On their second album Flies & Lies, Italy’s Raintime expand on their melodic signature, bringing in elements of both clean and growled vocals, some cool power metal-style double bass drums, hefty keyboards, and punchy guitar lines. Recorded by noted producer Tommy Hansen (Helloween, TNT), the production is noticeably sharper and more energetic. The album also guests Hatesphere and Manticora members on the aggressive and more melodically driven pieces respectively.
What we have here is the slamming onslaught of melodic metal in the vein of a less aggressive version of Children of Bodom and the typical Euro power metal style, best exemplified on the opening title track. From here on, the album emphasizes the hallmarks of melodic metal and slightly Gothenburg-like material, particularly in the repeated guitar chords set against a semi-brutal vocal attack. “The Black Well” is as close as the band gets to recapturing that vibe, but there are also more laidback, keyboard-friendly songs, such as “Rolling Chances”, complete with a crystal clear guitar solo; and the classic Euro power metal of “Rainbringer”, as the song title itself implies. The all clean-sung “Finally Me” is the power ballad of the album, highlighting the clear and gripping vocal ability of Claudio Coassin.
The synth-heavy opening of “Tears of Sorrow” launches into a crunchy, metallic verse, boasting both processed and screamed vocals before the band follows it up with Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”, a sharper take on the original, but the lead playing does fall short of Eddie Van Halen’s solo. The most daring song on the album is arguably “Another Transition”, which moves from a syrupy synth intro to industrial-tinged goth screams and anthemic power metal harmonies by Manticora’s Lars F. Larsen. This is going to be one of those songs that will please the entire audience when played live.
Flies & Lies is definitely an improvement over the debut, and is bound to impress most melodic fans, provided they expect nothing ground-breaking. You’ve already heard everything presented on this album in various stylings, so don’t go expecting anything over-the-top.
(This is a review of the European version of the album; my copy does not contain the Japanese instrumental bonus track.)
Tracklisting- Flies & Lies . Rolling Chances . Apeiron . Rainbringer . Finally Me . Tears of Sorrow . The Black Well . Beat It . Another Transition . Burning Doll . Matrioska