Seattle is home to many well known bands from Heart to Pearl Jam to Queensrÿche. It’s also home to an up and coming progressive death metal band known as Rhine. Their style is certainly comparable to older Opeth but they also have a touch of jazz to their sound much like Steorrah. “An Outsider” is their second album and while Rhine is considered a band, it is really a project for main man Gabe Tachell.
Tachell literally does everything except play drums which on the album are handled quite well by Sean Lang. Tachell wrote the whole album, produced it and mixed it. Jamie King, known for his great work with Between the Buried and Me, mastered the album. Thus, the album sounds amazing. But what about the songs.
The good news is that since Tachell is extremely talented, he can not only write strong songs but he also executes them really well. I am currently exclusively premiering the title track right here on the site at this location. Rhine mixes Opeth with even a touch of Enslaved on this track. It’s probably my favorite song on the album.
The album starts off really strong but if I am being honest, I do think it tails off a bit toward the end. The opener “Dreaming of Death” is heavy, brutal at times and epic. “Paralyzed” is another stellar track in the same mold. Things begin to change when you get to “P.R.E.Y.” which starts with a medieval like opening with harpsichord and trumpets before it turns into a galloping viking metal track. While it seems like a strange turn, the song is quite good.
However, “Into the Unknown” isn’t one that I like. It either has really bad falsetto singing or a woman who is flat. It’s a shame because the album is really strong up until this point. “Shipwrecked In Stasis” continues the odd turn with half of the song being noise with a drum beat. By the time there’s a minute left, we have a song. Too late. The closer “Fragments” is atmospheric which is fine but it again falls into the noise zone at the end of it.
“An Outsider” is an album that had it stopped after “P.R.E.Y.” it might be a killer album. Unfortunately it carries on too long and falls apart. There’s enough greatness in the first six tracks that “An Outsider” should please many fans of progressive death metal. I do give Rhine credit for taking risks and experimenting at the end of the album. Unfortunately, it undermined what was promising start.
1. Dreaming of Death
2. The Spell of Dark Water
3. An Outsider
6. Dissolved in Fire
8. Into the Unknown
9. Shipwrecked In Stasis