We are so excited to finally have the privilege to talk about this WTV fam member! Infernal Rhein brings us his Ukemi EP today, and we are devoted to its teachings. Rhein has been able to use his extensive knowledge of the samurai practice and his uncanny ability to create bass heavy music to craft this miraculous dubstep journey. From the immersing sound clips to the crafting of each song, it is clear the music brings a story. It is time to draw our katanas and duel it out with the cutting bass of this EP.
From the first tone of this album, you are put into the mindset of the martial arts. ‘Yojimbo’ opens up with this amazing string opening that places you right in the middle of whatever the first Eastern image is. Those strings are followed by a clip that only features a dialogue, which closes with a slice that chills you and prepares you for what happens next. After the short flurry of slices, Rhein enters with his own cuts. Using synth and a building bass line he is able to continue the feeling of swordplay with his music. He demonstrates his storyline song construction by allowing his music to move back into the string clip again. The clip again brings us to the intense dialogue and slicing, which then move us into that building battle bass rhythm. The song concludes by leaving us with the strings that began the song and becomes the perfect opening song for the album. ‘Yojimbo’ is crafted to enter the listener into the story Rhein looks to tell, while also teasing how he will be telling it- that sick dubstep.
‘Kaishakunin’ comes up to play next, and illustrates the true ability of Rhein. The song uses very low register sounds that seem to drag behind the listener. The song has this very shadowy feeling that in a way haunts the listener. These feelings that the song is able to bring come from the amazing ability of Rhein to transform a very standard feeling rhythm into this terrifying masterpiece. The song becomes even more amazing and eerie when you look to the meaning of the song title. ‘Kaishakunin’ is a second to a samurai that has the duty of cutting off the samurai’s head once he commits ritual suicide. Rhein again demonstrates his storytelling ability, even in the way he names his album.
Another beautiful oriental string beginning, we come into the track ‘Tsujigiri’. Now this song becomes even more amazing when you know the titles meaning, so we will share that first. ‘Tsujigiri’ is the samurai ritual of testing out a new blade or fighting style one a passer-by, also known as a crossroads killing. The ritual usually takes place at night and is against an unarmed civilian. Moving back into the song, this translates to Rhein’s music PERFECTLY. From opening string sounds that inspire a feeling of anxiousness to the voice clip that has the samurai looking forward to testing his new blade, the song puts us right into a ‘Tsujigiri’. Rhein, of course, adds a twist with the passer-by seeming to be armed and dangerous. The body of the song uses that cutting synth, steady bass, and multiple battle-sound clips to illustrate the battle that ensued between the two. It is intense, innovative, a little gory, but most importantly an amazing listen with or without the story knowledge.
Samurai practice and storyline have dominated the album up until this point, but a new contender enters the ring with Rhein’s next track. ‘Ninjutsu’ brings a new sound to the album, and brought a new opponent to the samurai long ago. ‘Ninjutsu’ is the stealthy unconventional practice of ninjas, that differed from the noble samurai practice. The song takes and transforms that into a musical difference as well. ‘Ninjutsu’ differs in sound from the rest of the EP. The sounds featured are muffled feeling and progress differently. Compared to the bass-heavy music from before, you can feel the difference in not only heaviness but also pace and opening. The song is so pivotal to the EP because it illustrates Rhein’s ability to pivot and continue to make great music. The songs shrouded feel contrasts perfectly with the rest of the EP- which only develops the plot even further.
Moving into the finale of Ukemi, ‘Budo the Martial Way’ looks to close out our story. The story is wrapped and tied perfectly by the epic conclusion brought by ‘Budo the Martail Way’. The song looks to conclude the story of the album and capture the esensce of budo (defined the martial way). Openeing with war drums, trotting of horses, and a sequence of slicing leads into the vocals that describe the nobility of the samurai practice. From that clip draws the pinacle of Rhein’s work. ‘Budo the Martial Art’ is the longest running song on the album, but no one is mad about it. It is dynamic, exciting, and brings so much to the table. Catchy rhythm run into a deep bass break down that moves us into a completely new engaging rhythm, which moves to change again through the slicining clip. The song deserves to be on a stage with some amazing-ass visuals. You can just see samurais mowing down any challengers in different settings. The imagery and complexity compiled in this song are “Bass the Infernal Way”. An amazing conclusion to the well built story of the EP.
Ukemi defined is recieving body or self, and we recieved all of Rhein’s self throughout his EP. Rheins fresh release tells a phenomenal story and gives insight into the samurai discipline. Rhein set out to bring a new view to the samurai/ninja practice, other than cool armor and swords, through dubstep and this EP stands as a monument that he was able to. The EP features a variation of dubstep that for sure has draw from its artist’s metal head nature. Infernal Rhein is making huge strides for himself as an artist who crafts linear albums. This first story telling project features a list of songs that can stang alone, but when united encourage a new appreciation. We are excited to see what story Rhein looks to tell next, but samurais and ninjas aren’t going to get old anytime soon.
Until next time.