This is probably the album
that I longed the most for this cold winter. When
some of my favourite musicians in 'Work of Art' and
Esclipse together with the powerhouse vocalist in
'Talisman' Jeff Scott Soto is back with W.E.T
and with their following album 'Rise Up' to the self
titled album from 2009. And I am very excited and
have extremely high expectations to another
marvelous piece of art. Is it in parity to the
The debut album was one of 2009's top discs in the
AOR/melodic rock genre. 'Rise Up' managed to fulfil
my high wishes and actually lift them even higher in
the melodic rock heaven. They have planed off some
of the softer AOR style from the last disc. With a
stiffer and tougher guitar tone, stronger choruses
and yet it is so melodic, that the hair on my arms
rises! I must say that it sounds fucking magical.
A great production and a sound image, which is
flawless don’t surprise me at all because Erik
Mårtensson wouldn't release anything half-done. Erik
Martensson (Eclipse) and Robert Säll (Work of Art)
seem to have unlimited songs in their brains
archives because they can conjure up these twelve
songs even though they are also writing songs for
their own bands. This time Soto contributes with the
lyrics on the songs compared to the previous album,
where Erik and Robert did all the writing. It feels
as if Jeff Scott Soto is highly motivated and he
pours all his heart and soul into this disc. I have
listened to it several times over and over again and
I can't find any that annoys me or anything at all
to criticize. Even the cover is among the nicest
I've seen, so this will be one of the highest
ratings I've ever given an album.
If you are a fan of black, trash metal or just hate
melodic rock with splendid vocals and a crystal
clear production, this is absolutely nothing for
you!. For me, this is the angelic music and
celestial tones. AOR music in a leather package.
'Walk Away' is starting the album off and what a
killer track! This is such a song Journey has been
longing for and hasn't found for quite some time.
There are no plans to press the skip button! Never!
'Learn to Live Again' is a bright and happy song
with so much positive energy and when Jeff and Erik
mix their awesome voices, it sounds just marvellous.
The title song is not one of my personal favourites,
but Erik is playing some amazing guitar riffs and
with Jeff's strong voice, this is still a quite nice
track anyway. 'Love Heals' is a melodic ballad with
big emotions and Jeff has the opportunity to go all
the way. A bombastic and powerful ballad with a
dazzling guitar playing, which grows with every
'What You Want' is a reminiscent of the big songs
from the 80's groups like Styx, Night Ranger,
Journey, Boston and ToTo. The catchy track 'Bad Boy'
is a up-tempo song with big sing-a-long-inducing and
a great guitar solo within. 'On the Run' begins with
snarling riffs that quickly evolves into an melodic
and very tasteful song with big, strong choruses.
'Broken Wings' starts off with a different rhythm
than the earlier songs and it is a melodic gem.
Track ten is the mega monster track on 'Rise Up';
'Shot' has both the raw power and the sublime
elegant finesse at the same time. Melodic as hell
and with a nuclear bomb guitar solo in the middle.
This is the reason why we all listen to hard rock.
'Still Believe in Us' is an atmospheric song with
growing intensity and it's very powerful.
The album ends with 'Still Unbroken', driven melody
and at the same time an incredibly atmospheric track
that closes a disc that will get a stamp from me:
And the answer of my own question is;
Well... It's a great follow-up album and I must
admit that I can't decide which one of the discs is
the best one. It depends of my personal mood; today
'Rise Up' is at the top of my list.
Jeff Scott Soto: Lead Vocals
Erik Mårtensson: Guitar, Bass, Keys, Vocals
Robert Säll: Keyboards, Guitars
Robban Bäck: Drums
Magnus Henriksson: Guitars