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Resistor - Rise CD (album) cover

RISE

Resistor

 

Crossover Prog

3.83 | 120 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars Rise is a CD full of exuberance, passion and demonstrates the sheer joy of playing good music

Resistor are a fabulous prog band that appeared out of nowhere and have made an indelible impression thanks to a severely non compromising approach to the music that blends heavy distorted guitar with clean vocals and mesmirising ambience. The notable thing that immediately hit me was the infectious melodies and the wonderful blend of traditional instruments with non traditional, especially the haunting violins and enchanting flute played so well by Steve Unruh. Steve also has easy to listen to vocals that are always a winner for me, reminiscent of Neal Morse's style. The bass guitar by Rob Winslow is profoundly understated, as are the drums that keep time in perfect syncopation well executed by Barry Farrands. Fran Turner is also prominent on guitar and together this quartet are able to generate some of the most compelling music I have heard in years.

The melodies are indeed easy to grasp onto and stay in the mind along with some of those lyrics. The Secret of the Open Sky is a 7 minute triumph that opens the album in a blaze of prog glory; I love the way the drums crash in on this track over a driving incessant heavy guitar motif. Masquerade is quite a jaunty melody driven song with a more mainstream sound; and then Spaceghetti follows, that is one of the best instrumentals I have heard in a long time; it just hooks into you and everytime I hear it, this lifts my spirit with it's estranged angular guitar riff, screeching violins and spacey sounds. You can tell the band are having fun here and are so accomplished as musicians, and experimental in this case, that you just want to come along for the ride. This tune really stayed with me for days after I heard this a few times.

Ether is a pleasant track, followed by the 16 minute mini epic Mimosa. This track is full of tranquil ambient passages with mystical flute and sweet violin and ascends to a crescendo with staccato blasts of guitar and drums. Then there is the quaint fun of a so called Side 2, in the vinyl tradition, though it is still the same CD, with a track called Changing Sides, basically a throwback to when you used to have to change the vinyl record over in the good old days. This prepares us for the massive epic The Land of No Groove.

This magnificent piece clocks in at 39:18 and at times one may forget that this is the same band as the first part of the CD. Resistor change tact here and go for an all out progressive onslaught. It is a captivating journey, and nowhere near as heavy as earlier tracks. The vocals are more subdued and even more spoken than sung, and it seems to work, though I prefer the singing of Unruh. The main soundscape is dominated with a wall of sound of all instruments combined with only the occasional blazing solo. I love the way the flute and guitar combine at times and it is an uplifting result. This is feel good music and reminds me of Transatlantic or Spock's Beard although a lot heavier in the guitar department. The epic is a type of satire of prog similar to what Jethro Tull did on their infamous album though more subtle that that. The story, if you can call it that, revolves around a group of burnt out musicians on the ultimate quest for good music, well they are tired of the lame music that is out there so why not, aren't we all? So they grab their instruments in their old kit bags and set off on this zany adventure; an odyssey that is rather odd you see, as they leave the land of no groove and eventually encounter a strange lost land of art. Do they eventually find good music there? You will have to refrain from being parsimonious and buy the CD to find out! They do encounter a sea monster in the traditional sense of Jason and the Argonauts or Sinbad, I guess, but the best thing about this epic are the surprises in the complex music that move in a myriad of directions. The actual CD booklet artwork depicts this journey and you can follow along on the map, if that's what floats your boat, though it is evident that the map is more hysterical than historical. It is a refreshing approach and I believe it cements the band into a definitive prog genre, even though they opt for a decidedly mainstream sound on a lot of their other songs. Perhaps Resistor sound like Rush in their mainstream phase more than anything on this epic and the track 2112 springs to mind when you hear this epic, a similar approach in any case.

The guitars are almost metal at times but it is never overbearing and this will appeal to those who like their music heavy but not to the point where it is aggressive. On the contrary the sound is fun and exuberant, full of passion and there is a true sense of the sheer joy of playing good music. The music at times has an edge of beauty and lulls you into a dream and then in the next instant the time sig changes to produce something that jars your senses; it is never dull or repetitive, but rather has innovative instrumental sections throughout. On each track, there are enough time signatures to keep any metronome on its toes, and the instruments are played with virtuoso style. I recommend a listen as it was a surprisingly well executed album from relative newcomers to the genre.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |

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