Released: 2013, Frontiers Records
2009 saw the self-titled debut of W.E.T., one of those seemingly thrown together super groups, featuring members of Work of Art, Eclipse, and Talisman. It was also a rare occasion where the super group tag wasn’t a kiss of death, as the album was a solid, exciting collection of melodic rock songs. Indeed, I now consider my initial slightly above average rating of 3.5/5 to be too low. Thankfully, the band is back together again with their second album, RISE UP, giving me the chance to rectify my error.
Although I have yet to hear Robert Sall’s music in Work of Art, I’ve always been a fan of Jeff Scott Soto’s music, and was recently converted to Eclipse in a big way with last year’s incredible BLEED & SCREAM effort, so it was definitely coming into this album with more expectations than I did the debut. I’m happy to say that RISE UP easily matches up to the debut and is a startlingly good rock album in its own right. The production is crisp and clear, giving equal attention to the vocals and guitars, and actually pushing Robban Back’s surprisingly powerful drums to the fore as well. Definitely a great job.
As for the music itself, the album is full of the heavy melodic rock that you would expect from the band’s various members. From the opening hooks of “Walk Away” to the final crashing drums of “Still Unbroken”, RISE UP is stadium-rock revival at its absolute best. Soto gives yet another masterful performance at the mic, and Martensson’s song writing skill is as sharp as ever. Sure, there are a couple of lulls (“Love Heals”, “Bad Boy”) but I daresay that you won’t hear a better rock album than this if 2013 (although Crashdiet certainly ties it…). For rock fans, this is the definition of “can’t miss”.