Rise to Remain – City of Vultures

Virgin Records, Audio CD: Rs. 395

Their debut offering has brought home accolades already. Named Best New Band by Metal Hammer and Best British Newcomer by Kerrang, Rise to Remain have quite a fan following already and it might have something to do with the fact that the front-man of the London-based metalcore five-piece band is Austin Dickinson, son of Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson.

Sure, the father's musical influence on the son does shine through somewhere, especially with the incorporation of twin-guitar harmonising. But Rise to Remain has a distinct flavour all their own.

We're led through the “Intro”, which is a short symphonic piece to “The Serpent” which is a fierce opener. There's a zest of “Lamb of God” on this one as Austin screams as much as he sings. The musical composition is rather frenetic.

The tuneful chorus of “This Day is Mine” counteracted by roaring vocals and shred guitar licks add vigour to the track. Quite an anthem this is!

Then comes the title track “City of Vultures”, which is metalcore in every sense. Individual talents of the band members are brought out best here. Hats off to Austin for his fabulous writing.

“God Can Bleed” is an abrasive and angst-filled track, melodious sometimes, unsettling at other times.

The next track is “Power through Fear” which comes across as energising with its heaviness and rage.

This album has two tracks from their “Bridges Will Burn” EP – “Nothing Left” and “Bridges Will Burn”, both of which have been re-recorded and modified. Melodic vocals and harmonised guitar riffs lend a polished texture to these songs.

If the band wanted “Roads” to be a ballad, the track doesn't quite match up to the formulaic ballad. But yes, the slower tempo and soul-searching lyrics give it a very emotional feel.

Other tracks on this album include “We will last forever” and “Illusions”, both of which maintain the essence of the band's soundscape, which is remarkable as compared to their contemporaries.

“City Of Vultures” (the album) is generic when it comes to song writing. Screaming verses, sparkling choruses, heavy guitar riffs, soft bridges, et al give it that metalcore finesse, which in some ways is good, but one notices that the band has the tendency to take to a lackadaisical chord progression where only the vocals are given importance.

But kudos to Ben Tovey for his stunning guitar work on this album.

All in all, this is a brilliant offering for a debut album but the band sure has a long way to go.

What they cannot avoid is being constantly measured by Iron Maiden standards; nonetheless they are capable of carving a niche of their own.