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Peter Carlsohn's The Rise – Out Of The Blue

Peter Carlsohn's The Rise
Out Of The Blue
by Matt Bozenda at 25 August 2020, 12:02 AM

There’s something to be said for those willing to take a dare. Under the auspices of metaldom, there have been barriers to break, paths to forge, and in some cases, crosses to bear.  The genre has always been a source for sensationalist headlines about moral deterioration and other such righteous indignations; the various Satanic panics surrounding bands like JUDAS PRIEST and W.A.S.P. tended to backfire in spectacular fashion, driving up sales of albums and other band merch.

The notion seems even stranger when recalling the same repudiations that occurred to a band like STRYPER. Hair metal is a touchy enough topic for metalheads, but toss in the non-secular element, and their backlash was twofold. The faithful and anti-faithful alike took the band to task; evangelicals were offended by the often word-for-word uses of Bible verses against the backdrop of a stereotypically Satanic style of music, and Satanists (or close enough) were offended by the often word-for-word uses of Bible verses in… well you see where that’s going. And like the more controversial bands of the day, even STRYPER managed to find an audience out of the vitriol, claiming many fans secular and non-secular.

Through today’s lens that whole era can seem more than a little silly. How anyone could be offended or even scared of David Lee Roth’s wiggling hips or Blackie Lawless’s exploding codpiece seems like a mystery to those of us who find that old metal, classic though it is, rather a bit tame when compared to bands that would come to popularity less than a decade later.

But even before the Sweet brothers brought glam to evangelism and vice versa, there was Gothenburg’s own JERUSALEM blazing a trail for Christian rock and metal. As JERUSALEM gained traction, their original bassist departed and was replaced by Peter Carlsohn in time to record "Vi Kan Inte Stoppas", the band’s fourth album. Even with a new album forthcoming by them and the other bands he participates in, the Swedish bassist has found time to create "Out Of The Blue", the debut of his signature solo project, PETER CARLSOHN’S THE RISE.

The music contained within is not the exact same from track to track, but most of the tunes do hold an uptempo melody, as a listener may expect for music that claims to be uplifting. The opener, "On Holy Ground", features a prominent Blues-Rock bass and a keyboard accompanies the whole thing rather expertly. "Sing The Song" introduces a little more of the metal element; at best, that metal is aluminum, but there’s no doubting the talent and intentions behind these musicians.

"Shine Your Light" slows down for a ballad before "I Want It All" picks it back up. The pace slackens again for "Gloria" (an original, not a cover of the song by THEM). The album’s back end takes on the more cheerful aspects from earlier until the final track, "The Dream", which despite the inspirational lyrics has an almost melancholy tone to it, a downbeat outro to end the album.

Whatever else can be said of this type of music, whether one takes umbrage with the lyrical content or any other secular element, this much is certain: this is music made by professionals. Each contributor comes in with years if not decades of experience, and if the tracks sound a bit formulaic, well, a chef who can consistently cook a fine meal tends to be well-regarded in their line of work. This album is tightened up, relying very little on solos and a practical absence of fluff, and none of the ten tracks are longer than four-and-a-half minutes.

So, perhaps only on the barest of merits does "Out Of The Blue" qualify for the genre, but metalheads who are also classic rock fans could find something they like about it. It won’t find many plays in the corpse-paint community, and there won’t be any carriages in Lancaster County blasting it, but PETER CARLSOHN’S THE RISE has the refined musical chops to find a home with Christians, metalheads, and Christian metalheads alike.

Musicianship: 8
Songwriting: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. On Holy Ground
2. Why
3. Sing The Song
4. Shine Your Light
5. I Want It All
6. You Are My Life
7. Gloria
8. Kiss From Above
9. Out Of The Blue
10. The Dream
Peter Carlsohn – Bass, Lead Vocals
Stephen Carlson – Lead Guitar
Lars Carlsohn – Guitar
Svenne Jansson – Keyboards
Michael Ulvsgard – Drums
Cutta John Kare Gullestad – Backing, co-lead vocals
Record Label: Jono Records


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Edited 22 March 2023

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