Arise - The Reckoning
Regain Records
Melodic Death Metal
10 songs (39'01")
Release year: 2009
Regain Records
Reviewed by Alex

The definition of the word “stereotype” can be chosen depending on one’s fondness for a particular example. In music, when you truly hated an album you would coldly call it trite and lacking originality or individuality. If somehow warm fuzzies crept in, despite the lack of innovation, you would call it as something conforming to a fixed pattern, but pleasing.

Swedish Arise epitomize stereotype down to their band’s moniker, held by ten other bands. They have been kicking around since late 90s, but The Reckoning is my first introduction to the band. Shows how much I have been following everything coming from the Gothenborg neck of the woods. To get some bearing on the band, I embarked on some quick little research tuning into their most listened to My Space track How Long Can You Pretend? from the 2005 album The Beautiful New World. If anything, The Reckoning didn’t dare to break the boundaries, but it certainly laid the marker down pretty thick upgrading Arise is sound quality and execution.

If you are trying to escape from the shadow of some bigger, more famous Swedish bands, it is not recommended to open the album with a drum intro which is beat for beat similar to Arch Enemy’s Enemy Within. Yet the opening track, Adrenaline Rush, does it, but its title could not have given a better description to The Reckoning overall. Throughout the album Arise pretty much know only one modus operandi – fast racing riffs, backbreaking bass beating and reverberating machine gun drumming, with bass drum so heavy it is about to break though the floor. Arise know only one shade of grey, and it is dark. If you imagine that all of Fiction songs are fast and are tuned about a half octave lower, you will begin scratching the surface. The Reckoning is about headbang, non-stop, and catchy gloom. Arise melodies aren’t sweet, and they don’t need to resort to keyboards or clean vocals. Some will find the album very polished in production, blame Christian Silver and almighty ProTools, but if the goal was to lay it on thick and meaty Arise succeeded. Add to it hoarse ominous vocals by Patsy, who lacks the lioness power of Angela Gossow or soul tearing emotions of Mikael Stanne, and the picture is complete. Speaking of Stanne, he is contributing to a couple of tracks on the album, but I fail to notice where he made the difference.

Arise do not let themselves get too melodic on The Reckoning with only Blindead and Reclaiming the Soul being the tracks where melody dominates. When the lead needs to be played (like on the title track), L-G Jonasson does not need the rest of the crew to shut up. Surely, I would love more tempo variation than doing it once with an interesting syncopation and title interpretation of the middle instrumental Pitch Black. The sound Arise unveiled on The Reckoning would have been killer if that meatiness was served slow, at least from time to time. Instead, winding things down towards the end The Fury and Dead Silence almost slip into a modern metal necessity, aka breakdown, Dead Silence lifted out of the rut by a moody solo. And as much as I would have liked a slowdown, the fast blackened tremolo on End of Days wraps the album up on a winning note.

Circling back all the way to the beginning of the review, many bands before Arise did it. Hatesphere, Callenish Circle, Carnal Forge and the recent Regain signing Machinery are all drinking from the same well Arise calls their watering hole. Arise just did it well enough on The Reckoning, that you can call me addicted to their “stereotypes”, but I enjoyed the effort.

Killing Songs :
No Memory of Light, They Are Coming for You, Reclaiming the Soul, End of Days
Alex quoted 78 / 100
Other albums by Arise that we have reviewed:
Arise - Kings of the Cloned Generation reviewed by Jay and quoted 65 / 100
Arise - The Godly Work Of Art reviewed by Danny and quoted 72 / 100
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