If you think the likes of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Saxon are dated then let me introduce you to Morpheus Rising, a York based traditional metal band with a 21st century kick to it. Combining upbeat power chord based riffs, powerful melodic vocals and catchy choruses. Morpheus Rising’s debut album Let the Sleeper Awake is a brilliant example of the NWOBHM, blowing bands like White Wizzard, Enforcer and Wolf right out of the water. Morpheus Rising are a breath of life into metal, and if you ever think that metal is becoming impure or false, then you should definitely go out and buy their amazing debut album Let the Sleeper Awake.
Simon Wright is a hell of a vocalist and let’s his vocals shine on every part on this album. He sounds like ex Iced Earth singer Matt Barlow mixed with a touch of Rob Halford’s astonishing sonic power. He has such a powerful voice and whether it is the gritty shouts in the verses to the beautiful melodic choruses, he will have you eating out of the palm of his hands, making you sing along to tracks like ‘Lord of the North’, ‘Fear of Nothing’ and ‘Shades of Gray’, as his astonishing vocals mesmerise you like the Pied Piper luring in children.
The guitar riffs do reek of Judas Priest and that’s not all that bad really because it takes you back to the good old days when Living After Midnight and Breaking the Law where huge metal anthems. In fact, the dual guitar lines on tracks like ‘Let the Sleeper Awake’, ‘In the End’ and ‘Daylight’ will have you bouncing up and down, shredding on the air guitar like Dave Murray on an energy shot. The solos are mind blowing, the riffs are jaw dropping and the licks will smash your ear drums like a train driving through them. Yes, the guitar lines are really that good!
There could be a few more heavier moments on this album because sometimes going into a slower, mellower chorus does ruin the heavy metal mood and makes some tracks on let the Sleeper Awake a bit boring. If Morpheus Rising could keep the pace, even speed it up in certain songs, then this album would be brilliant, making Let the Sleeper Awake a 10/10 album. There is little Morpheus Rising need to do to get their songs perfect, but by adding a few faster, heavier tracks to their repertoire will boost their set list a hell of a lot.
Remember, this is only Morpheus Rising’s debut album, and they are already on top form. A couple of albums down the line and a successful UK tour in 2012, will push these York based metal heroes into the big league and Let the Sleep Awake is just a stepping stone on this bands epic journey. A must have for all metal diehards! [8/10]
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