Red Cain hail from Alberta, Canada, but you would be forgiven for thinking that they were born of European soil due to their eloquent take on the metal genre. Their style fits somewhere between gothic soundscapes and grandiose metal, which is displayed to great effect across these 4 tracks, weaving fantastical storytelling with the twin lead stylings of band’s like Symphony X and Blind Guardian.
We begin with Guillotine, which opens with gentle acoustics and rising orchestrals, building to a seismic industrial chug. The guitars are front and centre with vocalist Evgeniy Zayarny swaying between powerful mid range and Type O Negative-like low tones. Things slow to a funereal, string-led pace mid-song, before bursting into fiery leads from guitarists Allan Chuley and Brendan Doll. Second track Dead Aeon Requiem dares to be as impressive as its title, starting with Depeche Mode-like introspection and suddenly unleashing an assortment of jagged riffs. It comes complete with an earworm of a chorus, combining the poetic lyrics of Zayarny with hooky synths to majestic perfection. Samuel Royce’s drums are dominant here too, sounding roomy and spacious, but delivering metallic battery when it is called for and supporting the expansive sound of his bandmates with ease.
What separates Red Cain from similar acts are the moments of fusion and pooling of influences, with single Hiraeth‘s funky, overdriven bassline coming across like a demonic Primus. The song quickly returns to a familiar epic sound though, with intricate guitar lines and yet another anthemic chorus showcasing the band’s knack for memorable melodies. EP ender Unborn stirs with dormant malevolence before erupting into an electronica led assault. It’s sinister riffs lead the charge before the band build to a dramatic climax, reminiscent of Paradise Lost at their doomy best.
This is an excellent first release for a band who have clearly worked hard and put so much passion into what they do. On their debut EP, Red Cain establish themselves, not only as a promising act within their musical category, but one capable of bringing in new ideas to freshen the palate of their genre.
Red Cain is out November 25th.