Rakoth Planeshift

Rakoth's second full-length originally appeared in 2000 on Italian label Code666, but thanks to the band's new deal with Earache/Elitist, Planeshift has resurfaced. Although the use of folk music in metal no longer seems innovative, Russia's Rakoth makes the combination sound fresh, even on an album a few years old. The haunting flute playing that stands out on the first half of the CD immediately entrances, sucking the listener into the mythic and vibrant atmosphere of the band's music. Rakoth also handle speed and aggression with expertise, drawing upon black metal, death, doom and prog, but their fierceness lurks as a background for the remarkable clean vocals, keyboard passages and flute. Remastered and repackaged for its new release, Planeshift may finally get the attention it deserves, but this album will leave fans hungry to hear the direction Rakoth's new music will take. (Earache)