THE RETICENT – The Oubliette – Review english
Forget and be forgotten
It is admirable how bands still succeed in surprising me. With „The Oubliette“ by THE RETICENT (homepage) it really has also to do with the theme that is dealt with on the album. It is a topic I would never expected in a musical context, although it is indeed omnipresent and my family was also affected in the past. Chris Hathcock has turned to the hard topic of ALZHEIMER’s disease and dedicated an entire album to it. It is a cruel disease that gradually causes the soul of a person to die a cruel death, as the disease slowly swallows everything that ultimately makes him up; his memories and thus his personality. Chris Hathcock builds up the album in the form of a narrative, which sketches the course of the illness using the example of a person named Henry.
An ambitious PROG-METAL-EPOS
THE RETICENT (FaceBook) offer a progressive epic involving everything from rock to metal. The album is an inexhaustible source of audible impressions, which have an insane complexity. It is truly no easy fare, neither thematically nor musically. The listener is taken on an incredibly intense journey, which emotionally demands everything from you, but also offers a lot.
„Stage 1: His name is Henry.“ still starts quite chilly and calm, but that changes pretty soon. The song becomes more restless and the guitars provide for restless parts change with very harmonic chilly phases. It even gets a little funky with a nice Hammond organ. It swings really well and has a damn good drive. But at some point the mood changes and the song falls into a violent black metal part. Hard riffing, driving drums and crass screams rush into the listener, followed by a crazy guitar solo. Absolutely first class.
„Stage 2: The Captive“
was visually staged with an impressive video. The song itself will put you on a rollercoaster of emotions. Rarely heard something so brilliant. The track starts with a cool drum solo. What follows is hard to describe. From Death-Metal to a fantastic instrumental saxophone part with afterwards soulful clean vocals (and it doesn’t end there) you’ll get a crazy mixture of sounds. Thematically the song is about Henry not being aware of his illness and thinking that he was wrongfully imprisoned. He is convinced that his wife is kept away from him. It is a song between anger, frustration and despair. Convince yourself with the following video:
Nightmare and salvation
„Stage 3: The Palliative Breath“ continues the album in a rocky melodic way.
„Stage 4: The Dream“ starts up very calm and smooth and increases in intensity. Towards the end it becomes rocky and dynamic with an impressive guitar solo finale.
Afterwards follows with „Stage 5: The Nightmare“ again a song which is an absolute highlight for me. In keeping with the title, the song plays in the tougher league again. After a short confused introduction it breaks out brutally and amazes with a short but powerful use of a wind ensemble. In the course the hard nightmarish sequences alternate with melodic sections. The 12 minutes are an epic realisation of the really freaking nightmare.
„Stage 6: The Oubliette“ as the title song heads towards the end. One moves in calmer waters. A thoughtful atmosphere is created, whereby the very soulful singing evokes impressively sad fearful emotions. This will leave no one unimpressed. It is the phase when Henry realises that he is trapped in his own body without the prospect of escape. He becomes aware that there is only one way to salvation.
At the end with „Stage 7: ______“ the only possible salvation is waiting in the form of death, implemented by a pure instrumental track with spherical sounds that create an almost conciliatory mood.
It is not an easy listening album! Neither of the theme nor of the musical interpretation. It is a very demanding intensive journey with many emotions. In any case, the album does not pass the listener without leaving a trace. I find it incredibly courageous to tackle such a topic at all. For fans of progressive metal it is definitely a must. The musical quality is absolutely beyond any doubt. THE RETICENT has an enormous range that obviously knows no boundaries. That is breathtaking. Especially when you consider that Chris Hathcock recorded almost all instruments alone in the studio. Only James Nelson has been a supporter during the studio recordings with his fantastic guitar solos. For live gigs Chris Hathcock has of course other supporters like you can see on the bandphoto. You can be curious what will happen in the future. Check it out!
Statement by Chris Hathcock:
“As with my previous album, I hope that ‘The Oubliette’ will provide listeners with a rich and emotionally challenging audio experience. This is undoubtedly the most ambitious record The Reticent has attempted to date. The hope is that listeners will be personally affected by the music on a deep level and that it may draw some attention to a disease that is frighteningly prominent but frequently poorly understood. There will be moments that are soothing and there will be moments that are overwhelming. The story I have to tell is not a happy one but it is an important one – and it is often through the pain that we find the most profound reflection and calls to action.”Pressematerial über ASHER MEDIA SOLUTIONS
There’s a lot to discover…
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- MH-Bewertung 9 v. 10: Feuer-Ronald Plett /Daumen hoch-Clker-Free-Vector-Images--Both at pixabay
- The Reticent-Cover+Infos: THE RETICENT Cover "The Oubliette" + Infos über ASHER MEDIA SOLUTIONS
- Bandfoto skaliert: THE RETICENT Bandfoto über ASHER MEDIA SOLUTIONS