SOUND STRUGGLE – Rise

Sound Struggle 2015

A roar with a twist: Bostonian band can’t cease to surprise – and rise – on their album number two.

SOUND STRUGGLE - Rise

SOUND STRUGGLE –
Rise

This ensemble play a dangerous game: coming from the outside and not knowing their Berklee pedigree, it’s easy to dismiss the noise on there as your typical death metal, just because aggressive guitars and growling vocals muddle one’s perception. But just when you reach out to switch off, something magic happens with the assault coming to a halt and a gentle sax solo filling the gap in “Strongth” to open the doors to fusion musings that progressively manifest themselves in an intriguing interplay. There’s no hiding behind hefty riffs and chorus harmonies for Cameron Rasmussen’s lyrical guitar and Joey Izzo’s ivories, from art-rock synthesizers to the classically informed acoustic piano, while the infectiousness of “The Disease” is hung on clear voices and sparse, if quirky, romanticism – think GENTLE GIANT in Godzilla mode – before the chthonic thunder and jazzy runs are back for good. “Unexpected” would be the name of the game, then.

“Tempest” – another elemental epic – may house a dance groove in its vortex, yet “Close Your Eyes” wraps a muscular funk around a simple song, and “Suspended” marries delirium to bluesy bliss. So there might be method to this wonderful chaos. Just listen to the memorable refrain in “Rotating Door” or a Bach-inspired rumble in the lyrical flow of “Perpetual Motion” which soars vertiginously, whereas Michael Bozdeck’s reeds take the title track skywards leaving it to the six-strings to anchor the flight. That’s why the tornado curlicues and unison passages onĀ “Pretzel” – punctured with Joe Calderone’s bass – feel so solid, if joyous.

The wind of ascension is so strong here, it’s impossible to not be swept by it: you’re in for a heavy delight.

****3/4

March 3, 2016

Category(s): Reviews
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