R.I.P. – In The Wind (Totem Cat Records)

Genre: Doom Metal

Doom bands can take you on astral voyages or drag you deep into candlelit catacombs, yet many new acts ignore the gritty, urban menace so effectively channeled by Saint Vitus in the 80s. It’s refreshing, therefore, to see a group like R.I.P. emerge, an outfit whose music reeks of dank alleyways and drug dens, and who feel more ‘authentic’ then many of their contemporaries.

They do owe a huge debt to Vitus, granted, and the unearthly presence of Pentagram lurks behind songs like Bereaved, but they’re no mere tribute act, and can clearly write some seriously addictive, narcotic-laced doom: the phenomenal Smoke & Lightning, for instance, bludgeons you with subterranean power chords before speeding up and unleashing a fat, diesel-guzzling riff that Dave Chandler would be proud of.

Indeed, R.I.P. guitarist Angel Martinez makes this debut his own with a stellar performance; his rhythm work underpins each track with a seismic groove, while his soloing is incendiary –  just check out Brave In The Grave and Black Leather to hear the evidence.

OK, R.I.P. are some way behind doom’s elder statesmen in the songwriting stakes, but In The Wind shows the Portland quartet have much to give the scene, and as a first release, it’s a formidable statement of intent.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 7.5/10 Storm Coming