Rage of Light – Chasing a Reflection (Self-Released)

Friday, 1st April 2016
Rating: 8.5/10

One aspect that more modern melodic metal bands have been attaching themselves to (with differing amounts of success) is electronics. With the often upbeat nature of the riffing, it’s a combination that isn’t as far out there as one may think. With bands like Amaranthe or Season of Ghosts pushing things further into this direction, it’s no surprise we are seeing more bands starting to experiment with these sounds.

Switzerland’s Rage of Light has some clear appeal for fans of either band already mentioned, and really seem to ratchet up the trance/EBM influences into a melodic death metal format. The bouncy chugs of modern melodic death metal (not unlike The Unguided or a less riff-frenzied Disarmonia Mundi) share the soundboard with equally intense electronic elements. The result is a sound that is absurdly catchy off the initial listen, but doesn’t lose its touch with frequent returns. “Deception” works best as the glimpse of the group, with an adrenaline-backed introduction and the galloping riff section lead by vocalist Melissa Bonny’s growls (sometimes accompanied by Jonathan Pellet’s own roars). The track later moves into clean vocal territory, performed with finesse by Bonny and elevated by the near-bouncing synths. Of course, the litmus test will ultimately the band’s cover of Aqua’s (yes, the band that brought you “Barbie Girl”) “Lollipop.” It’s a track that shouldn’t work, but the combination of catchy and frenetic riffs, Bonny’s enchanting and powerful vocals, and thumping beats should sell the track to even some of the most dyed-in-the-wool metalheads. Don’t feel that the electronic elements get the spotlight though, with “Sick” having one of the strongest solos of the bunch, along with some killer melodic riffs that are augmented by synths.

Frequently doubling-up on the listener, there’s the question of whether one should start headbanging incessantly or go into rave-mode, but it’s the balance between the two that makes Chasing a Reflection an intoxicating listen. It’s also a sound that could really catch on given enough exposure.

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