Wishing death to fashioncore since 2005

Rannoch – ‘Between Two Worlds’ review

Adventurous new album from British prog-death metallers.

Rannoch - Between Two Worlds cover

Tracklisting:
1. Age Of The Locust
2. Will To power
3. The Forgotten
4. Faith
5. The Navidson Record
6. Hallways
7. Between Two Worlds Pt 1. The Faith
8. Between Two Worlds Pt 2. The Path
9. Between Two Worlds Pt 3. The Lodge

Line-up:
Ian Gillings – vocals/guitars
Richard Page – guitars
Paul Lloyd – bass/backing vocals
Damian Powell – drums

Rannoch’s ‘Between Two Worlds’ album has been available digitally since November of last year, but this month gets released in hardcopy format. For the newcomer to their sound, West Midlands quartet Rannoch are a unique, interesting proposition, in that they appear to combine elements of black, death, progressive/technical and almost ‘djent’ metal (think Meshuggah/Gojira) sounds – I say ‘almost’, as that genre has become something of a bandwagon of late, and it would be a disservice to this band to imply that they’re merely following any trends – there’s much more going on here, and it’s more in the 8-string guitar tones than the rhythms that any similarities arise, possibly more coincidence than design.

Opening track ‘Age Of The Locust’ is an intense slice of blackened metal, one that could also appeal to fans of more traditional styles – at various points in this album, it’s difficult to really pin them down to one subgenre, yet it manages to avoid sounding too busy or indecisive. ‘Will To Power’ is a straight-ahead pummeling metal track, and is perhaps the closest that this album comes to what might be considered ‘conventional’ in terms of structure, with a cool solo – if it’s guitar solos you want, this album has plenty. Much like their label mates Talanas (whose frontman Hal Sinden performs a spoken word piece, a recital of William Wordsworth’s poem ‘A Poison Tree’, during the album version of lead track ‘The Forgotten’) Rannoch are easily able to make the switch from full-on extremity and vicious riffs to lush, melodic sections and calmer moments, making the album’s title quite apt. ‘Faith’ is one of the longest tracks on offer, a slowburner and an album highlight (not to say that there are any weak moments), one for old-school death metallers perhaps, and ‘The Navidson Record’ is another onslaught of a track. The only time that the band really lets the reins loosen is during the ambient instrumental ‘Hallways’ – perhaps named as such, as one could imagine hearing it whilst walking through abandoned locations akin to those pictured in the album and single’s covers? A definite symbolic act of transition/travel there, for what is to follow. Their Facebook profile states that “this album was conceived as a ‘virtual vinyl’, presented with an A/B side approach to its arrangement of tracks”, as made clear in the tracklisting, where the title track has been split into three separate acts; ‘The Faith’, ‘The Path’, and closing track ‘The Lodge’ – an adventurous trio that clocks in at close to half an hour. ‘The Faith’ is another album highlight, and ‘The Path’ is a ferocious proggy instrumental which goes a long way in demonstrating just how finely-tuned and talented these four musicians are.

Rannoch offer a heavy, expansive sound best suited to those with tastes at the more progressive and/or extreme ends of metal, with ‘Between Two Worlds’ offering many twists and turns, tightly-tuned musicianship and Gillings’ equally diverse vocal range. There’s a lot on offer in these nine tracks, and I’d be curious to see where future recorded output takes them. Keep a close watch on this band; they could well become one of the main players of British underground metal in the near future.

‘Between Two Worlds’ is available now via Eulogy Media, from http://rannoch-uk.bandcamp.com/ as a digital download and limited edition CD/DVD digipack, which includes their entire Bloodstock 2011 performance and more.

The video for ‘The Forgotten’ (single edit, which you can also download for free from their bandcamp page):

For fans of: Cradle Of Filth, Meshuggah, Devin Townsend, Opeth, Apocalyptica, Moonspell

Contact:
http://rannochband.com/
https://www.facebook.com/rannochband
http://www.eulogymedia.com/

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