Label : Fono LTD
Review by Vard Aman
RabieS (the band… with a capital S – they asked me really nicely) comes from Magnitogorsk in the Chelyabinsk Region in Russia, at the extreme Southern end of the Ural Mountains. OK, that’s enough geography, onto a bit of science and etymology. Most people know rabies as the name of a disease, and it is one of the most unpleasant and fatal diseases known; but RabieS have taken their name not from the disease but rather from the origin of the word itself, which is Latin for “madness” or “fury” (the name of the disease obviously has the same origin). They formed in 2006, and “Kaplya v Beskonechnost” is their debut offering – and what a pleasant debut it is! RabieS play some highly accomplished and beautifully constructed Symphonic Operatic Metal – of the kind that is going to make musical comparisons with Tarja-era Nightwish, I’m afraid, inevitable. Comparisons in quality at least I think are fully justified; but RabieS comes from Magnitogorsk in Russia while Nightwish comes from the Metal Capital of the World and Nightwish are also one of the pioneers of this sound. (I do think though that RabieS has a better and prettier singer than Tarja-era Nightwish did. There! I said it! Bring on the hate mail!).
Vladislava has a beautiful and rich operatic soprano voice, and her vocals provide the highlight of this release… most of the time at least. At the middle and higher end of her range she is awesome (and even more so when she harmonizes… wow!) but on lower notes it sometimes sounds like she is straining just a little and in one or two places the result is that her normally beautifully flowing voice gives way to… I’m not sure what it’s called so I’m going to give it my own name – “alarmed hen syndrome”. She still hits the notes perfectly but something just doesn’t feel right. It might also be a consequence of an operatic style not being quite suited to that particular part of the song – perhaps in the parts in question, a normal singing style would have been better suited (and as a bonus might also have served to give the operatic parts more impact when they came in, especially when the operatic vocals are of such outstanding quality as Vladislava’s are). Still, those moments are few and far between, and most of the time her vocals are right up there among the most beautiful, flowing operatic vocals that I’ve heard from an operatic singer in Metal; and her voice suits the music perfectly. Turning our attention to the rest of the band and the production, the performance and the song writing is really good. The songs are not overly complex and succeed in creating the kinds of feelings and emotions through the sound and the melodies that they should. The songs are also catchy – 3 days after hearing the single “Vozvrascheniye” (and watching the video) for the first time I found myself humming the chorus to myself.
Occasional male vocals and growls are provided by the keyboardist Eduard. The kick drum could have used a little more low-end EQ (and/or a little less high-end EQ) in the mix, but that isn’t too much of an issue. The album is also quite short by today’s standards: 9 songs (including the bonus track) at just over 32 minutes but this is not a bad thing at all. The songs are all equally good, there are no fillers, and when the album ended I found myself feeling both very satisfied by what I had heard and wanting more at the same time. Bands that try to make long albums just for the sake of making a long album (““we have the time, let’s use it”) often fail to have this effect. Credit must go to RabieS for avoiding this temptation… although, that said, perhaps one or two more songs on this album certainly would not have hurt. Or you can just listen to the album again, like I did, and like I have done several times since and will do again. “Kaplya v Beskonechnost” is a good debut indeed, but there are a few minor creases that I think the band needs to iron out for the next one; and if they do, the next one should be even better. So, with that, I strongly recommend getting RabieS! I’ve got RabieS and I’m enjoying every minute of it!
Rating – 85/100
- Война [Voina – War]
- Возвращение [Vozvrascheniye – The Return]
- Крылья [Kryl’ya – Wings]
- Тайна Гор [Taina Gor – Secret of the Mountains]
- Мёртвый Лес [Myortviy Les – Dead Forest]
- Дуэль [Duel’ – Duel]
- Я Ухожу [Ya Ukhozhu – I’m Leaving]
- Хватит [Hvatit – Enough]
- Соот (Туман-в-Сумерках) [Soot (Tuman-v-Sumerkah) – Soot (Fog-at-Dusk)]
- Vladislava Solovyova – Vocals
- Alexander Gladushenko – Guitars
- Eduard Korshunov – Keyboards & Vocals
- Kirill Bondarenko – Bass
- Artur Gordanov – Drums