Jun 202023

(Andy Synn would like to call your attention to the fiery new album from Rană)

A while back – way back when I actually had time to write articles and opinion pieces as well as reviews (weren’t those heady days?) – I wrote a piece interrogating what it was which made Metal my genre of choice.

At the time I chose to focus on the feeling of “power” inherent in the music, that sense of energy and electricity which – even at its darkest and doomiest – Metal possesses that I just can’t seem to find in other genres (which isn’t to say I’m not a fan of other styles of music, it’s just that I have different reasons for loving them).

But there’s more to it than that. Indeed, these days at least, it’s as much, if not even more so, about the passion behind the performance… something which no “AI” generated facsimile or written-by-committee cash-grab can ever capture or replicate… and, in that regard, I’ve yet to encounter (m)any other releases so far this year that are as passionate as Richtfeuer.

Continue reading »

May 112023

In the last month of 2021 the German band Rană made their recording debut with an EP named Armament co-released by Vita Detestabilis Records and Fiadh Productions. Nearly a half-hour long (you could call it an album without a lot of argument), that four-song release delivered both a musical and an emotional wrecking ball. Using corrosive riffs, ringing leads, bone-bruising percussion, and scalding howls, Rană veered from moods of ruinous, doom-drenched hopelessness and furious belligerence to sensations of agonizing despair, heartbreaking melancholy, and defiant resilience.

To do that Rană mainly harnessed elements of black metal, crust-punk, and hints of post-metal in strikingly dynamic fashion, but also stepped well outside those influences with the hauntingly beautiful reverence of the song “Pyres” in its clean-sung opening phase (before it becomes a conflagration), and the lonely, grief-stricken instrumental prelude of “Im Joch” (before the onrushing storm of rebellion at the gates).

The band also made very clear that melodies which would stir the soul, often in sweeping fashion, were just as important in their songwriting as crushing power and the ignition of adrenaline-fueled wildfires.

Now Rană are  following Armament with their 40-minute album Richtfeuer, which will see release on June 16th via Breath Sun Bone Blood. Armament left expectations high. Richtfeuer abundantly fulfills them. Continue reading »