The Rise - Reclamation Process (Cover Artwork)

The Rise

Reclamation Process (2004)

Law Of Inertia

I still don't really understand it. When a hardcore band uses a keyboard or various techno effects, there seems to be some sort of unconscious desire by everyone to compare them to the Refused. That is exactly how I got my hands on The Rise's new album Reclamation Process, and after listening to it several times, I still don't see how anyone makes that comparison. What I understand even less about this album is how according to Ferret Records, the only way to pick up a copy of the record is to purchase issue #22 of Law of Inertia magazine. It may just be me, but that seems like a rather ridiculous advertising campaign.

But enough about that, lets get to the record. The boys of The Rise open furiously with "Durational Expectancy," relying on a plodding beat and little techno effects before tearing it all down with rough hardcore riffs and vocalist Cory Kilduff's lovely yell. Most of the songs follow this standard formula, and for the most part, it works out pretty well for the band. Generally speaking, the keyboardist doesn't overpower the music, but this isn't always the case. "The Most Intense Second Guessing," for instance, has effects completely smothering the rest of the song rendering it rather unlistenable. This unfortunately happens a couple times throughout the album.

Reclamation Process is weird in some cases when they sacrifice almost all their hardcore sound, and make what seems to be a more industrial oriented song, specifically, "The Collapse of Hierarchy." Now, my knowledge of what is industrial and what isn't is solely limited to owning one KMFDM album, so my labelling of the song as industrial could be a bit off, but the song just blows. It almost retains a hardcore feel, but the vocals are so slathered with effects that they resemble bad Japanese-dance-club vocals. The song is a smorgasbord of so many different effects that the song is too heavy to even follow what is going on. It is not hardcore, but it isn't techno either. And it doesn't even feel like it belongs on the album to boot.

The problem with The Rise's new effort is that they seemed to have forgotten what kind of band they used to be in an attempt to evolve. From what I have heard from their last album (which isn't all of it), they were better as a more hardcore punk oriented group. At over half an hour, Reclamation Process is just too short for what the band seems attempting to do. They call in too many elements of randomness, generally from the electronic end, that clutters many of the songs. When they leave it be, like in "Limits and Adaptability," they actually have some pretty good hardcore going. Good vocals, good guitars, good drumming, it all works in those instances. However, songs like that are rare on the album. What is left is a techno-core (to dub my own genre or at least I think I am dubbing it) force of confusion where the band can't seem to decide if they want their music or computer generated effects to take hold. Rather, they just crank both up and let them battle it out throughout the song, leaving it nothing more than an excessively noisy piece of garbage.