Raptor School - Geiger Counter
Garage Rock, Math Rock, Progressive Rock, Noise Rock, Symphonic Rock and now um Bizarre Big Rock? That’s the self appointed genre that Raptor School decided to label themselves. If this term is confusing to you I would just replace it with 80’s thrash metal. In the vein of Iron Maiden and Manowar this music seems like it formed a couple of decades too late. Full finger tapping Eddie Van Halen inspired solos, shrill heavy metal distortion and that metal voice that they just nailed should have people who enjoy 80’s metal pretty geeked. Raptor School’s latest album entitled Geiger Counter contains 12 tracks that trudge through songs that would be the perfect opening for Spinal Tap. This isn't hair metal. It’s metal that isn't afraid to sing about Stonehenge and Vikings. The songs are often humorous, have guitar solos that last way too long and double bass drums (why not – right?). This surely isn't everyone’s cup of tea but there is an audience out there who will dig this stuff and I think these guys have enough decent songs that they could reel them in. The main issue I have with the recordings is that they don't have any meat on them. The recordings are good but not great and often lack the energy, clarity, and little nuances that separate a professional sounding record from a DIY project. Besides the improvement of the recording there isn't a whole lot that needs to be improved providing that fact that you are into 80’s metal bands that prefer talking about Norse mythology and the cosmos rather than their hot teacher.
Before the music starts there is an intro called “The Spiders From Lake Michigan.” We are presented with people screaming as an army dude and some other dude are talking about spiders that are swarming the population. It is a pretty hilarious, low budget attempt at introducing us to some of the sludgiest metal this side of Samson. The first song entitled “While I Look Around” provides you with enough information as to whether or not you will like the rest of the album. The music has an onslaught of heavy guitars, drumming with enough fills to make your head spin and steady bass work that holds it in place. The guitar solos are about as substantial as articles in People Magazine but they are also just as fun. The heavy riffs continue on “Redefine” which contains the lyrics “don't let fear inside your soul throw that feeling out.” The song hides behind distortion but what he is saying feels more like a motivational speech. It an unusual topic for metal but I have to say I wasn't opposed to the words of encouragement. ”New Life” shows the band rocking out pretty hard on this instrumental track while “When The Star Burns Out” contains some of the hardest riffs and have lyrics that would make Neil Degrasse Tyson proud.
I like this band. I think they are part of a dying breed that doesn't sound particularly relevant but I have to give them credit for doing what they love. Geiger Counter contains a number of solid songs that fans of metal should check out.
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