The color of rain is of course purple. We’ve known that since Prince moaned about it in a song in 1984. But Prince is dead and the Dutch extreme metal scene is very well alive. Musicians climb over each other to hop from one band to another project and The Color of Rain is the latest example of this. This company emerged from Zwotte Kring: a small collective of underground musicians who found each other in a preference for usually blackened (post-) metal. That is why we now find: Floris Velthuis (bass, drums and keys) from Asgrauw, Schavot, Meslamtaea and Sagenland and singer Devi Hisgen (Cthuluminati, Teitan). However, the spiritual father of The Color of Rain is Gerhans Meulenbeld (Sad State of Decay, ex-Incission, ex-As Empires Fall), who as the guitarist is responsible for both the music and lyrics.
The Color of Rain has its origins in the corona pandemic, when life once again proved to be fragile and meaningless. This feeling of insignificance inspired Meulenbeld for a new project. As a growing contempt for humanity and its ridiculous attempts to understand everything developed, his desire to create was fueled. Using his broad love for different metal styles, The Color Of Rain quickly became an exciting combination of atmospheric black metal and technical death with progressive passages. This is the biography provided by the Void Wanderer Productions label, which is also closely associated with Zwotte Kring.
The variety of metal styles is already reflected in the first minute of opener Cult of the Cosmic Flood. We start off nice and calm when Hisgen joins in and slowly but surely starts to roar like a maniac, accompanied by both fast black metal and more traditional, melodic sounds. Then we fall back into sudden calm and casually rev up the throttle again, with influences from both (progressive) death and prog metal being heard across the board.
The trick of alternating between calm and ferocious parts within a song is as old as this century and fits completely within the genre of post-black metal in which we can place The Color of Rain, but Meulenbeld and his comrades execute it astonishingly well. Thanks to a lot of whispering, the slow parts sound almost eerily calm and ominous and are followed perfectly by the fast parts in which Hisgen growls, screams and screams himself to a particularly impressive performance. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, the howler places himself in the Premier League of Dutch extreme singers with his work on this album, which slowly grows into a gem as it continues. Halfway through Guiding Lights to Eden I catch myself checking how many songs we still get because I am far from finished with The Color of Rain.
On Oceans Above, the band’s signature is clearly recognizable under every song. They all clock a similar time of around five minutes and not one really stands out or stands out (unless it is the fantastic Pillars of Creation in which Hisgen seems to shout out all the suffering in the world). With lesser musicians, such an observation would be enough to ignore the record and advise them to practice again first. But in The Color of Rain only good musicians play and they actually please the listener. It results in an album without weaknesses that guarantees hours and hours of wonderful eargasms. An album that is correct from start to finish and offers plenty of variation for those who want to hear it. Because of course you have to make an effort for Oceans Above. It is not an easy task, this equally beautiful and depressing walk through the mind of Meulenbeld. However, the enthusiast knows what to do with this and will judge it as an unprecedentedly beautiful record from Dutch soil. The enthusiast responsible for this piece has already expressed his assessment in a figure:
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