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Jeez, this is already the fourth album by Rise And Shine. This surprising fact led to two strange findings on my side. First, I missed they had a third album out. Somehow I just did not realize it, was not informed, whatever. Secondly, I noticed that I cannot find anymore the first two albums by the Swedish outfit, that I once owned. What the hell? So, I am not really sure about big changes in the sound of Rise And Shine but from what I hear on 'Empty Hand' (and what I seem to remember from the old albums) these changes might not be too big. Still, their FlowerPowerMetal is a nice blend of 70s heaviness, Doom and a hint of 80s Metal every now and then.

After opening with the more rocking title track, the band already shifts into a nice slow doom-rocker with a cool twin lead. There is a hint of Pentagram, not only here but on the whole album. What sets the band apart from many others is that they got a female singer with a pretty unique voice that some people cannot stand wile others love it. And she does not sound as much as Janis Jolpin as certain people want to make you think. Sure sometimes there are vocal parts where she sounds a little forced but somehow that can be sold here as her style. And Rise And Shine are active for a damn long time already, so for everyone that thinks they jump on the bandwagon should better think twice. Their songs could go down very well for fans of other female fronted bands. For example, 'In The Arms Of Death' sounds way more evil than the music actually is, 'cause the song has a few bows to Saxon with a few doomy tones inbetween. You will find more Metal in a song named 'Someone Else's Share', which for whatever reason, reminds me a little of early Demon with a nice doomy edge, as well as King Cliff.

The psychedelic-infused 'Harmony and Noise' or the more rocking 'I Don't Belong' have enough Doom to appeal to the regular doomsters while 'Another Troubled Mind' comes along with some rocking Thin Lizzy vibes again. With 'Dirty Tricks', the album has a dark acoustic guitar track as well. The CD closes with a proggish 70s piece of Rock called 'Too Much, Too Fast, Too Loud'. I must say that I find the mix of styles pretty intriguing but unfortunatly not every song is a total hit. Songs like 'Empty Hands', 'In The Arms Of Death' or 'Harmony and Noise' are really cool but others do not reach the same level. There are no real fillers or pretentious bullshit on the album though. Most of the material is good. Not more and definitely not less. I say, give this album a try.

(Thorsten Frahling)