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Rating:
8.0
Rintrah - Salt Of The Earth
6 January 2014


01. World And Man
02. Dead Black Hearts
03. Like Suns
04. Moments Loss [feat. Mikey Allred]
05. The Dog Star
06. Circadia
07. Masters Of Our Fate
08. Salt Of The Earth
09. Separated


The term "stoner metal" always seemed to strike me as a bit ironic. When you're being a dirty hippie with that stuff that makes you hate America, one would at least assume you'd want something highly atmospheric and trippy to listen to, not necessarily pummeling, heavy riffage, as has become the technique typical of stoner metal these days. This year, however, Rintrah are following along the idea of making their stoner brand more psychedelic than usual, and they're executing the formula quite well.

The core of Salt Of The Earth is more or less your usual crunchy stoner metal, with groovy riffs focused on that "less is more" type of delivery: repetitive, but catchy, with the ability to lull the listener into a sort of loop that keeps their attention. However, many other influences outside of this style sneak themselves in here and there, sometimes subtly, and sometimes overtly, to create a very tasty recipe that's quite leveled out with all of its ingredients.

Rintrah's debut may ultimately boil down to a stoner metal album, but it also delicately flirts around with psychedelia, hard rock, and even some progressive elements here and there. The guitar leads, especially on "Dead Black Hearts," have a very atmospheric, minimalist approach that bears a pleasant similarity to classic acid rock. At other points such as on "Like Suns," both the guitar work and the vocals take a heavily bluesy direction, more in the vein of classic stoner rock than anything else. And further, still, for a large majority of the album the vocals maintain a strong, prog-esque type of sound (very much like that of recent Mastodon), with similar rhythm patterns to accompany ("Circadia"). One of the true beauties of Salt Of The Earth is the fact that no track really crams all of these techniques in all at once, and there's a good sense of each having a different sound from the other, despite maintaining a common core.

It seems as though lately within metal as a whole, one of the key makers of a good album has been a band's ability to stick to a foundational sound while trying out some other (perhaps unexpected) influences to build upon it and make said sound their own. Rintrah are taking to this concept with full force with their debut album, and its variety of sound gives it a very "something for everyone" type of approach. Whether you prefer the heavier, groovy approach of stoner metal, the relaxed, dreamlike vibes of psychedelia, or the off-beat rhythms of prog, you'll more than likely enjoy it, and although the album certainly isn't mindblowing, it's definitely a great start for these American newcomers to follow up on.

Give it a spin!

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 8


Band profile: Rintrah
Album: Salt Of The Earth


 



Written on 15.05.2014 by
Apothecary
Your friend the witch doctor.
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tea[m]ster - 18.05.2014 at 19:14  
Good choice for a review. Underrated album. You make a great point about their being hints of progressive metal in the music - listeners have to listen carefully Nice job!
Apothecary - 18.05.2014 at 19:54  
Written by tea[m]ster on 18.05.2014 at 19:14

You make a great point about their being hints of progressive metal in the music - listeners have to listen carefully Nice job!

Thanks man. That might've been the selling point for me, which is strange, because I don't typically listen to a lot of prog metal. But I do like it when it's fused into other subgenres, and here is a fine example.

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