Raunchy

A Discord Electric

Written by: AP on 06/09/2010 19:41:01

The word raunchy awakens all kinds of filthy imagery, but probably very few people beyond the borders of Denmark know that here the word is irreversibly linked with one of the most renowned metal bands in the country. For nearly two decades the band has existed in various configurations, defying the odds in a limited market segment and persevering, even earning an esteemed recording contract with the mighty Nuclear Blast Records in the process before settling with their current host, Lifeforce Records. It seems that now, if not before, Raunchy are finally scheming to expand their sphere of influence across the rest of the world with their most accessible album to date, "A Discord Electric", beginning with conquering the UK market as main support for Canadian industrial machine Threat Signal later this year. But this is not a fact sheet, so let's get down to business.

Business is best conducted in the right context, so to begin with, we shall give the album some: five years ago, Raunchy transformed from a moderately exciting industrial metal type affair into a new kind of being, coining the term pop metal with the chart-like hooks and slings of the ironically titled "Death Pop Romance", and suddenly becoming about as mainstream as a band with growling or screaming can be. Once the transition had been made, albeit in baby steps, the band settled on this new direction and conceived a little brother for it, the far kinder, intensely compelling "Wasteland Discotheque" that ultimately earned Raunchy a big-stage slot at Roskilde Festival. Taken aback by this success, no doubt, they have now gone to even greater lengths and released a fifth album that defenders of the metal faith will most likely spit on or otherwise disgrace. "A Discord Electric" is about as metallic as Sonic Syndicate, and whether or not this is the correct course of action for Raunchy shall be decided in the next several lines.

The riffing is, of course, heavy. It draws from a variety of sources, including influences as diverse as industrial metal in the vein of their countrymen Mnemic, Southern groove à la Lamb of God and A Life Once Lost, standard fare metalcore staccato patterns, and chord progressions that, were they played in clean jazz tone, would instantly reveal a strong flavour of radio pop - the stereotypical "four chords". The bright, lofty mix does little to change these commercial undertones. As such, one victory which "A Discord Electric" can claim, at least, is that it is an impossibly catchy fellow. From the ethereal, heavily sampled opener "Dim the Lights and Run" to its next-of-kins "Rumors of Worship" and "Nght Prty" with their highly contagious choruses; from the heavier groove of songs like "Street Emperor" and "Shake Your Grave" to the flat-out dance-mania of "Big Truth"; and from the industrially charged speed anthem "The Great Depression" to the epic thrasher of a progressive piece that concludes the album, "Gunslingers and Tombstones", you will be on your feet dancing and bawling along to the best your abilities - this is guaranteed. The latter might even be the best song that this band has written to date; more than enough compensation for more anonymous tracks like "Tiger Crown" and "Ire Vampire". Once again Raunchy have achieved enormous success through their songcraft, writing simple but sufficiently powerful alterna-metal for the masses. But one thing is certain: for better or worse, fans of harder, heavier metal have been all but excluded from the picture.

See, even if there are plenty of passages containing things that are usually ascribed to metal, like gunning double pedals or thrashy shredding, Kasper Thomsen's pseudo-hard, high-pitched croon-growl and occasional heavily layered guttural inserts - intended as a healthy contrast to keyboardist Jeppe Christensen's celestial clean parts - do not support the impression of a bad ass metal band. Good thing that most people aren't elitists then, because the poppy formula that Raunchy has chosen works, nevermind that things like integrity and conviction suffer for it. The songs are strong in their own right, and if we ignore the negative connotation of the obvious mass-marketing that a sound like this tends to represent, "A Discord Electric" might be the band's finest output to date, and if not, then at least the one with the most commercial potential.

8

Download: Rumors of Worship, Nght Prty, The Great Depression, Gunslingers and Tombstones
For the fans of: The Interbeing, Mnemic, Sonic Syndicate, Sybreed, Threat Signal
Listen: Myspace

Release date 20.09.2010
Lifeforce Records

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