Rise To Remain @ O2 Academy, Birmingham – 7 March 2012

London based Metalcore outfit Rise To Remain released their highly anticipated debut album ‘City of Vultures’ in September 2011 after winning Kerrang! Magazine’s Best British Newcomer award in 2010.

The band’s UK ‘Progression’ tour kicks off in Birmingham tonight before a handful of shows across the country. With much attention paid to vocalist Austin Dickinson – son of Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson, some members of the music industry would have you believe the only reason the band have achieved any success is because of this father-son connection.

However, if you track Rise To Remain’s history over the past 5 years, their touring schedule and the success of their viral EP releases – not to mention 400,000 global votes to be voted Best New Band at the 2010 Metal Hammer Golden God Awards – you realise how scornfully and habitually negative these cynics are.

Tonight marks the debut for new bass player Josh Hammond and drummer Adam Lewin. Their predecessors quitting the band on the eve of a major US tour with Machine Head which was inevitably cancelled.

From the off, it is plain that Dickinson is Bruce’s boy. A commanding stage presence, along with strong and passionate vocals – whilst I’m sure the guy doesn’t wish to live in his dad’s shadow – the similarities are tangible.

From album opener ‘The Serpent’ to new single ‘Talking In Whispers’ – Rise To Remain’s style and appeal is that of intense guitar riffs and melodic harmonies, led by varied and dynamic vocals. The live delivery is powerful and energetic with new boys Hammond and Lewin seamlessly integrated.

The lead guitar work of Ben Tovey above the turbo rhythm of Will Homer is admirably complex. The founder members engage in technically challenging licks, with Tovey undertaking some seriously stunning shredding throughout.

‘Nothing Left’ and the encore ‘Bridges Will Burn’ are highlights during an all round impressive set.

Rise To Remain have been likened to Funeral For A Friend, Bullet For My Valentine and Trivium. With time on their hands to develop and construct their own sound – we will have to wait and see if they can climb to those heights.

Review & Photography: Steve Johnston

Rise To Remain