If you take one thing from this review or from listening to Rise To Remain’s debut ‘City Of Vultures’, let it be this: they are a band in their own right. This is a statement that needs clarifying courtesy of a more than obvious link to another musical force, one that pops its head up in almost every feature regarding the young band. Rise To Remain are their own musical force; one that is ready to take over the world, starting with this great debut.
Having toured with countless major metal names over the last couple of years, this release is very, very overdue. On the flipside, the band have had plenty of time to accumulate fans and build anticipation for this release and, thankfully, it’s well worth the wait.
‘City of Vultures’ begins with the aptly named ‘Intro’; a 52 second journey through tranquillity before ‘The Serpents’ leaps wholeheartedly into strong, heavy riffage; holding a great likeness to Lamb of God tracks and Randy’s aggressive vocal range. ‘Nothing Left’ leads us to a melodic dose of brilliance; Austin’s slick vocals making the chorus almost anthemic. Gruffer vocals prove more popular as the more smooth vocal lines throughout are reminiscent of Matt Tuck after a while. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but the real aggression behind certain vocals differentiate between the good tracks and the stellar tracks.
Vocals aside, the album is a great flaunt of the entire band’s musical talents. Key to many tracks are heavy riffs, dazzling guitar sweeps and great solos. Nothing is too forced and, musically, the album does not become overbearing. There’s an interesting quality to the musicality, flaunting just enough of certain sounds before changing, not allowing for a drag.
The title track allows for some of the heaviest vocals alongside some of the lightest. There’s a great balance the band have created, not opting for a directly screamed song and vice versa. ‘God Can Bleed’ is another recommended track for those supportive of the heavier pig screams alongside those finer vocal tracks.
‘Roads’ ticks the seemingly compulsory box for a slower track and, admittedly, it’s a tad hit or miss. It’s hard to pinpoint what’s missing from the track, but that’s the point: there’s something missing. ‘Bridges Will Burn’, the album’s closing number is one of the stand-out of the record; encompassing the harsher screams with Austin’s melodic vocals, the frantic drum beats and elaborate, speedy guitar to a dutiful send off from the band’s debut.
This album is packed to the brim with likeness and draws of inspiration. You can equate some songs to Lamb of God, others to Trivium, others to Bullet, but you could go on and on with the sounds reminiscent to certain tracks. The key to this album is the variety; albeit some comparisons are very easy, there’s a fine quality of balance throughout. Rise To Remain have packed ‘City Of Vultures’ with 45 minutes of attention-grabbing mixes of sounds and, quite frankly, you may wonder where the time went. It may not be the best release in metal of the year, but it’s one of the best debuts in a long time and, quite frankly, the only way from here is up.