Reviewed: June 2022
Released: 2021, self-released
Reviewer: Simon Wiedemann
Raze are a five piece metalcore band with symphonic metal influences and lighter sections, from Padang, West Sumatra, Indonesia. They self-released their latest mini album ‘Ad Infinitum’ on December 29th, 2021. It follows a 2019 EP called ‘So Repeat This Line’ and a 2020 single named ‘Kratzer’. They formed in 2018 and continue to show their determination by showcasing fresh sounds and releasing music videos.
Intro track ‘Voices – Acoustic Version’ has sweet and crystal clear clean guitar arpeggios with some soothing ethnic wind playing on top of it from time to time, but the rough vocals are somewhat ill-fitting. Not only that, his voice isn’t particularly nice to listen to. He certainly hits the right notes, some of them are even pleasing, (many are pretty standard) but he sounds amateurish. The harsh vocal style works much better in the following symphonic metal piece ‘313 – Orchestra Version’, but he still sounds like a regular guy off the street a lot of the time. Again, that’s a shame as the instrumental backing there and this time female vocals, are hard to fault. Sure the distorted guitars are chuggy/tremolo picked and that’s a very clear cliche, but the orchestrations are very detailed and professional. Think the Metallica S&M concerts.
The first half of track ‘Ad Infinitum – Orchestra Version’ is far darker than the preceding song. Even though the electric guitars are clean again, the harmonies they play are doomy and even slightly disturbing. In the second half, the distorted (and typical) guitars are back, joined with those excellent orchestral parts and soon after, death metal style blast beats/drum soloing. Soon enough, those exciting parts end with a bang, and the doomy ideas return to finish the piece. It’s a bit of a rollercoaster, and as it only lasts a little over 4 minutes, some would say it’s underdeveloped. I guess others would say it’s full of ideas. 😛
Final track ‘Kratzer’ starts with the familiar styled clean guitars, this time with a pessimistic and serious George Carlin quote on top of it. The speech goes on a bit long, so maybe it would have been more entertaining if he joked around, maybe by pondering where you take a cake to see its friends, for example. Then in an instant, the genre switches to pure, non-symphonic metalcore with crazed speed picked riffs, mental drumming and angry shouts. The vocalist is arguably a better shouter than singer. There are also some interesting ethnic style lady vocals that add a certain creepiness to the cleaner outro section. The song progressively dies down in a nice and tasteful way, demonstrating a nice range of compositional devices.
In conclusion, there certainly are a lot of ideas crammed into this EP. The metal and symphonic elements are mixed well together and it’s all very well composed, but the singer needs to learn how to be soft and gentle from time to time to fit the music. I’m not saying he needs to wear a dress or anything like that at all, I’m just saying his singing voice is not so good. Not terrible, but not good. The music should please fans of Epica, Rhapsody, and maybe even Septicflesh, as long as they are fairly open minded. It’s not the best album I’ve ever heard in this genre, but with only some basic alterations, it could very easily compete. Very good stuff!
1. Voices – Acoustic Version
2. 313 – Orchestra Version
3. Ad Infinitum – Orchestra Version
Esa Valentino – Bass
Rizky Desvino – Drums
Akbar Nicholas – Guitars
Bardi Rahmawan – Guitars
Aulia Rahman – Vocals