Unleashing their presence to a wider audience with the release of debut album I See, I Say, I Hear, Italian metallers Rage of South show themselves to be a highly enthralling proposition with the potential to make major inroads into the metal scene with their fiery creative sound. Merging the voracity of thrash metal with the inventive twists and nuances of nu-metal, with plenty more flavouring the brew, the Sciacca quartet captivate the imagination from the first minute of their full-length to its dramatic last. Arguably the band does not really create anything powerfully new for ears though their songs twist and challenge more often than not in a fresh and vigorously provocative way which sets band and certainly the album out from the crowd.
Formed in 2006, Rage of South consists of Tano (vocals/ guitar), Leo (guitar/chorus), Salas (drum), and Smoke (bass/ chorus) and emerged from the Read Only Memory project, a cover band in the early part of the last decade. Turning to work on their own original music alone, the members released their first EP South before changing their sound and intent into a new direction, the moment when Rage of South stepped forward. The release of I See, I Say, I Hear follows a successful year in 2013 which saw the band play the Rock Metal Fest in Taranto, chosen as one of five from 140 emerging bands across Europe. Signing with Red Cat Records for the release of their album, Rage of South looks like making this year just as potent and successful, the release’s strengths and exciting presence holding all the promise to break into a wider, stronger attention.
From the short provocative Intro, the band instantly takes a grip with Sheep as thumping rhythms, gruelling riffs, and antagonistic energy unleash their compelling suasion on the senses. Vocally too the song provokes and incites with craft and passion, their coaxing as impressive as the rigorous and aggressively inventive sounds around them. The song lurches and stomps from start to finish, sinews barracking and nostrils flaring as the intensively driven nu and groove metal fusion violates on a thrash bred urgency whilst sonic enterprise wraps its toxic tendrils excitingly around the whole things.
The immediately punchy Silence continues the impressive start, riffs and grooves again casting a contagious impacting mesh which rhythms and bass intimidate and darken respectively. As with the first song essences of bands like Korn whisper loudly within the tempestuous brawl of sound and animosity but with the rhythms rampaging at certain times with bestial intensity and guitars matching their predacious fury, the track is a constant exhilarating predator, an enthralling encounter matched by the following Prayer. Unveiling an acidic web of guitar to cage attention the song reveals itself a less forceful encounter, passing through captivating melodic scenery with similarly reflective and emotive vocals. It still involves rigid rhythms and rapacious colouring from the guitars and bass but with a pleasing sonic skill and imagination from Leo it is a different kind of an absorbing encounter.
Both Stay Down and That Fear About Me keep thoughts and appetite enslaved, the first though not as striking as the previous songs providing a constantly shifting and persuasive landscape of thought and creative incitement whilst the second almost preys on the listener, prowling and taunting ears and psyche with roving rhythms and entwining sonic endeavour within a caustic and pleasingly raw bluster. Again the song is in the shade of those first few songs but still adds more to the potency and promise of album and band, as does the harder lipped Reflection with its seemingly irritable rhythms and blazing riffery, complemented by just as assertive vocals. The song borders on belligerent as it holds ears and satisfaction in its rewarding hands, scolding and seducing with impressive design.
The wonderfully niggling groove and spite of The Falling Down brings the return of the very lofty heights of the album, the guitars sculpting a corrosive net of sonic animosity aligned to punishing rhythms to which the band’s imagination brings its own excitingly textured ideation. The song is a bewitching protagonist revealing more of the undeniable promise of the inventive band.
Theme of Juliet provides a rigorous melodically bred slice of accomplished and vivacious multi-flavoured metal before the opening groaning riffery of Let Me Die takes over to forge another major pinnacle upon I See, I Say, I Hear. Instantly the guitars are grinding their toxicity into the senses, swiftly raising new hunger in the appetite as its narrative emerges whilst rhythms add their distinct weight to the persuasion alongside a heavy throated bass line. It is the nagging intrusive grooves though which steal the show, their toxins permeating every synapse and thought to ultimately seduce the passions for the best moment on the album.
Closing with the mutually outstanding Approved, another track scything through the senses with sharp infection soaked grooves and unpredictable invention, the album ends on a massive high equal to the way it started. Certainly there is more to come from and more for Rage of South to find to truly become a distinctly unique prospect but as proven by the immensely enjoyable I See, I Say, I Hear, they are well on the way.
I See, I Say, I Hear is available via Red Cat Records now!
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