Track Listing
Beat Of Your Heart
Lift You Up (1)
The World Of Change
Memories Forever (3)
Pride (2)
Leaps & Bounds
Running In The Night
Keep Our Love Alive
Stay Away
Sadness Hits Like A Stone
Two Young Hearts
Could Have Been The Last Time
Stranded
The Moment

(*) Best Tracks

Buy it if you like:
Nelson
Rick Springfield
Giant
Mecca
ON THE RISE
On The Rise
Frontiers Records FRCD 139
Produced By: Eirik Gronner & Terje Eide w/ Bennech Lyngboe
Running Time: 58.20 Release Date: February 24
Released: EU Genre: AOR
WebLink: On The Rise LabelLink: Frontiers
98%

Great quality pure AOR albums are sometimes a little harder to find than the good ones out there. Last year we had Mecca and this year it seems there are a few more lined up. On The Rise has to be one of the best.
What's more impressive, is that like Mecca it's a debut album. The band is essentially a duo, but rather than take the programmed way out, they are accompanied by a full studio band, which has greatly enhanced the sonic quality of some fabulous pop/rock songs. On The Rise features a full sound and a balanced mix.
The guys are from Norway and therefore carry a certain European air to their sound. But they have mixed it all in with a very commercial blend of Nelson's hooks and harmonies, Giant's sense of a big production sound, Rick Springfield's layered melodies and Toto's technical finesse. Add a little of the Mecca sound, where Joe Vana was the singer and you have some idea where the album is heading.
I know I'm talking these guys up, but I've lived with this album for several months now and rate it one of the best pop/AOR releases in a long time. Each track has a different feel, while the album is held together with the same melodic thread.
Track By Track:
Opening the album is Beat Of Your Heart, a definite tribute to Nelson, featuring a hard edged guitar intro (a la Rick Springfield), giving way to pure Nelson harmonies. It's great to hear some pure AOR that isn't entirely derived from that 80's sound or from Journey! The hook filled verse moves into a bridge then a great feel good chorus with more sweet harmonies.
Lift You Up is a little more guitar driven again, darker and moodier, but still featuring more great harmonies and another stand out chorus.
The World Of Change continues the darker tone, with a Joseph Williams/Toto vibe to it. A sparse verse breaks into another catchy bridge/chorus formation with a hook that just sticks from the word go. Features a nice Lukather style guitar break mid-track.
Memories Forever is the first ballad of the album. This is a fabulous track. Moody, soft and mellow to start, slowly building as the song flows. This is another bit of brilliance straight out of the Nelson songbook. The softly sung chorus hook is another that won't be forgotten in a hurry.
And it just keeps getting better. Keeping the slower, moodier vibe is Pride, a song which is primarily guitar driven and supported by keyboards. A good verse drops straight into a chorus hook that is etched permanently to the brain first listen. I'm not sure what these guy shave been doing for the past dozen years, but they sure as hell know how to write songs with big hooks. One hell of a chorus that grows each time during the song.
Leaps & Bounds features another sweet Nelson style harmony duet. This track is mid tempo and features acoustic and electric guitars and another strong chorus, although not of the same impact as the last few tracks.
You might think the band would be running a little thin on great tracks by this stage. But no, 7 down and Running In The Night features another style, more like the punchier feel of the Nelson's Silence Is Broken album. This track is more uptempo and has a certain swagger to it. A good change in pace at a perfect time in the album's running order.
Keep Our Love Alive is another slow balladesque track, featuring a soft semi-acoustic approach and more of those sweet vocal harmonies. Another different sounding track from a varied album, yet it fits in perfectly with the rest of the material. Stay Away is another different feel within the album. This one features a tougher guitar intro and several different movements within the song. It's most comparable to one of Toto's little adventures, and like that band still features a very melodic chorus.
Sadness Hits Like A Stone picks up the tempo, with one of the album's faster beats. This has a Toto meets Giant feel to it, with some cleaver guitar parts and good vocal changes. Another strong and original chorus.
Two Young Hearts is a simple feel good pop song with more great harmonies, but not the most memorable chorus on the record.
Could Have Been The Last Time is mellower and slower in tempo than the last few tracks. It's a mid-tempo ballad that fits the album perfectly and is another solid addition to the tracks featured here.
Stranded rocks out like only a couple of other track son the album do. This uptempo guitar driven track features a tougher vocal and looser vibe.
14 tracks in and I'm still listening with a smile. The Moment closes out the album in a fitting way. This is a soft, acoustic track that is again different t anything else on the record. A very smooth track that ends the record with an atmospheric touch.

The Bottom Line
It's AOR all the way, but On The Rise offers something different, with a great deal of musical variety, all packed and delivered with some amazing harmonies, fantastic production and some of the best melodic choruses I have heard in a long time. The best thing is that even at 14 tracks, I'm struggling to find a filler. Each track has it's own feel and never once do I feel the urge to hit the skip button.
You will be doing well to find a better pop-rock / AOR release then this.

Line Up
Terje Eide: Lead Vocals, Guitars
Bennech Lyngboe: Lead & Background Vocals
Asbjorn Vie: Keyboards
Zsolt Meszaros: Drums
Jan Martin Kleveland: Bass
Roy Bjorge: Additonal Keys

Additional Ratings
Songwriting
100%
Attitude
98%
Production
96%

AOR Heaven NEH Records Z-Roxx Loud 1 Hot Tracks Target Wishing Well Loud Metal Perris


30/07/04: Ian - Watsoni10@aol.com
Rating: 95
I like this.Pure AOR,well crafted in every department.Well worthy of the 95 rating I gave it.If you do not own this cd I suggest you get a copy.SUPERB...

25/06/04: guillermo - guillerperez@usuariosretecal.es
Rating: 90
UN gran album en el que hay temas realmente impactantes sin embargo el conjunto es como una montana rusa con importantes bajadas de nivel. Album tipicamente escandinavo.

22/09/03: Superstitious1 - azaleaplace1@aol.com
Rating: 90
Familiar sound. Great songs, though. There are a lot of real gems here! I'll definetly but their next release.

27/06/03: savacap - ka1912@otenet.gr
Rating: 90
One of the best AOR album of the year. Very good songwriting, glorious refrain, melodies and some excellent ballads. Congratulations to the guys.

05/05/03: Flip Valero - valerof@wxs.nl
Rating: 99

Being a fan of AOR/Melodic for such a long time I've heard many albums but I can't believe there was a time I was more impressed by a debut album than this one.
Releasing a debut with 14 tracks and than all from such high quality is a very unique thing.
After I recieved the CD (thanks Kathy !!!) I've probably played it about 60 times now and still really enjoying it.
"Beat of a Heart" is a fantastic opener for an album and this is what AOR was ment to be.
"Pride" is a song with lyrics that I can relate to and what everybody should know.
"Running in the night" is a ass kicking song which gets me to walk to the CD player and crank up the volume.
"Keep our love alive" the way a ballad supposed to be written, fantastic!!
"Stranded" what can I say, already cranked up the volume but this one simply has to be heard by everybody.
"The Moment" this song really touched me emotional cause it explains how I felt when I asked my wife to marrie me.
Off course most people who visit here have heard the album but for everyone who hasn't don't waste your time and get it !!!!!
Frontiers can be proud to have signed such and amazing band.
I gave a rating of 99 cause I gotta realize these guys will release more music and I'm sure they can make a rating of 100!!


13/04/03: DjA - stiknside@hotmail.com
Rating: 82
Too familiar! This sounds too much like other things from the past. That having been said, it is what it is, a good melodic rock cd. Good writing, good playing, and a good solid vibe. It's just too much like other things from the past, and it isn't my very favorite type of sound, so keep that in mind with my rating.

11/04/03: Jamie Evers - jevers@execpc.com
Rating: 99
Shoot! ANDREW, you and I drew the same similarities when it comes to ON THE RISE. Mecca? Check YES. Nelson (I can d*mn near hear Gunnar and Matthew's voices in places especially after hearing the Nelson twins in concert last August), check YES. Rick Springfield, a pinch of the BoDeans, and the addictive structure of Survivor-esque material. Great production. ON THE RISE, you swept me off my feet and your debut and tunes "fit like a glove." How about a skin-tight hugging bodysuit?! OK, okay... Wowzers, thanks for satisfying my music tastes to a T (even if I would have switched the fade-outs or endings in a spot or two). The last three songs have yet to grow on me but this one won't leave my player for WEEKS & MONTHS to come. Please keep us supplied w/more great material. AOR fan and former Mecca webgirl, Jamie E. ... Freddy and you lucky dudes seeing ON THE RISE at The Gods, Fill Me In!

10/04/03: Kathy - lightangel@strikeabalance.net
Rating: 98
This duo from Norway have produced some of the best harmonizing seen in years! The songs they sing have wonderful lyrics, incredible vocals and great guitar riffs! For my ears out of 14 songs there isn't one filler ... Just fantastic AOR! I agree with Andrew ... you will play this album from start to finish without ever thinking of hitting that skip button ... but you will be tempted to perhaps hit repeat more than once! This band is definitely "On The Rise" and climbing higher and higher by *Leaps and Bounds*. :)

09/04/03: Scott - saurisch@esk.qld.gov.au
Rating: 85
This album is a classic case of less would have been more. Similar to Journey's 'Arrival', had this disc been trimmed of 2 or 3 songs, On The Rise would have really hit the mark. In my opinion, the inclusion of a few less interesting tracks has detracted from the end result.

Before I give the wrong impression, I will turn my attention to the many positives this album has to offer. From the first listen, it is obvious that this is an album of very high quality. With a crisp, clean production, all instruments can be clearly heard and there are plenty to hear. The many intricate layers of sound, which reveal themselves further with each listen, make for a musically interesting listening experience. Add to this some creative vocal harmonies and these guys have created a stunning debut.

Special mention must go the guitar work which is stamped all over this album. With its combination of heavy rock riffs, delicate acoustic compositions and many searing solos, this release is sure to bring a smile to the face of many a melodic rock devotee.

Unfortunately this smile fades from time to time as the album loses momentum. This could have been avoided by narrowing down the track listing. Personally I could have done without 'Memories Forever' and feel that including 'The Moment' as the last track really takes away from any lasting impact. Granted, these songs are of a standard many other artists would love to achieve, I just feel that they do not fit the album as well as other tracks. The absence of these 2 songs and perhaps 1 other would have enhanced the power these 2 maestros have displayed here.

While 14 tracks may represent great value for money, it does not always guarantee a better album. Harry Hess has the right idea with his 'Just Another Day'. At 10 tracks it is short, sweet and to the point yet lacks nothing. Other artists could learn a valuable lesson from this example.

In summary, On The Rise have produced an exceptional piece of melodic rock which could have been even better with a few minor adjustments.

06/04/03: David Ayotte - ayotte2506@yahoo.ca
Rating: 90
I had the pleasure of receiveing both the "On The Rise" and "Mecca" within the same week, I was in AOR Heaven. Both cd's are stellar, however the "On The Rise" is more to my taste. The songs seemed to be penned and played for the listeners and not as much for the band themselves. "Mecca" have written great tunes, however they do not seem to be as accessible as do the ones on the "On The Rise" cd. "Pride" and "The World of Change" are the stand out tracks, "Pride" has a chorus that will always be in your head. No fillers on this one, all 14 tracks flow one into the other. Believe me,58 minutes will never go by so fast.

25/03/03: Freddy De Keyzer - freddydekeyzer@hotmail.com
Rating: 82
Boy, was I curious to hear this one. Fantastic reviews, it must be something excellent. Is it that good ? Certainly not ! O.K., this is a good record, no mistake about that, but classic ? NO WAY ! If you compare this to the real gems as Agent, Fortune, Preview,Streets, Signal, I-Ten, Van Stephenson, Shadow King, Dakota,the debut of Foreigner etc. etc. than this is nothing more than average AOR, good these days, but not competitive with the classic eighties at all. Even bands of today like Drive She Said, Harlan Cage, Mecca, 101 South, Giant etc. have more class !! But it's not all bad, see my rating, which is pretty good by my standards. The harmony vocals are well done ( la Nelson)and some of the stuff is real melodic and catchy. I only miss the keyboards (they should have used 'em more).

12/03/03: koester - custer@online,no
Rating: 90
Great songs!! My personal favourite must be "Stay away".
A very good debut album!!

23/02/03: Rich - drhall01@hotmail.com
Rating: 80
This is a worthy effort but it doesn't blow my mind.Cool songs,playing,production etc. It follows the rules of the melodic rock handbook but none of the songs really standout to my liking.These guys do have potential though and i look foward to hear what they'll release in the future.Frontiers always puts out quality music and this is no exception.Nelson fans will love this.

20/02/03: Chris Lambert - chris@rockreportbe
Rating: 90
These Norwegian guys prove that melodic rock is still alive and well. Read my full review on www.rockreport.be. You can leave your comments there as well...

14/02/03: JasonR - papa_bear70@hotmail.com
Rating: 96
...superb AOR sound & the tunes are so catchy! Some great harmonies on here & if you like Journey, Toto, etc buy this for your collection.
Looking forward to number 2 :)

11/02/03: Figge - anderssonfigge@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
Another overrated album? No not really, if you're into this kind of music...pure AOR/Melodic rock. I like the cd so far (have listened to it about 5-6 times) but I don't LOVE it. That is of course not because it isn't a great record...it's me, I prefer a little rougher/harder edged stuff.....I think. When it comes to this genre it doesn't get much better than this. I must say that I'm not very fond of one of the singers.....not a big problem though.

08/02/03: Freddy Olsen - freol@online.no
Rating: 100
What can I say ?!

I totally agree with Andrew here, one HELL of an album !!!
But on the other hand, maybe I'm not the right guy when it comes to giving a 100% neutral review......;)
Still, if you can, try to get a hold of the Japanese version.It contains the bonus track WE ALL GOTTA CHANGE (a demo).
Hopefully it will appear on their next studio offering in all it's glory (to ME the song has a strong JOURNEY feel to it !!).

How these songs will come across live remains to be seen/heard......I guess we'll find out on the 25th......:)

Freddy.


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