The self titled debut album by modern prog duo Rise Twain has been one of my most anticipated albums of 2019. Why? I am a massive echolyn fan and have been for a long time. Guitarist/vocalist Brett Kull of echolyn is one of the members of Rise Twain. He is one of the most underrated guitarist in all of progressive music. So I was quite curious what he would do outside of his main gig. Would Rise Twain be similar to echolyn or more like Kull’s solo albums which are more straight forward?
The latter is definitely the case here. But it’s definitely NOT a solo album since the other member of the duo is just as important to the greatness of the music. J.D. Beck is someone I had no knowledge of before this. His vocals remind me a bit of the late Jeff Buckley. He has that amazing falsetto and great tone. Most importantly his voice blends so well with Kull’s voice and the harmonies on the album are just incredible.
“Rise Twain” is not album that showcases playing as many notes as possible. This is an album that is all about the songs. Great hooks, strong melodies and top notch musicianship. I have to admit that it’s very hard for me to be objective about anything that involves Brett Kull but Rise Twain is a great album regardless of who is in it. The songs are all amazing but if I have to pick favorites: “Golden,” “Lit Up,” “Death of Summer,” “Oh This Life” and the closer “That is Love” are my current favorites.
But there’s not one wasted note, not a bad melody line on the whole album. I wind up singing along with every track at various points. These songs stick with you and I love that. I like that both Beck and Kull tackle the lead vocals. They split things up to fit whoever sounds better on the song. So what is the downside of the album? I want more than 10 songs and 50 minutes!! Seriously. When the album ends, I think “oh shit, that’s it?” And then I start it over again.
I am definitely looking forward to the new echolyn album which is being recorded at the moment. But I am also already looking forward to another Rise Twain album. This better not be a one album affair!! “Rise Twain” is an addictive, melodic maelstrom that deserves to be heard by anyone that loves great music. This is easily one of the best albums of 2019! Highest possible recommendation!
3. The Range
4. Lit Up
5. Death of Summer
6. Oh This Life
8. Falling Skies
9. Into A Dream
10. That Is Love