With a raw edged sound and stripped down 70’s tunes Rainforce’s debut Lion’s Den makes a solid impact. A little underwhelming on first blush this quartet drives the point home on their debut album for Roxx Records.
Musically Rainforce has more in common with The Darkness and Airbourne even tinges of Led Zeppelin than AC/DC. If you don’t know the difference I can’t help you except to say, you won’t find much in the way of Chuck Berry or Muddy Waters influence here. The musical excess here is stripped to the bone without excuse. A few more than three chords are applied however you may have to listen hard.
Admittedly the production element had me a little baffled on first listen, as the entire disc seemed very under produced. Loud raunchy guitars and I do mean LOUD! Marshal tone on ten!! Yet the bass and drums do seem to take a little more of a backseat here then one would expect, that doesn’t mean Matt Brand or Benjamin Mann are lacking. If anything their solid rhythm section is the bedrock but it’s the Marshalls. Make no mistake the vocal howling of Jordan Cutajar does cut a path through the musical din that is clear and strong.
Yet after the first spin the rawness is part of the charm of Lion’s Den. Andy La Morte delivers the guitar chops on tune after tune. Yet it was clear when Rex Carroll delivered a timely guest solo spot on “I am Yours” who was playing! La Morte wrote it all but co-produced this musical whirlwind with Matt Brand.
The initial single Feed Me (I’m Hungry) while a solid initial offering is not the musical highpoint here. The sixth track in New Jerusalem is a monster of driving power rock n roll. As a matter of fact while the first five tracks deliver plenty of hard knocks its cuts six through nine that deliver the knock out punch! Desert Sands, The Gods Have Failed and He Came to Set the Captives Free are as solid a combination of musical selections as you’ll find anywhere.
Lyrically, make no mistake this is a Christian album with blatant Christian themes, encouragement, discernment, struggle, elements of worship while not being cheesy or too preachy. You wont find a rock for the rock or Jesus saves (well maybe you will!), but lyrical content that is real and honest.
Lion’s Den also features quite the amalgam of musical friends, including Whitecross guitarist Rex Carroll, Barren Cross bassist Jim La Verde, X-Sinner and GX Project singer Rex Scott and Canadian singer Kevin Wright formerly of Jacob’s Dream.
The debut album by Rainforce Lion’s Den is a solid arse kicking experience that deserves to be heard by all fans of stripped down hard rock. Grab your copy and enter the Lion’s Den!!