Review by Shadowdoom9 (Andi) for Rainbow - Rising (1976) Review by Shadowdoom9 (Andi) for Rainbow - Rising (1976)

Shadowdoom9 (Andi) Shadowdoom9 (Andi) / October 11, 2023 / 0

Rising shows Rainbow... well, rising! And there are some aspects that are actually ahead of their time, like up to a decade ahead. They already have the melodic NWOBHM of Iron Maiden and even the epic-sounding power metal of Helloween, while a bit of their prog-ish hard rock is still around. And since this isn't an entirely American band, and there's more focus on epicness than speed, I can safely say that Rising is the first ever European-style power metal album right here, at least in half the amount of songs.

There's practically no weakness in the group's talent. The late Ronnie James Dio sounds strong as always, especially when boosted by Ritchie Blackmore's background riffing. Only a couple small moments in the album show his vocals at fault, but he's still the lean mean singing machine that he was.

The fast power metal riffing makes its appearance in "Tarot Woman", though you might not suspect at first when the song starts off with a strange one and a half minute keyboard intro. And it's not just the music that adds to the power metal tag, it's the lyrics in which Dio sings about night witches in a dark forest. But then the album's sound switches to boogie hard rock in "Run with the Wolf". The chorus consists of just the song title repeated, and that's after a promising pre-chorus ("There's a hole in the sky...")

Then we end up facing the mainstream in "Starstruck". That song and "Do You Close Your Eyes" don't have much memorability in the riffing and lyrics. Cat-calling and crazy stalking groupies? That doesn't seem metal or politically correct! Despite having to singing those lyrics, Dio is a master of doing the singing he wants.

The epic power metal strikes back in "Stargazer" in almost a doomy pace. You can ever hear dramatic keyboards in the background during the climax. "Where is your star?" Finally, "A Light in the Black" is the most ahead of time when it comes to power metal, as it adds some speed to the European-style power metal that was more reserved for US power metal beforehand. The Tolkien-inspired lyrics, long song length, and blazing soloing say it all. Lots of melodic excitement and drama going on there!

All in all, Rising is a historical monster, with some of the greatest lyrics and vocals in heavy metal's first decade. Sure there are a couple problematic songs, but they barely affect the album's classic status. This is the kind of album to get if you're up for early melodic heavy metal, and perhaps the earliest power metal songs ever!

Favorites: "Tarot Woman", "Stargazer", "A Light in the Black"

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