Ever since Refused parted ways, critics and fans alike have searched in vain for the next band to embody the raw, edgy tone that would herald the future of gritty punk rock. After diligent searching, the wait may in fact be over, as the Rise show extreme potential in filling the rather large shoes the seminal punk/hardcore band left vacant after its The Shape of Punk to Come was released. Signal to Noise is essentially a hardcore album, yet the abundance of programming tells a different story. The Rise may be a bit too sure of their talent, as the album opens with "The Fallacy of Retrospective Determinism," which in all reality is their announcement that they are indeed the "fresh pulse" ready to rise to the top of the punk food chain. Although the titles are long-winded, the lyrics that make up the bulk of the album are intense and intelligent, shining with a fierce brilliance at every turn. The Rise do not simply rely on their wordy lyrics to propel them to a level of importance, as their electronica/hardcore combination has been virtually unthinkable up until this point, aside from Refused's dabbling that surely influenced these five men. One can assume this is what the future may have held for Refused if that band had been able to last longer together, but as it stands, the Rise have been handed the torch and are running with it as far as possible. As far as debut albums go, Signal to Noise should be considered a genuine classic, breaking boundaries as it looks ahead at things to come. Those sick of what the heavy music scene has become will find their pessimistic view evaporate after one listen to the Rise, one of 2002's most daring, visionary groups.
AllMusic Review by Jason D. Taylor