Rabhas - Propaganda Antiumana

Rabhas hail from Italy and “Propaganda Antiuma” is their third full length album (and first to be signed to label Broken Bones Promotion). A four piece that has mostly stayed consistent, there has been a change of vocalists between the last album and this one, so listeners will get something different, but not by any means in a bad way. For new listeners it is a great comparison of sound between the last album and this one especially due to the bass/ drums which serve in the forefront of the music, as opposed to the guitars and vocals which usually take command of the album. After the usual proggy, somber intro, things kick off with ‘Traditori di tutti’ which is jarring, yet crunchy Death Metal, but with more technical/ proggy elements such as the guitar solos and also a mix of clean vocals along with the harsh growls. The new vocalist adds more depth than before- taking things above a notch of the mix of Morbid Angel meets Death and adding in almost a certain level of Groove Metal elements, like Sepultura or even Alien Weaponry. Older listeners might feel things have softened up a bit compared to previous releases, but the music from Rabhas is still heavy and aggressive despite these new elements.

Other tracks like ‘Lacrime’ are a bit slower, but still jarring and help showcase that bass/ drum combo, almost like Vader’s “Litany” album. The music is thicker, but the trade of shouting/ chanted vocals with the growled ones make the music a little more accessible despite all the lyrics being in Italian. The solos are almost jazzy and might appeal to fans of bands such as Spawn of Possession, but not quite as fast. The spoken word parts along with the cleans also add depth, but serve best when during the slower parts of the music, which again lean more towards Groove Metal vs. Death Metal. During faster tracks like the title track that drums are in overdrive, and along with that extra layer of thickness, somewhat buries the vocals a little, but still creates more of a headbanger for listeners to enjoy and also lines up more with what Rabhas has previously released before. Tracks like ‘Corpo…’ are almost completely void of the growls and opt for more of the shouting/ rough singing along with a slower churn of riffs and tons of groove. Fans of the like of L.A. based Brujeria might also find this appealing as that Groove Grind band also has a mix of slower, groove oriented riffs alongside growls and rough clean vocals.

Ultimately “Propaganda Antiuma” is proof that Rabhas has evolved. Not quite the standard Death Metal band it once was, the direction of the music here is a little more diverse, which might leave some fans divided. Those who like the faster tracks with harsh vocals all around might want to go looking for their older albums, but those who like a mix of harsh and nearly clean vocals along with more of a slower Groove/ Thrash output mixed with Death Metal will find plenty of enjoyable tracks here. Rabhas certainly are taking things up a notch to try and make themselves more unique, and it seems to be working in their favor. While the album is a little jarring and sometimes features noise sample/ industrial elements that don’t quite go with the groove flow of the music, the reliance on more of the clean vocals is heavily dosed in nearly every track while the growls take a back seat. Some might feel that Death Metal is done for these guys, but hopefully Rabhas can strike a healthy ‘older Opeth balance’ of vocals along with their thick sound and deliver some crunch hybred Death Metal that is plenty to head bang to.  

3 / 5 STARS

1. Intro
2. Traditori Di Tutti
3. Metastasi Sociale
4. Amygdala
5. Nevrosi Allucinatoria
6. Propaganda Antiumana
7. Lacrime
8. Corpo In Avanzato Stato Di Decomposizione
9. Montagna
10. Oscurita'