Singing In The Rain

February 4, 2012 in Thematic Playlist by Arno Callens

We may complain about it every time it happens, we wouldn’t want to be caught in it, and would rather watch it through the window from the warmth and dryness of an open fireplace, but there is something indefinitely charming about the weather phenomenon of rain. Through my travels (from home to the bar and back) I have been repeatedly surprised by drizzles and downpours and my mindset in those cases has ranged from uncontrollable rage to maniacal laughter. And just when you think you can’t get any more mad, a song comes on happily recounting the fact of water running down your every surface. Most of this list is inspired by such events, the rest compiled from an impressive pool (ha-ha) of rain-themed tracks. I only included rain in the meteorological sense and left everything from acid, digital to iodic and yellow rain out. So, go dance in a puddle or just let the shower run, but whatever you do, don’t use an umbrella.

1. Iron Maiden – Rainmaker (Dance Of Death)

Fond as I am of the first seven Iron Maiden albums, I will always have a soft spot for Dance Of Death and “Rainmaker” is at least half the reason why. A fantastic upbeat lead, catchiness in spades and addictive enough to make you land in a small-sized room without windows screaming “You tell me we can start the rain!” while a team of doctors is staring at you on a monitor. And if not, it’s still one hell of a song.

2. Thaurorod – Shadows And Rain (Upon Haunted Battlefields)

Maybe more metaphorical rain than actual drops, but there is no saying no to that lead melody and chorus. For a generally more complex progressive power metal band this is a fairly straightforward song and I can only hope they will write more of these in the future.

3. Harmony – Rain (Chapter II: The Aftermath)

Can a song ever have it all? According to Harmony: yes. Kick-ass opening riff, grand symphonic interlude and memorable refrain, interchanged with each other throughout the whole thing. Meticulously crafted and expertly played, “Rain” makes me wish I knew Harmony a lot better than I actually do.

4. Mob Rules – Rain Song (Savage Land)

The first song I thought of for this list, since my purpose is right there in the title. Mob Rules is still a largely underappreciated band and based on the strength of their debut and every consecutive release that is a downright shame. “Rain Song” packs a Helloween-ish riff, Klaus Dirks’ instantly recognizable voice and a classic catchy chorus, going through a series of transformations from quietly folky to happily up-tempo. Mob Rules could not shake this song and re-imagined it as “New World Symphony” from Among The Gods to wonderfully epic results. Also: bagpipes. Mob Rules apparently adores rain, because I left off “(In The Land Of) Wind And Rain” and “Black Rain” in favor of this one.

5. Cloudscape – And Then The Rain… (Crimson Skies)

Cloudscape turned to cloudburst for this melancholy song, boasting a beautiful lead and chorus to top off its progressive chugging. Snowflakes are mentioned halfway through, but it’s the desperation associated with the advent of rain that sold me on this one. With all this fluffy power metal we’d almost forget that rain can symbolize our sadness and Cloudscape is here to remind us.

6. Last Tribe – Sound Of Rain (The Uncrowned)

My fingers lingered momentarily on the keyboard before typing because I was too busy singing along to this incredible tune. Last Tribe is sincerely missed in the power metal community and The Uncrowned stands as a genre classic. “Sound Of Rain” may be my favorite song of theirs (lots of those on this list now that I think of it) and it’s owed mostly to that unforgettable chorus. Now if you’ll excuse me: “Saved by the rain!”

7. Royal Hunt – Hard Rain’s Coming (Show Me How To Live)

This song came on when I was cycling through a rain storm and I involuntarily smirked at the topicality of it. It helps when the song reminding you of your current wetness is a neoclassical delight with the sort of chorus melody we all wished we thought of first. I propose that from now on weathermen all around the world use this song to warn of rain in their forecasts. It would seriously spice up the news.

8. Helloween – Where The Rain Grows (Master Of The Rings)

Helloween left me two options: this song or “Silent Rain”. It was a tough decision, but in the end I can’t deny that “Where The Rain Grows” would easily rank as one of my top ten favorite Helloween tunes. Solid riffing, Andi Deris making us all forget Chameleon ever happened and a refrain catchier than the cold you supposedly get from these rainy things. But as to where the rain really grows? My guess is the giant rain tree at the heart of the world.

9. Axxis – Heavy Rain (Utopia)

Only Axxis could make a vicious rainfall sound like the most fun thing on Earth that is not a bouncing castle. Breaking out Utopia is submitting yourself to an avalanche of contagious melodies, the vaccine for which would have to be the bleakest of black metal you could ever find. “Heavy Rain” is among the best of their latest effort and it has the optimistic power to make the grey clouds momentarily go away and make room for the brightest of suns.

10. Edguy – Holy Water (King Of Fools)

Oh my lord, this one doesn’t have “rain” in the title, off with its head! That may be, but when you hear the chorus you will find out why it’s here. When biking through a surprise shower I pray to the gods of shuffle to put this song on, because I’m usually to lazy and clammy to look for it myself. One day they blessed me and it was glorious.

11. Redemption – Let It Rain (This Mortal Coil)

In my research for this little project I stumbled upon a lot of ballads to which the theme obviously lends itself pretty well. But if I had to include one, it was always Redemption’s “Let It Rain”, a song not absent from my head for almost a week now. An unusually epic orchestral intro leads to a soft and mellow song praying for cleansing and relief. Old fare for a rain song, but the personal dimension of guitarist Nick Van Dyk’s struggle with cancer lends this ballad an extra emotional power.

12. Pyramaze – March Through An Endless Rain (Immortal)

Appropriately the last track of Pyramaze’s third release Immortal rounds out our trip through heaven’s tears. March-like rhythms guide an angelic voice and sweeping keyboards in what could be part of the Skyrim-soundtrack. Epic hardly begins to describe it and the haunting guitar leads grant it an even higher air of mysticism.