Vices. Virtues. Visions.
Sometimes, when a band modernizes their sound a bit, it sounds totally awesome. However, there are occasions when a band tries too hard to modernize their sound that it completely bastardizes their record and makes it boring and unlistenable. Unfortunately in the case of Danish melodic metallers Raunchy, they fall into the latter of the two.
With their first three albums, the band set a new bar for just how awesome and catchy thrash/death metal can be. Specifically, their 2006 album Death Pop Romance took the keyboard-infused pop metal thing to some very interesting places. Sadly however, the band’s sound has been progressing more towards generic metalcore elements as of 2008’s Wasteland Discotheque. On their new album Vices. Virtues. Visions. however, they have truly gone a bit too off the deep end.
From the first track “Eyes Of A Storm,” the band’s intent became very clear and very annoying right out of the gate. It kind of sounds like a mix of Whitechapel and Panic! At The Disco. I know that sounds like a weird mixture, but that’s the best way to describe a song that features both over-produced “br00tal” riffs and obnoxiously poppy clean vocals and synths. At other points on the album, it has some interesting enough heavy parts, but they feel like an attempt to rip off the current incarnation of Dragonforce, which is a horrible idea. Most of the songs just feel like a band who wants to play fast, melodic metal, but does so by imitating the European-style riffs used by metalcore and deathcore bands, thus leaving the songs very boring and bland and never really going anywhere interesting.
There’s a fine line between catchy, awesome melodic metal and bland, boring metal that sounds like a lazy attempt at a cash-in. If you like Raunchy, or if you want to hear a great example of catchy melodic death/thrash, go back and listen to Raunchy albums like Confusion Bay or Death Pop Romance, or even a Dark Tranquility record instead. (Brandon Ringo)