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Resistor Rise album cover
3.90 | 153 ratings | 12 reviews | 37% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Secret of the Open Sky (7:00)
2. Masquerade (4:40)
3. Spaceghetti (5:19)
4. Ether (5:43)
5. Mimosa (16:04)
6. Changing Sides (0:33)
7. The Land of No Groove (39:18) :
- a) Prologue (3:43)
- b) Dusty Plain (3:23)
- c) Jagged Mountain (4:59)
- d) Land's End (3:48)
- e) Off to Sea (2:36)
- f) Sea Monster Battle (5:29)
- g) The Isle Appears (2:17)
- h) Convincing the Islanders (5:01)
- i) Sailing Home (3:07)
- j) Groove Revolution (4:55)

Total Time 78:37

Line-up / Musicians

- Steve Unruh / lead vocals, violin, guitar, flute
- Fran Turner / guitar
- Rob Winslow / bass
- Barry Farrands / drums, backing vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Sixten Abbot

CDr self-released (2010, US)

Digital album

Thanks to marty mcfly for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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RESISTOR Rise ratings distribution

(153 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(37%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

RESISTOR Rise reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Resistor, band that we just added to Crossover is truly faithful to its genre name. Crossing borders, something Heavy (noted influence would be Rush), sometimes more acoustic like, even folk elements are there. Folk element (and both Irish music / Jethro feeling is boosted by violin / flute - just couldn't resist this presumption that everything with flute sounds a bit like good old Tull).

First "side" (it's not my idea, there is even song Changing Sides in the middle, between sections) consists of 5 quite long songs. Because whole album lasts 78 minutes, each side taking half of it, there is a lot of space to prove if it's worth listeners time. From my point of view, I can say that it is, this album provides a lot of styles, genres, influences and elements that makes music interesting. There are melodic parts, there are "Rock" parts, parts that are little bit dull (not much of them), then maybe it's just my imagination, but I would see there Jamming parts too (rare, maybe it's just haluci-sound-nation. My favourite ones would probably be Masquerade (see / hear [whatever your main used senses when listening music is] how Steve handles high pitched vocals in ending notes) and then lovely Mimosa

But the main point this album is so unique is its "side" (you know, tradition) long epic about land where disco music reigned (and was killed by pretty good jamming in Prog style). Funny, crazy, full of puns and in general interesting lyrics and also music (that's difficult sometimes, some bands gets too focused on either words or music that the other one is not so well conceived - not here though).

The Land of No Groove is quite pitoresque place, almost like Wonderland (think Alice). There also helps repeated listenings, as this is story and it's not as easy to follow as to read a book.

To be honest (and to tell more or less two private thoughts), at first, I didn't understand it at all, but not only at first (rather like still during let's say 15th listen of this album) I laughed through most of these parts (10 chapters of the story in total). Battle with sea dragon-like monster using music, incorporating themselves (band members) into story (they sail the sea), battle between Rock and Disco, amusing a lot, even though I have to tell that it sounds too forced in one or two occasions. Nothing major. "They said sail anyway".

4(+), I do think so that after so many listens, my admiration of "Rise" did rise higher. There is also strong feeling of honest musicians trying to make some fun and while they're at it, they produced extremely good album, which also stands its rating from Prog point of view (which as you know we should more or less calculate too).

Thank you Steve and I hope you are satisfied. Not with this review, it's my opinion, but rather with so quick band addition. I'm glad too.

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A colorful and passionate album!

Resistor is an American band, a side project of brilliant multi-instrumentalist Steve Unruh, who is now together with Rob Winslow, Barry Farrands and Fran Turner. They released a debut album in 2008, and now in this 2010 "Rise" saw the light.

When I said colorful, is because within this album you will find a lot of things, different sounds, diverse feelings, a journey to several places, and of course most important, songs full of quality. Rise is composed by "two sides" as the band put on purpose. The first one is composed by 5 compositions, including a 16-minute track; while the second one can be considered a 39-minute epic, divided in 10 passages (songs). The album's length is around 78 minutes.

Do not expect that gentle sound that predominates in Unruh's solo albums, here you will listen to different things, and that can be noticed since the very first song entitled "The Secret of the Open Sky", where a heavy sound appears and the rock element is always present. The vocals are excellent, the drums always constant and the soft violin adds an extra flavor. What a great song to start this album.

"Beyond this Masquerade" has not that heavy sound. Here the song is softer and calmer, which does not mean it is less interesting, though contrasts a little bit with that powerful opener track. There is a nice guitar solo after minute three and then a little stop, only to give pass to the final notes.

"Spaceghetti" is an extraordinary track. Here the violin is the leader; however the other instruments play a very important role because they help creating an intense atmosphere. After minute 3 there is a nice guitar solo and then a raw bass sound which suddenly stops to open the gates to that fast and intrepid violin sound. This is an instrumental song I like a lot, and another example of that colorful music I mentioned above. Now you have listened to three different songs.

With "Ether" you will appreciate to another face of Resistor, the guitars in the beginning are repetitive but addictive. The structure is the same until 2:30, when it changes to a more aggressive sound, reminding me to both Porcupine Tree's Hatesong and Pink Floyd's Astronomy Domine in some few moments, though I am sure that was not the intention. Then the song ends as it began.

"Mimosa" marks the end of the first side, but also shows the first long composition, lasting 16 minutes. The first moments shares tranquility, soft musical passages and a nice voice, the guitar is pretty nice, this time I would say they mark the rhythm of the track. Later a beautiful flute sound appears and that sensation of tranquility is even higher. When Mimosa reaches its fifth minute, the music and the mood change dramatically, becoming heavier and powerful. Both, the moments with voice and without it are great, because the first adds that extra sensibility to the song, while the second takes you to a new trip every single minute. Just before minute 8, the guitar returns to its first form, and then a delicate and beautifully played violin appears, suggesting a moment of reflection where you can close your eyes and put images on your mind. The second part of this song is pretty alike to the first moments, but now the guitar solos excel more with its clean and jazzy sound. There is a last change before minute 13, where a melancholic sound enters, first producing a soft sound, but little by little it is progressing and creating an exciting atmosphere. What a great song!

Now the second side begins. As I explained in my second paragraph, this could be considered as one long epic divided in 10 songs. I'll be honest to you, if I want to write song by song this review would never end and you may fall asleep, so I'll try to be brief, without letting anything I consider important out.

This part has a concept inside that tells a story, it is like the chronicle of some guys who used to live in the land of no groove where music is not the best, and later found the lost land of art. During all the song you will listen to that story, sometimes Unruh's vocals don't sing but only speak, though its tone varies according to the words he's pronouncing. So it is a complete journey, where you can join with those travelers.

All the parts here represent an important moment of the journey, and each title is well reflected in the music. Since the first second of this song the song will not stop until the last one, so you may not notice where a song finishes and a new passage begins, though if you are listen carefully, of course you will be aware of it. The music makes several direction changes, but the goal is always the same.

The work that all the four members of Resistor do here is awesome, each and everyone of them are connected to each other, so the music flows perfectly, which will attract the complete attention of the listener (it was in my case), because once the music caught you, it won't let you go until the complete journey ends.

The music in general is great: guitars (soft and heavy), nice bass notes, intense drums, delicate and moody violin, and of course a deep vocal work. All together compiles this excellent 40-minute trip.

Resistor's Rise has reached its goal with me, they have given me a great time, and when I listen to it again, I enjoy it more. It is a complete and consistent album that should be discovered by more prog lovers, I am sure they will be happy with it. Though I am tempted to a higher rating, I believe the most accurate would be four stars. I highly recommend it.

Enjoy it!

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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.

Review by TheGazzardian
2 stars Rise is actually two albums in one, and is presented with an "album flip" to give kind of the feeling of having two sides (even though in this case, each side is 40 minutes so far beyond what a vinyl could contain, so let's pretend this is a tape).

There is a fair amount of enjoyable music on this album but it is uneven. Resistor is clearly at their best when they are rocking out, as on the opening track and Spaceghetti, which are in my minds the best tracks on side 1. Spaceghetti in particular I like, for I find Steve's vocals weak (sorry Steve!) and it's an instrumental track, with lots of energy and some great violin work. The opener is also great, and in this case Steves vocals work great - I'm gonna throw it out there and say I'm honestly not sure why they don't work for me most of the time! In the opening track, Steve's voice rocks along with the music and it sounds great!

Perhaps the problem with the vocals is the same as one I would point out with the music - the band just isn't as strong at lighter moments, at least to my ears. I am totally grooving along with them when they are rocking out, when the guitars wail and the violins roar and the drums kick, but when they slow down, I just kind of lose interest until the next time they rock out.

The second "side" is a 40-long minute piece called "The Land of No Groove", and it is a tongue- in-cheek adventure starring the band members and their quest first to escape from, and then to improve the quality of, the music played on the radio. It is hilarious, my favorite part being "Sea Monster Battle", and the band is irreverent enough that I think even if you are a fan of music played on the radio you can't really get too offended by it. It pretty much has the same weaknesses and strengths as the first side, just with some additional comedy to lighten things up.

Unfortunately, although I do find this album enjoyable and amusing, it hasn't held up on multiple spins, and is rather uneven. Definitely worth a few listens though.

Review by Starhammer
3 stars Barry vs. The Sea Monster...

The second studio album from the crossover quartet of three electronic engineers and an electrician.

Like two albums for the price of one, five individual tracks followed by a sprawling forty minute suite. It contains elements of heavy prog, classic rock and folk but what sets it apart from its counterparts is the bands insistence on recording their individual parts together at the same time in the same room. This is an unusual approach nowadays and I like the warmth and fluidity in bring to the overall sound.

Despite the first half of the album having only five tracks, they are reasonably lengthy and so the album is split pretty evenly down the middle. All are solid, my personal favourites being The Secret of the Open Sky, Mimosa, and Spaceghetti which sounds like the love-child of Steve Harris and Ennio Morricone.

The second half isn't quite so consistent, but enjoyable nonetheless. The Rush influences shine through here with epic passages remiscent of The Necromancer or By-Tor and the Snow Dog. Lighthearted humour underlies the spoken narrative which charts the journey of a group of disillusioned musical explorers on their quest to find some new tunes. In this respect The Land of No Groove suite is comparable to the likes of Beardfish or, dare I say, Tenacious D.

This might not be to everyones's taste, but I personally think that Resistor's approach to writing top quality music, whilst not taking themselves too seriously, is refreshing. That said, their clever choice of band name makes using a search engine to find their website a bit of a nightmare!

The Verdict: 6.9MΩ.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Most prog albums seem to be of the deep, philosophical nature these days. It is so commonplace for serious matter to be conveyed and then along comes Steve Unruh and his fine band of musicians and put out an album that is of the highest quality but more importantly...lighthearted and fun! I ... (read more)

Report this review (#383758) | Posted by cutsofmeat | Thursday, January 20, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I am really surprised this album isn't rated higher. "Rise" is progressive, epic, and made by talented musicians. Resistor is a very well rounded band. And by "well rounded" I mean some of their songs are mostly jamming while others are centered around vocals. They also make great use of the vi ... (read more)

Report this review (#350985) | Posted by let prog reign | Sunday, December 12, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is a very good release, maybe not essential, but I like the spirit it's leaving on me after each listen - given by fun, good execution, with instrumental highlights on clean guitars and bass. Remind me somehow the Beardfish (namely "Sleeping in Traffic part 2"). Best Moments are the opener, ... (read more)

Report this review (#293567) | Posted by ingmin68 | Friday, August 6, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Resistor- rise was my first exposure to this band and the music of Steve Unruh. In many ways this was the band I've been waiting for to come along for some time now. The music has some sort of 'unpretentiousness' about it that I really like yet the compositions and lyrics are strong. Especially th ... (read more)

Report this review (#289355) | Posted by Cesarion | Tuesday, July 6, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I had never heard of this band when I read a review of this album, rating it 10/10. Always in for a surprise, I ordered the cd and was rewarded with a great album. One album? No, even better, two albums at once! Of these two, I prefer the first one, containing six individual songs including the ... (read more)

Report this review (#289104) | Posted by brunniepoo | Sunday, July 4, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I've been a big fan of Resistor eversince their excellent debut was released two years ago. And frankly: this one is even better! The first part of the albums contains 5 great lenghty heavy prog songs. The songs are not as 'immediate' as the stuiff on their debut. They need some time to sink in ... (read more)

Report this review (#286946) | Posted by EricH | Friday, June 18, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars "Rise" is the second album of Steve Unruh's progressive / rock / jam band. Steve Unruh is a Multi-instrumentalist who already recorded 8 solo albums all by himself. Those albums are mainly in a acoustic prog/folk style. The heavy prog rock of Resistor seems to serve as a perfect counterweight ... (read more)

Report this review (#285947) | Posted by thedunno | Friday, June 11, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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