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Rainbow - Rising CD (album) cover




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4.19 | 469 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Ritche Blackmore and Dio... what else could a metal head want?

It's the mid 70s, punk and prog fight a tough battle while metal starts to head to the front. That's where Rainbow comes in... the product of the ex-Deep Purple guitarist and that blimp-lunged vocalist that is Dio. While a fairly random band when it comes to quality of releases, this is the album where it all came together. Rising is a release that captures all the intensity and power of each musician on the album and puts it forward with some very fantasy-ish lyrics to back it up. The album really does border on prog when it comes into the second side, and this is an album that should appeal to many a prog fan.

Right from the get-go this is an album with great amounts of power. A quick bit of keyboard noodling and TAROT WOMAN is under way with some excellent riffs from Blackmore. Pulling into full speed Dio backs up this song with tremendous force, his vocals actually pulling the focus away from guitar god Blackmore at times. Most of the other songs on the first half are the same. RUN WITH THE WOLF is a catchy song with an explosive intro where Dio again gets to prove how good of a singer he is. Blackmore's blues influences constantly shine through in these songs making some very interesting music, adding a great kind soul behind all the power.

Speeding up a bit we come to the end of the first side. Unfortunately it won't be quite as strong as the start. The VERY Deep Purple sounding STARSTRUCK is quite well performed, but Dio doesn't really get the showcasing that he needs on this one and the song comes off as fairly weak. However, this song is excellent when put right beside DO YOU CLOSE YOUR EYES. This is the standard rock song on the album. Kind of sleazy and kind of cheesy, this song is one that kind of fell into the trap that many of the 70s metal bands fell into -- poor lyrics about women. Seriously guys... stick to the nerdy stuff. This song always makes me want to laugh when it comes to the chorus. ''Do you close your eyes when you're making love/making sweet love to me?''. I'm very tempted to answer on the behalf of the women that hes singing to with a resounding ''YES'' because we all know that metal-god Dio is not the most pretty man in the world.

Off that tangent now! ...Just about got lost for a second there...

Luckily, these songs are VERY redeemed coming into the second side. STARGAZER is the best song that Deep Purple never put out. Excellent guitar riffs from Blackmore mixed with those fantasy lyrics that Rainbow is so good at to make a truly wonderful experience. Most fans will tell you (and I will too) that this song is the defining performance of Dio's career. Coming into the end of the song Dio lets out some amazing vocal parts. So emotional, so blood chilling. This is what metal's all about.

Following up directly on that song is A LIGHT IN THE BLACK. (I'm almost 100% certain) This song is the continuation of the former and it's another very excellent song, this one much faster in pace. Blackmore's guitars just fly in this one as though he hasn't really been able to play at full speed the whole time. This song is mostly (excellent) soloing and is very well worth the listen because of the song's wonderful melodies composed by that wonderful Blackmore.

Overall this is likely one of the most progressive of Rainbow's records. Well, the second half anyways. Regardless, this is music that should appeal to most prog fans, especially those into heavy prog and prog metal. Deep Purple and Dio fans should also get a kick out of this. The one weak song on the album is easily overlooked in place of some of the best stuff that any of these artists ever put on tape. 4 stars, highly recommended.

Queen By-Tor | 4/5 |


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