My favourite new way to discover great bands is by following the careers of the singers that leave White Wizzard. So far, that has led me to Holy Grail, Monument, and sometime last year, Omery Rising. Joseph Michael sung on the Omery Rising’s “Lady Snow” single and was also called up for duty for the band’s first full-length record, “The Rising”. This album does live up to both its epic cover art and title. It may take a few spins for the songs to click, as they’re a bit more subtle than some of the speed/heavy bands around today, but when it does click, this album will become a favourite.
The aforementioned White Wizzard is an excellent comparison to Omery Rising, and in particular, “The Rising” actually bears a strong resemblance to “The Devil’s Cut” (and not just because they share the same singer). A lot of Omery Rising’s riffs have those very cool, Maiden-esque chord progressions and harmonies. Sometimes they are heavily muted (see the intro to “Warzone”), while at others, they make incredibly interesting use of different rhythms, as well as plenty of galloping. Perhaps the only major area where “The Rising” differs from “The Devil’s Cut” is that it isn’t quite as aggressive with it’s guitar solos, which really just means that “The Rising” doesn’t have at least 5 guitar solos in every song. When they do pop up though, they’re usually incredibly well written, offering both shredding goodness and melodically pleasing lines.
Perhaps my favourite thing about this album is the bass playing. While the guitars and riffs are what drive the diversity of the record, the bass playing never lets up. It easily cuts through the mix, and there are even quite a few breaks with no guitars where a short bass fill pops out. Both the tone and style of the bass playing is very Steve Harris-esque, and there is no higher compliment when it comes to a 4-stringed attack in my eyes.
From a songwriting perspective, the album is pretty consistently strong. Though “Metal Holocaust” isn’t exactly a burner of an opener, it is a fantastic instrumental that sets the tone for the rest of the album. The 1-2 punch of “March of Madness” and “The People’s Temple” is the highlight, as both songs deliver fantastic choruses, showing Joseph Michael’s incredible vocal talents. The band’s previous single, “Lady Snow”, also appears here, and my opinion of this song has warmed over time, primarily because I’ve found it to be catchier and catchier.
If there is one complaint I could see someone levying against this album it would be the snare drum tone. Personally, I’ve always enjoyed when bands do something a bit different with their snare, and this album is no exception, but it is a bit mechanical sounding. Nevertheless, that is a minor issue on an otherwise stellar album. While it doesn’t seem like the new wave of traditional heavy metal scene is growing all that much anymore, bands like Omery Rising will keep it going strong for years to come!
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"March of Madness"
"The People's Temple"
4.6/5 or 92%.
Written by Scott