Artist: 21Octayne 
   Title: Into The Open
   Label: AFM Records

When it comes to believing in your product, you don’t have to look any further than 21Octayne’s 'Into The Open', an album that was toted around various cities around the world at various listening parties, with the ultimate goal of the band to secure a label deal, the result of which is Germany’s AFM Records bringing 'Into The Open' to the masses.

The band of Marco Wriedt (guitars), Alex Landenburg (drums), Andrew Lauer (bass), and last but by no means least Hagen Grohe (vocals), have put together a monster of a Modern Rock band and a monster of a debut album to boot.

The band members may have a more traditional Metal background, but 21Octayne is far from being a traditional metal band, as they have put together a multifaceted album that will appeal to so many different rock fans, that this is one of those rare albums that defies being pigeonholed and as a result, is like breath of fresh air to the rock world.

The album opens up with ‘She’s Killing Me’ and from the off, you are instantly thrown a curve ball.  The hard edged guitars of Wreidt hit you with a real punch, while the powerhouse rhythm section hits you in the mid section with such force, you're thrown back, but it's only when Grohe’s vocals kick in that you begin to fully realise that this is going to be one special album.  The mix of classic and modern Hard Rock is abundant and the sing-a-long chorus is an instant winner, a real barnstorming opener that leaves the listener hungry to hear more.

And more you get as the humble intro telephone call leads into a massive thumping slice of hard hitting rock.  Wriedt again punches out the big licks, aided and abetted by the big rhythm section, but again it's Grohe’s mellow tones in-between the hard hitting, which have a certain Alice In Chain’s element about them.

The album keeps producing the goods with the excellent ‘Turn The World’, a true rock anthem in every sense of the word.  A towering slice of pure melody filled rock, before things get down and funky with ‘Don’t Turn Away’, as Lauer unleashes some of the biggest bass lines on the album.  Another modern rocker at its finest. 

One of my favourite tracks off the album has to be ‘My Teddy Bear’.  A big heavy opening barrage leads the way on this one, before an almost narrative vocal in parts from Grohe follows, adding to the splendour of this one, which is probably the heaviest track off the album.  However, with the heaviness the band still manage to retain the melody, plus the songwriting on this one is just superb, perfectly showing off the wealth and variety on offer with this album.

That variety continues with the haunting tones of the title track, featuring another powerhouse vocal performance from Grohe, who soars above all else, another diverse track that simply refuses to be pigeonholed.  This is just great ROCK, enough said!

For ‘Me Myself I’ things turn back to the funk-o-metal stylings, with just a touch of Psychedelia bringing in a bit more of that Alice In Chains vibe.  For those familiar with the band's single release, then the next song ‘The Heart (Save Me)' will be no stranger.  For those unfamiliar with this song, let me tell you it has it all.  Big licks, a monstrous back-beat alongisde a great vocal.  Definitely one of the stand-out tracks off the album.

The big grooved rocker ‘Your Life’ is up next, another great slice of Modern Hard Rock that just rocks big style, before the tempo is brought down radically with just vocals and semi-acoustic guitars on the marvelous ballad ‘I Will Always Be Right There’.  This song reminds me so much of the last song on the film Rock Star ‘Colouful’.

It's all guns blazing to the end from hear on in, as the last two track continue that hard hitting vibe.  First up ‘Leave My Head’, before the album closes in style with ‘Come Alive’ being the veritable icing on this Rock cake.  This album might have been a long time coming, but it's well worth the wait.  What you have here is one of the finest rock albums you’ll hear this year.  I can't wait for album number two.  If they stick to this formula, then the world is 21Octayne’s oyster.

Review by: Barry McMinn


1. She's Killing Me
2. Dear Friend
3. Turn The World
4. Don't Turn Away
5. My Teddy Bear
6. Into The Open
7. Me Myself I
8. The Heart (Save Me)
9. Your Life
10. I Will Always Be Right There
11. Leave My Head
12. Come Alive



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