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Refuge CD Cover
Image Dark Symphonies 2002 

(02 June 2002) The second album from Rain Fell Within a 10-track collection entitled Refuge (Dark Symphonies (USA) Dark 16, 2002). Rain Fell Within's music mayappeal to those that enjoy Nightwish and After Forever, although the band's music is somewhat less melodic and symphonic than either of those referred to here. The singers' operatic style voice and metal allusions represent the source of the similarity. Rain Fell Within's music is caegorised as gothic metal combining the power and beauty with angelic female vocals.

The birth of Rain Fell Within came in October 1996. Three of the five original members (including Dawn, Kevin, and Charles) formed a band with a unique blent of metal and New Age. After two demos, Rain Fell Within entered Sterling Productions in March 1998 and recorded the "Solemn Days" demo.

With the release of their demo, the band gained worldwide attention. With the addition of new members Tim on drums and Owen on guitar, Rain Fell Within entered Night Sky Studio in June 1999 to record their first full length album, Believe (review). Later that month, Rain Fell Within signed a record contract with Dark Symphonies.

Believe was released in January 2000. While supporting the album's promotion, Rain Fell Within began writing their second release. Soon after, the band brought in two new members: Laurie as backing vocalist and Jason to complete their guitar duo. The new Rain Fell Within members performed live at the 2001 Milwaukee Metalfest.

The new lineup of Rain Fell Within recorded and mixed their new album, Refuge in IQ Studios from late September to October 2001. Once again they worked with Ron Vento as their engineer and co-producer. The album was mastered by Ken Cmar and WonderDrugs Records.

While on Believe Dawn's solo vocals dominate the mix, Refuge is features layers of vocals provided by both Dawn and Laurie. Instrumentals are thickly arranged with episodes of symphonic orchestration but is generally more gothic, monotinically rhythmic and metal-edged than the former release.

Clearly this is an album for those that enjoy the wall-of-sound instrumental arrangements. While the vocals are clear and brilliant, the instrumentals outweigh them in the final mix and the album requires many spins for those not accustomed to the genre to warm up to the sound.

Dawn and Laurie are stunning vocalists whose energy seems appropriate to the style. The album lacks variation stylistically and a few more song-based numbers would improve its accessibility. Perhaps a step away from their debut Refuge will appeal to the band's die-hards. Those just investigating the band should probably start with Believe. Worth further exploration, the album is a nice listen.

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