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Rainbow - Rising CD (album) cover




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4.19 | 474 ratings

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4 stars I've always had an admiration for bands who pioneer genres (I hesitate to say invent because music is never simply invented). Rainbow, the project of ex-Deep Purple guitar wizard Ritchie Blackmore, did just that with this 1976 opus. This album single-handedly laid the foundations for power metal, which is often called "true metal" by its followers (the unintentionally hilarious Manowar, for example). Blackmore, along with future power metal and metal horn gesture pioneer Ronnie James Dio, combined the fantasy lyrics of prog with the burgeoning metal sound of England. The result was a short but essential slice of metal.

The album art grabs your attention from the start, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Each of the six songs is proto-power metal gold.

Tarot Woman ushers in the album with ethereal keyboards until the late, great Cozy Powell's bass drum crashes you back to reality.

Run With The Wolf sets the stage for melodic power metal with its mid tempo rumble.

Starstruck is the song most resembling a Purple tune. It's a bit silly, dealing with a female stalker, though not in the unique Ian Gillan way. However, it's still a sing-along track that will get stuck in your head.

Do You Close Your Eyes is usually considered filler, but it's ever bit as good as the previous songs.

Stargazer is Rainbow's ultimate track. Blackmore's solo, Dio's soaring vocals, the crashing drums, the keys, the punding bass, everything is perfect. This song is one of the top ten metal songs of all time IMO. It is responsible for symphonic prog and melodic power metal. How many bands can claim that one song helped set in motion TWO sub genres?

A Light In The Black closes the album with ferocity. It's propelled by Powell's double bass and Tony's keys and Dio and Blackmore never fail to shine.

Rising isn't very proggy, but it is essential for any fan of metal. In 1980, a reader's poll for Kerrang named this the greatest metal album of all time. It isn't that good, but it's certainly in the top 10.

1800iareyay | 4/5 |


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