Black metal is a style which has evolved hugely from it’s humble beginnings of much derivation and exotericism. For every band which has tried to rewrite the formula, there have been a thousand following it to the letter, so it is always very refreshing to hear experimentation outside of the commonalities. It is and was also a largely localised style, with most bands coming out of various caves in Scandinavia, so it seems ironic that I think the two most boundary-pushing bands to emerge in recent years are from Australia and Greece. One of these bands is Ne Obliviscaris and the subject of this review, Rheinkaos stand strongly alongside them.
Rheinkaos can be very bluntly described as a mixture of Arcturus, Ulver and Virus with more industrial elements but this description makes it look like they aren’t doing anything new and that is just wrong. They command a multitude of styles outside of black metal in the short 20 minutes of this demo, with some of the more prominent being ambient, trance, jazz and something which I can only describe as Transylvanian lounge music. These styles are sometimes incorporated into the main BM parts of the music, but are often used in the numerous more mellow sections in the album. These segments appear many times in the demo, but always use different influences, instruments or structure to make sure that they always seem fresh.
The keyboard use on this release is fantastic. The tone jumps between many different sounds, with some being a synth with an organ voice, a synth with a more aggressive tone which wouldn’t sound out of place on a trance record and a piano. The organ voice is utilised particularly well as it contributes to the demented sound of some of the sections in the demo; makes you feel as if you’re in Count Dracula’s mansion.
The drums also fluctuate frequently between a standard (although I don’t think standard is a word in these guy’s dictionaries) blast beat and a very industrial sound, adding a lot of variation to the music.
Vocals consist of male black metal screeching which is mixed tastefully and an alto female voice which adds some extra depth and class to the release.
I usually have a lot to say about the guitars in an album, but here I’m struggling as they aren’t shown off as they are in most of the music I listen to the majority of the time. They experiment with dissonance and draw on lots of death metal influence which helps make their sound more full by assisting in the lower register. The tone usually changes to a clean one for the mellow parts with some repeat or reverb added for good measure.
Rheinkaos’ music isn’t about focus on one instrument though, it’s about everything coming together to form something very unique and enthralling. No matter how much I’m looking for something, I can’t find anything objectively wrong with this album. The dissonance will put some people off, the trance elements will deter others, but if you’re really open minded about what you listen to then this release is a must.
Avantgenre: Experimental Industrial Black Metal
Official site: http://www.myspace.com/rheinkaos
Review online since: 28.03.2009 / 12:34:50
01 – Drink The Effect
02 – Witness To Your Disguise
03 – Bring The Shadows