City Of Vultures review by Rise to Remain

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  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.9 (41 votes)
Rise to Remain: City Of Vultures
1

Sound — 9
City of Vultures represents EMI-signed British metal band Rise to Remain's debut full length effort. Having toured with a star-studded cast of just about every major metal band going (Iron Maiden, Bullet For My Valentine, Trivium, Korn etc) over the past two years and off the back of just one EP, this album is arguably long overdue. Luckily, it delivers for the most part. You don't get signed to EMI as a metal band unless you're a little bit special and there are touches of class all over City of Vultures. It's obvious straight off the bat that fans of guitar solos are going to love this. Lead guitarist Ben Tovey is an absolute monster and from crushing opener The Serpent' right up until the last notes of Bridges Will Burn', which with it's outrageous swept arpeggiated runs is probably the zenith of the guy's playing on the LP, he delivers killer solo after killer solo. It's not all about shredding though and there are enough riffs on display here to enable City of Vultures to stand up alongside heavy metal's best. The Serpent's' verses channel the spirit of Lamb of God, the title track City of Vultures' is chaotic yet effective This Day Is Mine' is like a much punchier Bullet For My Valentine song and Power Through Fear' has the groove and bounce that most bands can only dream about writing. The drumming too is absolutely thunderous and Pat Lundy's double kick drums are all over this record. While the style of drumming is a little more minimalistic than some of his contemporaries, it is incredible effective and it provides the album with an incredible backbone. The bottom line is this: City of Vultures is rammed with great SONGS. Nothing overstays its welcome and nothing feels unnecessary, out of place or contrived. For a band so young and so green, that is very impressive indeed. The album ain't flawless though. Even though it's 12 songs in length, the album feels short and lacks a real change of pace and dynamic. We have to wait until the penultimate tracks Roads' for a change of pace which when it does come, it is actually quite well done and isn't overly saccharine, an easy trap to fall into.

Lyrics — 8
The vocal lines themselves, courtesy of Austin Dickinson (no, that surname isn't a co-incidence son of Bruce) are also largely successful and most prominent on the Trivium-esque Nothing Left' and the single-worthy Talking In Whispers'. An potential criticism however, would be the excessive vocal doubling going on on most if not all of the tracks. The vocal lines themselves are strong, but Dickinson's vocals are so layered that everything sounds a touch artificial. Consequently, the vocals very quickly grate on you, lose a bit of authenticity and power get all Matt Tuck on us instead of having any redeeming individuality which is a real shame.

Overall Impression — 8
On the whole then, City of Vultures is a pretty good effort. It's not going to send the shockwaves across the metal community like Ascendancy did for Trivium, but it's a very solid effort from a band that with their strong position is set to only get bigger. Expect big things. Acquire: God Can Bleed, The Serpent, Talking In Whispers.

20 comments sorted by best / new / date

    henrihell
    I like the fact that they're using growls as much as they do, most metalcore bands are just having these screams with serious lack of balls, while this is more of the brutal grindcore kind of lowpitched growls. Also I think it's a bit overproduced, the songs sounded much more brutal and agressive on the EP. But I guess that's EMI's fault, in a way.
    ibaneztron
    IN54N1TY wrote: Listened to this twice yesterday. I came to the summation that "City Of Vultures" is a bad title. It should be "How To Be Generic & Formulaic: A Guide To Ripping Off Every Modern Day Metal Band."
    You are a bit stupid aren't you. From what i've heard, they're very original, and given time i think they'll be giant. Trivium also said that they hold the future of metal in their hands.
    Shredx
    Good album, agree with the review mostly, especially with the vocals. Also thought it could've been abit heavier, I don't know if it is them changing as writers/producers influence or the more polished production, just loses some of the punch the EP had
    Machineflame
    They are Okay but I think they REALLY need to do something about their Lyrics and the Over-doubled vocals witch both make the album Hard to listen to for me witch is trully a shame.
    IN54N1TY
    You dont get signed to EMI as a metal band unless youre a little bit special
    Or Bruce Dickinson's son.
    Amito
    IN54N1TY wrote: You dont get signed to EMI as a metal band unless youre a little bit special Or Bruce Dickinson's son.
    Rocker796
    It's an ok album, but it's nothing special at all. People say how Rise To Remain are just ripping off every modern band, it's pretty much how it goes now, and I hate it as much as the next person. This album does lack some sort of originality.
    Hammerzeit
    Just come back to read the comments on this. It's worth bearing in mind that Ben Tovey (RTR's lead guitarist) is the son of a reputable classical conductor/composer. You wouldn't compare his work to his dads, so why compare Austin and Bruce? It's a bit hypocritical, so lay off the guy and enjoy this for it's own merits, of which there are plenty.
    simon19096
    He's also a bloody good guitar teacher, had lessons with him about once a month for about half a year, not so many anymore due to writing and recording album #2 which he showed me the opening track of, it was awesome
    metalmaster1500
    Check out the video for "Talking in Whispers" here
    ! You can also purchase the album on iTunes here http://bit.ly/CityofVultures_iTunes
    d1am0nd8
    In my opinion, they have there own unique sound and for there age, are very talented guys.. And i really hate when people slag Austin off and comparing him to his Dad. They are an amazing band both recorded and live.
    WARLOCK123
    Seriously, everyone needs to get over the whole 'they sound like other bands they suck' thing. Generic isn't a synonym for bad, in fact there are some albums that are very good despite being completely generic. At the end of the day this may well be a generic album, personally I think it an amalgamation of what other bands have done, but its one of the best albums (imo) to have come from the metalcore scene and these guys do actually have talent. Also, it seems to have become something of a norm for band's first release to be relatively generic, people want something they are familiar with and going all out experimental and making yourself sound unique can alienate people. Bands tend to build up a fanbase with a relatively un-original album and get more experimental from there on. When Avenged Sevenfold started out they were ridiculously generic, listen to early Atreyu, Bleeding Through and A7X and you will realise that they all sound the same, yet they've gone on to develop their own unique sound regardless of whether everyone likes them or not.
    IN54N1TY
    Listened to this twice yesterday. I came to the summation that "City Of Vultures" is a bad title. It should be "How To Be Generic & Formulaic: A Guide To Ripping Off Every Modern Day Metal Band."
    Drapte
    Lol, this is one of the best metalcore releases period. Please tell me, what other bands do they sound like? Every song on the album has it's own flavour. Ben Tovey is far from generic.