Almost thirty years into their career, The Rasmus proves there’s plenty more gas in the tank with ‘Rise’, their tenth studio album. The Finnish rockers have been cutting their own distinct path, their hook-filled back catalogue going way beyond the huge international 2003 hit ‘In the Shadows’ and now with new guitarist Emilia ‘Emppu’ Suhonen onboard, there’s a new fire raging.
For fans of all things Scandinavian there’s a lot to love here and The Rasmus have crafted a radio-friendly album that is full of melodic and good time tunes that will stretch way beyond those scenic European environs and could certainly be heard blasting out of the highways and byways of the States. There’s certainly enough light and shade here to give the material some colour and the overall effect is something that reveals different layers with each listen.
Opening earworm 80’s Eurorocker ‘Live and Never Die’, set out their intent from the very start, the sheer force of its drive irresistible to resist, vocalist Lauri Ylönen rallying the troops. The anthemic title track is full of chest-beating bravery and hugely melodic, Suhonen stamping her mark with some impressive fretwork, the following ‘Fireflies’ giving drummer Aki Hakala and bass player Eero Heinonen a chance to shine with its deep, bouncing groove.
It’s a joyful trio to kick in with but things go up a notch or two further with the atmospheric, soaring and passionate ‘Be Somebody’ and ‘Odyssey’ with its fragile and fractured delicate fairground waltz, both showing a class and maturity that sets a high bar. With another change of tempo, the Desmond Child co-wrote ‘Jezebel’ is full of the tropes that mark it out as the perfect number for inclusion in the Eurovision Song Contest. Sadly, the public didn’t bite and the song failed to hit the numbers it deserved but it still stands as a fine, if frothy, track and one that the Finns can be proud of.
Things are a little more serene on ‘Endless Horizon’ and ‘Clouds’, their gentle melodies a break from the sugar rush before the heavy ‘Written in Blood’ kicks in with a hefty punch and some truly excellent fretwork by Suhonen. The album closes with another high in the shape of ‘Evil’, its climbing and fascinating twists and turns stirring the senses. Whilst ‘Rise’ doesn’t turn things entirely on their heads, it’s certainly one of the strongest and most complete albums that The Rasmus have made thus far, all aided by a sparkling production that brings out the best in them. A jewel in the melodic Scandi rock crown, ‘Rise’ is definitely worth checking out and shows a band constantly moving onwards and upwards.
Rise is released Friday, September 23rd via Playground Music