RAGE OF LIGHT – OPAQUE (EP)
RELEASE: October 18th, 2023
AUTHOR: Paul Hutchings
02. Touch And Destroy
03. The Scent Of Dead Leaves
Swiss trance metal isn’t something that I’m familiar with. My first exposure to RAGE OF LIGHT, formed in 2015 and with an extensive discography including full-length albums “Imploder” and “Redemption”. The current line-up features founder member Jonathan Pellet (backing vocals, synthesizer, drum programming, bass), singer Martyna Hałas and guitarist Simon Burri. Described as “Demanufacture”-era Fear Factory fronted by Sharon Den Adel, their sound is certainly innovative.
“Opaque” features four songs spread over 21 minutes, with the complex and intricate title track which brings the release to a close over eight and a half minutes in length. The band’s sound is unusual, in that they combine many different styles in a fusion of chaos, which at times is almost unrestrained. The vocals switch from harsh to soaring symphonics at a flick, the music moves from crushingly heavy to gentle solo piano, and it’s all rolled up in different songs that catch the attention.
It’s “Upriser” that kicks things off, and it’s a smorgasbord of sounds that greet the listener. Gruff growls and elevated cleans combine with blast beat programming, thick riffs and darting synths. It’s a veritable kaleidoscope of resonance which envelopes the listener. Solo guitar screams out of the cacophony, the song lurching from industrial to electronica to trance. It’s all a bit of an intensity overload that ends with an ethereal finale.
“Touch And Destroy” initially presents as a Bond theme, before diving into the abstract, the thumping pound of the bass, the layered vocals and driving riffs once again collaborating with density and a comprehensive collaboration that ebbs and flows. I’m not over excited by the constant switching of vocals, or the dramatic sweeps that flow through the song, but it’s certainly a decent listen, although the narrative towards the end doesn’t do a lot. High in tempo and energy, it’s a sweeping landscape that sees Hałas unleash her inner demon. Those growls are ferocious.
They continue with “The Scent Of Dead Leaves”. More Delain meets Arch Enemy, with a side helping of Pendulum, it’s showcased by a stellar solo from Burri before a chronic explosive dive into more trance and a vibrating mid-section. One can only imagine the opportunity for visuals here.It’s the lengthy title track that brings the EP to a close. A narrative and synth start to build the atmosphere, some orchestral elements add to the building tension, with Hałas evoking a passionate plea before the band break into their full stride. This is a song crammed full of complexity. It swirls, drifts, charges and explodes. It’s a finale that befits the overall power of the EP. Do I like it? It’s certainly different. Exciting, challenging and unorthodox. Give it a go. You may also be surprised.