Riseback are a brand new band from Turkey founded in Istanbul in February 2010. They are mainly influenced by contemporary rock and metal. In 2013 they released the first eponymous album. The band's female lead singer Riella Eskenazi contacted us and asked if we were interested in reviewing this album. Well, after checking out some YouTube videos I was convinced that the music presented on this album could be enjoyed by our readers. So a review of this record by Riseback is certainly applicable for Backgrounds Magazine!
The album contains nine tracks with an average length between three and four minutes. Unfortunately, the total playing time of all these songs is only half an hour. For that reason it's not a full-fledged debut, but an EP or a mini-disc. The music contains some elements of gothic and progressive rock. Having a female singer in the line-up, the influences of gothic rock are obvious. However, don't expect music that is similar to the likes of the Dutch bands Within Temptation and Epica or the Finnish band Nightwish. That's certainly not the case mainly due to the fact that Riella Eskenazi uses her voice differently compared to the singers in those bands. She's more a rock singer like Amy Lee (Evanescence) and that's why the music slightly resembles the style of this band.
The influences of prog rock mainly come from the keyboards. That's a bit strange if you know that no keyboardist is mentioned in the booklet. After contacting Riella she told me that the keyboards and electronic samples have been arranged and played by Koner Memili, who also plays the bass guitar. However, the keyboards don't have a leading role in the overall sound with lots of solos, but are just used to support or to fill the gaps. They are more or less accompanying the other instruments. The guitar play of Ali Safa Uzun and the wonderful voice of Riella Eskanazi are mostly dominant on this record. The nine compositions are rather good and not too complex. Most tunes are radio-friendly and could reach a large audience if they were on the air on a regular basis.
My musical highlight on this debut album is without doubt the power ballad Try To Say. This longest track contains some fine keyboard parts and arrangements on top of which some great acoustic guitar parts can be heard. The closing track Flowerstar has more or less the same kind of style and therefore it's my second best track of the album!
Riseback are already busy working on a follow-up album which is due for 2014. Hopefully it will contain the same kind of music as can be found on this debut. I would like to recommend this album especially to all fans of the above-mentioned bands. My advice: try out some videos first like I did, and decide later on whether it's your cup of tea or not!
*** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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