Galneryus - Phoenix Rising review
|Release date:||October 2011|
01. The Rising
02. Tear Off Your Chain
03. Future Never Dies
04. Spirit Of Steel
06. The Wind Blows
08. No More Tears
09. Bash Out!
10. The Time Has Come
11. The Phoenix
Disc II [bonus]
01. Against The Wind [Stratovarius cover]
02. Rock You Like A Hurricane [Scorpions cover]
03. Secret Loser [Ozzy Osbourne cover]
04. 1789 [Silver Mountain cover]
05. Kiss Of Death [Dokken cover]
06. Never Die [Yngwie J. Malmsteen cover]
07. Street Lethal [Racer X cover]
Disc III [DVD] [limited edition bonus]
01. Cry For The Dark
02. Silent Revelation
03. Whisper In The Red Sky
04. Struggle For The Freedom Flag
Galneryus are a rising band that have one of the most impressive discographies in recent time. Coupled with the fact that they're near-hitting mainstream popularity in their native Japan, and it seems we have another metal band success story. Or so it would seem...
Phoenix Rising is a bag of tricks within a can of worms.
Starting off with the breathtaking intro, it soon leads into "Tear Off Your Chain": a nuclear powerhouse of pure symphonic ecstacy that is a nice break from this year's onslaught of depressive/drone black metal. I mean seriously, the guys have outdone themselves in making a serious-sounding tracklist but with a more chirpy tone and uplifting sound. Thankfully, this doesn't transcend into cheesiness, meaning the messages they relay are not taken for a joke - this is the real deal. Further evidence can be seen in "Future Never Dies" and "Scars", which carry the weight of the world on the rather grandiose and precise recording. Keyboard and symphonic elements are carefully weaved into the emotional fabric, giving us slight tastes of sugar without rotting our teeth.
The progressive aspects of the group are present as usual: although with more subtlety than one would hope. The many spellbinding riffs and laser-cutting accuracy certainly have their place for the majority of the tracks, although with this new rock-inspired sound it's harder for it to fit the bill: not much speed metal momentum to carry it the full mile and many tracks suffer from a touch of boredom. The lack of heavy chugging also leads to a less-assuming presence and so the LP is left feeling frail and off-balance; "Spirit of Steel" doesn't live up to to its full potential because of this softer touch among others.
The overall rock sound is what kills much of the LP; however, the much more metal-inspired tracks primarily found at the start add the much needed aggression to fuel the Phoenix' passion. While more melody is swapped in exchange for aggression, this only makes more filler towards the end.
While Galneryus have found a new groove to the added symphonic elements and some nice guitar work along the past few albums, the throwback to 70's-style music is one hell of a bad decision. What the group had going before this record was well executed and original. All the momentum of these power metal classics are destroyed behind some of the most lackluster and uninspired rock tracks this side of Metallica's Reload.
Bottom line: more Stratovarius and less of the Scorpions.
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