|These guys are obviously very talented musicians. The way in which the guitars are handled, the song constructions, the arrangements, keyboard and drum parts, all evidence of long hours of practice and a lot of compositional thinking. Yet I find this album to be lacking at several points. It is so overflowing with ideas that the multitude of riffs and melodies makes the listener lose grip on the songs. Unlike with similar organized chaos from other bands (think Esoteric for instance), where chaos is a goal on its own, but it's so very refined that every line speaks to you separately, here the effect is alienating. It repels me.|
Another thing I wonder about is if it is really intrinsic in music of talented guitarists that every song includes a guitar solo. I am not fond of guitar wankery at all, and although a solo here or there can be nice, I think that having solos in more than half of the songs on the album is too much. Talking about repelling...
In general, the music of RET. consists of slow guitar riffs, sustained by drums and keyboards, and accompanied by quite unconventional vocals. The lead vocals are similar to a whining heavy metal voice, pulled through an effect box. At times they sound as if Ozzy himself was having a bad day. His name being in the thanks list should be no surprise. Some grunts or screams are added as backing vocals. Slow paced and twisted music, as such being typical for doom, but the addition of the heavy metal solos (in every single fucking song!) and the whining, distorted voice and sometimes the faster tempo of the songs pull the music of this band apart from the doom scene.
It's worth to spill some words on the lyrical themes as well. All songs are about death and the meaning of dying, often from a very Christian/anti-Christian religious point of view. Bible quotes and references are numerous. Pain and blood, as part of a violent death, are other points of view on this matter. The lyrical content is very doomy, to say the least.
The inclusion of samples, ambient parts and some weird keyboard pieces make the album even weirder than it would have been without them. The last track is an ambient keyboard part, ending with the repeat of the Eastern sounding vocals of the beginning of the album. Best tracks in my opinion are the title track and 'The Abyss in Heaven'. The abrupt ending of 'The Hymn of Life' however, followed by the ambient keyboard piece (which also ends quite abruptly) leaves the listener with an uncomfortable feel after listening. Not a bad thing as such, since it shows that the music at least evoked some emotions within the listener. But it's up to you to decide if you like it this way or not. Personally, I think it could have been much better.
1. The One Who Takes
2. The Ninth Heart
3. In Love With Blood
4. The Abyss in Heaven
5. And the World Became Flesh
6. The Hymn of Life
7. Close Encounter
Duration : Approx. 43 minutes.
Visit the R.E.T. bandpage.