RU.ARE is a sythpop outfit from Petrozavodsk, Karelia, a federal republic in northeast Russia. Formed by Alexey Odintsov and Anton Repnikov, veterans of metal bands who decided to part ways with their past, net label Synthematik has released their debut album which was recorded over a two year and nine-month period. Stating that the duo have parted ways with their metal past is an understatement comparable to calling a category five hurricane a small rain storm. Other then the fact that synthpop and metal are both music genres, the songs composed by the Karelian pair show none of the metal standards, chord progressions or themes one would expect.
Alexey Odintsov’s vocals are clean and light. While not possessing the comparable dynamic range, his tenor vocal style is decidedly influenced by the baritone of Dave Gahan. The creative harmonies used throughout the album are nice and effects enhance but never overpower. While easy to listen to most of the time, there were a few times Odintsov’s voice sounded a little strained.
The sounds presented by the synthesizers are lush and well crafted. The music and voice incorporate each other, one never suppressing the other. The beats sound effortless yet energetic and danceable. Production and mixing on the album are well done. The song Saviour is easily the strongest track and highlight of the album and the remix by Ikebana is well done as well.
If you’re looking for some light synthpop that you can listen just about anytime, this album is sure to satisfy.