Wasteland Discotheque

Written by: PP on 18/06/2008 03:56:34

Yes!! I knew Raunchy had it in them, finally they are realizing the potential they have hinted at for the better part of this decade. Their previous album \"Death Pop Romance\" was already a departure from the boring red-white painted sound that all too many metal bands in Denmark possess, but their new album \"Wasteland Discotheque\" takes the band a step further in every single aspect, into a rating territory that all too few bands in Denmark have reached on this website.

My problem with the band\'s previous album was that although it was part pop part metal, there wasn\'t enough pop catchiness to keep me interested for more than just one or two tracks in a row. This changes already on the first track of \"Wasteland Discotheque\", where the beautiful melancholy of \"This Blackout Is Your Apocalypse\" foreshadows how good the rest of the album will be. You\'ll find yourself instantly humming along to the melodic guitar lead and the faded \"ahhhhhhhhhh\"\'s of vocalist duo Thomsen/Christensen.

As soon as the song\'s over, \"Somewhere Along The Road\" blows the bank\'s vaults wide open, and cash starts flowing into every direction to the delight of anyone in vicinity. The drumming has been taken away from the death metallic pounding into a disco-beat direction, giving the track a great pace and feel, especially during the ultra melodic chorus. The riffs in this song alone are easily the best Raunchy has written to date, contesting the guitar harmony of the mighty In Flames, but the chorus just blows the listener away by being the most infectious thing since.. I don\'t even know what. It has been haunting my mind for weeks now.

If you thought the latter was the cleanest singing you\'ll hear from Raunchy, just wait til \"The Bash\", where you\'ll hear the completely popped up, soulful cry of backup vocalist Christensen, followed by the aggressive shrieks in the end of the song \"fight fair! fight fair\", marking this song as the best Raunchy song to date in terms of vocal performance. The continuous contrast between the death metal and the pop in the vocal field is what makes this song (and the whole album) work so well.

Bring in the piano introduction of \"Warriors\", and we\'re wandering into Nightwish-esque gothic metal territory. That is, until frightening whispers break the eerie soundscape into yet another great hook. The clean vocals return for the chorus together with the pianos and the disco beat of track two, creating a fantastic contrast between the ugly and the beautiful.

If you\'re more into the death metal side of Raunchy, don\'t worry, for \"Straight To Hell\" launches into the speediest guitar slaughter on the disc, complete with Thomsen\'s raging vocal work and some nice tapping melodies scattered throughout. The \"hybrid metal\" sound is still perfectly audible, as Raunchy take equally much from pop as they do from Gothenburg metal, keeping the listener as captivated just like during the first half of the album. Kind of like \"Welcome The Storm\", which slaps Pilgrimz in the face and demonstrates exactly how to write an interesting guitar riff that lasts longer than just a few moments during the song. Thomsen/Christensen vocal combo sounds as desperately beautiful as ever during the chorus, marking this as another must have highlight on the album. And if it seems like there are only highlights on \"Wasteland Discotheque\" based on this review so far, don\'t worry, you haven\'t got the wrong impression.

The cover of the classic 80s disco hit \"Somebody\'s Watching Me\" is well executed and catches your attention on first listen, because although you can instantly recognize the chorus melody, the rest of the song has been Raunchified, and is now full of death-obsessed melancholy and electronica elements, just like the rest of the CD.

However, \"Wasteland Discotheque\" isn\'t quite perfect. There are still a few songs (especially the title track) which aren\'t up to par with the rest of the album. Fortunately these are few and far between, and the ones that don\'t work are relatively late into the album, so they don\'t really bother you at all during a full-album listen.

What\'s remarkable, though, is how significantly Raunchy have improved since \"Death Pop Romance\". Everything from vocals to hooks to riffs to overall atmosphere is massively better, suggesting that one day the band experimented slightly in the studio, wrote the first song on the album and said to each other: \"holy shit guys. This is what we need to be doing\". This, my friends, is songwriting at its very best. Easily the best Danish metal album this year, bar some unforeseeable small band crashing to the scene on a meteor from somewhere.


Download: Somewhere Along The Road, Warriors
For the fans of: In Flames, Soilwork, Darkest Hour
Listen: Myspace

Release date 16.06.2008
Lifeforce Records
Provided by Target ApS

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