Friday, June 27, 2014

RisingSide: Great new Prog band from Minnesota!

About RisingSide:
RisingSide is a unique four piece progressive rock band based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Their music is epic, hard rocking, soulful, complex, heavy, and storytelling. The members of RisingSide are also proactive with other professional and educational activity in the music community.

I was told about this band last week at the Agalloch concert in Minneapolis. Being that they are a progressive rock band from Minnesota, I'm actually not certain I hadn't heard of them. But regardless, I finally checked them out this week and am certainly glad I did.

They have a debut album Arrow: The Onus Key which came out in 2013 I thought I saw. I've listened to it twice and am already rather impressed. Enough so, I probably can say this is the best new band I've discovered from my hometown in at least a few years (Brice Plays Drums?).

Their music: I would describe it as sort of 90's-sounding prog metal/heavy prog rock. Mainly the guitars/guitar textures. But that isn't saying the sound/mix/production etc is bad or something I wish were better. They have a female singer named Katie who really does use a lot of emotion and keeps me paying attention to her voice throughout.

My early favorites have got to be "A Spell"..which almost sounds like a Saigon Kick song ("Spanish Rain"?) at 1st, and ends up being very melodic. "The Tentran Beast," "Admonition of Eld," "Inciting Incident"..the Hourglass suite that closes the record, etc. It's really an enjoyable record start to finish.

I guess to label them, I might say they are sort of heavy progressive rock with an emphasis on the melodic and textures more than actual complexity. A bit like The Gathering or Pink Floyd in some ways. Or I even hear some similarities to the band Three at points.

The first full-album release for RisingSide. "Arrow: The Onus Key" includes the first half of the "Arrow" story arch - an intergalactic tale of two alien races fighting for the fate of their world...and ours.

It also includes "The Telling of the Tower: Hourglass" - the second part of the time travel, epic love story of an immortal being from another plane of existence and a reincarnated samurai.

1 Inciting Incident
2 Save Her
3 The Tentran Beast
4 Chase
5 A Spell
6 Admonition of Eld
7 Volition - The Telling of the Tower: Hourglass
8 Seeking Avalon - The Telling of the Tower: Hourglass

They also have released an EP from a few years ago, The Telling of the Tower , which I suppose you could say which is a free download on the exact link below. 2 tracks, about 10 minutes. Both are as good if not even more polished than much of the Arrow: The Onus Key material.

 And as this blurb says, it is the 1st part of a 2-part concept/story, etc. Part Two being the last 2 tracks at the end of Arrow: The Onus Key

"The Telling of the Tower" is part one of a two part rock narrative. It follows the epic love story of an angelic alien and a samurai living in feudal Japan. Their violent romance takes them staggering through war, time, and space in a story of hope and tragedy. When the tower of your love collapses, what is there left to accomplish? What is there left to live for, but vengeance?

1. The Challenge
2. Feathers and Embers

I guess time will tell, but hopefully this band and the musicians in it will have a bright future. It's great to find another new local prog band, that their potential seems to hold a lot of optimism, at least from my impressions.

Hopefully I'll manage to catch them live sometime soon as well.