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R X P T R S - 'Living Without Death’s Permission' Album Review


1. Burning Pages

2. Rock Bottom (Is A Stepping Stone)

3. Dead Awake (Pretty As The Drugs We Take)

4. Demons In My Headphones

5. Collapse

6. Gutterflies

7. The Death Rattle

8. Cold Ground

9. The Frail

10. Let Me Die How I Want

I’ve tried to write the opening of this review multiple times, and every time it’s just started with “YOU SHOULD BE LISTENING TO THIS ALBUM, WHY ON EARTH AREN’T YOU LISTENING TO IT YET??” – which isn’t really the kind of impartial, balanced attitude you expect from a music reviewer. But sometimes that happens. Sometimes you listen to an album that you have absolutely no idea about and it completely blows you away, and that’s what happened here.

“Living Without Death’s Permission” is such a strong album that I can’t believe it is R X P T R S debut – they sound like they should have been polishing their sound for multiple attempts before producing an album this good. Everything about this album seems perfectly executed and well considered. I’d never heard R X P T R S before, but a friend of mine had, and told me that I wouldn’t be disappointed listening to this, and they were absolutely spot on.

I keep trying to figure out who they sound like, because they are one of those bands who manage to sound individual, while at the same time evoking memories of some of the best Metal you’ve ever heard. They wouldn’t have been out of place in the 2000’s era of popular Metal, but they aren’t just a nostalgic throwback, they are pushing the sound forward towards the future.

I’m not going to step through the album track by track – partly because there are only so many ways to write “and this is an amazing track”, and partly because I think that listening to an album should be a pleasant surprise – you shouldn’t have any idea what is coming next. I will say that “Burning Pages” is an absolutely perfect opening track, as it slams into you like a truck made of Heavy Metal, setting out the mood for the rest of the album.

“Demons In My Headphones” is another favourite of mine, as is “Gutterflies”, and the absolutely weird but perfect introduction of a bit of Funk-Metal into “The Death Rattle” really makes this band stand out even more – they aren’t afraid to push the edges of what you expect from a Metal album. The ending of the album slows down a little (not in quality, just in tempo), but there aren’t any songs on here that I would consider bad, or even average.

Every track on this album is (at the very least) good, and many of them are outstanding. In fact, if you force me to pick something that I don’t like about this album, then all I can say is that the album artwork is average – it’s fine, but it really doesn’t tell you what a good album this is.

Sorry if you wanted to read a nuanced review of this album, but that’s just not possible. This album taps into every Metal-loving part of me and pleases them all. It’s an astonishing debut from a band who are clearly (if there is any justice in the world) going to shoot to stardom, and they certainly deserve it. Listen to this album when it comes out on 24th June – stream it, buy it digitally or grab a physical copy, but please, if you like any kind of Metal whatsoever, listen to this album – it’s absolutely outstanding.

Review - Michael Braunton

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