Posts Tagged ‘Self Release’

So, it turns out nailing me with three of my favourite artists as comparables to a band is the best way for me to get hooked into a new band straight away. The press blurb for the new record from progressive Seattle metallers Rhine namedrops Devin Townsend, Opeth and Enslaved as potential comaprisons, so colour me intrigued as to how this is going to turn out…

Formally a solo project, this second album from Rhine sees founder member Gabriel Tachell joined by a full band to complete ‘An Outsider’. Opening epic ‘Dreaming of Death’ builds slowly, with shades of Townsend in the harsh vocals, and the juddering riffing traces its lineage back to the ‘RUUN’ or ‘ISA’ Enslaved records. ‘An Outsider’ has that tendency, like a lot of progressive metal records, to feel slightly disjointed in places, full of ideas but not all executed quite right. Thankfully, these are few and far between here.

Rhine dash between delicate acoustics, sweeping grandeur and spiralling heavy metal. There’s bluesy organ appearing on the jagged ‘Spell of Dark Water’, the glacial Opeth leanings of the title track, bouncy synths on ‘Prey’ or the enigmatic ‘Paralyzed’. Each song has its share of heavier and quieter moments, and while they all have a similar approach, each is executed well enough to avoid feeling samey. ‘Dissolved in Fire’ has an intro that seems like it was taken from a computer game, but then it crumbles into a sleek riff heavy assault. The almost Mercyful Fate-esque ‘Into the Unknown’ is a late highlight, with the theatrical vocals being particularly impressive.

My only real issue is the length of the album, which stretches over a full 70 minutes. I’ve never really been one for really long records, and ‘An Outsider’ was a little too much all in one go. Take it in pieces, and its much more rewarding. If you’re in the mood for a dazzling spiral of prog metal, then this is it. If not, you might find it a bit of an endurance test.


Album Cover - Adrenechrome - Tales From Adrenechrome - 2015

Billed as Canada’s answer to Baroness and Mastodon, Adrenechrome have some mighty shoes to fill. Their new record, ‘Tales from Adrenechrome’ has a cool comic book style cover, and is half an hour of pure Savannah sludge prog with a northern touch to it. It’s out next week.

Opening track ‘A Familiar Face’ has some stunning, Kylesa-esque riffing and spiralling melodies. ‘Lockstep’ is more urgent, like if ‘Remission’ era Mastodon had spent a little more time mellowing out with John Baizley and co. It’s got this great, self assured swagger to it that I really dig, especially when it breaks out this killer blues boogie near the end. An almost stoner doom groove is prevalent, with Clutch-esque croons mixing with a more barked vocal in the rocking ‘Black Brubeck’.

It’s strange to find this kind of sludgecore groove coming from a place like Canada, when the genre is so well identified with Georgia. But Adrenechrome add some interesting twists to the formula to set them aside. The almost black metal section of ‘God Sized Shadow’, that stoner rock vibe on ‘The Heart and the Feather’ that feels so uplifting and the groaning stomp of the excellent ‘Hideous Appetites’.

Closing with the shimmering Mastodon worship of ‘The Led Elephant’, Adrenechrome complete what is a very satisfying listen. Yeah, they ape Kylesa, Mastodon and particularly Baroness, but they do it in such an honest and enthusiastic way it is hard not to enjoy the ride. The musicianship is stellar, the grooves are huge and the riffs are heavy as fuck. This is a great record, despite its unoriginality. Who needs something new when you can make music this good!?