Rusty Pacemaker is a multi-instrumentalist from Austria and “Blackness And White Light” is his debut album. Playing lots of guitars, bass, keyboards and even singing, this album almost is a true solo effort – except for drums and female guest vocals. Let’s see what he created here.
Chirping birds open the album but soon a door closes and distorted guitars take the lead. The opening track ‘Cell’ already is the best song of the album with a hypnotic rhythm and a guitar sound that reminds me of late 80s gothic rock. This sound is featured throughout the whole album as well as Rusty’s somehow psychedelic and sadly quite German sounding English vocals. But the song ideas are what it’s all about here. Always dominated by distorted guitars the songs are powerful and dark every time. As I said the style is somewhere between gothic rock and doom metal, sometimes featuring neo-folk elements.
However, what lets the album down is the bad and hollow sounding production, leaving the album sounding very dated. Well, it is a home-made recording but nowadays a good sound quality isn’t a monetary question any more. There almost isn’t any bass power at all, as if the lower frequencies have been cut off and the music really suffers from this.
So in the end the rather good song ideas suffer from the weak production – and the vocals could be better too, but they might be crucial for the style Rusty Pacemaker aims at. Anyway – it’s a mixed start with definite signs of promise but let down by mediocre production.