The W.E.T. debut album in 2009 was one of the rare occasions when a band created by the vision of a record label president managed to create such a wave of enthusiasm and interest from fans and the media alike, not only that it went beyond the band’s own expectations, but pushed the musicians themselves to raise their game, when in the beginning they “thought anyone would care except maybe the die-hard fans from the three bands the name W.E.T. came from”. The key element to the success of “W.E.T’ was to create a modern Melodic Hard Rock sound and drive it into the future, with powerhouse rhythm and production making it an equally classic and contemporary release.
Robert Såll (the “W” from Work of Art), Erik Mårtensson (the “E” from Eclipse) and Jeff Scott Soto (the “T” from Talisman) accepted the daunting task to give that debut album a follow-up, along with Eclipse members Magnus Henriksson and Robban Bäck, that could live up to the expectation of thousands of fans across the globe.
Anticipated by the release of the single/video “Learn to Live Again” – an unbelievably radio-friendly song, which features for the first time a vocal duet between Mårtensson and Soto – the new album “Rise Up” presents again a massive production and equally impressive songwriting, which updates the term “classic rock” into the new century.
Hook after hook, “Rise Up” is another one of these albums where you can enjoy the dynamics of a brilliant partnership bringing out a unique result. Melodic bullet rockers are followed by haunting ballads and fabulous arena rockers in an album that leaves the listener in awe from start to finish.
Without doubt this is the sort of album that had it been released in the early/mid/late 1980s, W.E.T. would have encountered the sort of global mega stardom that landed in the laps of a certain band from New Jersey or found their songs soundtracking strange US television shows featuring 30 year olds singing in High School Dancing Choirs of “outsiders”.
From my first listen this CD never fails to please. With vocal melodies and harmonies, rousing choruses, na-na-na choruses that once remained the domain of Desmond Child this is without doubt the most impressive record to hit me this year. If you only have a passing interest in melodic rock this is a purchase with which you CAN NOT go wrong with. I bought the W.E.T. debut album just before Christmas (and following my interview with Erik Martensson) and was impressed enough to feel that I needed the follow up in my collection. “Rise Up” lived up to my anticipation….and then some.
If there was any justice in the world of music the songs collected here would be filling the Top 40 for the next two or three years. More importantly, a major part of me wishes that we could use Doc Brown’s DeLorean to transport that part of musical taste that was all around in the 80s and transplant it into the hearts and minds of those who programme national radio in the UK so that more people could enjoy the quality on offer with this release.
“Rise Up” is released in the UK on February 22nd and although very early in this new year full of promising and exciting record releases it is very difficult to envision anything better to come out during the year to beat what should be“Melodic Rock album of the year”. Quite simply “Rise Up” is SIMPLY STUNNING.
Jeff Scott Soto: Lead Vocals
Erik Mårtensson: Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Vocals
Robert Säll: Keyboards, Guitars
Robban Bäck: Drums
Magnus Henriksson: Guitars
Europe: February 22nd 2013
U.S.A.: February 26th 2013
Learn to Live Again
What You Want
On The Run
Still Believe In Us