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Rifforia “Axeorcism” album review by Luz Figueroa

rifforia band scaled

In the ever-evolving landscape of thrash metal, a genre that has seen its fair share of peaks and valleys, the emergence of Rifforia with their debut album “Axeorcism” is a breath of fresh, albeit ferociously aggressive, air. This Swedish ensemble, rising from the ashes of Tuck From Hell, has managed to carve out a niche that pays homage to the thrash gods of yore while injecting a dose of heavy metal vigor, thanks in no small part to the vocal prowess of Nils Patrik Johansson.

Axeorcism” is a masterclass in balance and intensity, blending relentless thrash riffs with the kind of operatic vocals that are seldom heard in the genre. From the get-go, tracks like “A Game That You Don’t Understand” set the stage for an album that refuses to be pigeonholed, offering up a smorgasbord of riffs that are as memorable as they are merciless. Yet, it’s in songs like “Sea of Pain” where Rifforia truly shines, marrying speed and melody in a way that feels both fresh and familiar.

The album’s production deserves a nod as well, capturing the raw energy of the band while ensuring that each instrument, from Marcus Bengts‘ and Magnus Frederiksson‘s razor-sharp guitars to Fredrik Johansson‘s thunderous drums, is given room to breathe and bite. It’s this clarity and attention to detail that elevate “Axeorcism” from a mere homage to a standalone powerhouse in the thrash metal scene.

However, what sets Rifforia apart is not just their musical prowess but the intriguing dynamic brought about by the father-son duo of Nils Patrik and Fredrik Johansson. This familial connection adds a layer of depth and authenticity to the album, with Nils Patrik‘s vocals bringing a seasoned gravitas to the youthful exuberance of the instrumentation. It’s a combination that pays dividends, allowing the band to explore thematic and sonic territories that might otherwise be out of reach.

Tracks like “The Devil’s Sperm” and “Evilized” showcase the band’s ability to weave narrative and nuance into their music, with lyrics that provoke thought as much as they incite headbanging. Meanwhile, “CC Cowboys” and “Welcome to Hell” demonstrate Rifforia‘s knack for crafting anthems that are as catchy as they are crushing.

Yet, for all its strengths, “Axeorcism” is not without its flaws. At times, the album’s tracks can feel a bit too familiar, blending into one another despite their individual merits. This is a minor quibble, however, in an otherwise stellar debut that promises great things for Rifforia‘s future.

In conclusion, “Axeorcism” is a thrilling ride through the best that thrash and heavy metal have to offer, anchored by a band that is clearly passionate about their craft. With a foot in the past and an eye on the horizon, Rifforia has delivered an album that’ is not only a testament to their talents but’s a beacon for the genre’s future. It’s a solid 8.5 out of 10 for me, and I eagerly await what comes next from this promising outfit.

Get your copy of the album here:

rifforia album


01 A Game That You Don’t Understand 3:34
02 Sea of Pain 3:30
03 Well of Life 4:30
04 Built to Destroy 3:31
05 The Devil’s Sperm 3:50
06 CC Cowboys 5:04
07 Evilized 3:14
08 Rifforia 3:47
09 Welcome to Hell 3:16
10 Death Row Child 3:25

Nils Patrik Johansson – vocals
Marcus Bengts – guitars, bass
Magnus Fredriksson – guitars
Fredrik Johansson – drums


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