Monday, May 22, 2017

Swaylex - Raging Rapids

Swaylex - Raging Rapids 

“Raging Rapids” is the hardest hitting of the three recent compositions Swaylex has uploaded to YouTube. It has consider Sturm und Drang derived from a series of crushing guitar riffs that veer from the melodically direct to fiery lead work seemingly intent on grabbing listeners by the throat and keeping their attention. There’s a lot of confidence coming off this two minute track as well – it is rather impressive that he can make such a memorable impression within such a short amount of time, but the focus he brings to bear on the song enables him to do so. Another crucial factor in its success is the song’s construction. Obviously, due to the composition’s length, there isn’t an assortment of changes during these two minutes, but the segues from one section to the next are flawlessly handled.  It is quite obviously a rock track – but he never relies on the standard genre tropes to capture the audience’s attention.  
There’s a bit of fanfare in the way he introduces the song with some screaming lead guitar notes reinforced by patient rhythm guitar running underneath. When he launches into the song properly, the riffing has a leaden tempo and the lead guitar continues accompanying things, but never in too obtrusive of a fashion. The drumming spikes the tempo some with some well timed rolls and fills, but otherwise Swaylex keeps things as straight forward as ever and never clutters up the composition with too many unnecessary notes. It’s quite impressive to hear the confidence he has rolling through these changes, despite how short the song is, and he should have little trouble keeping a listener’s attention for the duration. 
Often times, you will listen to an instrumental and the lack of a vocal, especially in the realm of popular song like rock, will seem glaring. There’s none of that here. Instead, Swaylex specializes in a strong theatricality on this song that’s quite intense will retining enough melody to keep the audience’s attention. His guitar work is fluid throughout and the live quality imparted by the video helps increase its physicality and brings listeners even closer to the experience. There’s a palpable confidence in the performance, as well, that sets it apart from typical forays in this area. He sounds surefooted throughout and certain of where he;s going from the first note on. Some may dislike the relatively leaden tempo, but he wrings every bit of possible drama from the tempo and the running time is ideal for such a pace. Perhaps if this song ran, let’s say, four to five minutes with little deviation, we might hear it as something entirely different. That doesn’t happen here. Instead, it flows quite nicely from one passage to the another and the individual parts lock up in such a way that the song never fails to make sense or sounds disjointed. Swaylex’s “Raging Rapids” is a reminder that great talents aren’t always signed to major labels or performing for capacity houses. Sometimes they are just a few keystrokes and a click away. 

Lydia Hillenburg

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