Album Review: Phoenix Rising New EP Ignite

Ignite album art
Image courtesy of TAG Publicity 2018.

From the human-created diseases of lying, treachery, and destruction that plague this earth, a dark energy had been summoned. The dark force turned the ground into crackling embers and shielded the sky in a thick toxic shroud of smoke. Just as all seemed to be lost, a fiery light escaped from the broken earth and pierced the sky with its rays. The phoenix had been born for the people, and now rises to overcome the negative forces of this world!

I thought only a dramatic prelude like that would be appropriate enough to introduce Phoenix
Rising, the nu metal band from Texas that are rocking their way across the United States. The band recently released their four-track EP, Ignite, along with several brilliantly made music and lyric videos that attest to the creativity Phoenix Rising features proudly in their content.

The first thing that stood out to me when I listened through Ignite was the amount of precision, clarity, and presence each instrument had while fulfilling its purpose in the song. It’s clear that an extensive amount of effort was put into each track. Every element of the song, whether it be the synth, drums, guitars, or vocals were created with intent, not simply as filler. The musicians know when to be slowly building up tension to a dramatic release, or exploding with a wave of energy that brings the listeners out of their seats and forces their fists in the air. It’s all part of the musical roller coaster that is Phoenix Rising.

The opening track ‘Do You Know’ greets the audience with a dramatic piano track. This quickly builds into a synth-backed headbanging jam, complete with a heavily distorted guitar and blast beats. The tone levels out a bit when the rock rap vocals begin, followed by the melodic singing to support the emotional attitude of the song. The song more or less repeats this formula once more before the angry vocals make an appearance. This pissed-off yelling rap interlude gives the song the grit it needed to push the intensity levels way up, while still keeping the song easy to listen to and relatively non-abrasive.

The remaining tracks ‘Open You Up’ and ‘If I Say No’ continue with the same intensity and
similar instrumentation, until the final track, ‘Lights Out’. This song is a guitar-based crash of
intensity that’s enough to make you pump your fist in the air with its unparalleled energy and
boxing-championship themes.

I can dig the incredibly colorful sounds and themes of Ignite, but one factor I have a hard time getting past is the spoken-word vocals. The singing and rapping itself is excellent, but what tends to be lacking is the creativity of the raps themselves. The rhyme schemes used are rather simple, using words you would expect to be put together, and the rhythms of the lyrics are so straightforward that they come across as almost uninteresting. I feel as if they spent a little longer with a thesaurus and practiced some more dynamic lyrical rhythmic patterns, these songs would be hard to top. Take this with a pinch of salt.

Phoenix Rising is a tremendously talented group with a very professional musical complexion.
It’s hard to not compare them to bands like Linkin Park, Hollywood Undead, or Falling In Reverse, although they do have a strong enough sound to stand unique in their own right.
Could I see them playing on the radio? Oh yeah. Could I see them selling out arenas? Give
them some time, but I believe they already have a strongly developed sound fit for a growing
fan base, and I don’t see how they will go anywhere else but up.

Track List:

  1. Do You Know
  2. Open You Up
  3. If I Say No
  4. Lights Out

Band Members:

Kent Summerour – Vocals
Scott Lathwood – Vocals
Lee Deane – Guitar
Mark Ridlen – Synth
Allan Kurt – Bass
James Espinoza – Drums

Social Links:

Website || Facebook || Instagram || Twitter

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