Raljarn has been sitting in my personal library for many years, and their new material continues to impress me. “Inner Outer Self” is no exception. Although I don’t usually listen to modern djent metal, this album stood out to me, and I even named it one of our Strongly Recommended Metal, especially after listening to the last track, “I, the Stars.”
The album features Raljarn’s signature concept, with great visual and conceptual consistency since their debut album. Their musical concept blends instrumental, modern, progressive, post, and djent metal, creating a fantastic combination with Nordic vibes and long, dynamic, and complex compositions.
The opening track features a characteristic vocalist, Artem Sergeev, which is one of two forms of Raljarn, as they usually prefer writing instrumental music led by guitars. While Artem’s contribution makes the musical concept clearer, it also adds potential and mainstream value. His powerful attitude, great English pronunciation, and vocal tone and style reminded me of Jonathan Davis of Korn in a positive way. In fact, the entire project belongs to a one-man orchestra, Dan Mikhalchenko, who deserves much respect for creating the Raljarn empire alone from scratch.
The sound work maintains the Raljarn character from previous releases, with a more balanced and clearer sound for the most part. The album sounds great, with a heavily processed metal guitar sound and only post-modern influences in its origins. Raljarn has also been consistent with the direction of their sound design, pushing boundaries in the modern metal zone.