Sunday, October 14, 2012

Reinxeed - Higher

Disney metal

Tommy Johansson's melodic flower metal project, Reinxeed, has proven themselves rather prolific ever since their debut, The Light, in 2008.  Not one year has gone by since without a Reinxeed release, and in my eyes they've improved on each record for the most part.  2012's love letter to Hollywood cinema, Welcome to the Theater, ranks as the album with the most identity (somewhat ironic since each track is its own smaller, meta-love letter to a particular film), but there's an unquantifiable charm within their second (kinda first) album, Higher.

See, Reinxeed started off as a solo project for the creepy human china doll that calls himself Tommy Johansson, after apparently years of covering ABBA and breakfast cereal jingles.  Apparently realizing that you can't quite become a successful live act with such a setlist, he assembled a full band after one album and has since stuck with the format.  2009's Higher is the first album with the full lineup, and the question is does it really show?  I'm not going to give you a chance to answer and I'll just tell you that no, it doesn't.  This is still entirely Tommy's band, and the dearth in variety really highlights the fact that this is all coming from one (questionably human) mind.  Each and every track is full of soaring keys, perpetual double bass, cliched straight sixteenth riffs, and the cleanest, most sugary voice this side of the Baltic Sea.  Reinxeed's brand of flower metal is insanely intoxicating, it's more fun than a barrel of disembodied boobs.  Higher is about as edgy as a bouncy ball and as clean as a hospital floor.  This is easily the cleanest album/band I've laid ears upon in ages, and the syrupy vocals are the icing on the cake.  This is flower metal of the floweriest kind, for the floweriest fan.  Lucky for me, I wear tulips in my hair and cry during Glee.

Where the album fails is in having much that warrants repeated listens.  The vocal acrobatics on "Dragonfly" and "Star Shine" and such are really, really cool, and I popped an audible boner when the bridge of "Reality" lifted the main theme from Jurassic Park (seriously), but that's about it.  As much as I enjoy this album, it's about as memorable as what you ate for dinner two weeks ago.  The whole experience blurs by fifty minutes and then it's over, leaving you laying there unsatisfied despite the duration.  There's a whole paint-by-numbers feeling to Higher that keeps it from reaching the upper echelons of flower metal inhabited by Rhapsody, Athena, and Timeless Miracle.  Basically it feels like nobody went the extra mile for songwriting, instead opting to put all of the effort solely into hitting glass shattering high notes.  I would sacrifice a whole rucksack full of puppies to be able to hit the notes Johansson can hit with apparent ease, it's very impressive.  But unfortunately his saccharine wail is the only impressive thing you'll find on Higher.  One song lifted from Beauty and the Beast ("Light of the World") isn't enough to inject any semblance of variety into the album, and it suffers for it. 

Overall check it for "Reality", which I will maintain from now until the end of my life contains the most awesome portion of stolen music in power metal history, but otherwise there isn't much to see unless you're hells_unicorn or something.  For fans of the genre, it's worth picking up, but otherwise you aren't missing much.

RATING - 63%


  1. I would like to take full credit for introducing them to you.