Review: Uprising – II
More riffs to kill your masters to.
So, here we are again. After my shamefully late review of Uprising‘s debut, I’m actually on time for this one. And, boy, is it a sophomore album. II is actually the perfect name, because for all intents and purposes, this feels like a sequel. Uprising don’t reinvent themselves, but why should they? The formula works, all it needed was refinement, and this album brings refinement.
It retains the same general theme from the debut: rebellion and insurrection. And in many ways, it becomes even more direct in that. After the instrumental introduction, speckled with samples, which I can only assume are from various speeches, it quickly destroys any notion that there is hope in this world, this system, and opens up into about 40 minutes of driving hymns of insurrection, creating a whole different kind of hope in the process. Lyrically, this directness continues. W. goes the whole nine yards on this album and doesn’t shy away to call Nazis, priests, and other subjugators by their name.
“Call them priests, call them nazis
Call them 1%, call them greedy fucking bastards
Call them cowards, conservative power-lusting snakes
They’re all afraid of you, the critical masses”
Musically, this album also evolves. Where the debut sometimes felt a bit haphazard, II feels like it has more structure. It also incorporates more melody into its special blend of black metal. Don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of tight and, especially, impelling riffs. The vocals remain a force that pushes the listener forward, although they sadly sometimes get drowned out a bit. But melody gets used as another layer in the songs, not as a diametric contrast to the rawness, but instead as a complement. It works quite well to create an atmosphere of heroism directed at the rebels, especially on tracks like “Monuments” or “Radical Decency.”
“When the blackness engulfs
And takes away all illusions of fear or peace
A whispered war cry on our lips
Roar so future decades can pridefully sing”
II is an unapologetic reckoning with the 1%, with the Nazis, with the priests, with everyone who oppressed and continues to oppress every single being on this planet, and a call to arms for those who stand opposed. It is the right album, in the right style, released at the right time. In a world besieged by a pandemic, where politicians try to wager human lives for the sake of the wealth of a few greedy people, to uphold a broken system, what is left but uprise in the aftermath?