Eccentric is definitely the word I would use to describe Rhine. Eccentric is the definition to their musicality, but they also known their stuff. Elements like dynamics, timbre, melody, and harmony (in a classical understanding) are all incorporated into their work. These musicians really know how to show off their skills with, at times, unnecessary sections of constant repetition that make their ten-song record, eighty minutes long. I feel like we’ve discovered Dream Theatre‘s long-lost cousin. The cousin who was close with them for a long time, but then they had a fight and don’t talk anymore. If that makes any sense at all (which it probably doesn’t), you’ll understand how many mixed feelings I have about An Outsider.
First off, eighty-fucking-minutes. Really? Each song is at least seven or eight minutes, some even in the double digits, and this made it seem like so much of a chore to listen to. That’s how anyone who hasn’t heard of these guys before will feel. No one has time to sit down and enjoy a record anymore; it sucks, but it’s the truth. But, they especially don’t have eighty minutes. They crammed so many ideas into each song that it became a medley of elegance and pure fire, but it was more or less the same idea. It was just divided into subsections, much like a long, classical composition. For example, the song, “P.R.E.Y.,” opened up with a ninety-second full on orchestral introduction in a major key and without warning, shoves metal back down your throat. Just… WHAT?
Don’t get me wrong! As I’ve said multiple times, I’m all about art, and being free, and all that stuff, but this record would’ve made more sense if they cut down a lot of the ideas. If they made each idea its own track, it would have been an easier listen. I know there are a lot of people who miss the long twelve-minute anthems of the 80s and early 90s, and that’s all well and good. You might enjoy these guys if you’re not the elitist who hates screaming. The vocalist’s screams were like a bat out of hell. It was super powerful, however, what lacked, and at times made me cringe, was the actual singing. His voice does not suit this genre at all but rather I feel as though he’d make a great villain in a musical. Very nasally, yet classically trained. It does not suit the band in my opinion. I’d recommend the first song, “Dreaming of Death,” because it sounds like Dream Theatre and Sworn In had a baby. That sounded really interesting. If you like long-playing records, feel free to check out Rhine’s album, An Outsider.
Written by Rian Cunningham
*edited by Danielle Kenedy