[REVIEW] Belgium based progressive-rock band RAKETKANON – RKTKN#3

The experimental and progressive rock group, Raketkanon are releasing their upcoming album, RKTKN#3 this April via Alcopop! Records. Hailing from Ghent, Belgium, Raketkanon are pushing boundaries within the scene, creating soundscapes and ambience alongside experimental approaches to a distorted-style guitar method. In a complete twist, Raketkanon include an invented language, adding mystery and intrigue to their music. RKTKN#3 brings a dark progression in their rock career, and with influences such as Tomahawk, Melvin and Thorns, Raketkanon makes experimental melodic, catchy and rife with synth.

The nine-track long album features some of their most empirical material yet. Momentarily caught up in a classic style of rock, into a dropped bass line distorted combatively, ‘Ricky’ opens the album with offense. Played like rolling waves, fluctuating fluently between chords, the developmental track captures their melodic and cadenced tempo in an alluring mixture of rock and roll and industrial.

‘Fons’ brings a metal-meets-industrial, accompanied by oscillated vocals, moving in tempo. Speaking about the album, vocalist Peter-Paul Devos says: “We don’t want to be just a metal band, or a hard-Rock band, we just want to make music that we think is beautiful and sincere. I think we managed to realise that on this project.” The interpretation approach of music has well and truly worked for Raketkanon on this album as they explore their instruments to their full potential, combining them in unorthodox ways to create a track that works so well bound together. ‘Melody’ is a perfect example of their enriching inspiration, perched upon a andante flow. Explaining the methodology behind their fictional dialect, Devos says: “but even with songs that have real lyrics, if you explain them it removes their power. If you limit that power I think it’s a shame for the listener, and you’re taking something away from them. Our music is more about the instinctive emotion that you feel when you listen to it.”

Encapsulating the beauty behind the interpretation, the next track ‘Hannibal’ translates machinery in a dystopian visage of anarchy. Plucking from adagietto-esque bridges, it flexes it’s punk muscles featuring cacophonous vocals. The album is barely linear, shifting in unconnected rhythm and sound. The unpredictability of the album offers a multitude of experiences with each track. Passing the midway point of RKTKN#3 it shifts into rhythmic rendition, with clean guitar picking and moving into darker avenues using slight changes of notes. As well as ‘Robin,’ sixth track ‘Lou’ starts slower in speed. The synthesizer truly takes the spotlight, adding ambience to reverberating basslines, moving the track into a combative state of distortion and unrelenting screams.

‘Harry’ brings along a fast-paced futuristic punk impression, using digitalized vocals to really push the boat out there. “Over the years, Lobe [Vlaeminck, synths] has explored the world of his instrument a lot more. The thing with the synthesizer as an instrument is that it has so many possibilities – if you play it right you can make a lot of amazing and magical things happen sonically.”

‘Ernest’ holds a much more classic feel, that of a Rob Zombie soundtrack of industrial rhythm. Wrapping up the album, Raketkanon fuels their melodic talents layering harmonic vocals atop the raucous drumming of Wilde, that really brings this album together. While the bass and synthesizer add to their progressive sound massively, the spotlight of the album well and truly gleams over the talent of drumming that’s visible in RKTKN#3. Closing with ‘Mido,’ Raketkanon ends this chapter in a perfectly sheathed soundscape.

RKTKN#3 is due for release on April 5th and will be available across streaming services. The band will also be hitting the UK to tour in May, bringing their enticing experience along with them.

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