Let’s start at the beginning, with ‘Live And Never Die‘. While the message of the song is good the lyrics are just so pitiable. The rhymes sound more like your local new-comer band writing their first album than a world-wide known, award-winning band like The Rasmus. But at least the song, like many of the songs on the album, is very catchy. Next up is the title track ‘Rise‘. It starts with a pretty nice guitar rift, before transforming into a mixture of pop and one of their older songs, which is probably why I like the song. It still has the essence of The Rasmus while also adding something new to the flavour. Though I don’t think it’s quite on the same level with the Guns N’ Roses hit ‘November Rain‘ with which they compare it in the press text.
‘Fireflies‘ is quite alright, except for the kinda annoying eerie sound at the beginning that can be best described as if someone is trying to imitate a theremin and that also keeps popping up throughout the rest of the song but doesn’t really add much to actually improve the song. Other than that the song is pretty nice. This one is more like The Rasmus how I know them, not at their best maybe, but at a good average.
And then we’re back with the sad lyrics. The music is arranged nicely on ‘Be Somebody‘ but the lyrics don’t sound like they come from an established writer and more like from a young artist writing their first few songs. If this was a newcomer band I would say there’s potential, but from a band that’s been around for almost three decades I expect more. Also Lauri‘s voice keeps sounding like it’s cracking and I can’t tell if that was an artistic choice to transport the sadness of the main character of the song or if is voice was actually cracking. Having the singer sound like his voice is breaking from sadness can be a nice accent to add depth to the song but it shouldn’t make you wonder if it was unintentional.
‘Odyssey‘ is one of the most simplistic songs I heard in a while. Music wise it works very well, there’s not much going on, but I also don’t miss anything in the music. The lyrics are again a different story. On a song with this little going on in the music I think you either need to have a singer with an absolutely outstanding voice or very on point lyrics. This song has neither. The lyrics are again disappointing and now also extremely repetitive.
‘Jezebel‘ I have no complains about and I’m very happy that The Rasmus got to represent Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest with this song. If the whole album would be like this I would be very excited about it. ‘Endless Horizon‘ then is maybe not the most outstanding song either, but it’s a pretty nice, slow and simplistic song. ‘Clouds‘ could have been nice, but again what’s up with his voice? Is he trying to sound sad or is he not able to hold a short note any more without his voice cracking? I really don’t know and it annoys me.
I really enjoyed the riff at the beginning of ‘Written In Blood‘ after that the song turns back into a shadow of The Rasmus‘ former self. The song has a very similar feel like ‘Livin’ in a World Without You‘ just, well, not quite as good unfortunately. And lastly ‘Evil‘ which seems a bit over-edited and over-complicated. There’s something there that reminds me of one of my favourite The Rasmus song ‘Funeral Song‘. But different from its predecessor, ‘Evil‘ seems like they had a good basic idea and then they tried to perfect it to a point that it’s simply too much. There’s also again the same issue with Lauri’s voice.
Overall it’s not a bad album, just quite average in my opinion, and nowhere near up to the standard The Rasmus has set for themselves in the past. Is it the strongest this band has been in ages, like Lauri says? Well yes, but only because The Rasmus hasn’t released anything in ages. But hey, at least the album grew somewhat on me with every listen, so maybe by the time they release their next album I’ll have learned to like this one more than I am right now. I’m also still happy that they’re back, it has been far too long since their last release. And at least the artwork is pleasing and visually appealing.
- Music / Songwriting 7/10
- Vocals / Lyrics 5/10
- Mix / Production 6/10
- Artwork & Packaging 9/10
- Originality 6/10
‘Rise‘ is a pretty average album. It’s been executed fine, but it can’t hold up to the pretty high standard The Rasmus has set in the past. The songs are very catchy but not that much more. That “something” that made The Rasmus great is just mostly missing on this record.