Band


By releasing their most diverse record yet in February 2019, REZET make good on a promise they gave with the 2017 EP You Asked For It – not only with respect to the title Deal With It. With their fourth studio album, the hottest current band coming from Germany’s chilly north goes way beyond conventional thrash metal, where they have been pigeon-holed so far, in part justly so. However, Ricky Wagner and cohorts did not follow an “escape plan” during songwriting. “Of course, you always ponder the music you create to a degree and set certain goals for yourself”, the front man concedes, „but the end result tends to sound differently from what you imagined anyway. With hindsight though, I can always tell what we did without effort and what was strained. In time, you learn that the best songs come about spontaneously.”

In this sense, the quartet artfully managed to play from their guts while freeing themselves from both stylistic and lyrical conventions. According to Ricky, the song texts were written without any preconceived notions, “althought they often evoke concepts in my mind when I listen to them without vocals. When they were all finished, I realised none of our lyrics had ever been so socio-critical and yet very personal. The early stuff was still rather clichéd because we thought we would have to conform to genre stereotypes, but with age comes the wish to actually say something meaningful beyond mere fun and horror storys.” This is reflected on Deal With It especially in Dead Or White, which could be seen as a squel to EP track Minority Erazer, which criticised Donald Trump. “We found it important to have an anti-fascist song because this is simply our attitude. After all, we covered Chemical Warfare by Dead Kennedys for a reason.”

Much of this newfound depth can be attributed to new bass player Bjarne, who not only shared Wagner’s workload of writing lyrics. “He is very talented in this respect and also responsible for the lower vocal parts in serveral songs.” Also, Thunder Raiders was his idea. It is the only fictional tune yet still accompanied by a political statement. “When we saw photos of the festival grounds at Wacken Open Air’s Wasted Wednesday where we were supposed to play, they reminded us of ‘Mad Max’, a movie I’d long since wanted to write about anyway. We only took it as a basis, though and tell a tale about the little man getting organised to oppose against the powers that be. That’s how revolutions begin.”

While the boys themselves will surely not start one with Deal With It, they the diversity they achieve within the classic metal template even in 2019 is remarkable. “Although you need categories in today’s large musical landscape, I never stated that we were pure thrash. First and foremost, we are ourselves – REZET – and simply a metal band.” This is proven already by surprisingly rock-oriented opener Treadmill To Hell with its tasteful solos that are so unlike the frantic noodling you hear so often in the genre, and later by the playful, driving Chaos In My Mind, which evokes early Megadeth just like the coolly grooving MDPV where Ricky looks back on a bad stint with drugs. “Megadeth are one of my key inspirations. To deny that would be as if Sepultura did not acknowledge that Slayer had been their idol early on. This song came forth during a jam session and needed really fucked up lyrics.”

As opposed to closing instrumental Pile Of Shards, which serves as an atmospheric bracket for the multifaceted beast that is Deal With It together with the acoustic intro. „It was triggered by a single riff, and since the rest of the album turned out to be less technical than usual for us, we wanted to go all-out at least in the final track. As listeners, we like lots of stuff, ranging from punk across jazz to progressive rock, so hopefully, this shines through from the new material. In any case, it couldn’t be meant more honestly.” This also and in particular goes for the unexpected ballad Alone, REZET’s very own Fade To Black. “It’s drawn comparisons to Pantera’s Cemetary Gates as well whereas I was thinking of Black Sabbath’s Planet Caravan. This tune just came out of me without any effort.”

Elsewhere, the lightning-quick Spiral Down gives just as much reasion to enthuse and nods towards the raw speed anthems on Helloween’ debut as No Plan B with it’s compelling build-up and astoundingly gentle chorus. The amount of time put into pre-production has definitely paid off well. Eventually, the group returned into Chameleon Studios Hamburg, whose owner Eike Freese can by now be seen as a fifth member. “His dedication again raised the bar considerably. He burned to do it despite being a much asked-for producer and worked hard with his assistant Danny during countless hours of overtime. We gave him free rein and listened to his advice, especially when it came to arranging vocals and drums. To me, these are the most important aspect of productions anyhow. In the end, we became close friends, and both of them wore shirts of the band all the time.”

The result speaks for itself and REZET as a group that has matured in every possible way. Now at the latest, they are ready to become an international household name. A sound like the one Freese achieved here is something even North-American heavyweights can dream of, and indeed, this continent is what Wagner currently aims at. “We visited the US only once and enjoyed it very much. I think what we are doing now is, more than anything, music for the people over there.”

by Andreas Schiffmann

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Ricky Wagner

Lead Guitar & Vocals

Achim Goschau

Bastian Santen

Drums & Backing Vocals

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Heiko Musolf

Lead Guitar & Backing Vocals

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Bjarne Otto

Bass Guitar & Backing Vocals