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Rainburn: Insignify

Progressive music’s influence has rapidly spread across the world in recent years and now it appears that India is the latest territory ready to explode on to the scene. Those in the know are already extolling the virtues of Coshish, while Rainburn have followed up an impressively received EP with their debut full length release Insignify. What is quickly apparent is that this four-piece are not a band to do things by halves, this first full foray a lengthy, complex piece of prog-rock-metal that sits round the complex concept of the inner psyche of the ‘artist’; the desire to be known, to make a mark, but also the inner turmoil and outer issues that can all result from those wishes. Being honest it’s not the most attention grabbing ‘story’ I’ve ever heard put to music and much though I’ve tried, I’ve never really made a fist of fully following exactly what is going on.

Musically things are equally difficult to unravel, but here patience pays off, the melding of the more expected prog rock and metal to occasional ‘ragas’, (a traditional improvisational structure that sets the tone and mood for certain times of day) an interesting aside. Although, to be fair, if you weren’t on the look out for them, they probably would pass you by, as they appear as linking sections that join tracks rather than leading from the front. However it is always interesting to welcome something different into genres that seem pretty set in their ways.

To these ears things click most satisfyingly into place when Rainburn pull back on their desires to rush headlong into the more complex end of the spectrum, the darting and melodious “Within” really quite wonderful, while “Merchant Of Dreams”, while maybe a little too off the cuff in feel, sits on an easy and engaging groove; acoustic guitar often allowed to shine brightest in these moments. Although when the much more aggressive and hard hitting “Someone New” heads us into a Vanden Plas meets Pain Of Salvation land of complex aggression, Rainburn do also appear to be in their element.

In between, the mood and tone can meander just a little too much, the likes “Elusive Light” and “Mirrors” treading water without ever trying to move things firmly forward. Even here however the Asian sounding guitar lilts and crafted arrangements manage to hold the interest. Only during the misguided a capella “Purpose” do Rainburn really come unstuck, the vocals just not controlled enough to thrive in this stark setting as layers of harmony voices tussle lengthily against the harsher, warbling lead vocals. One can only guess it is an intentional effect, as it isn’t an issue with the singing elsewhere.

For me Insignify is an album of great promise, huge ideas and some new outlooks. Not everything quite manages to come out triumphant but the strength of songwriting wins through in the end. As first steps go there’s no doubting that it allows Rainburn to make an interesting and engaging opening impression. Hopefully they can build on the themes and ideas and hone them into something truly different and original as they mature. If you’re looking for something at least trying to step off the beaten path, but not exactly ‘out there’, this is very much worth checking out.

Track Listing
1. The Wait
2. Merchant of Dreams
3. Elusive Light
4. Mirrors
5. Someone New
6. Purpose
7. Suicide Note
8. Insignify
9. Within
10. School of Atlantis

Added: November 16th 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Rainburn online
Hits: 949
Language: english

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