(Elitist Records / Earache Records)
Gosh, this output really surprised me. When I stated my interest in reviewing RAKOTH's debut CD "Planeshift", it was just the name that somehow intrigued me. But I didn't have a clue what their music is all about. This formation consists of three ambitioned, young musicians from Russia, one guitarist, a programmer (they use a drum-computer that sounds quite authentic) / keyboarder, and a vocalist / flautist. The sound they create is quite unique - they combine different Metal elements such as epic and melodious guitar riffing, occasional blast-beats, and aggressive, rather Black Metal-like vocals. Beside these traits, keyboard - landscapes are woven into their sound as well (and they are not cheesy at all, I think). There are spoken passages that introduce goose pimples when you actually follow what they say: the lyrical concept of RAKOTH is inspired by Tolkien. I don't have the lyrics, but I presume that they deal with certain themes from the Silmarillion and, of course, the Lord of the Rings. At least I guess so when I look at the song titles - 'Noldor Exodus', 'Gorthaur Aulendil', 'The Unquiet Grave', etc. Because of the fact that RAKOTH digest Gothic and Black Metal elements in their sound, we get a dynamic symbiosis of different Metal and non-metallic components. These characteristics might suggest a lack of homogeneity which, I find, is partly the case. But in a way that's what I like about this kind of music. It's possible to find aspects in RAKOTH's compositions that refer to a certain unconventionality that might be interpreted as initial difficulties to create music that corresponds to a generally accepted norm. My point of view differs from the aforementioned one: I think RAKOTH consciously compose these complex and multi-dimensional songs which one might describe as inhomogeneous. It's a significant difference if you do something because you want to do it or if you do something because you don't know how to do it differently. My conclusion: RAKOTH are an extremely creative, innovative and brilliant band that composes great music. Songs like 'The Unquiet Grave' just make you drift away into Tolkien's universe. Assuming that one doesn't know about the fact that RAKOTH digest Tolkien ideas in their lyrics, one could state that their music consists of beautiful and graceful entities that fascinate by means of their passion and compositional complexity!!! Good one...
F. Cthulhu E.