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“The Rising” starts off the album with an epic symphonic melody that will, without any doubt, have the listener hooked immediately. The intro also progresses the symphonic melody to a guitar version from Syu, but what catches my attention is the use of harsh vocals which hasn’t been used since their earlier albums. So the given impression is on an extremely high note given their history and all.
As expected, the opening guitar solo/main melody (whatever the *** you want to call it) has a blast from the past on “Tear off Your Chain” with nostalgia written all over – seriously it reminds me of “Silent Revelation’s” opening lead. Unlike Galneryus’ most compared to counterpart (Dragonforce), Galneryus may seem like they’re going on the carbon-copy route but they always prove the haters wrong every time with their brilliant approach of composing. “Future Never Dies” follows afterwards and manifolds the prestige for what is expected from Galneryus, and trust me Galneryus fans have high expectations. Roaring guitar solos, blasting drums, atmospheric keyboards, catchy as hell vocals that have a j-pop influence, and an audible bass creates the epic atmosphere that many Galneryus fans are accustomed to. Having said all of that for those two songs it’s safe to say that Phoenix Rising is another Galneryus album.
Some may be wondering if there is, if not anything that’s keeping these guys relevant. All I have to say is have no fear. It’s true that an argument can lead to accusations with Galneryus being not all that progressive or innovative. But those who argue that point obviously don’t listen to them that closely. Galneryus’ progression is more internal rather external. Basically, Galneryus adds a lot of final touches that creates their progressive sound, unlike Opeth (whom I’d describe as an external progressive band where their sound is blatantly pretentious). Now, “Future Never Dies” has a lot of those final touches that make it so enthralling. One specific example could be the intro to “Scars”, as well as its’ atmospheric keyboards during the first verse. Despite some of these final touches which adds a progressive element to their work, we still see the same old Neo-classical shredding that Galneryus fans all adore.
Another bright side of the album is the mixed variations of Galneryus’ type of songs. To start with, I just described how they have their typical yet awesome Neo-classical metal songs, as well as their songs that add progressive touches. But there’s a couple more types of styles Galneryus plays that are also featured on Phoenix Rising.
“Spirit of Steel” and “T.F.F.B.” are great examples of Galneryus’ approach to classic power metal back from the 1980s and their fusion of Neo-classical metal that’s in the same vein as Yngwie Malmsteen from the `80s. Personally, I’ll go as far as to say that “Spirit of Steel” is probably the best song off of the album. The last and final variation on the album is, of course, the epic-esque ballads. Songs like “No More Tears” and “The Wind Blows” showcase emotions of all sorts whether it’s melancholy, joy, you name it it’ll still be there.
In conclusion, Phoenix Rising is a another Galneryus album. This necessarily doesn’t mean it’s bad, in fact it’s far from being bad. The only problem is that it’s not as extravaganza like compared to its predecessor, but that alone shouldn’t be a turn off. Phoenix Rising is, as I’ve said before, an awesome album. If you’re new to Galneryus I wouldn’t recommend this album expect for “Spirit of Steel”. If you’ve been listening to Galneryus for a while and love a good proportion of their material then go for it.
Spirit of Steel
Future Never Dies
(Originally written for http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/54411/Galneryus-Phoenix-Rising/ )