In their relatively short existence, a lot has happened to Danish metal outfit Rising. The Copenhagen act self-released an EP and 7″ single in 2009 and 2010 respectively, whose material would pave the way for their monolithic 2011 full-length debut, To Solemn Ash. The band’s crushing blend of sludge, doom and old school metal stylings would be refined even further on their bludgeoning sophomore effort, Abominor. Rising was beginning to genuinely sound like a force to be reckoned with, yet the band unfortunately dissolved shortly after recording that record. But the dissolution was only temporary as guitarist and main composer Jacob Krogholt quickly reassembled the band with new players. Now with a revamped lineup, Rising returns in 2016 fresh as ever with Oceans Into Their Graves. It would seem that the tumultuous times the band experienced only strengthened their craft and resulted in what is, arguably, their best work to date.
Oceans Into Their Graves picks up where Abominor left off, but pushes the limits of its predecessor’s sound to the brink. The band’s unique amalgam of sludge, doom metal and NWOBHM-leaning nuances has been polished and reconstructed for this full-length, with equal parts of the above genres/styles (and boundless others as well) mixed together flawlessly. The 44-minute opus begins with the brooding “All Dirt”, which barrels out of the gate with towering chords, primal, propulsive drumming and galloping groove riffs. The earth-shaking verses steadily unleash their seismic assaults as they bleed seamlessly into huge melodic choruses, psychedelic bridges and a destructive series of muscular guitar lines. New frontman Morten Grønnegaard’s vocal presence is the icing on the cake and his commanding, soaring tenor gives the track a unique character and breathes new life into this band in general. The track is like a sludge metal band’s take on classic heavy metal, or vice versa. It’s catchy, insurmountably heavy and sets the stage for what is to come.
“Burn Me Black” wastes no time unleashing sonic fury on the listener as it storms forth from the beginning with a collection of Neurosis-meets-Iron Maiden-esque chord progressions and charging percussion. These bouncing sludge riffs are interwoven with incendiary licks and crunchy solo work throughout the four-minute stormer in a display of virtuosity. “Old Jealousy” features an array of insanely catchy, melodic riffs that intertwine with each other in a serpentine fashion as Grønnegaard belts out powerful, driving choruses. Impressive solo work and angular, playful riffs collide head-on with dreary and gargantuan sections of doom metal and kaleidoscopic psychedelia. Album centerpiece “The Anger” serves as one of the record’s immediate standout tracks, even though the majority of the release is quite memorable. The nearly eight-minute leviathan weaves together cataclysmic doom riffs and old-school Mastodon-esque guitar conjurations. The climax of the track begins with a huge, cacophonous dirge that decays into a somber acoustic guitar-led section draped in a cloud of wavering soundscapes.
Rising reemerged from their hardships a new and improved metal machine, and Oceans Into Their Graves can attest to that. Their sonically dense and genre-defying compositions, thanks to their amalgamation of styles from across the spectrum, are unforgivably heavy and instantly memorable. Their memorability can also be attributed to Grønnegaard’s vocal performance on this LP, which provides an insane amount of catchy choruses and harmonies. Oceans Into Their Graves is the best thing quintet has ever written and is really just a solid metal record in general.
Release Date: April 29, 2016
Favorite Tracks: “All Dirt”, “The Anger”, “Death of a Giant” and “The Night”
For Fans Of: Neurosis, Baroness, Hull and Mastodon