Rain Fell Within - _Refuge_
(Dark Symphonies, 2002)
by: Pedro Azevedo (
No time is wasted as _Refuge_ begins with the full instrumental and vocal setup readily in action, and after one minute the first catchy melodies are already entering your ears -- and a nice operatic melodic metal opening it is. Talented vocals and keyboards lead the guitar work and the (also rather good) drumming along, which wasn't necessarily the case on their debut _Believe_ -- overall, _Refuge_ tends to sound somewhat softer than its predecessor. These differences do not make the music itself any worse -- it certainly sounds more polished than before --, but they do drag Rain Fell Within a bit closer to the hordes of bands inhabiting this female-led gothic metal genre. Rain Fell Within are indeed very good at what they do, but after hearing their debut I expected them to offer something a bit more unique this time, which is the one aspect where they failed. _Refuge_ is a good disc, musically more involved than its predecessor, and it will please fans of the genre, but it does lack novelty and stand-out qualities in a very crowded genre. Nevertheless, if what you happen to be looking for is just what I described above, then Rain Fell Within are a very safe bet indeed, as all the band members are clearly talented and _Refuge_ is a solid, pleasant album throughout.
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