A horrible hack



Year Released: 2014
Format: CD
Label: Indisciplinarian
Reviewed by Alex Hannan on Aug 7, 2014
RISING's debut LP, "To Solemn Ash", combined a crunchy downtuned sound with a taste for anthemic power, revelling in swaggering rhythms with a dash of PRIEST-like extravagance. Follow-up "Abominor" begins by turning the bombast down a notch and delivering a more sombre atmosphere, singer Henrik here relying more on growling rhythm and texture than the soaring vocal melodies of previous years, and the band slipping into a powerful but measured D-beat. The terse treble guitar refrain of opener "The disdain" strongly recalls FROM ASHES RISE circa "Nightmares".

The guitars are immaculately realized throughout the album, precise and detailed in phrasing, each tiny inflection, vibrato and string bend clearly audible. The delicacy of tone in the intros to "Leech" and "Suffering nameless", the atmospheric little swooping lines and pick slides, balance the heaviness elsewhere in a refreshing way. The focus it must have taken to get a result this polished is particularly impressive considering that inter-band tensions led two-thirds of the group to leave after its recording. Guitarist and label owner Jacob Krogholt was briefly left the sole remaining member, and RISING have been regrouping since then with a former member re-installed on drums.

There is still a strong vein of their earlier style running through "Abominor"; crowd-pleasing moments like the key-change that boosts the solo in "Vengeance is timeless" draw on a solid sense of metal songwriting. The solos remain excellent, and are thought through, contextualised and placed so as to really take a song over the top, no mere chance to showcase chops. By fifth song "Leech" more melody and harmony is seeping back in to both vocals and guitars. "Broken Asunder" could have been written by first-album era RISING. Their ability to flawlessly execute a crust-influenced style, or the widescreen melancholy of closer "Gaunt", and integrate elements of hard charging battle metal makes the sound diverse and dynamic in a way which few punk bands approaching this style could pull off. The songs have a diversity of rhythm and songwriting that makes even DISFEAR sound unadventurous in comparison.

I'm left hoping that RISING are able to regroup and continue - it's a great shame that they couldn't have supported the LP with a tour.

Recommended record by Collective Zine!

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