Since Raintime’s debut album Tales from Sadness came and went without much notice, I’m hoping their 2007 effort Flies & Lies helps the band reach the wider audience their music deserves.
Raintime is one of those rare bands that successfully combine elements of death metal and progressive metal. Sounding like equal parts Dream Theater and Dark Tranquillity, Raintime joins bands like Mercenary and Into Eternity in creating a style of metal that can appeal to fans of both aggressive and progressive styles of metal. Flies & Lies continues with the style found on Tales from Sadness – technicality matched with melody, clean vocals matched with harsh, blazing guitar work matched with plenty of keyboards – but takes a dramatic step forward in terms of songwriting and especially production quality. It’s a powerful and compelling album that only loses my interest once towards the end, and that’s a highly unexpected cover of Michael Jackson’s Beat It. I’ll give the guys credit for originality, but this one just doesn’t work for me. Fortunately the punishingly heavy closing track Matrioska is more than enough to make up for it. If that song doesn’t give you whiplash from banging your head, something might be wrong with you!
I enthusiastically recommend this album. It may be a bit too heavy for progressive metal purists and not heavy enough for death metal disciples, but is all but guaranteed to please most open-minded metal fans.
PS – I had the good fortune of seeing Raintime perform live at ProgPower USA VIII in 2007, and I’m happy to report that the band is just as impressive live as they are on disc. Hopefully they will come back to the USA before too long.