METAL DIGGER 3: RADAKKA
Reviewing the discography of legendary bands, we thought of opening Metal Digger, a new section to remember those glories that contributed to the past sounds and that for various circumstances have been forgotten or were not so popularly known in some places on the planet. Big bandS with excellent musicians, who one day came to the top or not so much and our memory has forgotten. So, if our readers also want to collaborate in the construction of this thread of articles with their memories, they are welcome.
It is also an attempt to bring curiosity on "new" metalheads, or at least make them raise an eyebrow for a while, when they listen to these amazing groups. In front of each album´s name you will see a rating number according to our opinion.
By: Atahualpa- Hummingbird Press Greece
Immerse yourself in the past... In this third article we will remember RADAKKA.
Country : U.S.A.
Original year of foundation : 1988
Genre : Progressive / Power Metal
The story took place in Chicago, Illinois. RADAKKA was created by three members of the former Heavy Metal band PARADOXX: Jon Dobbs on guitars, Randy Jostes on bass guitar, and Dean Maltese on drums. They wanted to focus on something different from an Epic / Heavy Metal thematic. Instead they wanted to reach a more intellectual and “interesting” sound, for that time. Shortly after the band was formed in 1988, guitarist Michael Posch joined the band. RADAKKA performed a lot of concerts on local places before they started to be “talk of the town”. Their Progressive/Power Metal sound intrigued the audience. Their lyrical content and power sound, balanced perfectly. “Breaking” the local circle and playing on different states, they made it to record their first,self-titled, demo. “Radakka” was their first try; a 4 songs demo which was recorded in 1988. The band continued to tour around the States, building their fame. The first demo left a “sweet taste” to the audience and they were waiting to see which was going to be their next step.
The next years they were active. Two years later in 1990, they recorded their second demo. ”Vicious Raditude” was a four song cassette. The band, was probably still influenced by PARADOXX´s sound, they hadn´t totally reached the progressive style they wanted to move next. What did we have then? Aggressive, blazing, U.S. Heavy/Power Metal. In time, the band was going to find their way to the genre they want to serve. In 1991 they recorded their next demo called “Masquerade”. That time it was a 5 song cassette. The band's members after too many concerts in local base and playing mostly in the Midwest of the country, seemed to have “evolved”. Compared to their first demo, “Masquerade” sounded much more melodic and closer to QUEENSRYCHE´s type of Metal than to a typical 80's Heavy Metal group. With such a success, RADAKKA still worked hard and made it to open concerts of bands like QUEENSRYCHE , MEGADETH and KANSAS. The path wasn't easy for them, even if they were a “hot name”. Still 5 years had to pass for their next recording.
It was a big surprise that Century Media, a label that signed mostly bands such as DARK TRANQUILLITY and OPETH, decided to invest in RADAKKA; maybe their idea was to become more “open” to the European audience. For RADAKKA this was a huge opportunity and a reward for their hard tries. In 1996 the band released their first full album, “Malice and Tranquility”(7,5) . The album was a palimpsest of different influences. At times they could be heard as and AOR group, other times like a Power Metal band. The only sure thing is that their “strong point” are the melodies. The voice of John Dobbs was too melodic. The guitars kept a hard n' heavy sound without being “blabbered”. The songs were over 4 minutes all of them, giving the opportunity to the band to “build” their musical thematic. While in U.S.A. they were never accepted much, the album was warmly accepted in Europe. It received positive comments and great appreciation. The thing is, that even if RADAKKA was a U.S. band, only after Europeans good critics, the Noth American audience started paying attention to them.
Being satisfied from their first album, Century Media, gave them the chance to record a second album. In 1998 the band came into the studio and recorded “Requiem for the Innocent”(5,5). Unfortunately here, we have a really weak album. The band was lost on what they wanted to do originally. A bit of AOR, a bit of Power Metal (only a few riffs and not even a whole song), a bit Progressive, a bit Hard n' Heavy, trying to find their steps. In some other cases this would work as an excellent motivation to combine genres and sounds and give masterpieces, but here they were disoriented and troubled. The will was gentle, the result was poor. The situation became harder for the band because of this. U.S. fans never accepted the softened sound of RADAKKA and this was the reason they were never able to support their music out of the country. Money for concerts and European tours never came. The band was “killed” by the tension among its members due to the bad turn the group decided to follow. The members were unable to handle the pressure which finally led them to split up and to follow different projects.
RADAKKA, for sure, wouldn't be named as a huge band. Their 3 demos were promising about seeing a really huge band rising and their first album showed some capable musicians with great future. Some fans, mostly the U.S. ones, led by the “purity” of Heavy Metal sound, rejected them from the beginning. This was one of the first experimental tries in Metal to get a different direction and to escape from the 80's “monolithic” ways. Even for this, they have a part of the “credits”. I say, “give them a chance”.
MALICE AND TRANQUILITY (1996)
MALICE AND TRANQUILITY (1996)
REQUIEM FOR THE INNOCENT (1998)