October 1, 2014 21 Octayne – Into The Open (Album Review)
Germany has a long tradition of Classic Rock and Metal exports. To follow these footprints, the 2010 founded all-star-band 21 Octayne offers their highly anticipated debut album Into The Open via AFM Records, who signed the in advance praised 4-piece to take the Hard Rock/Metal universe by storm.
Initialized by guitarist Marco Wriedt (Axxis) and drummer Alex Landenburg (Rhapsody, Mekong Delta), the idea to create a new band with a common musical vision was born when both met at auditions of Wriedt’s band Axxis in 2008 searching for a new drummer. Even then it was not clear if Landenburg would join in Axxis. In 2010 the idea and the line-up of 21 Octayne came together more with bassist Andrew “The Bullet” Lauer (Paul Gilbert) when the musicians met to jam and write the first songs before finding their missing link, singer Hagen Grohe (The Joe Perry Project) later when the instrumental frame was created.
The first surprising impression of Into The Open is that the band does not sound German at all, maybe caused by the fact that the musicians gained extensive experiences in so many international bands, recording many albums and touring worldwide with all the different projects. Taking a closer look to the songs, it is noticeable that 21 Octayne accomplished the feat to unite all the different individual influences of the musicians to a hot potato of timeless Rock music.
To give one an idea how the band and Into The Open sounds, one has to haul off a bit. 21 Octayne combines the Rock attitude of Whitesnake, without the blues from the glory 1987 era, on songs “Me, Myself and I,” and “My Teddy Bear” along with the hit and radio compatibility in ballad-like songs in the style of Classic Rock dinos as Journey with “I Will Always Be Right There” and earlier track “Turn the World.” They also have the heaviness of Skid Row in the age of Slave To The Grind (1991) on tracks like opener “She’s Killing Me” and “Dear Friend” along with the cool and easiness of Lenny Kravitz in the first single “The Heart (Save Me),“ which climbed on position No. 1 in iTunes charts straight after its release. 21 Octayne even have a light flashing of the bombast of Queen midway through the album with the title track “Into The Open.” Here and there, this overall recipe is seasoned with Lauer’s funky slapping bass and Southern Rock guitars of Wriedt on “Don’t Turn Away“, a jazzy tune with jam session character and omnipresent great earworm vocal hooklines of Grohe. The most outstanding performance among all the grandiose musical sense is the overall guitar play of Wriedt, who restages the songs perfectly, regardless of which style the song needs with great emotional solos to just heavy riffing and vibes.
21 Octayne created a real surprising album with Into The Open which lives up the expectations of fans and critics while taking the baton from above mentioned Rock bands to carry their heritage into this decade. Every song on Into The Open has that certain indefinable something to get 21 Octayne’s name resounded throughout the land and to get mentioned in one breath with the names above. CrypticRock give this album 5 out of 5 stars.