RisingFall is back in action.
Formed in 2014 in Japan, the band consisting of G.Itoh (vocals, Military Shadow), Kono (guitar, Total Destructor), Gyokusai Ishii (bass, Brutal Decay) and Yuki (drums, Brutal Decay) announced in 2022 the release of Rise or Fall, their first album, after two demos, two EPs, two compilations and a live album.
Yoshiki, who passed away in 2022, also recorded his guitar parts on the album, illustrated by Velio Josto (Enforcer, Frozen Soul, Nunslaughter, Ostrogoth, Sacrifizer, Gotsu Totsu Kotsu…).
The album starts with the federative Kamikaze, a composition which uses New Wave Of British Heavy Metal basic elements, adds a few hints of Thrash and motivating choruses to offer us a catchy sound just like on English Motor Biker and its fast rhythmic. The sharp riffs coupled with aggressive vocal parts and piercing leads take us back to the style’s golden age before Dancing In The Fire offers us a heady groove on which the band places solid riffs and motivating vocals, doubled by Old School choirs. Rock Fantasy reveals more melancholic and melodic sounds the band mixes with a jerky rhythm and softer vocal parts, then leads come to carry us before Risingfall ignites the tempo again with more raw and fast riffs. The harmonics are always so melodious compared to the warlike rhythmic, which leaves us on Never Surrender, a darker track which remains just as federative, then Arise In The Ashes, the album’s melancholic ballad, offers us a moment of respite with some enchanting sounds. Master Of The Metal, the last track, will close the album with epic tones borrowed from the English scene to let the band take us into their energetic riffs before leaving.
With Rise or Fall, RisingFall pays tribute to the English Heavy Metal scene while offering energetic riffs. Don’t look for innovation here, as the band stays in the style’s roots with exemplary fidelity, but rather enjoy their devotion!
Few questions to Risingfall’s guitar player, Takeshi Kono.
Hello and first of all, thank you very much for your time! Could you please introduce yourself and the band RisingFall without using the usual “Metal” labels?
Takeshi Kono (guitar): Thank you too for your interest in us. Guitarist Kono answers on behalf of the band. Risingfall is basically a Heavy Metal band with an 80s feeling. This is because that is the era of Metal I usually listen to. Some people will also feel the 70s hard Rock thumbs up. Because my favourite guitarists are Jimmy Page and Ritchie Blackmore.
What is the link between the band’s name and the music you play?
Kono: The band takes its name from the song Rise Or Fall by the American Power Metal band Leather Wolf. Everyone thinks of a band name from the name of a song by their favorite band, and we are following that tradition.
Rise or Fall, your first full-length, is about to come out. How do you feel about it? What does its name mean to you?
Kono: The band was formed around 2014, so it took us a very long time to arrive at this album. It’s very emotional. We could have safely titled it « Risingfall », but we decided on « Rise Or Fall » in honor of Leather Wolf.
How does the composition process happen for Rise or Fall? Did it change from the beginning of the band?
Kono: I have always been the main songwriter and I don’t think the process has changed much. I record melodies and riffs that come to me on a moment’s notice on my iphone and then assemble them later.
The album is clearly fueled by NWOBHM roots, but what inspires you to create your music? Same question for the lyrics.
Kono: We’re glad you can sense the NWOBHM in our music. Basically, inspiration comes from listening to Old-School Metal. And also music that is similar to that. I don’t know about the lyrics, as they are written by the vocalist and not me, but the lyrics are probably a lot about films he likes at the time or something like that.
Do you have a favorite song on this album? Or maybe the most natural one to play?
Kono: As to the question below, my favourite songs on the album are Kamikaze and Risingfall. I actually like Thrash Metal as well, but I like the former because it has a Thrash Metal feel but is melodic, and the latter because it sounds like Riot. Kamikaze is always the last song we play at the end of a gig.
My personal favorite songs are Kamikaze, the opening track, and Risingfall, is there a special story for those songs?
Kono: I like these songs too. Thank you. Kamikaze is the oldest song in the band and was written when I didn’t understand music theory, chords, scales or anything. Most of our songs at the time sucked, but this one was great, so we got to open the album with it. Risingfall was originally a more subdued Power Metal song, but when we recorded the album we re-arranged it and gave it a Riot-like intensity.
Do you have plans for the band’s future? Whether it is about live shows, new material, or even anything else.
Kono: We will be doing many more local gigs. We have already written a lot of new songs and we hope to produce an album or maybe a mini album next year. We are making progress with our songwriting, so I think we can make an even better album.
Are there any musicians or bands you would like to collaborate with? Whether it is for one song, an album…
Kono: When we started the band, our goal was to one day play live with Satan, Saxon and Leather Wolf. So we would love to play live with these great bands.
How is the Metal scene around you? Do you also have any view of the international Metal scene?
Kono: Perhaps it is the same in all countries, but the Japanese, Old-School Heavy Metal scene is not very big. Nevertheless, Tokyo is the capital of Japan, so we are thankful that we can attract enough customers so that our events don’t lose money. From a Japanese point of view, the European Metal scene, for example, seems bigger. You can find major events like Wacken, as well as many maniacal Metal festivals that are a bit smaller in scale. In France there is also the big Hellfest, in Japan Metal festivals are actually disappearing.
What if I ask you to compare your music to a traditional Japanese meal, which one would you choose and why?
Kono: It’s difficult to compare music to a meal, because I think Risingfall‘s music is ‘anything goes’, so in that sense it’s a casserole. I think it’s like in other countries too, where you cook all sorts of ingredients and eat them. It’s not fancy or healthy, but it’s a lot of fun to eat with the family because you can eat so many different things. I think there’s a lot of different 80s Metal songs on this album, so I’d be happy if any of them are to someone’s liking!
Last question: which bands would you love to tour with? I let you create a tour (or just a single show) with RisingFall as opener and three other bands!
Kono: It would be fun to tour with Leather Wolf, Saxon, Satan, Vicious Rumors and others mentioned above. But it’s quite a hurdle for japanese bands to tour abroad. Airplanes are expensive, to begin with…
That was the last question for me, so thank you very much for your time and your music, last words are yours!
Kono: Acta Infernalis and our readers, thank you for reading our interview to the end.
Our first album, out November 18th, is available on Spotify and Apple Music, so check it out if you like Old-School Metal. Also, in fact, this album was mastered by the same studio as ADX, inspired by the album released in 2020 by the great French Metal band ADX. If anyone can contact ADX, please tell them how impressed Japanese metalheads are. Also, come to Japan!!!