Today, I'm writing about Raljarn, a promising modern progressive djent metal project from Russia, and their latest EP album, "Inner Outer Self," released in 2022.
Raljarn - I, the Moon Guitar Playthrough (8 string post-metal)
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.
Raljarn, band graphicCredit: Unknown
However, I have to admit that the project is getting hurt by their instrumental side. Nowadays, many of us don't spend time listening to instrumental music, which makes building a fanbase more difficult. Although I found this album to be an unexpectedly pleasurable listen from start to finish, it's still a heavy and loud sounding music with long instrumental partitions.
Moreover, I'd like to share my feeling about the sound work. Although I'm convinced of Raljarn's musical concept and direction, I feel like they sound a bit too "home-studio-recording" at times. The tones are overly processed and produced, sitting at a crucial line separating real sounding from plastic.
Lastly, I found the album to be a bit too loud sounding in general. At times, the vocals accompanied the song so heavily that I couldn't hear what's happening clearly. I suggest getting a bit more headroom in the sound in general and trying what Rick Rubin suggested in a recent interview, "getting rid of everything that we can live without."
Raljarn, band graphicCredit: Unknown
In conclusion, "Inner Outer Self" is a fantastic album that I had a great time listening to. Promising modern progressive djent metal with Nordic vibes, heavy concept, powerful ambiance, complex compositions, and established post-modern sound work. Thank you for your time and attention, and I hope you enjoyed the review.
Raljarn - Inner Outer Self (2022) Album Front Cover ArtworkArt Credit: Unknown
"Three-track conceptual EP - shamanic prayers to celestial objects.We were not able to do the vocals for two tracks out of three, but still decided to release it." - Raljarn released January 6, 2023
Dan Mikhalchenko: Music, Guitar, Bass, LyricsArtem Sergeev: Vocals
Raljarn on the web
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