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21Octayne: Into The Open
21Octayne Into The Open CD Album Review

21Octayne: Into The Open

Melodic Hard Rock
4.5/5.0

Sometimes the stars align correctly, musicians gather, something clicks, and creativity spawns. Such seems to be the case for the seasoned musicians of 21Octayne. Having crossed paths in various ways over the years, guitarist Marco Wriedt (Axxis), bassist Andrew “The Bullet” Lauer (Paul Gilbert) and drummer Alex Landenburg (Rhapsody) gathered to jam and exchange musical ideas, and 21 Octayne was born. The trio invited vocalist Hagen Grohe (The Joe Perry Project) to the party; he liked what he heard and decided to stick around.

21Octayne Into The Open Band Photo

21Octayne: looking tough.

It's probably not fair to call the music within their debut album, Into The Open, eclectic because there is certainly the common theme of melodic hard rock. But their is some diversity to the songs here which only speaks to the band's creativity. You have some heavy rockers at the start with She's Killing Me, sounding nearly metal, and Dear Friend, mixing the heaviness with solemn segues.

Then the band shifts gears to something highly melodic and catchy, like heavier AOR melodic rock, with Turn The World. To make matters more interesting, Don't Turn Away, begins with bass and drum play that reminds of jazz rock fusion, but only turns the song in huge groove monster. Later, Into The Open moves like an arena rock anthem, swelling with Wriedt's guitar solo over Landenburg slashing drums. The guitar work is terrific throughout, but his solo here is soaring. You get more of the Lauer/Landenburg groove fusion at the start of Me Myself and I, but returning in the latter third to support Wriedt's tasty, bit unconventional, guitar licks. Your Life returns 21Octayne to the arena rock anthem, with a great rock groove, memorable melody, and catchy refrain as the band promotes self-determination.

Finally, with only the briefest of comments, it should be noted that the digipak edition (which I suggest you buy) of Into The Open will contain three additional songs, I Will Always Be Right There, Leave My Head, and Come Alive. I Will Always Be Right There is essentially a ballad with acoustic guitar and voice and, more than anything, simply shows how good a singer Hagen Grohe can be. He's quite impressive throughout.

At this point, you can probably guess my recommendation. 21Octayne's Into The Open is quite inventive and entertaining melodic hard rock from some very talented musicians who put much creativity and energy into developing it. Get it.


21Octayne - The Heart (Save Me)





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In Short

21Octayne's Into The Open is quite inventive and entertaining melodic hard rock from some very talented musicians who put much creativity and energy into developing it. Get it.

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