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This great NWOBHM band offers an excellent power-rock/melodic metal album in “Rise Up.” Persian Risk are typical of the NWOBHM movement, in that while they may have slogged it out for a number of years, they have little in the way of albums on offer. However, if you’re anything like me, you may feel that “Rise Up” more than makes up for the lack of other releases. An array of powerful numbers seize the middle ground between 70’s British Pop-Rock, Classic NWOBHM, and mid/late 80’s US Hard Rock. A strong concoction in my books.
Track one opens the can up with a boom. Strong melodic power coming through in an instant hard rock classic. Track two, the power ballad “Jane” ventures into pop-rock territory, with a relaxed slow verse riff, and slow-thumping bass effort rumbling along under strong lead vocals. The chorus is kinda weak, compared to the well layered melodic verses, somewhat of a let-down. Nevertheless, the subject matter “too young for love”, and clean guitar make it a worthy track.
Track three, the title-track, and our next offering, gets more into hard to hard-rock territory. At times sounding like Halford, over some thundering, crunchy guitar riffs. Really a favourite, this one is intense, and as decent a metal anthem is many other NWOBHM classics. Play this one at high-volume when looking for some heavy-metal inspiration. The guitar leads beginning around the 2 minute mark are of a high calibre, and the thumping drums underneath soaring vocals that follow are once more reminiscent of Priest. This one is the true anthem of the album and should be well-liked up by priest fans. Great stuff!!!!
The next couple of tracks may not stand out as much as one or three, but have a lot to offer. A lot more leaning towards US hard rock of the period after NWOBHMs peak of popularity, most tracks retain a good amount of melodic British rock typical of the NWOBHM period (1979-1984). Track four, “Brave New World” slams the listener with some heavy Priest-sounding riffs, and some decent hi-production values. Track five starts us off with crunching and quick guitar, erupting into power-rock vocals offering a decent showcase of our lead vocalist. In fact, this singer is excellent, and dare i say rarely a NWOBHM vocalist makes such an impact. Well, perhaps Diamond Head, and Grim Reaper spring to mind. “Dark Tower” is another excellent “metal” track. Listing to the track now, in a public library, i can barely contain myself from singing along to my headphones, but would prefer to avoid the odd looks from my fellow library patrons.
All round a very strong album in my opinion. Certainly not a very well known NWOBHM act, Persian Risk aren’t messing around, especially with this excellent release. Well-written and composed songs, with a good mix of hard-rock ballads, NWOBHM, and powerful melodic rock, with some definitive metal influence (e.g. tracks three and four). When i first acquired this gem, I found it hard to stop playing it! The production on the album is strong, especially when compared with early NWOBHM material. I’m quite surprised this band didn’t make it bigger, really. At the time this album was released, this brand of melodic rock/metal was becoming huge, albeit probably more across the Atlantic, rather than in England. Solid, Solid stuff.