Hot off the Press

21 Octayne | Into the Open

by Justin Gaines
– Senior Columnist/News Editor —

21 Octayne  Into the OpenGerman hard rock group 21 Octayne makes their debut this year with Into the Open. While probably not quite a “supergroup,” the band is made up of some veterans of the hard rock and metal scenes, including vocalist Hagen Grohe (The Joe Perry Project), guitarist Marco Wreidt (Axxis), bassist Andrew Lauer (Paul Gilbert’s solo band) and drummer Akex Landenburg (Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody).

Given the band members’ pedigrees, you might expect 21 Octayne to sound like Edguy or Pink Cream 69. Instead they have a decidedly American sound, specifically the mainstream hard rock sound that dominates the radio waves here in the States. Think Staind, Alter Bridge or a non-sucky Nickelback. It’s probably not what you’d expect from a German band, but there’s no denying that 21 Octayne plays this kind of music very well. They have a good sense of melody, but it’s balanced by a heavy crunch to the guitar sound. Grohe seems to be the driving force here, handling production, mixing, mastering, a good chunk of the songwriting and some instrumentation. Oh, and he sings too; perfectly for this kind of music. There’s a kind of inflection that you immediately associate with radio rock bands – kind of a post-alternative, not quite angst but generally pissed off for some reason tone – that this guy just nails.

Into the Open is a completely solid album throughout, but if you’re on the fence and want to sample a few songs, “She’s Killing Me,” “The Heart (Save Me)” and the title track ought to give you a good idea what 21 Octayne is all about. The very melodic closing track “Your Life” is another highlight, and is probably the one song on Into the Open that’s closest to the typical German melodic rock sound.

Into the Open is modern hard rock done right (and without the idiotic frat boy posturing). If you’re in the mood for the kind of straightforward, radio-friendly hard rock that dominates Sirius XM’s Octane channel, then 21 Octayne is a band you’ll want to check out. Hopefully mainstream radio will pay attention as well.

Genre: Hard Rock

Hagen Grohe (v)
Marco Wreidt (g)
Andrew Lauer (b)
Alex Landenburg (d)

Track Listing:
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 and I
8. The Heart (Save Me)
9. Your Life

Label: AFM Records


Hardrock Haven Rating: 7.75/10