Let me introduce you to my comfort zone. It’s… comfortable. It also has a nice door, through which I am about to step and take a wander outside into scary territory. Well, we can’t have life being all boring, can we?
Rave the Reqviem are an act I’ve not heard of before, but the term “electronic metal” scared me a bit when I first heard it. There’s “industrial” with its edge of keys and some effects. Then there’s “electronic” where everything’s been shoved through a Bontempi factory and some student’s pressed the “on” button for every effect in Garage Band. And then RtR go and bugger up my lopsided view by chucking out an album that blends the two so well.
Despite seeming to use every special effect knob on umpteen keyboards, the tracks just work. With such a heavy industrial influence, the music’s very much metal just with a ton of effects added – not dance music trying to be metal (like The Prodigy, no matter how many people point out that they headlined Download, they’re a bloody dance act). Multiple vocalists – male, female, with and without digital jiggery-pokery – allow for a variety in the style of music across the tracks as well.
Oh, and I think this is the first time I’ve heard of a mother/son team working on an album. Filip Lönnqvist is the band founder from the days when it was a solo project. He now shares vocal duties with his mother Carola, with three other musicians making this a “proper” band.
As I said, I first played this album with trepidation. By track three, “Synchronized Stigma”, I was hooked. It’s like Fear Factory or Ministry with added sci-fi and female lead vocals, with the occasional toe being dipped into metalcore and it’s associated bass-heavy “drops”.
The Gospel of Nil has progressed from “erm… yeah, OK I’ll give it a try” to being uploaded to my mp3 player. This does not happen often and signals a very serious recommendation.
The Gospel of Nil is released on October 7th