Review Summary: The dynasty warriors of metal have returned with an adequate follow up to their stellar Death Pop Romance. Complete with booming choruses, catchy riffs, and the higher emphasis on electronics, the band return to get the blood flowing and the crowd groovin
Raunchy is a melodic heavy metal band from Copenhagen, Denmark. They’ve actually been around for quite some time now. Forming in 1994, Raunchy have released four full length albums with Wasteland Discothèque suiting up as their number five. Raunchy first struck my attention in 2006 after reading a magazine review for Death Pop Romance. I quote from reading the description, Raunchy binds Strapping Young Lad heaviness with Lacuna Coil’s spell binding melodies minus the hot babe. Needless to say, I was intrigued to go after this and was pleasantly surprised. Raunchy’s self describing of their music as futuristic hybrid metal is pretty spot on with their penchant of incorporating electronic beats into a groove metal formula. Raunchy’s style can be compared countrymen Mnemic, Soilwork, and more importantly In Flames’s more recent work. However plenty of bands continue to follow the path that Raunchy has undertook so playing aggressive metal with pop sensibilities is no longer that uncommon. Bands such as Machinery, Mechina, and Black Comedy have all popped up in recent times and created a sound similar to Raunchy therefore ruining the surprise for a first time listener.
“Wasteland Discotheque” is the fifth album and before I heard the album I was asking myself, would Raunchy continue going down the safe route and release a predictable Raunchy album similar to their previous output or would they start to experiment with their sound? A little of both really. Raunchy have retained their sense of unabashed catchiness with powerful groove patterns and trademark sing a long choruses but I feel as an album this doesn’t have as many stand out tracks as Death Pop Romance. “Wasteland Discotheque” contains the traditional Raunchy structure of pounding riffs laced by electronic melodies and frantic dual vocals. However, Raunchy incorporate some new ideas into the mix to help keep this album from sounding dull and uninspired. Some of the new aspects I found was the higher emphasis shown on the synth programming. “Somebody’s Watching Me” in particular contains a huge electro pop influence with a large pulsating beat holding steady through out the 4 minute duration. Add in the one of the catchiest choruses’ I’ve ever heard and you have a track designed to put people on the dance floor. Seriously, I could see some clubs over in Europe putting this track on to a great avail. As the intro “This Blackout Is Your Apocalypse “ rolled in, I knew some things changed.
For starters, the opening passage started at an ominous pace with slow haunting piano and echoing vocals starting the album. I’ve never heard Raunchy tinker play with piano but it’s here and it’s shown at it’s best on “Warriors”. The vocals have returned untouched for better or worse. Kasper still display’s his raspy mid range growling technique for the most part. It might be lacking the aggression shown from many others but I always felt that it complimented Raunchy’s sound fair enough. Aside from growling, there is plenty of singing to be found. Jeppe once again lends his vocal talents to the group with his distortion laced vocals reminiscent of Burton C Bell and Bjorn “Speed Strid”. Unfortunately, the vocal patterns are just as predictable as Soilwork. Harsh verse to clean chorus, Raunchy let it know that they’re here to play heavy music that focuses more on filling the dance floor than attracting the prog wanking elitists. The guitar tone packs the traditional Gothenburg punch, with plenty of thrash and melodic death metal inspired riff patterns. Complete with mid tempo grooving and the timely placed melodies, the guitar work is more than acceptable but hope next time they could add in some solos and some other nooks and crannies to update their sound. Drumming is quick and precise, ranging from the blast beat ridden intro to ‘Straight To Hell” to the rock based “Somebody’s Watching Me”. Plenty of fast double bass complementing the fast riffing. Bass is unsurprisingly absent for a good part of the album. Toning your bass down is a safe move in metal but I happen to like metal bands taking their risks in their music.
One of my complaints for this album would be of that. Sure Raunchy have added some new things like piano and symphonic elements as well as experimenting with an 8 minute track as their closing song but all in all, it sounds like good old Raunchy for better or worse. They don’t really take many risks with their music. They’ve basically taken the same melodic death metal template and beat it once more. Although the new features to the album are great it’s not enough for this band to make a bigger name. However, Raunchy have released a quality record for their 15 year life span and fans of slickly produced melodic death metal ranging from Deadlock, Scar Symmetry, Soilwork, and Fear My Thoughts should find this enjoyable.
I take that quote from my favorite video game wizard, for playstation 2 and xbox. Basically they'res 6 games and multiple expansion packs. Your a chinese warrior and slice and dice thousands of warriors at once. Every game is the same with minor advances, like Raunchy. Play the game, it fuckin rules. 5 years now.
It rules perhaps the first time you play it, but in the end, it is a mindless excursion into human boredom and what people will do to convince themselves otherwise.
To put it into an even more relatable context, The Dynasty Warrior (and Samurai Legend) game series are more or less like every song off of Dragonforce's The Inhuman Rampage. There are slight variations, but they are all the same.
This Message Edited On 06.30.08
This cd is ok. They'll never top Confusion Bay though. The songs on that cd are heavy and extremely catchy and they had their original singer who is much better than this new guy. But this is their 4th cd not the 5th. They've released Velvet Noise, Confusion Bay, Death Pop Romance and than this one. I think they may have had a demo out before Velvet Noise.
I've been a Raunchy fan even before the author discovered the band. All I could say is, and with all due respect, WD is better than DPR. Kasper and the rest of the guys were still trying to find themselves in DPR. If you listen to that album closely, you will notice that some of the vocal parts sound too forced.
It's like Raunchy trying to find their way with a new vocalist and questioning themselves if they're going for a traditional melodic death approach or continue to remain disco. And that became a problem because DPR ended up sounding really awful!
ALL RAUNCHY ADDICTS know that the great Lars V is not a metalhead, and when the band got a new vocalist that had so much metal inside for their already pop metal riffing to take, the musical mishmash didn't blend well.
Thank God they woke up in time for WD. I'm not saying that it's the best Raunchy album. But it's better than DPR because it has bigger DISCO BALLS.