“Today with all the hard competition in the music business, it’s impossible to come up with anything original. So, we haven’t – however this album was made with the accent on loud, hard and heavy music.” That is the statement made by the members of the independent hard rock band Attack of the Rising noted on the rear of the packaging for the band’s recently released album, Game Changer about the 10-song record. The album’s title and the band’s noted statement are both key in examining the record. That’s because the record is in fact not necessarily a game changer by any way for the band or within the bigger picture of this year’s new hard rock albums. At the same time though, the album is still an enjoyable presentation. That is proven through its musical content and lyrical themes alike. The record’s opener, ‘On The Horizon’ is a prime way in which this is proven, too. It will be examined shortly. ‘Fear No Evil,’ which comes later in the 50-minute record’s run, is another example of how the album’s overall content makes it so interesting. It will be discussed a little later. ‘Opus X,’ an even later entry in the record, is yet another interesting addition to the album. It musical and lyrical content makes it notable in its own right, too. When it is considered along with the other songs noted here and with the rest of the album’s songs, the whole makes Game Changer hardly a game changer, but still a presentation that scores plenty of points.
Attack of the Rising’s recently released album, Game Changer, is anything but in the bigger picture of the hard rock community. That aside, it is still an enjoyable offering. The record’s opener, ‘On The Horizon’ is just one of the works that serves to support that statement. The song stands out in part through its featured musical arrangement. The arrangement in question is a direct throwback to the sound and stylistic approach that made (and continues to make) Judas Priest a fan favorite. It is that familiar, full-on power metal approach and sound, complete with the operatic vocals, this time from single-named front man Mandrake. The song’s production – handled by famed producer Bill Metoyer (Slayer, Sacred Reich, Armored Saint) – adds even more to the infectious classic rock feel and sound in this song. The richness in the drums sounds like they came right out of the genre’s golden age. The vocals even have their own touch, as does each other part here. Again, credit to Metoyer for his work giving the overall arrangement that sound that comes across like something that came right from a time capsule buried in another age.
As much as the song’s arrangement and its production does to make this song stand out, the song’s companion lyrical content makes for its own interest. Having no lyrics sheet to reference here, some of the lyrics are slightly difficult to decipher. However, enough is able to be deciphered that at least an initial interpretation can be made. The mention of the “one million soldiers marching” and “One people” in the song’s chorus against what sounds like Mandrake asking, “How many more lies?” seems to make the song come across as a commentary of sorts. The very mention of something being “on the horizon” considering everything noted here, would seem to hint even more at the inferred theme. The same can be said considering the mention of taking control and of the need for world peace. Having a lyrics sheet would definitely help with a clearer interpretation, but again from what can be understood, it would seem that the song is making a statement perhaps about the state of the world in terms of global warfare and its impact on the world. Considering this seeming theme and the song’s musical arrangement together, the whole of the song makes the presentation a strong first impression for the band in this outing, and just one of many songs that shows the album’s strength. ‘Fear No Evil’ is another example of how the album’s overall content makes it worth hearing.
The musical arrangement featured in ‘Fear No Evil’ is one part of what makes the song stand out among the record’s entries. Where ‘On The Horizon’ boasts a clear influence from Judas Priest, this song’s arrangement takes a sharp right turn, opting for a sound that is more akin to works from the likes of Rush. That is especially evidenced through the pairing of the song’s guitar and bass line. Mandrake’s operatic vocals remain here and make for an interesting contrast against the more mainstream-prog style arrangement. It gives the song’s musical content its own unique touch that is certain to engage and entertain audiences just as much as that featured in ‘On The Horizon’ and the album’s other songs. It is just one part of what makes the song stand out. The song’s lyrical content makes for its own interest.
As with ‘On The Horizion’ (and the rest of the album’s songs) no lyrics sheet is available for reference. From what can be deciphered, the song’s lyrical theme seems to address perhaps dealing with the darker thoughts in our minds. This as Mandrake makes mention early on in the song about “synapses raging out of control” and trying not “to lose control.” The mention of rising above “the torment and pain” in the song’s second verse seems to build on that seeming theme just as much. Add in the refrain in the song’s chorus to “fear no evil” and audiences get that seeming theme that much more. If in fact the theme interpreted here is correct, then it would also account for the positive, upbeat nature in the song’s musical arrangement. That energy and positive feel is sure to make listeners feel just as good as the noted inferred message. Keeping all of that in mind, the song in whole makes itself that much more proof of what makes Game Changer worth hearing. It is just one more of the songs that serves that end, too. ‘Opus X’ does its own share to add to the album’s interest.
‘Opus X’ stands out from its counterparts in part because of its musical arrangement. In the case of this song, the arrangement boasts something of a sludge/doom sound and approach a la vintage Black Sabbath, showing even more, the diversity in the record’s musical arrangements. Again, Metoyer deserves his own share of credit for giving the song that sense and sound. The overall arrangement is even more example of how the album’s musical arrangements in general make the album worth hearing. As with the other songs examined here, the song’s musical arrangement is just one part of what makes the song stand out, too. Its lyrical content makes for its own share of appeal, too.
On one hand, what sounds like mentions of a full moon early in the song gives the thought of it being a fantasy type piece that one might expect from Black Sabbath during the Dio years. On the other hand, the chorus, which finds the subject saying, “I never wanted to be this way/Somehow I ended up this way/When I fall into this again/Pray for me old friend” points at maybe a relationship that has gone sour. This is inferred even more as the chorus repeats, adding, I did everything I could/to help you understand/But there’s nothing else to say/I never wanted to be this way/Somehow I ended up this way/When I fall into this again/Pray for me, old friend.” Whether this has to do with a friendship/relationship or something more in the fantasy realm, it is sure to engage audiences in its own right. To that end, this aspect of the song proves just as important to the whole as the song’s musical arrangement. Taking the song in whole into consideration along with the other songs examined here and with the rest of the album’s songs, the whole makes the record in whole a work that any hard rock and classic rock fan will find worth hearing at least once.
Attack of the Rising’s recently released album, Game Changer, is a presentation that will appeal widely to hard rock and classic rock fans. That is proven through its musical and lyrical content. All three of the songs that are examined here do well to support the noted statements. When they are considered along with the rest of the album’s songs, the entirety of the record becomes a solid new offering from the band. While not a game changer in itself, it still proves to be worth hearing at least once.
Game Changer is available now through Weapon Records/Vanity Music Group. More information on the album is available along with all of Attack of the Rising’s latest news at: