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Guild Of Ages: Rise
Guild Of Ages - Rise Music Review

Guild Of Ages: Rise

Melodic Hard Rock/Metal

First, some history. American band Guild Of Ages began as Caught In The Act, rising during the tumultuous times of the American grunge movement, but they weren't a grunge band. Oops. Noticed by the insightful ears of Axe/Blackfoot vocalist and guitarist Bobby Barth, the band persevered to release their music in Europe and Japan, where the folks aren't so musically fickle.

Things were rolling along just fine in the Nineties, including a tour with Pink Cream 69, when some pussy boy band sued them over their name. Despite changing to simply CITA, that same boy band got their Garanimal undies in a bunch and sought a cease and desist order. Having survived the grunge pandemic, CITA could certainly survive an acne-riddled boy band, and so they reinvented themselves as Guild Of Ages and carried on.

They released three more studio albums (One, Vox Dominatas, Citadel) and one Live CD (Live Over Germany), before disbanding in 2002. A light speed jump to 2014 and we find Guild Of Ages called upon to reunite and play at the 2014 Firefest: The Final Fling!. They were a smashing success, and with the new found enthusiasm, GOA decided to carry on once more. Now the band returns with a new studio Rise for UK's Escape Music.

Guild Of Ages Band Photo Click For Larger Image

Guild Of Ages

Well, if you muddled through that historical introduction, then we should get to the music. First to say, thanks to the state of musical affairs in America in the Nineties, I never heard of Caught In The Act or Guild Of Ages. So this is my first experience with the band, and it's fine one. Simply and essentially, Guild Of Ages plays melodic hard rock with a notable metal edge and then neatly packaged in an AOR wrapper.

Unwrapping (no pun intended) that description a little more, the GOA hard rock angle comes simply from the strong presence of beat, rhythm, and groove found in the amalgamation of guitar, bass, and drums working together. The twin guitar presence is significant with strong and sharp riffs uniting with song melody and harmony, and then the bristling solos fly like soaring bottle rockets. Adding to this, the vocal arrangements also add to the song melody and harmony for a clean, melodic, and smooth presence. After these things, Guild Of Ages simply has the skill and knack to write some catchy tunes with hooks everywhere, from a melody to a piano line to a sweet refrain.

As for the songs, there's much to enjoy within Rise and so here's some highlights. With All Fall Down, at the start you get a sweet piano line before the song turns into some fine melodic metal rock with a fine groove and tasty melody. Similar is Deep In Heaven, where the piano is joined by symphonic synths at the start before turning into, again, more melodic metal rock. For that aforementioned rhythm and groove combined in guitar, bass, and drums look to Awaken or Around The Sun, somewhat heavier numbers. GOA drops a savory arena anthem with Every Road Leads Me Home, turning largely on the vocal and guitar line. Powerful drums drive the fast paced I Will Keep Burnin. A true ballad arrives with the more gentle Hearts Collide which features voice over acoustic guitar, yet still rising to a fine electric guitar solo as all AOR ballads should.

Suffice to say, if you made it through all those words, Guild Of Ages' Rise is fine return to form for the band, a genuinely satisfying and entertaining album of AOR melodic hard rock with some metal edge. Easily recommended. - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

The Bottom Line

Guild Of Ages' Rise is fine return to form for the band, a genuinely satisfying and entertaining album of AOR melodic hard rock with some metal edge. Easily recommended.

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