The vast majority will hate this album, guaranteed!
The Russian RAKOTH are the first release of the new Italian label code666 and have produced a very hard-to-digest album, which needs time, much time to find its way into your brain, time that only the fewest people will take nowadays, bad ratings are inevitable, nearly...
But that aside, let's come to the music. After a short intro with clean guitars and a slightly off-tone flute, "Fear (Wasn't The Design)" already is a synonym for variety: You can find slow parts just like fast passages (drum-computer), sometimes sounding like SKYCLAD with a flute instead of violins, then Black Metal-guitars meet pompous keyboards or just piano. Fittingly the vocals vary from lamenting over clean to harsh Black Metal-vox.
These ingredients can be found (in many variations and mixtures) in the following tracks, too, be it melodic and epic Black Metal with flute, many breaks and clear voice ("The Dark Heart Of Uukrul"), vehement Black Metal-eruptions with clean intermezzi and keyboards ("Og'Elend") or songs dominated by piano and clean guitars, which remind one of MY DYING BRIDE and ANATHEMA ("Gorthaur Aulendil").
But the icing on the cake is "Mountain God", which is started out by fanfares and a proclamation, before the track switches to fast, melodic Black Metal first, just to be followed by keyboards with soft drumming and a clean voice, which has a slightly strange sound to it. In the middle of everything, a really weird break intervenes, after that the drum-computer can show its technique, accompanied with Black Metal-guitars and a flute. Strange indeed...
People, who always accuse today's bands of lack of originality just HAVE to have found their paradise with "Planeshift", because you cannot do one thing for sure: compare RAKOTH to any other band, while "fast-food"-listeners will not even reach half-time of this CD.
Normally I would advise extensive checking of the CD before buying, but I doubt that "Planeshift" will be available in too many shops. So: Who likes to embark on an adventurous exploration of new musical territory and wants to support a really original band, is on the right way with RAKOTH. Who prefers the traditional sound should think not twice, but at least ten times, if he really should buy this album.