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Rainbow's sophmore effort is timeless. 33 years after its initial release, the album is still impressive with its song structures, killer guitar playing, operatic vocals, and powerhouse drumming. Ladies and gentleman, this is the essential heavy metal album. With the addition of Cozy Powell behind the kit, this album features three musicians that are arguably the finest at their craft. Ronnie James Dio at the mic, Ritchie Blackmore with the guitar, and Cozy Powell with the drums.
After a very good debut album, Rainbow took the driving, straight-up rock and roll style of their songs and expanded it to and early incarnation of what power metal would come to be. Longer songs and deep, impactful vocals take the listener on a journey of the senses and will leave you wanting for more. One of the negatives is that there are only six songs, but each leave their mark.
From the warped keyboard opening by Tony Carey in "Tarot Woman" to the brooding, stomping drumming to "Stargazer" the musicianship of this record is in the elite. From the up-tempo numbers to the epic numbers, the writing is stellar and flows brilliantly. All instruments are represented with not one outweighing the other as the chemistry with each musician is remarkable.
A difference from the debut is more usage of the keyboard. Tony Carey does a phenomenal job with over using the obnoxious high note and reflects well off the solo in "Light in the Black." That song also perfectly showcases the talents of every individual and is a true classic. It also has the trippy, like "whoa dude" intro to "Tarot Woman" and erupts into a vicious riff from Ritchie. Tony also delivers some interesting atmospheric effects into "Stargazer" which is an impressive epic number. The genius that it took to write this masterpiece brings me to tears because it is incredible.
With the stellar amount of musicianship on this record, Rainbow "Rising" is in the pantheons of all-time great heavy metal records. Unfortunately, they would only make one more record after this because the fickle Ritchie would revamp the Rainbow lineup and sound. The six songs that comprise this record are all different and have their own unique style that makes them memorable. So put the horns up in the air and enjoy the magnificent Rainbow "Rising."