by: TJ FOWLER
Label: NoiseArt Records
I can’t say I know much about the Hungarian metal music scene and the only way I found out about Wisdom is because I know their guitarist Anton Kabanen who is also the founding member of Battle Beast and Beast in Black. So when I got the chance to review their new album ‘Rise of the Wise’ I was pretty excited to see what Hungarian Power Metal had to offer. I have to say I was pretty happy overall with what ‘Rise of the Wise’ had to offer but the album is almost like a tale of two cities or albums in this case.
I guess with that last sentence I need to explain myself a bit. ‘Rise of the Wise’ is a pretty strong power metal album, though a bit typical of the genre in some ways (fantasy themes, clean singing and theatrical), but I found that once the album hit around song 6-11 is where the album really showcased its best qualities and breaks out of the typical power metal problems. Songs 1-5 never really hooked me in as much though Raven’s Night is pretty good. The song ‘Through the Fire’, which is track 6, I feel is the best track on the album both musically and lyrically and it really stuck with me as a listener. Truly a fantastic song and one I hope the band decides to play live as I think the fans will really enjoy it. Also there is a very nice folk styled song on the album called, ‘Believe in Me’ which is a really nice song that contrasts the other song son the album.
Power metal at one time used to be one of my favorite genres of metal but in the past several years it seemed the genre turned into a lot of double bass drumming and single note playing with a thrown in melodic solo and a singer just singing over all of that. I am happy to say, Wisdom breaks out of these problems and put in melodic hooks, riffs and of course cool solos and the singer actually sings the song. The constant double bass drumming is still there though. I guess you can’t win them all.
‘Rise of the Wise’ is a really fun power metal entry into the genre. It is catchy, versatile and an album you can pump your fist to, sing along to and wave a lighter to for the ballads. If you like power metal you’re going to like ‘Rise of the Wise’. If you used to like power metal but got tired of it like I did then give ‘Rise of the Wise’ a chance because unlike a lot of their contemporaries, Wisdom doesn’t fall into the same trap of mediocrity.