Ratzinger - 2012

Ratzinger's latest album, '2012,' will make heads turn. It's actually quite a good bundle, featuring many new heavy groove metal tracks, a few old ones remixed, and a few surprises as well. After this album, fans will be unsure of what to expect in the future. The album opens with "Make Make" which is a good mix of thrash, groove, and heavy metal with chugging, yet catchy rhythms and vocals that are half between singing and shouting. The guitars sound a bit fuzzy but the drums are just as clear as the vocals in their pecussive tone. Others like "Global Defect" have a bit more groove to them, sounding almost like if Audioslave went heavy metal with their guitar tones and a grungy, hard rock attitude. "TIme Wave Zero" hits with a lot of rhythm and a bit of Helmet influence in the riffs, save for the guitar solo which is certainly 'metal' enough. The riffs, like in many of the other tracks, can get a bit repetitive, but on the other hand they are just the right ones that listeners will probably want repeating. Lots of times, it may seem like there is some industrial influence in the tracks as well as many like "Beginning Of The End" feature some sort of spoken word introduction before moving to the musical stuff; when one hears the remixes, they also may consider this.

Ratzinger also have a few surprises here and there (not including the remixes from their previous album). "El Tiempo..." is the only song sung in Spanish, and while it hearlds to their Chilean roots and culture, it is one of the weaker tracks on the album with its reptitive lyrics and song structure, sounding like a bad Soulfly song. "Life Goes By" is a slow rock ballad that may come as a shock to listeners because it is barely metal at all, but one could consider it more of a bluesy heavy metal ballad; it has a bit of a Metallica 'Unforgiven' tone that can be easily likened, but for those who are just hearing this band for the first time after about nine tracks of heavy, blistering metal will find it odd, and hopefully just as appealing. However, it is not the softest track. The final cover song, "Just A Dream," is entirely done in piano, which makes for a great, somber, depressive metal track... if this was depressive metal. But, Ratzinger isn't such a band to perform in that genre. So it is a total hit to unknown territory and probably a hit or miss, but it is a great way to close the album in it's slow, moody plinks of piano which gives off a classical aura that is anything but metal, but still very good.

The remixes, though, are pretty much the letdown of the album. All previous works, they just add a few techno/ industrial elements that don't really do much to make the remix more exciting compared to the original. "Nuclear Day" just has a synth keyboard running through it the entire time, like someone stuck on autopilot. "Evolution Disaster" lives up to its name by just adding so many beats per minute that repeat over and over, cutting into the music at the wrong times and just making a mess of things. Only "Black September" is redeemable with certain parts repeating and hacked apart while restitched together in certain rhythms, but it is tastefully done, much like how Ministry or Linkin Park would add their industrial and remix elements into the hard rock/ metal music. As a result, overall old fans and new fans of Ratzinger will find '2012' pretty tasteful and enjoyable groove metal with little room for failure.

  1. Make Make
  2. Zeitgeist
  3. Global Defect
  4. Slave Of The Gods
  5. Time Wave Zero
  6. Beginning Of The End
  7. King Of Lava
  8. Eye Of The Hurricane
  9. El Tiempo Del No Tiempo
  10. Life Goes By
  11. Nuclear Day (Remix)
  12. Gusano
  13. Black September (Remix)
  14. Evolution Disaster (Remix)
  15. Just A Dream (Cover)

Reviewer: Colin McNamara
May 29, 2011

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