Rise To Remain

City Of Vultures

Written by: PP on 05/01/2012 05:22:39

It's been a while since we've seen this much hype about a band in the British media. Rise To Remain, who counts Bruce Dickinson's son Austin as its lead vocalist (like father, like son, eh?), have released a couple of mega hyped EPs, played all the big festivals (Download, Sonisphere, etc) and opened for Iron Maiden, all before releasing their debut album. Impressive, but to be expected from the son of one of the most successful metal bands on the planet. Did I mention their debut full length "City Of Vultures" was released by a major label?

The first question to ask is obvious: is it worth the hype? To some degree, yes, but nowhere to the extent of British Media Hype, which we see snowball and subsequently kill a promising band about every year or two by shoving them down the throats of people whether they like it or not. Case in point: Bullet For My Valentine.

The next relevant question is whether Rise To Remain sound like Iron Maiden at all? Is daddy proud? Does the offspring continue to wave the flag of British heavy metal with pride? While I'm sure Bruce approves no matter what Austin does, Rise To Remain isn't the next Iron Maiden or the band that'll make heavy metal trendy again. Far from it. In fact, they go for a sound that's distinctly un-trendy for a time being, namely a poppy form of metalcore that shares much in common with Bullet For My Valentine and Trivium's early produce. There are certainly a number of songs on "City Of Vultures" that could've been on the lost album between "The Poison" and "Scream, Aim, Fire". Austin's voice is at times indistinguishable from Matt Tuck's, although he has a far wider range that allows him to reach higher pitch vocals that resemble those by Rody Walker of Protest The Hero fame. The choruses and melody lines in general sometimes have that sappy and sugar-coated feel you encounter with BFMV and perhaps even on Avenged Sevenfold's newer produce, although these are offset somewhat through the A Day To Remember-esque growling that occupies around 30% of the album (see especially "We Will Last Forever").

But then there are the riffs and guitar work, which is at times as spectacular as you should expect from someone so closely connected to the Maiden legacy. Lead guitarist Ben Tovey and rhythm guitarist Will Homer have moments where they put Protest The Hero to shame with their technically challenging, melodic metalcore licks that manage to stay above the generic pack through sound soloing and an admirable passion for the guitar riff.

When combined together, the pop-metal choruses and the ambitious guitar work occasionally results into awe-inspiring songs, such as "The Serpent" and "This Is Mine". In fact, the whole first half of the record is full of bombastic moments that alone justify some of the hype Rise To Remain have been getting in Britain for this record.

But like many records these days, "City Of Vultures" is incredibly front-loaded with hits. Once we reach the halfway point on the album, the choruses are a notch less memorable, the riffs start repeating themselves (while staying technical nonetheless), and the album starts sounding a little samey. It never boggles down to being average or boring, but the brilliance of the beginning is simply not upheld by the time we reach track twelve. That shouldn't stop the band's advance into almost certain success, however, so you can expect to see and hear a lot more about Rise To Remain in the coming years. Oh, and lets just make it clear in case of anyone was wondering: although the band have certainly been in the receiving end of a whole lot of favors within the music industry, they redeem themselves by simply being a good band.

Download: The Serpent, This Day Is Mine,
For the fans of: Bullet For My Valentine, Trivium, Protest The Hero
Listen: Facebook

Release date 05.09.2011
EMI / Century Media

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