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Rainburn - Canvas of Silence CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.33 | 5 ratings

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5 stars One of my favorites.

This little gem comforted me as I prepared for surgery in 2014. Like the band's name, this music abounds in contrasts. The tug of war between aggressive metal and soothing folk/pop sounds creates a tidal rhythm that rocks me into a relaxed state. Despite the subject matter - loss - I found the music to be uplifting and hopeful. Although I continue to listen to new music, I still return to this time and again.

"Refuge" contains some evocative lyrics and interesting wordplay: "Washed up, eroded souls are/in solitude reborn/sing to me of rain/for tomorrow shall be/washed free of the reins/holding you and me". The jangling guitars and chorus have a '60s sound that reminds me of The Byrds, The Doors, The Mamas and The Papas...something that I can't quite pin down but brings a warm sense of nostalgia.

"Canvas of Silence" explores mysteries of life and death and boasts a stronger progressive metal sound. I like the mood changes in this one.

"Veil" is a fever dream awash in Indian-inflected melodies, nice bass work, and evocative vocals simmering in quiet desperation.

"Time Turns Around" is a beautiful little song. The guitar carries a pretty Indian-inflected melody. The vocal is achingly lovely. Struggle yields to resignation and peace here. This is the tidal pool of the album and my favorite track.

The waves roar back with"Fragments," a return to aggressive metal. The loss of a dear loved one is raw here, and the singer questions if the gains of moving beyond this life outweigh the losses experienced by those left behind.

Despite some minor quibbles - e.g. unnessary (to me) fade-out endings on some songs, the rough middle section in "Time Turns Around" - I believe this is one of the best EPs I've heard. I like how the band assimilates metal, pop, folk, and even a little jazz to create a wonderfully balanced sound. The lyrics are generally thoughtful, picturesque, and sometimes poignant; they hold up very well in the personal songs (e.g. "Time Turns Around" and "Fragments"), but they sometimes seem a bit forced elsewhere. Although not a true masterpiece, it's close - maybe a 4.5/5. I'll round up to 5, because this EP is a balm to me, more so than many "masterpieces" I've heard.

Rainburn has replaced its bassist, Shishir Gupta, and the guitarist Toshimoa Jamir with Allan Julius Fernandes and Vineet Gogoi, respectively, and I wonder how this change will affect the band's sound. I can only hope that Rainburn continues to explore life's weighty mysteries while marrying metal, Indian folk music, and pop as successfully as they did here.

PlanetRodentia2 | 5/5 |


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