Music can be a surprising and humbling experience; just when you think nothing can impress you anymore, a band puts out an album that strikes a chord. Whether they have a flair and tones similar to other groups you have encountered or just sound so different from everything else you have heard, it’s great to find another act that stands out from the hundreds of releases that come out each month. The Rising World, Crossing Eternity’s debut into the land of symphonic power metal, is both dramatic and infectious, injecting their own backgrounds and experience into their music.
Although both band and album are recent, Crossing Eternity contains members with years of experience as professional musicians. It shows, as the music has numerous influences blended together to create a musical experience that echoes Avantasia’s Ghostlights. There are elements of folk and jazz embedded into the musical structure, creating an immersive and danceable atmosphere. They add to the main body of the music, giving it a syncopated rhythm and a dynamic that keeps the music grounded.
The folk can be heard prominently in the songs “Dreams Fall” and “Angels Cry, Rainbows Hide”, where touches of a Celtic fiddle, reel tones, tambourine, and guitar add to that danceable atmosphere that is kept throughout the album. Meanwhile, “Dreams Fall” has a darker sound than “Angels Cry”, as that fiddle is played in gravelly tones in comparison to the rest of the track. On the other hand, the reel tones in “Angels Cry” are prominent throughout, heard in the beginning and in the pre-chorus and chorus. They give “Angels Cry” a sadder yet vibrant tone that makes the song stand out more than its predecessor.
Help yourself to a sampling of Crossing Eternity with the song “Ghost Of A Storm”.
While the folk elements are concentrated in certain areas, the jazz elements are heard throughout The Rising World, but they are mainly on the drums. They are most prominent on the pre-chorus and the bridge of “Crossing Eternity”, as the dynamics of those drums shift the song’s overall melody. As part of the opener, it gives the listener a good idea of what to expect on the album – an emotional yet dynamic experience that experiments with both sound and atmosphere. This is a testament to just how well-executed the composition is; it allows the listener to not only just enjoy the experience, but to also be in awe of what happens when three different people come together and create music that is all about having a good time.
Despite this excellent musicianship, what truly caught my attention the most were the vocals. Although it’s not the primary focus of the album – The Rising World’s most outstanding feature is its excellent instrumentation and musicianship – the vocals soar. They are emotional, dynamic and responsive to the music that backs them, changing from a deep baritone to a tenor with minor vibrato. They remind me of Avantasia’s Tobias Sammet, whose voice is one of the more recognizable in metal, and he brings attention to his voice the same way vocalist Berti Barbera does – by showing how versatile he is. I hope that Barbera brings more of that versatility in future releases and projects, as he has a fantastic voice.
However, despite its tendency for the majestic and the dramatic, The Rising World does have its faults. One of its biggest problems is the run time. Although the music is great, a lot of it feels indulgent, as if Crossing Eternity wanted to see what elements they could get away with without marring their vision. This album would benefit from a shorter run time – by being succinct in its run time (between 40 to 45 minutes) The Rising World would be more cohesive in tonality and sound.
“Crossing Eternity” will take you some time… better get started now!
The other problem is the production, especially where the instrumentation is concerned. Although it doesn’t need an entire overhaul, the album could benefit from a cleaner production and mixing process. There are moments where the vocals cannot be heard in the slew of loud music – particularly in “Sand in the Sky” and “Journey to the End of Dreams” – making it hard to hear the lyrics. Because of this, it can take the listener out of the experience and have a hard time focusing on what The Rising World brings.
Overall, The Rising World is a solid debut with dramatic versatility that shows throughout its run time. Although it would benefit from some editing and a clean production, it’s still a great album that shows the listener a good time. Personally, I would recommend this album to those who aren’t familiar with symphonic power metal, but have been meaning to get into it for a while. Don’t be put off by its run time; it’s a highly enjoyable album.
The Rising World Track Listing:
01. Crossing Eternity
02. Ghost of a Storm
03. Sand In the Sky
04. High Above the Crown
05. Kingdom Come
06 Embrace Your Voices
07. Journey to the End of Dreams
08. Winter Poem
10. Dreams Fall
11. Angles Cry, Rainbows Hide
12. Spirit Of The Forest
13. War Of Gods
Run Time: 61:20
Release Date: June 15, 2018
Record Label: Rockshots Records