The first song Moot-Lie is one of the best power metal/melodeath hybrids I’ve heard. Down
tuned chromatic palm muted riffs mixed with glistening keys and powerful operatic clean vocals and venomous rasping all come together in one magnificent package that sets the album up very well…
…but soon gets old very, very fast. With an opening track as good as Moot-Lie, then a band better be sure that the rest of the music carries with it the same style to keep them going in the motions. After all, a good opener usually spells positive for the rest of the album. Not so much for Tales from Sadness
, and whilst I’m not going as far to say Moot-Lie is a “one off”, each consecutive track gets weaker and weaker in what is an unfortunate slide down in musical quality and my patience.
It’s a shame really, as the album starts off on an absolute bang but soon devolves into mediocrity when you realize the band isn’t at all challenging themselves. Raintime
seem determined to remain within the confines of their rigid comfort zone that none of the other songs ever add interesting to the mix. After all, the album is solely comprised of power metal keyboards, melodeath riffing and harsh and clean vocals. There’s no sudden transitions, no awkward time signatures, heck there’s even no variety in riffing style. The style of music that Raintime
plays isn’t something that should be stretched over the course of an album with absolutely no variety in playing style, compared to other extreme power metal bands such as Children
of Bodom or Kalmah
just don’t have the song writing proficiency to keep themselves going.
The guitar work consists of palm muted riffs mixed with more upbeat, technical sections with the odd flaring solo. It’s a good mix and for the first few tracks works exceptionally well. There’s even the odd breakdown, with special notice given to the second track where the Bodom inspired riffing soon breaks down into a palm muted chug fest, and whilst breakdowns are often overused and underwhelming, the breakdown in this track is actually interesting and serves as more than just a break between the fast sections. The guitar work is consistently good throughout this album and offers many interesting sections and works well when mixed in with the keyboard work. The keyboards are extremely prominent within the mix, probably even more so than early Children
of Bodom. The keyboards are nonstop, constantly harmonizing the lead work with glistening textures to add more depth and variety to the music.
Yet whilst Raintime
give a good mix of things, the album begins to wear thin really quickly. The overly repetitive chorus hooks that seem to last forever, the overly long instrumental passages that serve nothing than to detract from the tone of the songs and the overall repetitious song structures begin to wear on me really quickly. By the fourth track I’m thinking to myself, we’ve been here before, and it’s true, I have been here before. The same vocal driven, same riffing style, same instrumental passages, everything is just exactly the same and shows Raintime
as nothing more than a one trick pony. Whilst Children
of Bodom aren’t exactly the most diverse band of all time, they had the song writing prowess to ensure that each track remained interesting as the actual music remained interesting in long doses. The music that Raintime
creates works better in short, sporadic blasts rather than in one long session.
the overall dip in quality from the first two tracks, there are moments of brilliance hanging around. Denied Recollections
contains one of the best introductions I’ve heard, the euro dancey keyboard melody works well when placed over the backdrop of palm muted guitars and pulsating drums. It works incredibly well and shows that when the band put their heads together, they’re capable of writing something really quite rad. However, the song soon follows the standard Raintime
formula of adding ideas that aren’t at all interesting, and the potential that the introduction carried is soon broken apart by poppy vocal lines. The odd metalcore riffing in this track works well but the annoying clean vocal patterns really slam the song into the ground.
Tales from Sadness
is an example of a band getting one good idea and then running it into the ground by repeating it to death that all momentum it originally carried gets exhausted. Raintime
certainly have the potential to be so much more, the first two tracks and the introductory melody of Denied Recollections
prove this, but the band really need to sand off their rough edges and focus much more on making their songs consistently enjoyable. For what it is, Tales from Sadness
is a rather frustrating listen, no doubt in due to the repetitious and generally underwhelming musical style that Raintime
play. The odd moments of brilliance are hampered by uninspired riffing and vocal lines. Give this one a listen if you’re curious, just don’t expect music with much staying power.