Rakoth - _Planeshift_
by: Pedro Azevedo (
As this release comes from a new Italian label and an unknown Russian band, it will probably end up being overlooked by many, but unfairly so: _Planeshift_ has enough quality to deserve attention. The style that Rakoth play can be described as something like dark fantasy metal, if that makes any sense. They basically play a kind of blackened metal with plenty of (not necessarily very dark) melody and clean vocals upon fantasy-related lyrics -- they generally avoid the "happy" sounds of Bal-Sagoth, though. Rakoth use a drum machine for some basic but generally effective rhythm, as well as flute and acoustic guitar, while the keyboards are especially well handled. The only song that doesn't quite fit the description above is the doomier "The Unquiet Grave", which turns out to be my favourite track. The rest of the songs are all quite good as well, however, and overall this is a consistent album: the dynamic songwriting guides the listener through plenty of interesting sections and fine melodies throughout the album. The fact that you will find black-like fast sections as well as very melodic ones and plenty others in between guarantees considerable variety, which the band generally uses to their advantage. While many records out there are rather pretentious and lack contents, _Planeshift_ seems quite modest, but has plenty of quality and creativity inside -- which is what really counts.
Contact: Code666, c/o Emiliano Lanzoni, Via Billi 2,
(article published 1/15/2000)
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