Sound — 7
Raising from Cleverland, Ohio, Rikets was made up of former members of Switched, Erase The Grey, Genitorturers -- all together 7 people. It wasn't easy for them to find the right line up, but it was worth it -- 7 lads playing together in a rock band is impressive just by itself! On their debut EP "Anything For The Devil" the guys didn't go far away from what they used to play in their ex-bands, creating nu-metal with elements of industrial rock. The music is a blend of heavy-riffed guitars, keyboards, bass drums and electronic flourishes with "from the space" voice laid on it. The band dilutes the monotone nature of metal by a mix of "very quite" and "very loud" levels. The EP was produced by Switched frontman Ben Schnigel, who also produced Allele earlier in 2005 and you can notice the relatedness between the records. Musicians have great opportunities nowdays when it comes to electronic effects in music and Rikets took the full advantage of it. The first song "Useless" starts very promising -- with instruments, being added one by another, make you fear it's finally gonna bang very, very loud and blow your brains away. But when you expect it, it just doesn't happen -- the music stays at the same level, which is a bit disappointing. "Hollywood," being the most-likely to be a single song, has creepy dark verses and furious choruses with bridges to connect them. All songs are based on aggressive melody, created with a torture by vocalist Scott Rose. They flow smoothly one into another, which is good if you consider an EP as a one-piece record, but it's hard to realize if you've missed the song's end already or it's just still a bridge as the band make a lot of changes within one song.
Lyrics — 7
The lyrics accord with most bands of this genre -- guys reveal us the "real truth" about fake Hollywood, pointless life and? oh well, you know the rest. Vocals are definitely the most noticeable part of the music on the EP. The range of them is wide -- from just singing and falsetto singing to manic screaming, roaring and moaning. At times a real voice is very close to computer sample and you can hardly differ one from another. Girl's vocals in "Anything For The Devil" sound effective, but a bit out of place.
Overall Impression — 7
In general the record is solid and does what a debut EP is supposed to do -- create a constant, worth listening to sound and leave you with a good impression about the band. Though it's recommended to listen to the record in headphones for the full effect of electronic and level innovations in music. The Rikets created the CD cover with enthusiasm -- first off, the members of the band are not just guitarist, vocalist and drummer, they are "midrange annoyance engineer," "rhythmic dirty annoyance officer," "percussive foundation layer" and so on, though with some spelling mistakes (I often wonder -- when a few thousand people are gonna read this, why do you mind checking your spelling or at least use Word for that?) To multiply the devil effect of the record, guys have all possible Satan-associated symbols -- blood marks, something with goat horns on the cover, mentioning devil and "everyone who hated us" in a thank-you note, 666 hidden in "Anything For The Devil..." I had fun finding all of these! Unfortunately after having listened to only 5 tracks, you don't get much of a sense of what the band's potential is or where they're going. But what can be heard on the EP leaves you with curiosity for the forthcoming album. The band's definitely got the style and opportunity to move things forward, but will there be any variety in the music is the question to be answered in the full-length album.