THE RASMUS – Rise (2022)

THE RASMUS - Rise (2022) - full

Almost 20 years after their hit ‘In The Shadows’, THE RASMUS are enjoying some kind of re-emergence this 2022 after representing their native Finland at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. They have still been around – they’ve never even taken a break since forming in 1994 – but never make it ‘big’.
One of the reasons may be THE RASMUS not only aim to pop-charts, they want to make music more varied flirting with Scandi melodic rock, retro synthwave, goth, and ’80s-style rock & pop. All that is what we hear on the band’s tenth studio album ”Rise”.

Opener ‘Live And Never Die’ upon first listen is a light and airy number full of carpe diem nuances. Eero Heinonen’s bassline exudes elements of funk within the bright synths. Right off the bat, we’re given the footloose and fancy-free vibes of the ’80s.
Composed during the pandemic, ”Rise” aims to provide positive messages while rooting itself within feelings of despondency. ”Fireflies” ferments beautifully within its broodiness. Between the flickering intro and breathy vocal delivery, the song is a well-executed slow burn. Feedback from the guitars crawls in our skin. The tone which was well and truly set within the verses comes apart within an instrumentally brighter chorus.

This tonal shift happens on a larger scale with the introduction of Eurovision favorite ‘Jezebel’. The lust charged story of being used by an immoral woman has the dark edge we had been waiting for but feels out of place. Especially when it follows the melancholic ‘Odyssey’, a song with a light goth atmosphere.
‘Evil’ atmospheric low buzzing coupled with the sound of sirens create a wonderfully ominous world. The soundscape breeds the expectation of this being the heaviest song on the record. Those expectations are shattered with Ylönen’s softer vocals. Now THE RASMUS aren’t known for in-your-face aggression. Instead, they shift our perception.

Neatly produced and varied, crunchy at times, yet poppy and atmospheric at others, ‘Rise’ is a good listen. It’s modern, it’s retro, and this mish-mash has a wide appeal. There’s fist-pumping multi-coloured choruses mixed with dark atmospheres, showing just how effectively The Rasmus have honed their craft.
Highly Recommended


01 – Live and Never Die
02 – Rise
03 – Fireflies
04 – Be Somebody
05 – Odyssey
06 – Jezebel
07 – Endless Horizon
08 – Clouds
09 – Written in Blood
10 – Evil

Lauri Ylönen – vocals
Eero Heinonen – bass
Empuu Suhonen – guitar
Aki Hakala – drums


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