Trance metal. Everybody’s doing it, right?
By which I mean, of course, dodgy characters with an eye on the main chance everywhere are busying themselves bolting EDM beats onto death metal riffage and hoping to cop a payday bonanza not seen since your Gran won the Euro Million$. You know the names, no need for me to go into specifica. In my experience, there’s generally too much trance and not enough metal, which is where Switzerland’s Rage of Light come in.
Led from the front by the remarkable vocals of Martyna Hałas, of which more later, Rage of Light seem to have, as the blessed Dave Gahan might have said, got the balance right. The washes of elecronica present on tracks like 2.0 and the superb Crusade For The Sun actually augment and improve the tracks, rather than sounding like a tacky, trendy add-on. Noé Schüpbach‘s excellent guitars meld with the sub-Gabba beats on the latter to present a sound not too far away from Demanufacture-era Fear Factory were they fronted by Within Temptation‘s Sharon Den Adel, which I’m sure you’ll agree is a pretty explosive combination.
Quite simply, it could be that the arrival of vocalist Martyna Hałas could be the making of this band. She only joined in April this year, but already it’s seeming like she has always been here. And this is said with no disrespect meant to former vocalist Melissa Bonny, herself a vocal talent of some note. It’s just that Hałas sings the material here so perfectly that it’s hard to imaging anyone else doing it. Lead The Riot is a case in point, a commanding, charismatic vocal that cuts through the not inconsiderable noise coming from elsewhere in spine tingling fashion.
The best is saved until last, however; Her performance on closing track Beyond must push her spiralling towards the Premier League of female vocalisers doing the rounds, and simply has to be heard if you’re a connoisseur of such matters.
Schüpbach offers top notch support throughout, with his solo on Chasing a Reflection particularly worthy of mention in dispatches, whilst the inhuman roars of synthesist Jonathan Pellet add suitably animalistic counterpoint to Hałas – at one point during the frantic Exploder you could be forgiven for thinking you’ve stumbled across an undiscovered nugget from the Cradle of Filth Vaults – and together the trio have presented what just might be the best exposition of trance metal yet. If it is indeed that, then I’m keen to hear what they do next.
Redemption is out now.