Saturday 29 October 2022

Rattlesnake Venom Trip - Dead Empire (Album Review)

Date Released: September 17th 2022. Record Label: Self Released. Formats: DD

Dead Empire Tracklisting

Dead Empire

Cause You Know

Vicious Cycle

Hypnotic State

How This Unfolds

Amongst Their Gods

The Heavy Pour

Older Worlds End


Evan Davell – Guitar

Shane Shook – Drums

Matt Tackett – Bass

Kevin Schindel – Vocals and Guitar


Dead Empire is the debut album from Thrash/Stoner Metal collective Rattlesnake Venom Trip. A band made up of members from bands such as Neon Worship and Mouth Of The Architect. I was lucky to hear this album earlier this year and was impressed by the multitude of different styles the band included on this album. 

Dead Empire is a consistently stylish album that is primarily a Thrash driven Sludge/Stoner Metal album with shades of Doom Metal for a more dramatic modern sound. Taking influences from bands such as Iron Maiden, Thin Lizzy, Mastodon, Baroness and Black Sabbath, Rattlesnake Venom Trip could have easily fitted superbly well on the Relapse Records roster from around fifteen to twenty years ago. 

That doesn’t make this album a mere copycat, as the band bring their own heavy dual THRASH based approach to the album which you can hear to great effect on opening song Dead Empire. The song has a subtle Psych Rock drive that works superbly well with the onslaught of classic Heavy Metal sounds. Kevin’s vocals are quite different to his work on Mouth Of The Architect with the vocals being more from the classic style of 1980’s Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. 

Second song Cause You Know is a more bombastic upbeat affair with a Psych Stoner Rock groove perhaps slightly reminiscent of Ozzy Osbourne’s classic solo material with the fast-paced aggressive guitars. There’s a fantastic classic based 80’s Hard Rock/Heavy Metal mentality which maybe considered as CLASSIC ROCK but the band add a fresh Sludgy Rock spin with some mighty fine Psychedelic noises being played throughout the song.

Third song Vicious Circle opens with a mighty fine riff that echoes THIN LIZZY guitar riff worship which is one my favourite kind of grooves to open a song with. The song moves into a faster Punk Rock sound but the band is still operating within the limits of Stoner Rock/Metal. The vocals are excellent and have a modern day feel to them. The music is the real star here, with Rattlesnake Venom Trip showing 1980’s Heavy Metal Excess but with a WEEDIAN attitude that is quite refreshing to hear.

Fourth song Hypnotic State opens with a more laid-back approach with a Post-Stoner groove merging with a low-key Psych Rock riff. The song takes time to fully get going but it’s good to see a different side to the band. Lush melodic vocals from Kevin and epic instrumental work from the rest of the band (Matt, Shane and Evan) leave you wanting more. The song maybe have that late 1990’s/early 2000’s sound but the Progressive beats make this standout track on the album.

The second half of the album more that matches the excitement the first four songs laid down with perhaps Rattlesnake Venom Trip playing faster and more aggressive sounds on great tracks such as: How This Unfolds, The Heavy Pour and Older Worlds End. 

Expect catchy and sublime rhythms that see the band play highly complex, technical and progressive grooves that I didn’t expect. These guys have been involved within the Heavy Rock/Metal underground scene with tons of different bands and they bring their “A” game to the party with this great album.

Dead Empire maybe “RETRO” but it’s also thoroughly “MODERN” and it’s great to see the band merging these two worlds for a full on HEAVY METAL and WEEDIAN based experience. With sublime production values, Rattlesnake Venom Trip should hopefully be more well known within the Doom/Stoner Metal underground scene.

This album is an absolute delight and will entertain you for a long to cime. If you want an album WHERE THE RIFF IS KING then accept no substitute. These guys are the real deal.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Matthew from the band for promo. 


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