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On The Rise - 2009 Dream Zone

ARTIST: On The Rise
ALBUM: Dream Zone
LABEL: Frontiers
YEAR: 2009

LINEUP: Terje Eide - lead and backing vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass * Erik Engebretsen - drums * Christian Wolff - keyboards, bass, lead guitar, acoustic guitar * Eric Ragno - piano, keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Lifeline * 02 Lost Your Track * 03 Dream Zone * 04 Edellyn * 05 Alive * 06 In The Line Of Fire * 07 Get Out Of Here * 08 Fly Away * 09 No Time To Lose * 10 Why Wait Another Day * 11 Tomorrow Never Dies * 12 Howling At The Moon * 13 Find A Way (bonus)



It's taken Norwegian rocker Terje Eide six years to get his project/band On The Rise back into action. If Eide was a baker, his bread would've been baked a long time ago, and gone stale. Perhaps 'On The Rise' as a monicker is no longer appropriate, given the lengthy amount of time of inactivity. During the intervening years, Terje has been active in the MySpace world, tagging and being tagged by all and sundry. Frontiers have remained loyal during that time, and surprisingly, have announced the second and latest OTR album 'Dream Zone'. Now, if you wind the clock back to 2003, some of you will remember that the first OTR album was a tale of two halves: songs written and sung by Terje Eide while the other half were sung by then OTR partner Bennech Lyngboe. The album diced between pure AOR and a form of melodic midwest/new country. Though it might sound like the musical rquivalent of oil and water, the combination worked, the album making many friends during what was a busy period for melodic rock. Fans were eager for more, but OTR developed a split personality, with Lyngboe departing, and returning a few years later with his own 2006 Main Attraction project, a far rockier affair than OTR. Therefore, I was interested to hear the new OTR which is now a pure Eide project, and what he has to offer on his own bat. It's pretty good..

The Songs
There have been some excellent one off songs this year, and I have no hesitation in placing the first track off this album - 'Lifeline' as an addition to the list of best songs of 2009. It really is an AOR pearler. An incredible tune, no two ways about it! Eide goes all out to cement a fast start with another hot-shot tune 'Lost Your Track'. Two up, thumbs up. Though the title 'Dream Zone' might sound slightly tacky and well worn in 2009, the song itself holds up ok, very melodic, with a backbone of smooth synths, strident guitars and a wall of vocal harmonies. The first ballad strikes early, 'Edellyn' a simple guitar and layered synth arrangement with beautiful melodies throughout. It's AOR central on 'Alive', a familiar verse/chorus pattern that has been played out on many albums in the past. Fans of Pride Of Lions and Fergie Frederiksen will enjoy 'In The Line Of Fire', a punchy arrangement that will slot in well with those two acts. 'Get Out Of Here' takes us back to that first OTR album, a guitar rocker mostly with double tracked vocals going on. There's quite a bit of guitar soloing happening on 'Fly Away' which keeps things entertaining for all the guitarists out there, a breezy AOR tune it is, what else would you expect! 'No Time To Lose' is a gorgeous tune, as is the modern sounding 'Why Wait Another Day' containing some sharp guitar lines and beaut synth layers. 'Tomorrow Never Dies' flies high with some OTT guitar lines and an overall stirring performance. 'Howling At The Moon' is perhaps the coolest song on the album in my mind, love the chorus especially. The last track is a bonus.. 'Find A Way' is all about a racy style of AOR, again Fergie Frederiksen and his many projects would be a good example of what we're hearing.

In Summary
As mentioned, to my ears, 'Dream Zone' bears little resemblance to the first OTR album. In fact, I reckon it's better, and more consistent in style than its predecessor, but then again, both albums are good if not different. I really like how all the elements came together nicely and by utilising the talents of guys like Christian Wolff and Eric Ragno, this really does have a professional sheen about it. Well, I'm convinced! Another great album to end the 2009 year and the decade on. As they say on Ebay.. Buy with confidence.

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#1 | gdazegod on December 11 2009 10:51:59
And what's with the cover? It looks like a pair of breasts bursting through a space/time portal! We've already seen enough 'lights in the sky' up in Norway this week thank you very much! spinner
#2 | Kick on January 04 2010 15:59:05
Very nice album; the last 2 songs are superb. The bonus track sounds like Survivor. The other songs are also good, only tomorrorw never dies isn't my cup of tea. Good sounding album

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