Persian Risk

Rise Up

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In many ways, Persian Risk's belated full-length debut, 1986's Rise Up, perfectly embodied the waning spirit of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal: it arrived a good five years after the movement arguably hit its peak; recalled very few of its formative, charmingly brittle qualities with its polished brand of commercial hard rock; and it stood in for a band which, for all intents and purposes, was effectively defunct (or mortally splintered, at least) by the time it arrived in stores. All things considered, however, there were far worse ways for Persian Risk to go out, and, whatever it may have lacked in terms of honest-to-goodness heavy metal thunder (only the double-bass drum driven "Don't Turn Around" and "Rip It Up" qualified as balls-out thrashers), the album certainly compensated with efficient, accessible, if rarely surprising radio-ready anthems. In fact, had they been pushed down consumers' throats by major label muscle and been recorded by an American band (preferably one covered in makeup, featuring musicians whose names ended in the letter 'i'), there's no reason why punchy but glossy heavy rockers like "Hold the Line," "Break Free" and even the patently absurd "Women in Rock" (heck, especially that one!) couldn't have been huge '80s rock radio hits. Even more so, some might argue, the wimpy, borderline synth pop of "Jane," or the melodramatic power ballad "Sky's Falling Down," which, along with the harder edged and lyrically oblique "Dark Tower" had been featured on Persian Risk's Too Different EP two years earlier. The mildly motivational title track and timidly futuristic "Brave New World" hinted at greater thematic ambitions that, alas, would remain unfulfilled, and with that disheartening realization, there's really no more to be said about Persian Risk's competent but doomed LP. Merely curious listeners just stumbling through, and Motörhead fanatics looking for traces of former guitarist Phil Campbell (who didn't perform on this record), really shouldn't even bother with Rise Up; but fans of '80s hard rock and New Wave of British Heavy Metal completists could also do a lot worse than Persian Risk's imperfect final will and testament.

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