Missa Pro Defunctis

Reign in Blood

Following a ten year hiatus since the release of their last album, the German, Back […]
By Damian Smith
August 2, 2019
Reign in Blood - Missa Pro Defunctis album cover

Following a ten year hiatus since the release of their last album, the German, Back Metal band, REIGN IN BLOOD, have been resurrected and are ready to unleash their second, full-length effort, "Missa Pro Defunctis". With only two remaining members - the guitarist duo of Demon Raise, and Malus Deus - REIGN IN BLOOD have concocted an imposing blend of Black Metal and Speed Metal on this album, with just a touch of cold, and eerie atmosphere. The resulting creation is one that doesn't necessarily reinvent the wheel, but definitely offers worshippers of the old-school plenty to sink their teeth into.

The first track on the album, following the introduction, is "Dawn of a Dying Soul," and it comes like fire! Menacing lead guitar melodies and howls, burn their way through a maelstrom of blasts beats, eventually opening up to some primitive riffing in the verse. When the vocals are first introduced here, I have to admit that my initial impression of them was not a positive one. Here, Demon Raise makes use of a sort of, throaty, plaintive yelp, that felt a little too campy for me, at first. I didn't have to wait very long for him to start changing things up, however. In fact, there's a great deal of vocal variation throughout not only this first song, but the entire record. These styles range everywhere from low, droning chants and incantations, to an almost whispered, serpentine hiss, as can be heard on the track, "Domus Mortuorum". As I made my way through the album, I couldn't help but be impressed by the ability of Demon Raise, to conjure up, and switch between such a wide variety of sounds. His voice lends so much character to this music, even while I might not always appreciate every, single stylistic choice that he made.

"Missa Pro Defunctis" is an album that, I think, required more than a single play through for me to fully start to appreciate. But, there really is some decent songwriting to be found here. Furthermore, this thing is absolutely loaded with killer, fist-pumping hooks and choruses that will certainly worm their way into your brain, if given the chance. There were a few tracks, in particular, that I found myself gravitating back to more than others. But, my favorite song on the entire record, without a doubt, has to be "Anima," with it's dirgeful, lead guitar melodies, and bleak, haunting choruses. Again, the vocal performance here is just so interesting, and dynamic! There's almost a death rattle-like quality in the way Demon Raise groans through some of the lines on this track. As well, songs like "Domus Mortuorum," and the title track, boast some memorable, chanted sections that I couldn't help myself from humming throughout the day.

As I mentioned previously, I don't think this is an album that's necessarily breaking any new ground. And, while it isn't the sort of thing that would typically be in my wheelhouse, it is an entertaining, and infectious listen. Sometimes, that's all an album really needs to be!

6 / 10

Had Potential








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"Missa Pro Defunctis" Track-listing:

1. Invoke The Shapeless Ones
2. Dawn of a Dying Soul
3. Black Hole
4. Metamorphose With The Universe
5. Missa Pro Defunctis
6. Domus Mortuorum
7. Anima
8. Wolfhour
9. Into Nothingness

Reign in Blood Lineup:

Demon Raise - Guitar, Vocals
Malus Deus - Guitar, Bass

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