Thursday, June 1, 2023

Rest in Pain - Intense Tremor EP (1993)

If you look at some of the earlier Invasion Records releases, the focus was almost entirely on local death and grind, weighted towards the local German underground, but not entirely. You had EPs from Defleshed of Sweden, Fermenting Innards, Lunatic Invasion, Finland's Infera, and this little band of unknowns, Rest in Pain, who put out only this single EP and a couple of tracks on a split before calling it a day. Right from the get-go, you can tell this is not a band to take itself seriously, with the goofy Crumbsuckers-like cover art that looks like something you'd see from a crossover or grindcore band with a dash of comedy, and I think the band also had a sort of 'dress up' look to them similar to Pungent Stench, only with top least for promo pics, a notable contrast in aesthetics.

Intense Tremor is definitely death metal, with a quirky weirdness to it not unlike a Jumpin' Jesus or The Lemming Project. It's rough and chunky, with a production level equivalent to a solid studio demo, and lots of simple bass guitar breaks poking through the churning, semi-clinical rhythm guitars. I'll admit that the band seems hard-pressed to evoke memorable riffs, and bounces back and forth before more serious, solemn chords and then peppier moments which reveal a punk or hardcore influence, but they also try to pick up the pace into some faster grooves where they start to lose the plot and sound sloppy. In some tunes like "Organ Donation for a Hungry", they are approaching the chaos of Napalm Death grind, but again the drums, while intense, feel like a mess against the riffs. The vocalist does a guttural similar to Barney Greenway, but they'll use a bit of clean vocal and some more ominous, weird growls elsewhere.

Definitely a curious one, and there are some spots here or there where they seem to be digging their heels into that surgical sort of death metal with dissonant chords and grooves, but they just never perfect it into meaningful riffing, you don't get the evil tremolo riffs you'd love from OSDM. Potential? I can't tell you if they were onto something or not, this was pretty weak. So not all of these earlier works bore much fruit for Invasion...two of their other German acts, Fermenting Innards and Lunatic Invasion would go on to create some pretty damn good material, and the label overall would jump into the more popular emergent styles like melodic death or black metal, but Rest in Pain just had a little fun grinding and moshing and (I'm assuming) dissolved somewhere soon after 1994. 

Verdict: Fail [4/10]

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