Riffocity - Under A Mourning Sky

Riffocity - Under A Mourning Sky

(CD, Soman Records, 2017)

Despite the dire economics in the Metal market, there are still new bands popping up, and to my delight, the music they are putting out shows signs that the underground scene is still going strong. RIFFOCITY is such a band that comes from North Greece, with “Under A Mourning Sky” being their first full length album released earlier in 2017.

“Hail Thy Father” opens the album and, without wasting time, shows its Thrash Metal teeth right away; the groovy guitars and the nice drum rolls prepare your ears for the riff explosion bringing KREATOR of their “Extreme Aggression” era on the spotlight. Thomas’ vocals are on the cleaner side (as compared to Mille’s from that album) but share the same in-your-face attitude, so expect to get more melody in RIFFOCITY’s Thrash. However, the guitar break with killer bass sound is fast and aggressive enough to get you in the mosh-pit, so better brace yourself. Everything sounds in place with the album opener, although I could not claim that this is groundbreaking and makes my head spin. This quickly changes with the amazing “Arnis Oblivion”; sure, the piano-sounding keyboard melodies hint nothing about how this song is about to evolve; the snare-drum driven aggression enters with a nice main riff and then slows everything down with some absolutely fantastic vocals delivered by Constantin Maris in Greek. I have said this in the past but it is worth repeating it; the use of other than the English language in the lyrics is a tricky business and it is easy to get a band into a 'love or hate' situation. You see, making a foreign pronunciation match the Metal music is challenging and RIFFOCITY get an A+ for their effort. The Greek speaking vocal lines go hand-in-hand with the song’s moody atmosphere and really spice up the song. This collaboration continues in “Fortunes Of Death” that starts with some nice guitar solos and an powerful epic rhythm section enhanced once again Constantin’s singing performance which in this instance is in English.

Don’t get fooled that RIFFOCITY do better in the mid-tempo and atmospheric because songs like “This Eternal Secret Lies Above” and “Isolation” are hard headbangers with hearty late '90s KREATOR-sounding riffs, although the latter song comes with some modern finishing touches in the vein of early MACHINE HEAD. The pissed-off vocals and the groovy rhythm sections point to that direction and then, the almost Eastern sounding guitars support the band’s personal mark. The melodic break close to the end of “Isolation” shows a band that has an itch to go beyond the Thrash norms and that’s a huge plus for me. And speaking of MACHINE HEAD, I think the guitar break somewhere in the middle of “Perish Unloved” shares the same high quality with the US band. The way this song explodes with hearty double-bass drumming putting the pedal to the Metal after the mid-tempo part is absolutely awesome. And then, the song changes gears with Vicky Kapsali doing some guest singing feeding a melodic break right in the middle of the Thrash festivities creating a powerful antithesis when the aggression returns.

This album has more to offer once you get past the obvious Thrash intentions that lead the way through the abundance of guitar riffs. There are lots of interesting ideas used in this album and personally, I would love to see the band using more Greek lyrics although I am well aware of the dangers such a move hides. At any rate, RIFFOCITY have put out an impressive debut album which I am sure has already put some pressure on them of surpassing it with the next offering until then, enjoy!





01. Hail Thy Father
02. Arnis Oblivion
03. Bitter Sunday
04. Fortunes Of Death
05. This Eternal Secret Lies Above
06. From Inside The Arrows Come
07. Isolation
08. Perished Unloved
09. Under A Mourning Sky
10. Above The End


Thomas Trabouras - Vocals
Dimitris Kalaitzidis - Guitar, Backing Vocals
George Lezkidis - Guitar
Panos Savvas - Bass
Tasos Daimantidis - Drums