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"Building Rome" (Dominion Records)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

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Years ago I'd caught the name of Mercury Rising as a prog-metal band that was worth hearing. However, I never did manage to see the band or find their CD, until recently. I found Mercury Rising's sophomore effort "Building Rome" at a vendor's table at a recent metal festival and without hesitation purchased it to see if the hype was true.

I was happy to find that the reputation Mercury Rising had gained from "Building Rome" was supported by what I heard. One immediately realizes that Mercury Rising combine the best of the guitar/keyboard balance of "Images And Word"-era Dream Theater, late-'70s Rush influences, and the pulse quickening rhythms of late-'80s thrash. Mercury Rising never forget that true heaviness comes from allowing the music to breathe, balancing light and dark, quiet and heavy, warm human elements versus harsh cold reality, and simply rocking out when appropriate. 

Luckily, the band has omitted the use of excessive "noodling" to prove their skills as many 'progressive' bands are quite often wont to do.  Granted, the men of Mercury Rising have chops and they aren't afraid to display them; the song structures of "Building Rome" allows the band to find opportune times to dictate the use of technical wizardry to shine in the spotlight as the inherent progressive elements flow. 

Mercury Rising is a progressive band with a soul. The eight tracks here are presented in a compact 43 minutes with dazzling work throughout.  Combining the truly progressive with heaviness is no easy task and Mercury Rising meet the challenge and then some. 

Hopefully, Mercury Rising is still a working band; I would certainly like to hear more from Mercury Rising in the years to come. 

Mercury Rising is Mike Evans and Judd Rizzo on guitars, Chris Bush on bass, Clarence Osborne on vocals, and Jeff Moos on drums.

Rating Guide:

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) A classic. This record will kick your ass.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) So-so. You've heard better.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

restinks.jpg (954 bytes) Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Revised: 02 Aug 2020 16:31:49 -0400.