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On The Rise - 2003 On The Rise

ARTIST: On The Rise
ALBUM: On The Rise
LABEL: Frontiers
YEAR: 2003


LINEUP: Terje Eide - vocals, guitars * Bennech Lyngboe - vocals * Zsolt Meszaros - drums * Jan Martin Kleveland - bass * Asbjorn Vie - keyboards * Roy Bjorge - additional keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Beat Of Your Heart * 02 Lift You Up * 03 The World Of Change * 04 Memories Forever * 05 Pride * 06 Leaps And Bounds * 07 Running In The Night * 08 Keep Our Love Alive * 09 Stay Away * 10 Sadness Hits Like A Stone * 11 Two Young Hearts * 12 Could Have Been The Last Time * 13 Stranded * 14 The Moment


From the Northern Nordic locale of Bergen Norway comes a duo, ready to put the zing back into melodic rock again. If you're a regular here at G-DAZE, no doubt you've read the pre-release blurb of Messrs Eide and Lyngboe, and the fact that they've been picked up by Frontiers Records. No small feat I can tell you. I won't regurgitate their history in this review.. you can read it elsewhere. However, since being signed, the guys have put together a strong collection of tunes, encompassing older ones plus more recent additions. There must be something going on up in Norway of late, so many good bands standing out, with another one Stoneflower following hot on the heels of this review. Musically, On The Rise are all about smooth melodic rock, integrating the guitar sound of fellow Norwegians Return and Stage Dolls, throwing a bit of Sweden's Sahara and Ignition in there as well. Once you play some of these songs, it will all sound so familiar to you, and a nice reminder it is too! I won't go totally 'ga-ga' over it as many other websites have done, instead giving readers a balanced overview so you can all make your minds up accordingly. Now, with a total of fourteen tracks, the inevitable questions get asked about: why so many tracks? and does the quality carry all the way through? The first one I can't answer, but the second one.. well, I can say they've given it a jolly good crack, but ultimately, expecting 100% quality across fourteen tracks is a bit optimistic don't you think? I'll let you ultimately decide. The musical styles move between smooth Stage Dolls type affairs, to jangly mid-west efforts. I think the combination of Eide and Lyngboe is a match made in AOR heaven, and they've definitely focused on their strengths, which is deeply ingrained melodic music.

The Songs
Opening up with 'Beat Of Your Heart', you can instantly recognise the commercial appeal On The Rise provide. It may be 'paint by numbers' AOR, but it's done very well. Track 2 is sensational: 'Lift You Up', the stinging guitar solos, gorgeous chorus and overall depth makes this a track to remember. You'll be comparing this one to 'Commandos' era Stage Dolls. The lilting mid-west atmospherics on 'Memories Forever', combining melodic acoustic guitars and subtle keyboard parts, makes one ready to pack their bags for the US cornbelt! This style is continued on the lacy ballad 'Keep Our Love Alive', a tune which would've sounded great back in the glory-days era, as does the beautiful 'Could Have Been The Last Time', a song which allows the electrics to cut loose on the choruses and solo sections. Then of course there is the majestic epic 'The Moment' - the last track, but this one is a slow burner. I am reminded of Europe's 'Wings Of Tomorrow' era, as well as Yngwie J Malmsteen's 'Odyssey era material (through the acoustic solo section particularly), but this track is much smoother, with what sounds like layered keyboards resembling an Orchestral String Section providing the backdrop. OK, onto the heavier tracks, and the band take on the Jekyll and Hyde personality of Stage Dolls meeting Ignition in the studio. When I mean heavy, I'm not talking Judas Priest here, more along the lines of Giant. Listen to tracks like 'Pride', 'Running In The Night' and the powerful rockin' rhythms of 'Sadness Hits Like A Stone' as a comparison. 'Two Young Hearts' is another highlight. Again, it contains commercial appeal with just the right amount of AOR approved melody. The band kick up their heels slightly on the energetic pair of 'Stay Away' and 'Stranded', with Lyngboe (Terje Eide is the one who's singing 'Stay Away' and 'Stranded') vocalising in the same tradition as the dearly missed Mark Free.

In Summary
To summarise, given that we've got fourteen tracks to play with, the simple fact is, I can't really find a dud onboard here, though I did try! Sure, it might appear to be 'paint-by-numbers' AOR, but the material is not derivative, nor does it suffer from the 'skip to the next-track' syndrome. That in itself says something. I am certain that if you play this CD a few times over, you'll come to appreciate just how well this package has been put together. Considering we're talking Norwegian here, you can assume mostly everything coming from that part of the world is of high class and quality. On The Rise is no exception. Well done chaps!

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#1 | jeffrey343 on January 01 1970 01:00:00
I just got this based on this review, and it is pretty good stuff. All songs are at least very good, with a few that are excellent. Both Eide and Lyngboe are fine singers, but I think this material would really stand out with a truly superior vocalist (this again is not a criticism of these two guys, though; they both sing quite well).

Be warned - there is another band called On The Rise who put out a rapcore album in 2006 called 'Burning Inside'. Just looking at the cover and looking at the song titles, you might very well think it is these guys. And listening to the first seven seconds, you might be fooled. But unless you like rapcore (and I don't), don't pay any attention to it. That one is on Rhapsody unlike the album reviewed here, which I had to order (for only about ten dollars).
#2 | Jez on June 16 2008 02:35:29
Very 'Nelson' sounding in places, so if you like the 'Life' cd by them, you won't go wrong with this. Most of the tracks are recommended and are of a very high quality along with the production and playing, so i won't highlight a top tune, although the gorgeous ballad 'The Moment' which closes the album is one i keep going back to again
#3 | reyno-roxx on July 18 2008 10:03:23
At the time this was released this album restored my faith in the fact that there were 'new' AOR bands out there capable of doing something that didn't particularly retread old ground and wasn't a bunch of old musicians gathered together to create something half-hearted to be sold to gullible melodic rock fans.
Sadly, bands like OTR are few and far between these days.

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