Rainforce – “Almost Holy”


The hard rocking Swiss-International band Rainforce is serving up their latest release, an 11-track album titled “Almost Holy.” Andy La Morte’s (Pÿlon, Disobedience) brainchild started as a side project to play 80s style hard rock with bold Christian lyrics. Recruiting Jordan Cutajar (Pÿlon, Nomad Son) on vocals, Benjamin Mann (Power of God) and Matt Brand (Pÿlon) on bass made this project into a viable band. They released their debut full length “Lion’s Den” in 2017 and an EP, “Rock ‘n Roll” in 2019. Like much of the modern world, COVID dampened their trajectory but have emerged victorious with a brand new album. Apparently Matt has been replaced by Jan Thomas (Dreams in Fragments) on bass and Michael Piranio (Destruction, Ephemera’s Party) has joined on lead guitar.

“Almost Holy” channels a hard rock spirit that is reminiscent of the early days of Christian rock and metal with bold statements of faith. The band is filled with talented musicians delivering up great performances with confidence and swagger. Most of the songs are hard rock style with some heavy metal episodes throughout and one ballad. My take on the album is that this is what music should be: musician’s boldly playing from the heart. However as a listener, results may vary.

The styles are a throw back to the early hard rock days with heavy use of I-IV-V chords to the point they sound like hard rock staples. For example, “Rockin’ Through the Night” sounds a lot like The Kingsmen’s “Louie, Louie” and the opening riff to “Silent Night” reminds me of “Money For Nothing” by Dire Straits. Although well-played, many songs lost my interest due to the repetition making the soundscape stale. Editing the songs would help the listening experience along with more thoughtful endings to the songs.

As mentioned before, the lyrics are boldly Christian and very personal, so it feels rather intimate. A prior reviewer mentioned it being a throwback to the early Christian rock and metal days and that still holds. In a way it feels uncomfortable at times, but I also find inspiration in how to live life as a Christian by speaking boldly for Christ. I particularly like the opening track with its call for help in the journey to be holy. For that, I see a lot of value. If you like the lyrics of bands like Stryper and Whitecross, this album will be quite welcome.

Jordan’s vocals have good energy and rhythm, fitting the style well, but sounded slightly out of tune at times. I chalk this up to delivering a more raw performance on the harder rock tunes, but it grated on me on the ballad, “Fortress of Hope.” Another weakness were the solos that filled musical space but not much else.

The highlight of the album is the optimistic “Time to Rise.” The song keeps a vibrant major tonality that is infectious along with one of the tastier guitar riffs on the album. The lyrics are uplifting as well making a great song to start the day with.

I like their original ideas for music videos. Previously they used stop motion animation using Lego people for the song “Feed Me (I’m Hungry)” from “Lion’s Den.” I’m not one to watch videos, but I liked that one. This go around, they use photos of the band members holding lyrics and captions for the title track. It’s a creative approach to making a video.

I can appreciate the effort the band put into this new record. Although it has good energy and big heart, the lack of editing makes it hard to stick around all the way through. There are some great moments, so I wouldn’t write it off. If you enjoy the early days of Christian metal and hard rock, this is an album worth checking out.

Rating: 7.0/10

Written by Sean Bailey

1 – Almost Holy
2 – Rockin’ Through The Night
3 – Just Another Song
4 – Far From Home
5 – Fortress of Hope
6 – John the Baptist
7 – Time to Rise
8 – In the Fires
9 – Every Tear Will Be Dried
10 – Silent Night
11 – I Believe

Rainforce is:
Jordan Cutajar – lead vocals
Andy La Morte – rhythm guitar and additional vocals
Michael Piranio – lead guitars
Jan Thomas – bass
Benjamin Mann – drums

Jonas Ambühl – lead vocals on “In the Fires”
Albert Bell – bass on “In the Fires”
Mick Jelinic – guitar solo on “Rockin’ Through The Night”
Felipe Guzman Vincente – guitar solo on “Silent Night”

Release Date: April 12, 2024

Record Label: Roxx Records

Lion’s Den (2017) [review]
Rock ‘n Roll – EP (2019) [review]
Almost Holy

Social Media: Facebook | YouTube | Spotify

Video for ‘Almost Holy’

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