Seemingly appearing on every festival bill and metal tour in the country, Rise To Remain have certainly been no slouches in raising their profile and fuelling the hype train which has steadily built around them. Yet, having cemented their live reputation, it has remained to be seen if the band could match their status on record, meaning that the polished and highly melodic ‘City Of Vultures’ will surely be lapped up by a hoard of eager, long suffering fans.
From the get go, the album proves itself to be the complete contemporary metal record. ‘The Serpent’ kicks things off with some furious riffing and a incredibly shifting vocal performance from Austin Dickinson, as he delivers guttural roars, rasping highs and a venomous mid range all within the first verse. It’s an undoubtedly violent opening, and reaches levels of brutality that prove difficult to match throughout the remainder of the album. Yet, although in places ‘City Of Vultures’ packs a serious punch, it is ultimately the melodious guitars and arena sized choruses that substantiate Rise To Remain‘s song writing credentials.
Lead guitarist Ben Tovey is without question the star of the show. His six string prowess, whether it be the lightning speed runs and glistening arpeggios of ‘Power Through Fear’ or the soaring abandon replete in ‘Bridges Will Burn’’, and his technical dexterity is consistently married with a sense of melodic timing and structure, making his guitar solos equally as impressive as they are stirring. The riff work is also stellar; ‘This Day Is Mine’ features some swaggering, southern rock attitude, whilst ‘Power Through Fear’ impresses with some sinister chord stabs.
Austin Dickinson, as previously mentioned, also shines with a welcome versatility. His harsh vocals, although employed far less frequently, infact show themselves to be more stirring than his clean performance, which given the album’s glossy production suffer from a slightly artificial and sterile edge. Yet, his ability to pen a hook is clearly evident, especially on the anthemic ‘God Can Bleed’ and single ready ‘We Will Last Forever’.
‘City Of Vultures’ ticks every box required of a up-and-coming mainstream metal act. Clearly talented and equipped with all the necessary tools for success, it’s difficult to foresee anything but an accomplished career for Rise To Remain. Already with a huge amount of exposure and experience under their belts, ‘City Of Vultures’ may well be their key into the big leagues.
Written by Tony Bliss