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 Ruler - Rise To Power (2013) Album Review

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Ruler - Rise To Power (2013)
My Graveyard Productions
Running Time - 48:59


My first exposure to Ruler was watching them put on a scintillating live performance at The Rock Den's 'Power & Glory Fest 2014' and I was hooked. This young four piece are based in Milan, Italy and when I also found out that to get to that gig they paid, out of their own pockets, all of the travel expenses and had a ridiculously long and tiring journey to get to the UK and back to Italy my admiration swelled. Believe me, some bands wont drive an hour up the road!

Formed in 2010 Ruler unashamedly worship at the altar of Classic Heavy Metal and they do it well. 'Rise To Power' is their second album and was released at the tail end of 2013. First thing you should notice is the brilliant cover artwork and its Iron Maiden flavour. Some album covers scream to be seen on a vinyl release and this is one of them. Once the music starts Ruler wear their collective influences on their sleeves. Huge swathes of Iron Maiden and Tank style riffing fills the speakers and you'll get nods to many other great bands of that era. Daniele Valentini's vocals are high pitched and, as they are quite high in the mix, do take a couple of songs to get into but he oozes charisma and put every ounce into his performance. As the sole guitarist Matt Baldoni does a fine job of covering everything but as sort of alluded to, some of his rhythm work could be brought forward in the mix. No problems with the solos though. They are bright, clear and brilliantly played. Having only one guitar means the bass has to shine through and on 'Rise To Power' Paolo Pontiggia does that admirably (Paolo left in October 2014 and was replaced by Mirko Negrino). That leaves drummer of Rosario Alcaro who cascades around the kit doing his best Clive Burr/Nicko McBrain impression! My favourite tracks on the album are 'The Temple Of Doom', title track and the fourteen minute album closer '...In Conspiracy' which is Ruler's own 'Powerslave', but all the songs are enjoyable.

I'm sure some people will say to me "do we really need more retro sounding bands of this nature when there are hundreds if not thousands of albums we can go back and listen to from the 'classic' era"? I can understand that point of view, but what I will say is that those bands that are still around, like Maiden, won't be in too many years, not all of the bands from that era were as good as some people like to make out, bands such as Ruler and Toledo Steel are bringing this music to a new, young audience, especially in Mainland Europe and Greece where Traditional Heavy Metal rules the roost and lastly, it's quite obvious that Ruler absolutely love what they do. 'Rise To Power' isn't some bland rehash, it's full of excitement, passion and belief. If we can have 300 Screamo & 'Post Metal' bands, who all sound alike, fighting for the next Kerrang Magazine cover in the UK, then we can certainly have bands like Ruler around. After all, if it wasn't for Traditional Heavy Metal none of those other bands would exist!

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Review written exclusively for Brutiful Entertainment by Rick Tilley:

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