Raunchy - _Velvet Noise_
(Drug[s] / Nuclear Blast, 2002)
by: David Rocher (8 out of 10)
A mere few bars into the muscular opener "Twelve Feet Tall", uncomfortably striking similarities in Raunchy's massive rhythmic metal arise with fallen cyber-thrash geniuses Fear Factory; fortunately though, as the initial onslaught of scepticism recedes, it soon becomes clearly apparent that Denmark's Raunchy possess a musical personality to call their own -- and the musical genius to match, too. Driven by a colossal, storming rhythmic section (thunderous double bass cavalcades and growling bass galore), enhanced with strangely atmospheric (rather than cybernetic) keyboards and vocals shifting from harsh, saturated screams to melodic chants very similar in style to Burton C. Bell's, _Velvet Noise_ is the epitome of an outrageously powerful, delightfully aggressive, murderously groovy and moreover extremely addictive release. Mutating with uncanny ease from mighty mid-tempo sections graced with ethereal keyboards to frantic blasting charges, Raunchy's futuristic metal features atmospheric segues grandiose enough to raise the hair on your nape in spine-tingling appreciation which then, in a split second, break into all-out full speed rhythmic cavalcades unquestionably worthy of the wasted genius of Fear Factory. Invocator fame producer Jacob Hansen has graced this excellent energetic release with a powerful, perfectly balanced and wickedly aggressive sound, which turns each of the nine tracks on _Velvet Noise_ into a surging chunk of growling fun. Not a milestone, but a damn enjoyable first onslaught -- I can only hope Raunchy will play their cards right, and will, in the future, avoid meandering too far into the dreaded modern metal sonorities that are fortunately very subdued on this first recording of theirs.

(article published 1/9/2002)

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