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It's 2020, the world is ending, and we're all inside. What better way to get all this frustrated energy out than some solid, bone-snapping death metal? Bay Area riff-merchant Ripped to Shreds is the among the best catalysts through which one can vent all one's thrashing cabin fever energy. Move around the room, get a bangover, do something to this, because Ripped to Shreds has made one of the best traditional death metal records of the year, and, easily the best track on the album, "白骨精 (White Bone Spirit)"'s (streaming below) daunting mass presents a likely antidote to all your Covid-19 anxieties. Oh, and did I mention this features a solo from Takafumi Matsubara? Yeah. Get into this.

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From the artist:

"White Bone Spirit" is probably the most "emotional" of all the songs on Luan. The titular character is a villain from Journey to the West, who shapeshifts into multiple helpless forms to trap and eat Sun Wukong's master Tang Sanzang. Wukong's golden eyes allow him to pierce the monster's disguise and kill it each time, but Tang Sanzang is tricked by the monster's disguise and banishes Wukong for murdering innocents. The song examines Wukong's anguish and pain at being falsely accused and banished by the master he loves.

The first slow solo in the intro is performed by Takafumi Matsubara. I got in contact with him when I showed him a Gridlink cover I recorded for a split with Taiwan grindcore outfit Brain Corrosion; he was extremely stoked on it and wanted to play a solo on one of my songs, and I offered to play one on Retortion Terror. I originally wanted him to play a fast solo, halfway through the song, but he really liked the slow intro and wanted to play one there, which makes it one of the more unique solos that Takafumi has performed.

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亂 (Luan) releases April 17th on Pulverised Records

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