W.E.T. – Rise Up [Japanese Edition +1]
After presenting the next W.E.T. album here, some of you asked for the band’s 2 previous discs (must haves) in its Japanese Edition.
Robert Säll (Work Of Art), Erik Martensson (Eclipse) and Jeff Scott Soto (Talisman) teamed up in 2009 to release one best albums in the AOR / Melodic Rock genre from the last 20 years.
For this second effort “Rise Up” they returned even stronger, with a a stupendous set of songs. This Japanese Edition includes the bonus track ‘Victorious’.
W.E.T. have already perfected their classic AOR recipe adding this time on a number of occasions muscular and fiery Melodic Hard Rock ingredients and masterfully muddles them up with modern sounding powerhouse rhythms and air tight production.
With a stiffer and tougher guitar tone, stronger choruses and killer hooks, “Rise Up” takes you higher to heaven.
This time Jeff Scott Soto contributes with the lyrics on the songs compared to the previous album, where Erik and Robert did all the writing. It feels as if Soto is highly motivated and he pours all his heart and soul into this disc.
Joining forces with the original three members are Robban Back on drums and Magnus Henriksson (guitar) from Eclipse, you have here a monstrous band indeed.
“Rise Up” wonderfully reigns in the melodic field with just about the most aggressive driving backbone that you’re ever likely to experience in an AOR context. Most of the album has me thinking of it as a more muscular Journey’s ‘Raised On Radio’ version.
Yes, there are definite Journey overtones to this new recording from the pounding thud of the drums right down to the terrific backing vocals.
Opener “Walk Away” is just out of this world. It’s the quintessential Melodic Rock blockbuster updated with the big fat guitar/bass sound of modern rock productions. Pompous, bombastic, brilliant. With Martensson grandiosely ripping out steal fisted riffs and ear seducing harmonies the album quickly catches fire.
Every song has hooks galore, a soaring guitar solo and big boomy drums.
With only the second track of the album playing – “Learn To Live Again” – I’m sold. It has that ‘instant classic’ feel written all over it, it’s so incredibly catchy. The duel vocal harmonies between Soto and Martensson really cement itself as a stand out cut.
Tracks like “What You Want”, “Still Unbroken” and “Learn to Live Again” are precursors of top notch Melodic Rock, nursing that contagious stadium gallop through the chorus lines.
Jeff Scott Soto fulfils his part of the bargain through a classy performance, delivering a well aimed blast of honest nostalgia on “Broken Wings”, the heartfelt ballad “Love Heals” and the edgy “The Moment”.
“On The Run” is another impossibly bouncy, hard-hitting track with a soft centre, with Soto consistently rocking all over and the rhythm section moving every inch of your body.
I’m reminded of images of the great Jimi Jamison and his solo record last year for some reason on the streetwise rocker “Bad Boy” with an addictive chorus full of melody and catchy riffs sounding like a cross mix of ’80s arena rock and modern Hard Rock. Not strange, as Martensson has written and produced on both albums.
“Shot” delivers a great guitar intro that builds into a beast rockin’ song. The keyboards kick in and take over the scene in a track with all those components that create a great W.E.T. song. The vocals, guitars, and keyboards mesh so well to produce a very special melody perfect for the arenas.
“Still Believe In Us” is another deep, superb ballad full of magic, while album’s closer “Still Unbroken” is pure W.E.T. blending melody with punch as only this band seems capable to achieve.
“Rise Up” is a modern day Melodic Hard Rock classic.
A bombastic collection of killer tunes (all of them) with a dazzling guitar playing, tasteful glossy keys, terrific vocal harmonies and snarling rhythm section, all crowned by BIG, skyscraper-like choruses.
The Swedes did it again; W.E.T. does what all Melodic Rock should do – it makes you feels good.
But not only that, W.E.T. haven’t just raised the bar for themselves with “Rise Up”, they’ve also raised it for every other band out there, no matter the genre. Albums like this don’t come around very often…
A MUST HAVE
01. Walk Away
02. Learn to Live Again
03. Rise Up
04. Love Heals
05. What You Want
06. The Moment
07. Bad Boy
08. On The Run
09. Broken Wings
11. Still Believe In Us
12. Still Unbroken
13. Victorious [Japanese Bonus Track]
Jeff Scott Soto: Lead Vocals
Erik Martensson: Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Vocals
Robert Sall: Keyboards, Guitars
Robban Back: Drums
Magnus Henriksson: Guitars
BUY IT !