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rhombus herebedragons
Artist: Rhombus
Title: Here Be Dragons
Genre: Gothic Rock
Release Date: 5th July 2013
Label: Pledge Music


Album Review

Formed in 2002, UK band RHOMBUS have released two albums, several EP’s and gained a well-earned reputation as a formidable live band. Album number three, ‘Here Be Dragons’, has been three years in the making, and meticulous attention to detail is clear throughout its eleven tracks. A gentle intro soon melts into the surging guitar of ‘Fallout’, a song that begins messily, male and female vocals shuffling about and trying to get settled. But when they do, once the explosive chorus kicks in, they work together wonderfully, Mya’s strong rock vocal a successful foil to the earnest rumble of Ed Grassby. And this twin-vocal assault is one of the keys to success in the world of Rhombus. As is variation. The traditional driving gothic rock that is their trademark benefits from some unexpected keyboard dynamics, as on ‘Staying Under’, a song so heavy with melody it’s a miracle it doesn’t topple over.

And on the title track, there’s a spooky, sampled opening, followed by the voice of Mya drifting in and out, before the beefy guitars propel this into the ocean like some deranged sea-shanty. A strong vocal from Mr Grassby, a man who sounds like he could make a take-away menu sound dramatic, makes this a real winner. A busy, but never fussy, song. Rhombus always sound in a hurry, but in a good way. Songs are layered, constructed, creatively built and added to, the goal always in sight. Occasionally the rock is slightly clunky. ‘Turn Around’ would benefit from less guitar perhaps, and there’s something not totally engaging about ‘The One Thing’. It’s the only one here that feels a bit cobbled together and pedestrian. Small gripes though. And all is forgiven anyway when ‘What You Wanted’ gets under your skin. A creeping, curling opening gives way to another fine melody, this one brooding and patient, slightly sinister. But it gets better. There’s a huge cavernous chorus, belted out by a choir of voices, violins sweeping around the edges, the feeling of something epic going on. It’s a fabulous song, and throwing everything into it has clearly paid off.

Piano and voice intro and marching-band drums get ‘Tomorrows Yesterday’ off to a flying start, and some nicely shimmering Goth guitar characterises ‘Timeless And Elegant’. The album closes with the sound of an orchestra tuning before an upbeat shuffle of a song sits itself upright and throws its melody right at you. Called ‘Made To Last’, one suspects this is very fitting for Rhombus. They know what they are good at. Strong, memorable melodies, solid song-writing, and a playful sense that despite the sombre gothic overtones, they are at heart, a damn good rock band, and one that will never take itself too seriously. ‘Here Be Dragons’ then, is a fine record. If it takes another three years for the follow-up, it’ll surely be worth the wait. Maybe just hurry it up a little bit though, eh?


Tracklist

01. T’Intro
02. Fallout
03. Staying Under
04. Here Be Dragons
05. Turn Around
06. What You Wanted
07. The One Thing
08. Lifeline
09. Tomorrows Yesterday
10. Timeless And Elegant
11. Made To Last


Line-up

Edward Grassby – Vocals, Bass, Programming
Rob Walker – Guitars, Keyboards
Mya – Vocals
Ian FTG – Guitars, Vocals
Guest musicians – Ed Wolstenholme, Lee Talbot, Claire Tomlinson


Website

https://www.facebook.com/rhombus.uk / http://www.rhombus.org.uk


Cover Picture

rhombus herebedragons artwork


Rating

Music: 8
Sound: 8
Total: 8 / 10





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