ALBUM NAME: ‘Citadel’
RELEASE DATE: October 2016
COUNTRY: South Africa
Vocals-Vincent van Niekerk
Bass- Paul Du Plesis
Drums- Lolke-Louis Claassen
Guitar- Doug Jenkinson
Guitar- Craig Borrill
Production: Engineered, mixed and mastered: Michael Kyriakou at Maximus Studio
Album art: Julian Fischer
Michael Kyriakou, Vici Maud, Nelius Nortje
Raptorbaby have released their latest album, Citadel, and it is here to take you, bend you over the counter and have its way with you, then send you on your merry way without you ever fully understanding what just happened.
According to a press release by the band, it was “Inspired by the journey of discovery experienced by the last man on earth, the album explores the tales and history encountered by the man in a grand library, referred to as the “Citadel”, in order to finally gain his ascension.”
Be ready to be taken down the rabbit hole with this one. Citadel draws you in and keeps you on the brink of insanity with its intricate balance of oppositions and guitars that can hang and dangle you over the edge and never let you go. Vincent’s vocals are not for the faint of heart or mind as he growls and then serenades us through each part of the journey and deals with some very interesting subject matter. The intriguing album art by Julian Fischer tops it all off.
One can tell that with each passing riff that every song has been carefully crafted. The album contains all the favourites such as Masters of Reality and Sleepers Awake (with guest vocals from Nelius Nortje) but with new elements and twists and dare I say, tops anything they’ve done before. The album is introduced very cleverly on the intro track Aperture, with its call for you to break free and its play on the title names. Resonance Cascade calls us to action with a speech originally by Howard Beale (Peter Finch) from the film Network (1976). Soul Matrix contains exquisite echoing between music and vocals, high pitched guitar squeals keep us on edge and then break into a soulful groove.
The guest vocals by Vici Maud on The Dancer add a pleasant contrast and depth. If I must find fault with something it would be with the electronic, warp-ey intro to The Arena, while it is obviously a conceptual decision, I would argue that it doesn’t really add to the song. However, the artful harmonising of guitars completely makes up for it soon enough. We then experience a complete shift in pace with Partikai which gives your mind the necessary break before the second half of the album makes it explode.
Throughout the album, one can get lost in the schizophrenia of dissonance and jarring time signatures that break out into jazzy interludes. This album is pure intellectual pornography with 50 shades of intense but it hurts so good.
*Just a side note on the overall production, perhaps the vocals could have been placed a bit more in the middle of the mix (like the salami in a sandwich) but it could just be down to personal taste (cough, excuse the pun).
Citadel is highly conceptual and must be listened to a few times to engage and unpack the layers. Are you going to find it and listen to it as a sample and decide you weren’t cut out for it? Maybe. But rather than cheat yourself out of the auditory journey, arm yourself with uncle Google and buy the damn thing. Then put it on repeat and emerge a better person.
‘Citadel’ is out tomorrow 5 October 2016
Raptorbaby are supporting their album release with a national tour, make sure you catch them at one of these dates!
06 October @ Mercury live, Cape Town with Red Tape Rebellion and Orchard
07 October @ The Rabbit Hole, Durbanville with Not My Pharaoh, Echoes Through Eternity and Beeldenstorm
08 October @ ROAR, Observatory for 18 Till I Die with Strident, Infanteria, Moment Of Clarity and more
21 October @ Sundowners, Alberton with Nerve Zero, Poverty Of Ideals and Hokum
22 October @ Shivas, Pretoria with Maximum Carnage and Bleeding Spawn
27 October @ Rumours Lounge, Weltevreden Park with PitVirus, Aimed At You and Poverty Of Ideals
29 October @ Wolmer with Riddlebreak, Boargazm, Post Humous, Spectral Realm and more
Reviewed by: Kanga-Roo (more from Roo)
Shots fired by: Jacques Schutte (more from Schutte)
Date: 4 October 2016
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