Rise to Remain – City of Vultures (Century Media Records)

Monday, 25th March 2013
Rating: 7/10

If your father was the lead singer for Iron Maiden you’d try to sound as different as possible, right? That, and you’d be up Steve Harris’ butt to include more songs from Somewhere in Time in the setlist, but that’s a story for another day. Bruce Dickinson’s son Austin fronts Birmingham, England-based Rise to Remain, a rather “in the now” metalcore ensemble. With City of Vulture, the band hitches their wagon to the bumper of modern metal, getting an extra boost from name-recognition alone. Does this mean Austin needs a cool nickname ala his father’s “Air Raid Siren” tag?

Initially released in Europe in 2011, City of Vultures had its scheduled North American release date pushed back to June of this year thanks to the departure of the band’s rhythm section. Such a weird strategy in the Internet age. In light of this, four new songs have been tacked onto the album’s running order, but it is the weighty “Serpent,” hyper-deathcore “This Day Is Mine” and speedy “God Can Bleed” that connect the best. Also of note is lead guitarist Ben Tovey, whose leads are often the most interesting thing about each of these songs.

Dickinson is full-on good cop/bad cop over the course of City of Vultures. His throaty death metal roar is unintelligible (like it should be), while his cleanvocals border on the whine-on-dine assault from his contemporaries in Architects UK, Asking Alexandria, and As I Lay Dying. Therefore, no one can ever accuse Austin of mimicking his father, as evidenced by songs like the syrupy “Talking In Whispers” and soft-as-a-pillow “Roads.”

Seemingly, all the ducks are in a row for Rise to Remain to uh, become a rising force on Euro touring and festival circuits. Considering City of Vultures’high chart positions and critical backing, Dickinson and crew appear to have a solid career in front of them. Of course, they’ll never touch Iron Maiden, but real success for this crew could eventually come to down to them being able to stand on their own, without nepotism and its vast wingspan.


(This content originally appeared on Blistering.com)

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