Review Summary: The Naturally Dissociative Sounds of a Sociopath
While Rainbow Bridge 2
clearly doesn't take itself seriously, it's not exactly a joke either. Sematary
hasn't deviated from his trademark sound since Grave House, his joint debut with Ghost Mountain in 2019. Since then he has released two albums titled Rainbow Bridge, and he has another EP on the way. Just like his persistent songwriting, this album goes hard and doesn't look back. It breaches the aggressive extremes of black metal and hip hop, while not fully encompassing either one. Though leaning heavily toward the horrorcore subgenre of hip hop, this genre balancing act is between two distinct scenes. So it forcibly fuses itself together like a jet pack tied to a tortoise
At first it's a lot to take in: heavy hip hop beats with extra hi-hat, the intermittent blast beats and tremelo picking of classic black metal, and some of the most uniquely abrasive vocals ever produced. The vocals for the entirety of the album are sung at the breaking point of Sematary
's low range, which he polishes up by layering it from multiple takes, and throwing it through a wobbling auto-tune. It's what I would imagine to hear if Berried Alive
was overdosing on tranquilizers and holding back a belch
. These vocals and hi-hats drown out all melody and guitar in the mixing, because those aren't essential to the overall theme. The result is predictably jarring, but it's in a controlled, "fun" way. The songs never step away from themselves, and the sound seems fully intentional.
The album advances themes from the previous releases, including Skellingtons (which I think he uses to reference either friends or fans), anti-authority, ultra-violence, The Grave Man (who I think is just an undertaker), box cutters, and energy drinks. It's actually really impressive how well he includes all the themes consistently without recycling lyrics. It fleshes out a strong persona, nodding to the fans of Sematary
's past works, and presents its own intriguing subculture
. However, the lyrics are graphically extreme, and may be a hindrance to bringing the fan base together, in a community sense, like Insane Clown Posse
's infamous juggalos.
In a line from the song "Red Mist," Sematary
conveys psychopathic thought patterns, through instances of violence. "All I know is that red mist, Oh I can’t feel a thing, bitch I'm tweakin', All I know is that red mist, I'ma cave your skull in over nothing." It's typical for Sematary
to display the horrors of human behavior without censorship, and to articulate them through traditional hip-hop syntax. Brutal imagery is the rule, not the exception, on Rainbow Bridge 2
Where the album really struggles, though, is in its lack of variety
. His previous efforts explored more experimentation, presenting us with singing, synthesizers, screams, forefront guitar riffs, and beats that weren't as obviously copied and pasted. Replace that bit of originality with song samples, and now you've got RB2. The louder black metal samples at the beginning and the end of tracks are the only breaks in the monotony, besides the guest vocalists. But even Ghost Mountain
, and Slug Christ
can't escape the warbled auto-tunage, and they too fall into the black and white rainbow abyss.
While black metal and horrorcore are effortlessly and haphazardly blended in a successful way here, Sematary
still only exists as an example of how to expertly make music sound incompatible with itself.
Trve Score: 2.2
Genre: Hip Hop/Black Metal/Horrorcore
Youtube: "Funeral" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TK_mu4u_M4E