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Rhine – Ausland

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 08 December 2021, 11:25 AM

RHINE is a Progressive Metal band hailing from the USA and formed in 2011. “Ausland” is the band’s third release, and contains eight tracks. “Prelude” leads off the album. It opens with clean guitars and some positive, easy listening notes, segueing into the much heavier notes of “Virtual Plague.” It moves forward with brutal, punishing tones until a slow down around the half-way mark. At this point, the tones are more tense and melancholy, with clean vocals, before returning to the previous heavy tones.

“Prisoner of Fate” is shorter song, beginning with a barrage of attacking instruments along with some musical prowess. Again, just after the half-way mark, it takes a pause for some more calm tones, again returning to the previous sound. “Running Away” is a much longer song, beginning with some tense clean tones and a background of ominous leanings. Clean vocals sound dreamy before turning harsh. It runs full steam before again retreating back to the clean tones. The waxing and waning continues throughout the song, alternating between clean, pleasant passages and harsh, cut-throat passages.

“Ausland” is a much shorter song, focusing on atmosphere. Eerie tones abound and are harrowing and frightening. Clean guitars come in and for just a moment give hope with their major notes, but falling back to the minor notes you are unsure of what to expect next. “The Path to Power” begins with a bossy attitude of harsh vocals and thick instrumentation, along with some keys. The chorus features some melodies that are too often forgot in this genre. Again, it slows to a more ethereal sound around the half-way mark, with alluring clean vocals. The heavier passage that follows is fraught with delicate melodies, before the song again returns with renewed vigor.

“Trivial” begins with more of those tense tones, warning you of what is to come. It transitions to harsh vocals along with some melodious rhythms, and the album is getting a bit better as it moves along. “Shadow Future” closes the album. It begins with a fine display of musicianship and one where the drummer in particular proves he is boss. The deep clean vocals add a new dimension to their music. The song is dark and twisted, and speaks of things you would rather left unsaid. The keys are a nice touch here, and I wish they had used them just a bit more. The ending leaves you on a cliffhanger.

The musicianship was perhaps the most impressive part of the album, though the songwriting was pretty good as well. The band has built their craft into tight, concise pieces where the musicianship is strong and they perform with all the confidence of seasoned veterans. My only critique might be that many of the songs feel like they follow too much of a pattern that is predictable, but this is an excellent album that I am sure all fans of Progressive Death Metal will enjoy.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Prelude
2. Virtual Plague
3. Prisoner of Fate
4. Running Away
5. Ausland
6. The Path to Power
7. Trivial
8. Shadow Future
Gabriel Tachell – Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Programming
Daryl Williams – Drums
Andrew Dennis – Guitar
Record Label: Within the Mind Records


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