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Mercury Rising - Building Rome CD (album) cover

BUILDING ROME

Mercury Rising

 

Progressive Metal

3.45 | 4 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Building Rome" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US progressive metal act Mercury Rising. The album was released through Noise Records in 1998. Itīs been 4 years since the release of the debut album "Upon Deaf Ears (1994)" and there have been a couple of lineup changes as guitarists Gary Goldsmith and Hal Dolliver have been replaced by Mike Evans and Judd Rizzo.

The music style has also changed a bit since the debut album. "Upon Deaf Ears (1994)" featured a sound that was a combination of guitar/vocal driven progressive metal and US power/thrash metal but "Building Rome" is more strictly a progressive metal album. The music is still guitar/vocal driven with very limited use of keyboards. There are lots of distorted guitar sections layered with clean guitars on the album and that element is very similar to the way Fates Warning arranged their songs in the early nineties. The harder edged riffing on the album remind me of early Dream Theater at their heaviest.

So "Building Rome" is a "classic" progressive metal album in almost every respect. Unfortunately the band neglect to write memorable tunes and especially the vocal lines come off as unremarkable. The fact that the sound production lacks a bit of bite isnīt exactly a contributing factor to a positive listening experience either. But it is first and foremost the songwriting thatīs the issue. While that may all sound very negative, "Building Rome" isnīt a horrible release by any means. In fact itīs rather enjoyable while itīs playing and as the musicianship is generally on a high level, there are still some quality factors that save the album.

Compared to the debut album Iīm definitely disappointed though. I guess I miss the more imediate heavy metal/US power metal element that was a big part of the sound on the debut. The focus on progressive ideas and playing have not worked in the bandīs favour. A 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is warranted.

UMUR | 3/5 |

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