I wish I could say every album given to me by an upcoming artist is exceptional but the truth is not every release is worthy of praise or even suggestion.
I understand more often than not that music represents someone else’s goals and dreams. I do not take an artist’s work lightly and I respect their grand achievement.
However, as a writer and critic of music I occasionally come across final products that must be criticized and unfortunately, this is one of those times.
Rise and Shine has been around since 1993 and Empty Hand is the band’s fourth release. Their music has been described as “Flower Power Metal” and I believe that is an accurate description because the music sounds like a cross between Black Sabbath and a psychedelic folk band. This is refreshing because that style of music hasn’t been attempted for years and this band pulls it off very well.
What makes this release unappealing to me are the vocals. The singing which is reminiscent of yodeling in some parts just doesn’t go with this psychedelic Black Sabbath style. There isn’t any vocal harmony with the music played which makes things rough for the listener.
I can’t say too much about the lyrics other than they seem an appropriate accompaniment to the music. I had a difficult time understanding the lyrics because Rise and Shine vocalist Josabeth Leidi uses some very unusual annunciations in her delivery.
I’m sure in her native tongue this woman can destroy an auditorium with her voice. She has an interesting sound and her potential can be heard loud and clear on this album but it sounds completely out of place.
I honestly do not believe this form of metal is the correct platform to properly show off Leidi’s unique singing style. Her sound does not enhance this music.
Imagine an unbelievable guitar solo followed by a string of awkward vocals. Any momentum the track had gained with the listener with that solo is instantly destroyed. These irregular starts and stops plague every track on the album.
The production quality of the release is average. Individual instrument sounds seem to fade in and out as the vocals occasionally overpower the rest of the music.
I am not a critic to shy away from a particular review because it may ruffle some feathers so I am giving you my opinion as a long time fan of metal. If you are unhappy with this review, please check out this release for yourself and let me know what you think. \m/
‘Empty Hand’ tracklisting:
1. Empty Hand
2. Empty Words
3. In the Arms of Death
4. I Don’t Belong
5. Someone Else’s Share
6. King Cliff
7. Harmony and Noise
8. Dirty Tricks
9. Another Troubled Mind
10. Too Much, Too Fast, Too Loud
Rise and Shine are:
Josabeth Leidi – Vocals
Joakim Knutsson – Guitars
Daniel Josefsson – Guitars
Dennis Pålsson – Bass
Magnus Rydman – Drums