Review: RED CAIN “Kindred: Act I” [Sliptrick records]

Review: RED CAIN “Kindred: Act I” [Sliptrick records]

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The young Canadian band Red Cain has released its debut album “Kindred: Act I” in 2019, but after one year it is re-released worldwide by the Sliptrick Records. And it is released now with one extra song “Hiraeth” from first self-titled EP “Red Cain”. Previously the musicians have released the album by themselves, but the material was original and strong, so no wonder, that the music label Sliptrick found their music quite attractive to collaborate with. So, now the band is gradually gaining more fans worldwide. Red Cain has some prestige awards in the past – YYC Music Award Metal Recording of the Year in 2017, and Accolade Global Film Festivals Award of Recognition for the video “Zero”, as well as first positions in Canadian independent charts.

Though the band is originated from Canada, his singer and creator Evgeniy Zayarny has Russian roots. The Russian influence can’t be found in music itself, but the whole concept of the album in some way is influenced by it. “Kindred: Act I” is a conceptual album, it tells about Veles, god of war and earth, with Slavic storytelling tradition between the ancient and the modern. So, “Red Cain” chose not very common theme for the progressive/power metal genre, because this lyrical concept is more typical for folk metal scene.

Although there is a precise influence of modern prog-power throughout the album, all the songs are surprisingly different and individualistic. There are so many interesting and unusual parts in every song, and these elements are not for the shock or for drastic change of the mood, so there’s not a tiny bit of avant-garde here, the music is too holistic and explicit. Despite the lyrical folkish theme and symbolic fairy-tale-themed cover art, it is solid power-progressive metal with modern sound, more suitable for alternative rock. It’s not the sugary or traditional power-prog, it is rather groovy and modern with heavy metal roots with a lot of emotions and melodies.

The album starts with epic and symphonic song, and during the album the symphonic elements will be flashing through to create more solemn atmosphere. Generally, the temp is medium with only one ballad (“Blood and Gold”) and no super-fast songs. There’s a lot of synthetic elements (especially on “Snakebouquet” and “Juliet”), usually they are hidden in the background, making the sound more progressive and modern, but sometimes they create more pensive atmosphere due to ambient parts. There’s a plenty of acoustic guitar and piano passages for more romantic approach, and usually they are positioned as intros and outros of the songs. Some tracks are closer to alternative metal (as the track “Zero”), but some cling to heavy metal roots (as the last song “Wing of the Crow” in duet with Kobra Paige of Kobra and the Lotus).

The release isn’t too progressive or technically crazy, but it is full of drive and restless energy. The influence of bass-guitar is clearly audible on song “Hiraeth”, but the guitar solos make every song more complex, they are harmonious, complicated and melodic (especially on the song “All is Violence”). But the most emotional part is the voice of Evgeniy, which he uses to increase the anxiety, to romanticize the atmosphere or to put in all the pain to strengthen his own lyrics. He sings in very high voice (in track “Blood and Gold”) or uses growls (“Juliet”), demonstrating his talent with a variable singing technique with a slight Slavic accent. But the last duet with Kobra adds some extra tenderness with a female delicacy.

There is a notable resemblance to the music of Kamelot, but the music of Red Cain is not so strongly based on technicality, the main reason why it sounds so sincere is because the emotions are more important than the songwriting or the structure of the compositions. So, the songs are lively and full of energy. The band has set off to a good start, and with this kind of enthusiasm, no doubt, there’ll be more albums.

Release date: January 21st, 2020

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