9/10

I love sayings, don´t you? Who doesn´t love the old chestnuts like “Better a sh*t Fortress of Solitude in Lego than a solitude sh*t in a Lego Fortress”? I mean, how often haven´t we said things like “It´s better to have than to hold a purpendicular gaze upon a wooden coffin´s wormhole”? Every other thursday, at least! My favorite however is: “when it rains, it pours” and that is what has been happening in the world of progressive rock and metal this year. One after the other they have been lining up, every month we´ve seen the release of excellent records coming to an audience that hunger for music more than they have in a long time. The current C-19 predicament with isolation and keeping a distance takes a toll on many and the escape that good music can provide is a true godsend. And this album will be cherished, of that I am certain.

RAIN is a four piece band from the U.K consisting of Rob Groucutt (vocals, keyboards and guitars), Andy Edwards (drums, ex-IQ, Frost), John Jowitt (vocals and bass, ex-ARK, Arena, IQ, Jadis and Frost) and Mirron (vocals and guitars). While it is a safe bet to place the band in the neo-prog field it is astoundingly original, I must say. I´d even go as far as to claim that I have never heard a band that sounds just like Rain. Fresh would be the most appropriate synonym, I guess.

So instead of trying to come up with just who they resemble and name drop everyone under the sun (IQ, Arena, Pendragon, Steven Wilson, Opeth, Flying Colors, Lonely Robot, Jadis, Frost, It Bites, Spock´s Beard, Pallas etc) the word of the day is, indeed; fresh. All the while walking on known territory, Rain´s footprints differ from those that have already left their inprints on this hallowed prog-ground. And it is just a thing of beauty.

Swathes of keyboards sweeps the listeners away along with torrents of counterpart harmonised vocals as the syncopated rhythms of Edwards and Jowitt keep the listeners on their feet, laying the groundwork for the inspired guitar playing that accentuate the creative arrangements and clever lyrics. Songs like the epic “Walkaway” takes us on a musical journey that hits that almost perfect balance between adventurous musicianship and knowing winks to the much loved past of 1970s prog. 

This is an album that fills me with joy. It´s bigger than the sum of its parts and proves once again that the dinosaur that is progressive rock still roars like an ill tempered T-rex. This genre´s still got what it takes and Rain is in the forefront of the up and coming bands. Without a doubt one of the finest albums of 2020 and a serious contender for album of the year. Well done, lads, well done!

Artist: Rain
Title: Singularity
Label: Giant Electric Pea
Playing Time: 49 minutes
Date of release: 2020-11-23
Rating: 9/10
Place of origin: UK
Standout tracks: Walkaway, Singularity, Devils Will Reign

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