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Review of the Album "Observing Madness" by Italian Thrash Metal Band Rake-Off

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.


Here Comes a Short Yet Very Well Written Thrash Metal Album by Italy's Rake-Off

Rake-Off is a thrash metal band that is from Rome and Lazio Italy having been active since 2016. Their 2022 studio album Observing Madness is a very well-written ten song epic thrash metal release that is great in spite of the fact that it is just over 24 minutes long. That is even less time than Slayer’s famous Reign in Blood album. Observing Madness is pretty much influenced by Slayer but it may have slightly more melody than a Slayer studio album but since Rake-Off is from Europe, it is easy to expect them to have more melody. It is almost as if melody is built into the heart and soul of European metal musicians.

"The Glowing Descent"

A Brief Comment About the Album "Observing Madness" and Lyrical Themes

Italy’s Rake-Off certainly delivered the goods on their debut album even though the album isn’t even 25 minutes long. It takes a great deal of musical acumen and skill to be able to construct a thrash metal album that is this short yet so well written. “The Glowing Descent” is a 2 minute plus atmospheric instrumental that is influenced by Southern California metal legends Slayer. The vocals sound like Erick Olguin, formerly of the band Buried Dreams. Lyrically, Observing Madness has themes relating to social issues as well as economic and political ones.

"Modern Slavery"

About the Songs In "Observing Madness"

This album also has a cover performance of Anthrax’s song “Deathrider” but for the purposes of this analysis, we will focus on the entirety of this brief thrash metal album. “Eternal Curse” is a song in which the bass guitar sound may be heard at the best level as the song lyrically is about the world going haywire as the sun is not expected to rise because of a world that has been plunged into darkness. Of all the songs in this album, “Modern Slavery” may be the one that most of us can relate to. A lifetime spent working for a person that constantly monitors your performance while getting rich at the expense of others leads to the term of wage slavery. The lyrical line in this song “capitalism has given birth to modern slavery” is the most eye-opening because it describes the problems in which the capitalistic system has created, one of them being overworked employees that are not being treated in the manner in which they deserve. “To Live in Fear” is another example of a song that does have a sort of important lyrical theme to it in a way because we sometimes think that security is what we need to feel complete but some kinds of security can create the feeling of a needle as the song says and a lack of this security can make people upset. “Evil From the Depths” is a song that has some resemblance and or influence of the early Florida death metal scene and the most similar riff influence that I can spot is that of the album Leprosy which was released in 1988.

© 2022 Ara Vahanian

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