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Rise of Realism is a symphonic rock band from Amsterdam, channeling progressive and stadium-sized hard rock. The band has been around since the 90’s and has faced countless releases, lineup changes, and even member losses. On their newest offering, Mirage, the band decided to take a step back from their trademark style. The album is a move away, or possibly only a temporary divergence, from their traditionally Industrial sound. Songs like the opener “Believe” are given plenty of room to stretch and unfold naturally, and there is a comparatively more ambient sound.
The vocals are dark and menacing, like a more dramatic Leonard Cohen, and the band here has obviously taken notes from Pink Floyd on how to build and piece together a rock opera. The title track, “Mirage,” could have easily been found on an album like The Wall. The slower tempo of this album occasionally lulls it into tedium, making it difficult to differentiate songs from one another, but that may very well be the intent.
Nothing dramatically changes from song to song, as much as they just sort of seep into each other. There is no hurry for anything to end or begin, as hinted at on the album closer “No Rush.” Mirage is a bold and admirable attempt at a modern rock opera, and for the most part it succeeds magnificently.
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