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Rustfield - 'Kingdom Of Rust' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/7b/7f/bc/rustfield-kingdom-of-rust-38-1403807020.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     June 26, 2014    
 
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An interesting and challenging debut album from Italian band Rustfield.

'Kingdom of Rust' is an interesting and challenging debut album from Italian band Rustfield. It's "interesting" because it blends a range of disparate Progressive Rock and Heavy Metal styles in a thoughtful and highly competent manner. It's "challenging" because while most of the tracks are impressive when listened to individually or in bite sized chunks, collectively they produce a sense of relentless and overwhelming gloom that makes it hard to digest and enjoy in one sitting.

The first two tracks, 'Among The Fields Of Rust' and 'Waxhopes', effectively establish the band's Prog Metal credentials. The former sets the dark and heavily melancholic tone for the whole album, while the latter is more aggressive and abrasive.

Throughout, 'Kingdom...' scores highly on atmospherics, though (despite the blend of sounds and styles) it does have a tendency to become a little samey ('Losing Time' and 'Love Moan', for example, hardly trouble the scorers). That's fine if you like the vibe (gloom), but it holds less appeal if you don't. 'Sacrifice' and 'The Secret Garden' continue in much the same vein, veering towards the kind of angst-ridden Modern Prog that, to be frank, other bands do better.

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However, there are also many positives here. 'Burning The Air' is simultaneously moody and rousing and features some unexpected electronic sounds amid heavy riffing. Vocalist Andrea Rampa really goes for it, and that's always nice to hear. I also enjoyed the 'Social Contract', a more powerful and, perhaps, more unique sounding track. 'Run With Me' ups the ante in the Melodic Metal stakes, with angry, grating guitar, some fabulous drumming and a strained and emotional vocal performance.

The album ends strongly with its two longest tracks (not that length is everything, of course). 'Out Of The Blue' finally, in parts at least, makes something beautiful of the excessive melancholy and features some lovely guitar work. 'High Waters', which clocks in at over ten minutes, opens with some curious sound effects and some warm synthesiser but builds nicely to blend Prog and Metal influences perfectly. For me it's probably the best track on the album.

Overall then, a promising debut, but one with the potential to grind you down a bit if you're not in the mood. Did I mention that it's a bit gloomy? I guess some people like that kind of thing.

Michael Anthony

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