“Figment Paradise” is the 4th full-length record by Bulgarian death metal band The Revenge Project. For the uninitiated, these guys have been around since the turn of the millennium, and play old-school death metal that wipes the floor with nearly any modern band. Immediately upon hearing this album, the first word that came to mind was inspired. It is clear that The Revenge Project have a very good handle on what made so many of the bands before them great. The riffs, while not overly unique or proprietary, are killer. They’re just different enough that it doesn’t feel like you’ve heard them before, yet true to the style the band emulates. It is worth pointing out that “Figment Paradise” shows how death metal can actually be improved with good production. Forget the murky caves that dominate the scene these days; this album is clean and clear. You can hear every instrument perfectly (bass included), with all musicians working towards the same goal: interesting songwriting.
The Revenge Project is not a band that simply blasts their way through an album. Sure, there are blast beats here and there, but the song takes center stage. A great example is the opener, “Redeemers and Believers”. Not only does this track have some of the most killer riffs the world has seen since the mid-1990s, but it also locks into a huge groove about halfway through. Indeed, The Revenge Project make use of groove multiple times throughout the record, and put others to shame with how they do it. Good groove always comes from the drums – occasionally aided by bass - and not the riffs (Vio-lence is another band who understood this). There are numerous times throughout the album where the rhythm section locks into sometimes a bit more restrained, and you can’t help but bob your head to the beat they put forth.
From a riff perspective, “Figment Paradise” has a lot going on. Of course, there are the standard tremolo-picked riffs (and even quite a few that don’t sound like you’ve heard them 1,000 times before), but songs like “Road To Revenge” also show some more intricate, muted melodic patterns. They even manage to make mid-paced songs like “Son of Abyss” interesting. This is in part due to the sheer heaviness of the riffs (again, because of the sharp production), and the use of more dissonant patterns that let notes ring out to their fullest. The band’s axemen are incredibly skilled, and they ensure you know that as often as possible. They offer up speedy, dazzling solos that are a perfect fit for each song. The aforementioned “Son of Abyss” has some truly twisted-sounding leads, which complement the bludgeoning, methodical nature of the track.
Not being content to restrict themselves to just death metal, The Revenge Project does offer some experimentation on the final track on the record. This song features the use of clean vocals, and while the two methods of singing don’t often mix well (especially on a pure death metal album), The Revenge Project does an admirable job. In fact, I’ve never really heard them incorporated into death metal in this way, which makes “Figment Paradise” worth hearing. It almost morphs into a power metal track at times. This song also demonstrates the band's affinity for clean guitar sections, which are used on more than one occasion (though this particular song uses them in a more upbeat banner than in their other appearances).
Overall, “Figment Paradise” stands out amongst a very crowded death metal field. The Revenge Project have better riffs, songs, and execution than many of their peers, and the result is an album that is going to cause a lot of mayhem in the pit. This is exactly the type of band that should be signed to a record like Dark Descent, as they deserve much more exposure than they've received to date.
Be sure to check out and like The Revenge Project on Facebook!
"Redeemers and Believers"
"Road To Revenge"
"Son of Abyss"
4.6/5 or 92%.
Written by Scott