Our relationship with Gothic and Dark Metal has often been stop and go over the last years. True, Lenore S. Fingers won pretty high praises. Yet, other bands (somewhat) in line with Inno‘s The Rain Under, like the forgettable diatribe of Lindsay Schoolcraft, really made not much of a dent into the RMR deck crew’s cold metal hearts.
And it is often the tediously uniform singing style that rubs us the wrong way. As if someone took a fucking diary and reads from it. And, I daresay, Inno is also guilty of some of that. To what extent? Do read on.
Well, first off, the lineup of this new band was often hyped as some sort of supergroup. And truly so, former members of Fleshgod Apocalypse or Elisabetta Marchetti, who already famously appeared on this blog when Riti Occulti still was a thing, appeared on that list.
You see, I was never quite comfortable with the term supergroup. Musicians come and go, and either bands are successful, or they’re not. And if their brand works or not defines itself by chemistry1) and musicianship, not necessarily the career that came before. And surely not by the monstrous egos that often go hand in hand with anything called ‘super’. So, having that term slammed on your ass, and you didn’t even play a note yet, will put some pressure on ye, to say the least.
But fear naught, there’s no attempt at grandeur from this band, far from it. Inno just followed their new vocation and present themselves as a relatively mildly flavored mix of melancholic Gothic and Dark Metal with a very strong progressive undercurrent. And make no mistake, things are not as easy as they seem.
At first, The Rain Under kinda sails along on a seemingly even keel. But once you really dig into the material, ever new facets start to emerge. In other words, the true value of all that amassed talent hides in the details. And this is where the devil lives, too.
The record starts with some acoustic entry that dangerously sounds like Tethra’s intro into Transcending Thanatos on Like Crows for the Earth. Only here, the beginning of The Rain Under – the title – soon veers onto Elisabetta Marchetti‘s territory. And it is in this track that the progressive element asserts itself the strongest. The record also immediately pumps up the volume into this often multilayered song structure that’s so prevalent throughout the track list.
The crew here was often taken aback by the extremely strong riffing and the pretty elaborate arrangement. That, together with this knock-out drum work, really gives you a taste of the pretty astonishing savoir-faire in this group. And all of that elaborate musicianship nicely embeds the somewhat monotonous singing of the vocalist.
Yet, the presentation of the vocals puzzled us to some extent. Sometimes you get those echoes of early Evanescence somewhere hidden in the mix.2) And Marchetti‘s voice also suddenly rasps away with some real power. It’s thus a pity that the band didn’t make better use of her considerable talents. And those go way beyond than what is on display here.
Another slight setback is the uncanny length of the record. The Rain Under has this tendency to noodle somewhat aimlessly about the soundscape. By cleaning up many of those loose ends, the band could have delivered a much crisper piece. The way it stands now, the record often doesn’t really command your undivided attention, but it kind of keeps on playing in the background whilst your brain starts doing other things. And that’s not all that good.
Now, as favorite tracks go, I’d suggest the aforementioned title track, the excellent Pale Dead Sky, plus Scorched towards the end of the tracklist. The latter is one of those tracks where we get a taste of Elisabetta Marchetti in belting mode. And a pretty excellent example of those rare solos on this album.
Ultimately, The Rain Under is not an easy listen. You’ll probably need a few spins to really appreciate the elaborate, yet quite delicious complexity of their fare. It may be a bit harsh to call their record Gothic Metal for nerds, but we sail pretty close to that specific abyss.
That said, the outstanding musicianship, the delicate melancholic intensity, and the intricate arrangements of all the tracks on the record finally sold us. In other words, this is easily one of the best modern-day Gothic Metal records that we came across lately.