I always thought Rainbow was just Deep Purple Lite. Fuck me with a big, black dildo (please!); I wrong about that. One listen to Stargazer was all it took for me to realize that Richie Blackmoore’s Rainbow was legit. Plus, in recent years I have come to be a big fan of Dio, at least his work in Black Sabbath anyway, so tasting the Rainbow seems like a logical progression in my downward slide towards liking things with more epic and fantasy-related themes. Don’t expect to see me beating off to Battlelore or Powerwolf anytime soon though. Just ask forum fruitcakes Daemonomania or Ryan Fox for some powerfolk related masturbation pics, they’ve got thousands… of each other.
Anyway, combine pre-Renaissance Festival Richie Blackmore with pre-death Ronnie James Dio and some heavy 70’s grooves and you get a proto-metal record that has clearly influenced tons and tons of shitty bands today like Blind Guardian, Hammerfall, and every other total assjuice power metal band in the world. Rainbow is not shitty, and “Rising” is a damn fine album. Smalley gave a pretty decent score to Rainbow’s debut a few months back. My score might be slightly lower, but I think “Rising” is slightly better than its predecessor. And I’m cool, so listen to me.
Yeah, we all know “Stargazer” is the shit; one of Rainbow’s heaviest songs and pretty much a preview of the sound Dio would produce later with Sabbath and his own successful solo albums. The drum intro courtesy of Kozy Shack Pudding Powell rules, Dorkmore’s main riff is heavier than BamaHammer’s momma after a night at an All-U-Can-Eat brisket shack, and Dio’s elfen voice is in top form. I could do with a little less of the orchestral elements (courtesy of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra), but they are tolerable because the rest of the song is so damn awesome.
No other track on here quite reaches the heavens like “Stargazer” (hold on, let me get my dick out of Stargazer’s mouth…there we go) but things stay in the good to very good range throughout “Rising”. “Run with the wolf” is a shorter, more straightforward rock track that features a catchy chorus, is about werewolves, and is pretty fucken rad. “Tarot woman” is a good opener and is really the only time the keyboards take center stage. I’m ok with that. “Starstruck” and “Do you close your eyes” are well-done tunes but don’t offer anything new to the established sound of 70’s, bluesy hard rock. I like that sound so, again, I’m OK with that. Just don’t go looking for anything mind-blowing or revolutionary between tracks 2 and 4.
The heavy hitters are found at the beginning and end of “Rising”. “A light in the black” is a strong finisher with some more quality drumming from Mr. Cozy. hearing the doublebass in pre-thrash/death metal always makes me happy. Plus, there are some fine guitar/keyboard lead moments that invoke the sweetness of Deep Purple’s “Lazy” and “Highway star” and a clearly a huge influence on modern progressive/power metal bands that gets funky on the electric ivories. Dream Theater, I’m looking at you.
If “Rising” was full of tracks as epic as “Stargazer” and “A light in the black” this would be a Class6(66) entry, I’d be scoring it higher than a 9, and Dio would be resurrected on the third day to save us all from the fires ov eternal damnation. It’s not, and he’s not; but “Rising” is a damn fine rock/pre-metal record that I am ashamed to admit I ignored until recently. Two of the songs on here clearly ahead of their time and are definite influences on 1,000,000 metal bands in the world today. The others are 70’s hard rock done basically, but done well.
Oh, and one final thing I must point out is the total awesomeness of the cover. A giant hand grabbing the shit out of a rainbow overtop a frosty, northern landscape is tits in my book. The only that would make it cooler would be a huge cock wrapped around a volcano. And you know what that bad boy would be shootin’ out…