is still as prominent as it would be at the very beginning. The extension of track length also results in songwriting that becomes more than your typical death metal onslaught; actually thought out and planned out structure appears for a constant assault on the senses would deafen us to the jewels the band have in store for us and there are some particular gems to be discovered. Ryth can make a 9 minute opus feel as seamless and approachable as any 3 minute work.
In conclusion, Ryth’s debut studio work is a genuine success as far as I’m concerned. It’s also nice to see some extreme metal crop up out from the Middle East, Bahrain of course being just off the coast of Qatar. For Ryth, it’s been a long time coming; their first major work in the 14 years it’s been since their inception. If Deceptor Creator is anything to go by, it only proves that December shouldn’t be written off merely because it’s the end of the year and many already have their best albums of the year lists sorted and finished. Ryth showcase their prowess here and it’s a record absolutely deserving of your time, if only to provide Ryth the attention their own efforts sincerely deserve. This is an exemplary death metal album where little can be predicted, where the band rapidly assert their own identity and one that engages us from start to finish. A triumph to be sure.