Rainbow
Rising


5.0
classic

Review

by manosg STAFF
November 26th, 2017 | 32 replies


Release Date: 1976 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A monument of hard rock and one of the most epic offerings of all time.

There are moments in the history of music where the stars just align; rare moments where the outcome of seemingly dissimilar people is magical. Actually, there aren’t many words more suitable than “magic” when it comes to Rainbow’s sophomore effort. Rising is where power metal was born and heavy metal was redefined, where simple words created such a vivid imagery which led to an epic offering that had no precedent. Up to that point, heavy (or proto-heavy) metal revolved mainly around either dark themes from Black Sabbath or more ordinary material coming from the likes of Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin. Of course, Uriah Heep and Wishbone Ash, among others, had shown the way with Demons and Wizards and Argus respectively, but both albums had a different direction than Rising as they were more hard rock-oriented.

One interesting fact is that Rising took less than a month to be recorded which is a testament to the chemistry but also to the clear vision and hierarchy within the band; Ritchie Blackmore was responsible for the music and Ronnie James Dio wrote the lyrics based on the melodies. In fact, an important element of Dio’s lyrics that is worth mentioning is the selection of words and his clear delivery. A prime example can be found towards the end of “Stargazer” from the “Time is standing still” verse onwards. For a non-English speaker, this makes a world of a difference as it allows the listener to bond with the music on a deeper level. This also sheds some light on the fact that most European power metal bands that flourished in the mid-‘90s consider this LP a huge influence; these guys were impressionable teens back in 1976. In addition, the lyrics of the album’s centerpiece constitute a prime example of the seemingly cheesy power metal subject matter which, if examined more thoroughly, isn’t so cheesy after all. To be more specific, the song portrays – through the eyes of a slave – a wizard who is obsessed with flying and for that reason deploys an army of slaves who build a tower of stone. However, looking more between the lines, one can see hubris and the influence of the powerful on the weak.

Coming back to the stars alignment, we cannot disregard that Rainbow was practically a band consisting of not just all-star players but hall of famers with arguably GOAT status with one distinctive difference; Dio and Powell were at the start of their careers, therefore their statuses and consequently egos were such that allowed them to coexist with genius/control freak Blackmore. Dio’s known resume at that time included Elf (and Rainbow’s debut of course) while Powell had experience working with another genius in Jeff Beck. As much as Rainbow was Blackmore’s vision, Rising wouldn’t be possible without Cozy Powell's thunderous drumming who employed a different approach than that of Ian Paice with whom Blackmore had worked with in Deep Purple. Cozy brought a more hard-hitting, power playing than Paice – an incredible rhythm drummer – either accenting perfectly Blackmore’s riffs (“Stargazer”) or complementing them (“A Light in the Black”).

Looking for weak point on Rising isn’t an exercise in futility. Some may point out that Rising’s duration is too limited and that the album is quite uneven. Even though both might be valid arguments, it is the sheer quality of Side 2 that may give such an impression. I cannot imagine the impact that “Stargazer” had at the time but this is one of those songs that you probably remember the first time you heard and for a good reason; the simple yet effective and atmospheric riff, Dio’s amazing performance and the addition of orchestra are the very definition of “epic”. “A Light in the Black”, the fastest song of the album, is actually “Stargazer’s” continuation and describes the slave’s thoughts after being released by the wizard’s death while bringing Powell’s ferocious drumming to the forefront. However, Side 1 of the LP is quite impeccable as opener “Tarot Woman” sets the mood perfectly with its otherworldly synth intro (an impromptu contribution by Tony Carey) that draws the listener into a misty forest full of mysterious passages with unexpected twists and turns created by Carey's keys. What is more, even the weakest track of the album "Do You Close Your Eyes" features a very infectious vocal line just before the chorus.

Lastly, as evident from the band’s debut, Blackmore’s playing is different here than on Deep Purple, as it is less aggressive and wild but still very effective. His (underrated) riffs are memorable and his solos, as always, fit the songs perfectly while creating highlights within highlights. The cover art fits the musical offering like a glove and those who decide to check the Los Angeles Mix of the album will find that Jimmy Bain can deliver some rather nice bass lines. Yes, the album could have been longer but the combination of emotion, power and the qualities that each member brought to the band make Rising a monument of hard rock.



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user ratings (895)
Chart.
4.5
superb
other reviews of this album
ATARI STAFF (5)
Don't judge an album by its cover. Rainbow is one of the most rewarding collaborations in hard rock...

MrSirLordGentleman (5)
The Definition of "Epic"...

temporary (4.5)
...

Nagrarok (4.5)
I SEE A RAINBOW RIIIISIIIINGG!...



Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
Staff Reviewer
November 26th 2017


10646 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Wanted to write something for this one for a long time. Those of you who have the patience to read it, hope you enjoy.

Digging: Legendry - Dungeon Crawler

zakalwe
November 26th 2017


23717 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love you mano

Digging: Swarms - Black Chapel Sun

SoccerRiot
November 26th 2017


3255 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome review of a fantastic album. This might just be my favorite album that Dio was ever on, alongside Black Sabbath's Heaven and Hell

manosg
Staff Reviewer
November 26th 2017


10646 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

haha love you too zak!



Thanks Soccer. Yup agreed on the favorite Dio albums. These days Heaven and Hell has surpassed Holy Diver but they're interchangeable.

ATARI
Staff Reviewer
November 26th 2017


22820 Comments


dude this is one of your best reviews, and I'm not just saying that because this is an old favorite!

awesome work man, very worthy of the flag

Digging: Amy Shark - Night Thinker

MrSirLordGentleman
November 26th 2017


11000 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

YIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIS

manosg
Staff Reviewer
November 26th 2017


10646 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks guys, glad you're enjoying the review.

Scoob
November 26th 2017


4235 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

One of my fives I never questiom

Scoob
November 26th 2017


4235 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Sweet review pos

ChaoticVortex
November 26th 2017


511 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Fantastic review manosg, the kind of that it deserves. And given your profile picture no one can expect a lower rating.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
November 26th 2017


10646 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks Scoob.



Agreed Vortex. Was actually planning on it being my 100th review but didn't make it at the time. Glad you enjoyed the read, had a blast writing it.

EvoHavok
November 26th 2017


7306 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This just had to be done by you at some point.

Very entertaining read, manos!

manosg
Staff Reviewer
November 26th 2017


10646 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yup, it was only a matter of time. Glad you enjoyed the read, Evo.

rockandmetaljunkie
November 26th 2017


6934 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"Yes, the album could have been longer"



Correction, this album SHOULD have been longer simply because it is so incredible, it leaves you hungering for some more. I think however this is one of those records where quality comes before quantity and some times you just can't have them both.

rockandmetaljunkie
November 26th 2017


6934 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Also, i wanted to say that i never understood the negative reaction towards "Do you close your eyes". It is one of the catchiest songs blackmore ever wrote and Dio's performance is top notch. Rock music isn't all the times about epic song structures and neither should it be. Sometimes all you need is a great, simple riff and and a nice groove to get goin'. And this song has it.

MrSirLordGentleman
November 26th 2017


11000 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Do you Close Your Eyes is easily the weaker song in here



but on its own is still some great commercial hard rock

MrSirLordGentleman
November 26th 2017


11000 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

You should've given more love to Tarot Woman and how hard it synths manos bro



But still perfect review. Totally deserves to be flagged!

manosg
Staff Reviewer
November 27th 2017


10646 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Added something in the review for ya MSLG, hope you like it.



Agreed John. Dio's vox before the chorus of "Do you close your eyes" is one of my absolute favorite moments on the album.

mifzal
November 27th 2017


2732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Epic vocals

manosg
Staff Reviewer
November 27th 2017


10646 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Indeed. The very definition of them, mif.



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