Review Summary: Raayl has come a long way from the forgotten Punishment [EP] (2008) industrial rock posting on the sputnik forums. With Colorless, Raayl has extended their way into the Progressive Metal category and an adopted Djent sound - with great effect.
In 2008, Raayl was posted on Sputnik community with a small little thread. It only went on a couple pages, but a few were impressed with the lost underground experimental Industrial Rock album. Long since forgotten, and long since in hiding, Raayl has finally come back to the picture - ever so slightly. Releasing an EP and LP in 2012, The Sprawl and The Cybernetic respectively, Raayl has actually gone much farther to move his sound into the Progressive Metal, Djent sound. While Djent is certainly a strange trend, that started with the likes of Meshuggah
, Raayl takes the sound to a more melodic forefront as with many bands since the fad has started.
This is different, however. Colorless is a completely instrumental album without being overly complex and feeling like a showoff as with Animals As Leaders. The first track, Bright Lattices of Logic Unfolding, hits the listener with a heavy Djent riff, reminiscent of TesseracT
but with quite a bit more spunk. The song then takes you through a melodic snowball effect, both hitting you with remarking beauty and a ferocious flow, something a lot of Djent bands lose in their efforts to produce a new and meaningful version, which is mostly a regression instead of a progress. The second track of the album, A Consensual Hallucination, starts off with a nice mixture of melody and an increasing progression, and Raayl gives a little nod to a Fear Factory influence with a fast, precise drum-rhythm guitar structure that one should expect.
However, Raayl tries to stray itself away from the rest of the Djent pack, introducing many sounds which many Djent projects try to hit, but lose themselves once the vocalist tries to get their out of place touch over the music. Due to the strict instrumental only album, Raayl gets to create an atmosphere that isn't lost within the hardcore and metalcore mainstream lines usually found within the modernized Djent sound. Raayl also continues to nod more towards Fear Factory throughout the album, creating complex patterns in the Djent sound without the simple cookie-cutter, and rather plain riffage.
This album isn't without its downfalls, however. While Raayl remains true to the use of a drum machine, and it certainly fits the music very well, it is quite obvious that with the complex patterns, and utterly ferocious kick drum, that this is a drum machine that hasn't been tampered much with. It's not something that overwhelms the album, as the listener will likely find themselves getting lost in the beautiful progressions and harmonies that this album has to offer. Including, but not limited to, the great bass performance that most songs completely muddle out; yet a bass performance that stands out when it's needed - and shines in simplicity.