Rave The Reqviem have been a busy bunch, haven’t they? Less than two years after their previous album, The Gospel of Nil, they’ve already gone and released a new album. They also seem to have made the switch from DWA (Digital World Audio) to Out of Line records in what appears to be a new venture for the band.
Their previous release was an interesting one to say the least, and in my opinion, not in an entirely great way. The last record felt like it had too much of a focus on the metal elements of their sound, with the electro/industrial being left in the sidelines. It wasn’t a bad album, but a bit disappointing to see these aspects shunned somewhat. Thankfully, that’s not the case with their new album, the ironically named FVNERAL [sic]. Also, their fetish for swapping out the letter ‘u’ for ‘v’ is more apparent than ever…
“FVNERAL [sic]” is an odd choice of a title track, as it acts as more of a short intro. That said, it does do a good job of setting the scene, with dramatic synths and a distorted religious sounding chant. Things rapidly kick into gear with “Skydweller”, which is instantly recognisable as a Rave The Reqviem song. It has their trademark mix of catchy synth hooks, blistering industrial metal, and hints of orchestral elements, with all three vocalists adding their own unique twists. The synths soar, and guitars feel gritty, contrasted by short but sweet sections of symphonic beauty. A pounding electro rhythm hails the start of “Saint Jvdas”, which melds into an EBM rock rhythm. Chugging guitars and upbeat electro mould together in harmony. There are a few stop/start moments that add to the overall pacing. “Are You Happy Now, Fidelio?” explodes into life with chaotic guitars, and a speedy beat. It’s extremely frenetic and energetic, feeling like a musical roller-coaster. “Horizon” is the most symphonic track on the record, having a more serene feel to it, in comparison to the rest of the album. It’s stunning, feels theatrical in approach and helps to add even more diversity. The orchestral elements have a massive sweeping feel to them. The storm soon kicks back in with “Ghost Royale”, as bulky sounds pierce through the tranquillity. The synths and riffs are very immediate, constantly changing in pace and style. “Ovtnvmbered” has hypnotic sweeping electro, layered with insanely brisk guitar work. It has a very schizophrenic nature to it, as the vocals continuously switch between a much cleaner style, to aggressive and harsh. At one point, it almost becomes a ballad. Brutal continuous guitars and a striking choir are prominent in “Ilvminate Me”, as urgent sounding strings back them up. It all transcends into gritty synths, and continues to combine all these elements, with a lot going on at once. “Crack the Sky” is quite metal dominated, and has moments where the drumbeat feels drum and bass in style. Out of all the songs present, this is probably the most straightforward (if there is such a thing on an RTR record, of course!) There’s something apocalyptic to the mood of “Till Death Do Me Part”. Maybe it’s the combination of epic guitars and orchestral themes, whilst electronic soundscapes blare in the background. It’s utterly powerful, and packed with drama. “For They Shall Inherit the Earth” is a quite hushed feeling outro. Climactic strings, and sombre piano give way to a building crescendo of militant sounding drums, adding more and more to the symphonic side before it ends. It’s quite bombastic.
Rave The Reqviem are once again on top form with FVNERAL [sic]. It’s an unpredictable ride that throws in a ton of genres, creating unexpected, but exciting results. It’s fuelled with energy, and is high-octane, with a few exceptions where things calm down a bit, which gives for welcome breathing room. The only flaw I have with it, is that it feels like it’s over far too quickly. Overall, even with 11 tracks, it’s over in 35 minutes, and they’re all less than 4 minutes long. I feel that a few of them end a bit abruptly, and would’ve benefited from being a little bit longer, even by 30 seconds. Although considering how fast-paced the band like to make their music, it perhaps didn’t fit their philosophy. Even so, it’s still a fantastic listen, and truly showcases their skill at mixing different musical themes, making them a genre of their own.
Final Verdict: The volume and diversity of musical elements on display, combined with Rave the Reqviem’s high-octane, energetic feel proves that they’re back on top form. The ride is short-lived, but it’s a sweet one!
- FVNERAL [sic]
- Saint Jvdas
- Are Yov Happy Now, Fidelio?
- Ghost Royale
- Ilvminate Me
- Crack the Sky
- Till Death Do Me Part
- For They Shall Inherit the Earth