Rainroom - And The Other That Was A Machine - 4/5
Weaving out interesting guitar riffs is no cake walk. If you doubt that, just ask Petrucci, he has been struggling with it since Dream Theater’s sophomore effort. But leaving that entire argument aside we come to Finland, the much acclaimed home of Metal and this time we find some fellows from Espoo indulging in an interesting mix of melancholic music.
My only regret is that I did not discover this band earlier because whilst they are not that unique, they definitely are displaying the desire to put out their own sound. This album whose name is a bit too long to say again and again is their second effort, and if I’m honest with myself, it’s a thoroughly engaging one. Like you would expect from any band attempting a mixture of death and doom metal these Finns mix their distorted guitar riffs well with some very clean lines, creating a mechanical but a very hypnotizing atmosphere.
To get deeper into the aesthetics of the album, I really have no idea what exactly the concept is being offered here. You can be sure one is being put together by the way the whole album comes together with some recycled riffs in later songs, and that is where some criticism must set in; the band carrying the right ideas but trying to be too expansive for their own good. Despite the themes they avoid the most dangerous trap of all; letting their music seem forced. Whilst the coherence comes together a bit uneasily at times, it still seems to be a natural transcendence rather than a tangled mesh. What really is the musical highlight of this work are the guitars with their ability to complement one another and mostly being able to keep interest in the song, even when going in there is an abundant repetition of riffs. So really the name of the album seems apt if you just concentrate on the sound these guitars create, at times scratchy, at times flowing and at times distorted.
The next most prominent part of the atmosphere is filled in by the drums and bass with the former following a varied selection of beats mostly echoing but feeling substantial enough to create steely atmosphere, and then what’s left is filled in subtly by the bass just about creating enough of a vacuum for this most absorbing mechanical experience.
The only quirks I have with this work are the song-writing and the vocals. The latter often are drowned out by the intense playing of the instruments and whilst that’s not usually the worst thing, they often just feel like a drowning man coming up gasping for breath. Yes that did not mean literally but rather that the vocals can interrupt the flow of the instruments at times. As far as the song-writing is concerned, they can definitely improve in that department with the talent they have at their disposal.
So parting word, give this one a go. This has its roots from steampunk,Opeth and Insomnium but it really just melds everything and goes miles away from their bank. It sounds awkward at those rare moments but mostly its all very pleasing to hear.
Over the years this has grown into my own personal project, reviewing the artists that I discover and interest me. If you wish to see more of my work, particularly my more metal-orientated material, you can find me as a regular contributor for the online magazine
Posted by T. Bawden Thursday, 27 October 2011