Raintime - Tales From Sadness - 2005 - Arise Records
1. Moot-Lie 2. Faithland 3. Creation 4. The Experiment 5. Denied Recollection 6. Chains of Sadness 7. Using the Light Forever 8. Daily Execution / Paradox Defeat 9. Butterfly (bonus track)
Well I've had this record for about a month and to be honest with you I'm still having some trouble deciphering it. Really Raintime are a difficult band, simply because their music is so complex. Their debut album, "Tales From Sadness", has just been released by Arise Records, a diverse label from Spain that is growing by leaps and bounds. Raintime come as a progressive power metal band but really that doesn't even sum the group up that well. At times the band displays a Dream Theater type of sound, really relying on keyboards for their melodic approach, but other times the band comes in a completely different direction, combining on the sounds made famous by the likes of Night In Gales and In Flames. Really this act are one of the most diversified bands I've reviewed, making my job as your premier metal scribe that much more difficult.
It is really hard to describe and album like this one. The material found here just ranges into so many different genres. When the metal media speaks about sub-genres and the fact that so many are crossing over into other avenues, Raintime is definitely a band that will echo that statement. Every song here switches patterns, sometimes going from atmospheric and experimental to groove oriented blasts that seem to come from nowhere. Is the record enjoyable? Oh most definitely so! But at this point I'm having a hard time expressing my pleasure and enjoyment to you, my lovely reader. With that being said I'm not going to bother describing the record, I'm simply going to break the release down by tracks, and give you a rather short and scrappy review of each song. So with no further questions, I will address the tracks as they fall....
Moot-Lie - The track starts with some upfront keyboards and a massive guitar groove. Vocalist Claudio Coassin ranges from some clean singing to a black metal growl. The band really falls on the keyboards, played by the vocalist, for melody. Guitarists Luca Michael and Matteo DeBon hook up for some amazing twin guitar, really carrying this song into a "Gothenburg" styled theme but still patient enough to allow the singer plenty of time to add some atmosphere and drama with his range. Soaring leads appear about mid-ways through.
Faithland - This song starts out like a Finnish power metal track, recalling the finest moments of Stratovarius and Sonata Arctica. Coassin stays in power metal mode for the most part, occasionally letting loose some growls. The cut stays about mid-tempo with plenty of groove oriented guitar streams.
Creation - Simply a short little keyboard intro for the next song.
The Experiment - Much like the previous songs this one starts out with some dazzling keyboards before bowing down to a mammoth guitar riff. Drummer Enrico Fabris shows off some fast hands and feet here, carrying double bass for a good part of the song. This one has a big modern approach with singer Coassin sort of shouting the lyrics until the chorus part takes on a progressive feel. Kamelot comes as an influence here.
Denied Recollection - Another more modern tune, with plenty of keyboards and fast drums. This one is a bit like "The Experiment" with that "Gothernburg" sound and singer Coassin mixing in some growls.
Chains Of Sadness - This one is a rather weak number in my opinion and the only ballad on the record.
Using The Light Forever - The guitars just explode here, starting out like prime-time Iron Maiden. This is easily the best song of the record with Coassin weighing in with his best performance. The keyboards are mixed rather low and drummer Fabris is extremely patient, allowing the guitars to take the spotlight. The chorus here is very Swedish, sounding a bit like Axenstar or Crystal Eyes.
Daily Execution/Paradox Defeat - Again another modern track with some great melodic moments out of Marina and Debon. A big keyboard section rolls out towards the end. The cut lasts eight minutes and I'm not sure why they chose to put the two songs together.
Overall this is a solid album from top to bottom. The record is a bit complicated and at times I wish the keyboards would just stop. Nonetheless "Tales From Sadness" is a real winner in my opinion, doing enough things within the album to keep it interesting and unique. You don't find many albums like this and it is indeed a pleasure that I received this one! Raintime have a very bright future.
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.
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