From its humble beginnings amid the industrial sprawl of Birmingham in the late ‘60s through to its digital age renaissance, British heavy metal has always thrived on regular doses of fresh blood and youthful rejuvenation. Each year new acts emerge screaming to be heard but now, spawned by the ever-vibrant London music scene, Rise To Remain have raised their voices to the sky and have become the latest and arguably greatest young metal band of recent times.
Brought together by a mutual desire to create exciting, state-of-the-art heavy music worthy of their passion, these fiery-eyed contenders have outgrown their humble origins as bright-eyed teenagers with dreams of fame and fortune and evolved into one of the most formidable new bands to explode out of the UK in many years.
“For me, the moment when I decided that I wanted to do it was when I walked out of an exam, my last A-level,” laughs front man Austin Dickinson. “I walked out halfway through and went and did a show that night. It’s become clear over the last few months that we can take this band to the next level, so it was obviously the right decision.”
Released two years ago, the band’s Bridges Will Burn EP brought a welcomed exposure, and combined with a rigorous gig schedule, enabled the quintet to gain momentum and add substantially to their rapidly-expanding following. The support of their fans led to Rise To Remain waltzing off with both Metal Hammer’s Best New Band award at the mag’s annual Golden Gods ceremony and the Best British Newcomer award at rock bible Kerrang!’s high profile awards bash.
With expectations high and their reputation soaring, the rest of 2010 passed by in a whirlwind of live performances and feverish song writing behind the scenes as plans for a full debut album began to fall into place. Sharing stages with everyone from fellow Brit metal crews Bring Me The Horizon and Bullet For My Valentine through to the legendary Iron Maiden, the band have dedicated themselves to paying their dues, learning their trade and grabbing every opportunity with both hands.
The end result of all their hard work and devotion to the cause is that Rise To Remain produced a debut album that brims with confidence and intensity, winning fans, and prominence within the music press and metal scene. Created with renowned metal producer Colin Richardson manning the controls, ‘City Of Vultures’ is an explosive, assured and extraordinarily diverse first offering that marks Dickinson and his band mates out as extremely talented standard bearers for a new generation of metal bands.
“Colin’s a guy that has helped to define modern metal and he’s worked with a bunch of bands that are incredibly important to metal in general,” states guitarist Ben Tovey.” He really listened to our songs and our playing and dedicated a lot of time to getting the right sounds, and we all stepped up too. It’s been an amazing experience for all of us.”
Veering stridently from the brutal riffs and soaring hooks of opening track ‘The Serpent’, newly-minted live favourite ‘This Day Is Mine’ and first single ‘Nothing Left’ through to the subtly progressive structures and wild dynamics of ‘Power Through Fear’, ‘Roads’ and a newly-revitalised ‘Bridges Will Burn’, ‘City Of Vultures’ provides a potent showcase for the sheer breadth of vision and strength of focus that Rise To Remain are swiftly making their trademarks.
The collision between Dickinson’s impassioned, versatile vocals, the dizzying technicality and intelligence of Ben Tovey’s lead guitar parts, Will Homer’s urgent, precise riffing produces showers of mesmerising sonic sparks that shine a blazing spotlight on smartly-crafted songs of preternatural maturity and verve.
Meanwhile, Colin Richardson’s pristine, bombastic production job ensures that every last riff, solo, melody and scream erupt from the speakers with maximum energy and clarity. This is state-of-the-art British metal and it’s simply electrifying.
“I hope a lot of people will respect this record, especially coming from a really young band, because there’s a lot that’s outside the usual metalcore cliché thinking box,” Dickinson avows. “At the same time, I think that our fans will just love it for being a great album. It’s energetic, it’s got a lot of melody and a lot of brutal parts and all the things that tick their boxes, as well as plenty for the older generation too! Ha ha!”
Since signing to EMI, Rise to Remain have gone from strength to strength; 2011 saw them support Funeral For A Friend, and headline their first UK tour and proceed to play some of Europe’s biggest Rock festivals.
2012 saw a shake up to the band’s line-up with the departure of Pat Lundy (drums) and Joe Copcutt (bass), but saw the welcoming in of Conor O’Keefe (bass) and Adam Lewin (drums) into the Rise army.
“When I received the offer to be part of the band, there was no hesitation from my part and [I] grabbed the opportunity with both hands” Lewin says. Similarly O’Keefe couldn’t turn down such an opportunity; “I feel totally privileged to be involved with such a great bunch of people.”
With new members Rise have been on an upward spiral; they’ve headlined two tours in the UK, and Europe, and 2012 will see them graduate to opening the mainstage at Download (having played the festival 4 times). Following this they’ll hit the road across the USA on the legendary Vans Warped Tour which sees them play 40 different cities in North America over the space of three months.
The US will be welcoming the City Of Vultures album release on June 5th
With the talent, the charisma and the drive to take on all-comers and emerge victorious, for Rise to Remain the world is theirs for the taking.