Album Reviews

21 Octayne – Into The Open

21 Octayne is a new band featuring well-known musicians in the rock and metal scene Hagen Grohe (The Joe Perry Project), Marco Wriedt (Axxis) , Andrew “The Bullet” Lauer (PAUL GILBERT) and Alex Landenburg (Rhapsody).

Normally I am not a huge fan of todays “modern rock”. I think the bands that are played on the radio here in the U.S. are mostly cookie cutter, formulaic, and uninspiring. However, I pride myself on keeping an open mind when listening to new bands and I have to say I was intrigued with the pedigree of the individual band members and I am a big believer in anything that is released by AFM Records, so I gave 21 Octayne a listen..and I am so glad that I did. Despite the talents of Marco Wriedt and Alex Landenburg, 21 Octayne is NOT a metal band, they are a combination of modern hard rock, pop, and alternative rock with a dash of metal.

The album kicks off with a bang on She’s Killing Me, a rocking (pardon the pun) high octane tune with lots of swagger and guitar heroics from Wriedt. Grohe’s vocals fit the music perfectly. Dear Friend is a guitar heavy song with a main riff that is a mix of Dio’s Holy Diver and modern metal. Grohe’s vocals take the song into a melodic alternative rock area. I can picture this song fitting in quite well on U.S. radio between bands like Sevendust and Black Stone Cherry. For fans who like a more metal approach, this is the song for you.

Turn The World has hit single written all over it. Interestingly, the song structure and main melody during the verses reminds me of Journey’s Stone In Love. The soaring chorus is HUGE and takes the song to another level and will have you singing along after only a couple of listens. The rhythm section of Landeburg and Lauer get a chance to shine and show off their chops on Don’t Turn Away which has a funky rock groove that would feel right at home in Extreme’s funk metal discography. The oddly titled My Teddy Bear is a heavy rocker with a killer groove a catchy melodic chorus.

The band shows it can also write a poignant ballad on the title track, which has traces of the alternative band Lifehouse to these ears. Me, Myself, and I is another song that ventures into modern rock territory and manages to hold the listeners attention with some fine musicianship. The Heart (Save Me) brings the funk with an Extreme meets The Winery Dogs groove and features a nice shredding guitar solo midsong. 21 Octayne show their ability to write a strong rock anthem as well as a tender love ballad on Your Life and I Will Always Be There For You respectively.

Leave My Head has a vintage Alice In Chains heavy riff and an aggressive vocal by Grohe. The albums final track Come Alive is a fast paced rocker with a huge multi-harmony vocal during the chorus that gives the song a huge boost of energy to leave the listener wanting more. If there was any justice in the music business then 21 Octayne would be a multi-platinum act selling out arenas throughout the U.S. as well as the rest of the world. Speaking as someone who tends to tune out most modern rock acts, 21 Octayne’s debut album has made me a believer!

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