Rain - Headshaker review

Band: Rain
Album: Headshaker
Release date: 2003

01. Headshaker
02. Rocker Ram
03. Wings
04. Face The Blizzard
05. Viking
06. Blood Sport
07. Yellow Putrefaction
08. Energy
09. Only Your Dreams
10. Serial Killer
11. Only For The Rain Crew

Founded in 1980, the Heavy Metal/Melodic Hard Rock band Rain from Italy has taken some time to find their identity. At first created as a punk-metal band, the band changed direction at the end of 1981 and chose to play Heavy Metal. After numerous line-up changes and an obvious lack of luck but great perseverance, the band released two demos [1984's "Bad Situation" and 1986's "The Rain Is Coming"] and four full-length albums [1990's "Ten Years After", 1994's "Red Revolution", 2000's "Bigditch 4707" and this one, 2003's "Headshaker"] in their 24 years of existence.

Today's line-up consists of frontman and founder Luciano "Lucio" Tattini [guitars, backing vocals], Gianni "Gino" Zenari [bass, backing vocals], Alessandro "Tronco" Tronconi [vocals], Andrea "Mario" Baldi [drums], and Alessio "Amos" Amorati [guitars, backing vocals] Their latest album "Headshaker" features some excellent Heavy Metal/Hard Rock moments.

"Headshaker" is composed of 11 tracks, the average length of the songs is around 4 minutes for a total running time of 44 minutes.

The title track is a great opener, heavy [courtesy of both guitars and the excellent Heavy voice of Tronco] and very catchy due to massive backing vocals and a great theme melody.

'Rocker Rain' really confirms that the Rain lead singer rules and the entire band does too. This song is, in my opinion, better than the first one and even more appealing to Metalheads with a True Metal background [Manowar and the like].

'Wings' showcases once again Alessandro "Tronco" Tronconi at his best. But unlike the two previous songs, 'Wings' heads a bit more towards Power Metal a la Rhapsody without loosing Rain's Heavy Metal identity. An excellent track also due to the huge guitar work displayed by Luciano "Lucio" Tattini.

'Face The Blizzard' is the longest composition on "Headshaker" and carries on with this Heavy Power Metal feel that makes the previous track excellent and makes this one even better. If the backing vocals are somewhat similar to Grave Digger's, style-wise, the lead vocals are still hard to categorize, somewhere between Ralf Zdiarstek [Avantasia] and Rob Halford [Judas Priest/Halford]. Guitar solos are everywhere in this song and turn 'Face The Blizzard' into the best song so far.

The tribal voices on the beginning of 'Viking' are surprising but they melt into the style quite easily. For a change, this composition is relatively slow-paced but still remains very heavy and the vocals are still prodigious.

The beginning of 'Blood Sport' is really cool, a scream a la Judas Priest followed by a heavy riff that rocks the song all the way through. Huge backing vocals, magnificent guitar lines, a strong and fast rhythm -- no doubt about it, it's THE song of "Headshaker". This one is an absolute "must-listen"!

Very surprisingly, 'Yellow Putrefaction' is a blues rock/hard rock ballad and it's kind of amusing to hear these words during the chorus laid on a bluesy melody. I really enjoy it, even though the excellent Heavy boost of the 'Blood Sport' could have been extended to another track with no problem. But hell, 'Yellow Putrefaction' is also something good and rare.

The Heavy boost I've mentioned just a few lines above is continued on 'Energy' with the same components as on 'Blood Sport.' This one sounds like a very good song to finish any live performance.

'Only Your Dreams' falls in the same category of pure heaviness [to my delight] but is bringing back some Power Metal elements, although with success and as a consequence, this track is another important moment on "Headshaker". It's almost like Judas Priest meets Freedom Call.

'Serial Killer' is pure Heavy Metal and the song is once again kept very alive by good and catchy vocals while the second part of the composition features quite experimental guitar lines. The whole thing is very refreshing and in the end 'Serial Killer' is also one of the highlights on the record.

'Only For The Rain Crew' is a hard rock tribute to the band's own crew and is another odd song [along with 'Yellow Putrefaction'] that rocks and brings diversity to Rain's music.

"Headshaker" is a very good album with moments of total heaviness and moments of originality. Overall, excellent vocals, extremely catchy riffs, and well-rounded compositions such as 'Blood Sport', 'Face The Blizzard', 'Rocker Rain', Wings,' and 'Only Your Dreams' make the album very precious and should appeal to a wide range of metal fans. So rush to their website and get your heaviness prescription delivered right to your door now because, hell, you want it, you need it and "Headshaker" deserves it.

Written by Emalaith | 09.03.2004


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

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