Review of “Sacred/Scared” By Italy’s Own, 5Rand!

5Rand is:

Julia Elenoir – Vocals
Pierluigi Carocci – Guitars
Riccardo Zito – Bass
Francesco Marroni – Drums

Artwork by Emanuele Lombardi

Founded by guitarist Pierluigi Carocci in 2012, 5Rand is a Modern Metal band from Rome, Italy that takes aspects from Thrash and Industrial Metal, adds the beautiful, clean and growled female vocals of Julia Elenoir, brutal rhythms of drummer Riccardo Zito and bass of Francesco Marroni, throwing everything into the fire to forge a sound all their own. Very heavy and fast, their music is laced with very harsh lyrics, 5Rand sets themselves apart with the unique vocal range of Elenoir. Her clean voice is heavily accented and provides a cool depth and timing that would be hard to duplicate by a native, English speaking person. Her vibrato also has a throaty, rough edge that melds smoothly with growls as powerful as those of Lauren Hart and Alissa WhiteGluz. After years of hard work and building a faithful fan base, the band recorded Sacred/Scared in June of 2016 at Kick Recording Studios in Rome. Engineered by Marco Mastrobuono (Buffalo Grillz, Hour of Penance and The Orange Man Theory and many more) and mastered by Mika Jussila (Hanoi Rocks, Nightwish, Stratovarious, Children of Bodom and literally hundreds of others) at Finnvox in Finland, production is among the best in the business and unexpected from a debuting band. Upon recording completion, 5Rand began playing relentlessly in preparation for its release. They released a video along with Fleshgod Apocalypse, that immediately caught the attention of multiple labels. After much deliberation and careful consideration, 5Rand eventually signed a multi-album deal with My Kingdom Music who put them in the same trailblazing category with Arch Enemy, In Flames and Gojira. By August of 2016, 5Rand released a video for their single “Cordyceps” and finished production on a second video for “Paint of Pain” that is to be released with the album on February 15, 2017.

Photography by Martina Santoro Fotografia

The general impressions are all fine and good, but actually listening and experiencing 5Rand is where it is at! The album begins with a rather ominous, symphonic intro called “Behind the Doors of Sin” that transitions with a deep fade to “Erase”. Blasting out of the gates like a futuristic truck in Mad Max, heavy rhythms dominate the leads and growls of Julia. The cleanly sung chorus just barely takes the edge off of this heavy track. Carocci’s guitar solo in this is one of neck scorching shred that moves back to the chorus’ clean singing with the addition of the opening intensity that continues to songs end. Taking on more of a modern Thrash tone, “Fuck Simile” just drips with sarcasm and frustration. Ironically, the rage of the verse is beautifully harmonized as 5Rand drop their very harsh theme. This is the first time the clean singing takes on the unusual tone spoken of above and is in your face abusive. The first time I heard this song, this serendipity made me smile as the surprising musical sarcasm struck the desired nerve. This may just be the most clever use of it I have ever heard. In the following lines, dissonant guitar lines are added to further sharpen the point. Since I always appreciate sarcasm, this is one of my favorite tracks on Sacred/Scared. The aforementioned “Paint of Pain” with the upcoming video follows and immediately strikes with wicked drums and cool guitar riffage. A mixture of clean singing and barked vocals from a number of band members create yet another outrageously tense track. Elenoir’s pipes are particularly emotive here and effectively fluctuate between rage and desperation. Really impressive and unique. Drifting into the symphonic realm of echoing sadness, “Cordyceps” quickly explodes with guitar leads driving things forward at a dizzying pace. No clean singing here and the bass rumbles along with the lead, leaving the rhythm strictly with the drums. Taking on the mood of Dime for the solo, Carocci cuts loose with an all out assault on the ear drums during the coolest solo thus far. If heavy is what you want, this song is just what the doctor ordered. Leaving no air to catch your breath with, “Blessed” continues with a sound that borders on oppressive. A perfect balance of blasted drums, stellar guitar playing and really gorgeously played violin in the background harmonizing the cleanly sung chorus make for one of the most interesting songs thus far. Continuing the theme of “Blessed”, “Preacher of Lies” puts the aiming reticle squarely where it belongs. Angry, colorful lyrics leave little gray area to figure out. During the chorus, we are again graced with lovely, coherent vocals. The more I listen to her voice, the more fascinating they become. Again pushing hard and fast, “Drowning Into Insanity” spins traditional Thrash with a modern drum style, polymorphic bass lines and the ever present sting of sharp guitar work. Layered growls just under clean sung vocals is yet another example of astute song writing skills. Not something that has been tried very often and seldom pulled as deftly as is done on this song. “The True Death Show” is a bone crushing song that holds its fire throughout with a harsh rhythm and brutal guitar lines even when the vocals go clean. Really gut wrenching in its thematic overtones and musical force. The final track “Narcolepsycho (Silent Scream)” slows thing down a bit with uber-low, heavily distorted bass that builds with drums, guitar and distant screaming, culminating in sickening, mechanical wizardry and an abrupt end for the song and the album.


For fans of extreme Metal, Sacred/Scared leaves little to complain about. Great, albeit harsh songwriting, memorable guitar work, incredibly unusual vocals and some of the heaviest, most oppressive rhythms to date define what 5Rand have set off to accomplish and make for an extremely solid debut release. Based on video footage, they should have little difficult getting traction throughout the world once they can be extensively experienced live. Their sound is a recipe for the destruction of the masses and certainly not for the weak. Once released, Sacred/Scared deserves a place on any Metalhead’s playlist!


Tracklist for Sacred/Scared

Behind The Doors Of Sin


Fuck Simile

Paint Of Pain



Preacher Of Lies

Drowning Into Insanity

The True Death Show

Narcolepsycho (Silent Scream)”

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About Odyssey

I have had a life-long love of music, but from the first time I heard Kiss and Black Sabbath with my landlord's son in Nicholasville, KY in the mid 70's, I have been hooked on Hard Rock and Metal. While my tastes in music have done nothing but expand since then, Metal remains closest to my heart. In addition, I have played bass, still play guitar and have literally 1000's of CDs/MP3s, so my knowledge is long steeped and honest. I don't buy the whole splintered, sub-genres thing and choose to like bands and music based solely on individual merits. Obviously, this is always colored by my mood, what I need at any given point and time and what is generally pleasing to my ear. I also don't like to rip any music or band, instead having an open mind and ear for it all because I have a passion for it all. It is completely subjective and in a constant state of flux. Consider me a music "nerd" not a music "snob". As an extension of this love, I hope to share this passion with everyone here and learn from your passion as well! - Odyssey -

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