When you live in a small town, it probably goes without saying that it’s hard to get out. This rings even more true when it comes to music and Cheyenne, WY. However, First Decree have defied those odds. With their 2013 debut album, Set In Stone, they began to leave their footprints in the sand of their local scene. However, it wasn’t long until the band began touring and turning those footprints into craters that could be felt the world over. Now, having toured with Gemini Syndrome, Trapt, Thousand Foot Krutch, Pop Evil, Saliva, Deftones, Sevendust and more… they’ve steadied those wobbly sea legs and are really showing what they’re made of. That continues with the release of their latest album, This Is Our Rise produced by Joel Wanasek (Trapt, Righteous Vendetta, The Bloodline.) This being their sophomore release, they’ve had a chance to gauge what makes their fans tick. Do they want emotional, soaring choruses? Do they want killer, lightning fast solos? Do they want a typical radio rock sound? Well, their unanimous decision was that they would throw a little of everything into the mix! This Is Our Rise shows these musicians slowly molding themselves into seasoned pros. They’ve got an unmatched amount of drive, passion and energy (evidenced in their video for “Lost in the Crowd” which has made it into Loudwire’s “Battle Royale” in the past.) Exactly how does this fair compared to other 2015 releases, though?
I’m going to start this review off a bit unorthodox and jump about halfway into the album with “Phoenix.” This is the band’s anthem without a doubt. There’s nothing more beautiful to think of than the life of a phoenix. It continues to grow, getting older and wiser and then bursts into flames. This is a tragic ending to such a beautiful creature but moments later, a new phoenix rises from the ashes. This is a metaphor for all that the band has faced since they hit the scene. As with most bands, they’ve been told they won’t make it. They’ve gone through personal struggles both as individuals and as a collective but they’ve never let it get them down. This is one thing that makes this band so impressive.
Like an unstoppable freight train, “Lost in the Crowd” rolls right over you two tracks later. It’s not hard to see why this track has had such a tremendous success, with nationwide radio play and over 11k views on YouTube. This track goes hand in hand with “Phoenix” in that it touches on the same subject. However, rather than focus on the life of the band, it focuses on how they’re proving the haters wrong. Vocalist Travis James sings “This is our rise, just open your eyes, open your eyes!” mocking the haters. The title “Lost in the Crowd” seems to focus on how they rose from a small town with little-to-no rock scene into the beast that they’ve become today.
On the other end of the spectrum, you have “Rain.” This track definitely has some Creed influence to it, immediately felt from the acoustic guitars. James has an incredibly beautiful singing voice and this track serves as a reminder to that. This track weighs heavy on the heart of the listener because it’s a track that focuses on the pain of loss but also celebratory of the lives that were lost. It also briefly asks that ever-lingering question of “what will happen in the end?” What happens after death is an absolute uncertainty and many have theories on it. This track has a religious overtone to it, as it focuses on the gates of Heaven but still leaves it open to interpretation. James uses the metaphor of a door that is closed, uncertain of what’s on the other side for an air of mystery as well.
This Is Our Rise certainly shows that the band had a lot to prove, having toured with so many national acts but they’re spreading their message well. While I wouldn’t call the release 100% ground-breaking, it’s certainly a solid hard rock album that showcases the incredible talents of 4 young musicians on their way up the path to stardom. This Is Our Rise is out now on all digital retailers, available on all upcoming tours and physically in their webstore as well. They are currently on tour with Trapt before they head out on the road with Black Veil Brides and Avatar this fall. Check out the video for “Lost in the Crowd” and pick yourself a copy up!
First Decree on Tour:
|Thurs||8/27/2015||Confirmed||South Bend, IN||Cheers Pub|
|Fri||8/28/2015||Confirmed||Flint, MI||Machine Shop|
|Sat||8/29/2015||Confirmed||St. Louis, MO||Ready Room|
|Mon||8/31/2015||Confirmed||Colorado Springs, CO||Black Sheep|
|Tues||9/1/2015||Confirmed||Denver, CO||Marquies Theater|
|Wed||9/2/2015||Confirmed||Omaha, NE||Sokol Underground|
|Thurs||9/3/2015||Confirmed||Des Moines, IA||7 Flags Event Center|
|Fri||9/4/2015||Confirmed||Ringle, WI||Q and Z Expo Center|
|Sat||9/5/2015||Confirmed||Madison, WI||Taste Of Madison|
|Sun||9/6/2015||Confirmed||Joliet, IL||The Tree|
|Tues||9/8/2015||Confirmed||Bloomington, IL||The Castle Theatre|
|Wed||9/9/2015||Confirmed||Louisville, KY||Expo Five|
|Sun||9/13/2015||Confirmed||Grand Rapids, MI||Intersection|
|Fri||9/18/2015||Confirmed||Poughkeepsie, NY||The Loft at The Chance|
|Sat||9/19/2015||Confirmed||Lancaster, PA||Chameleon Club|
|Sun||9/20/2015||Confirmed||Hagerstown, MD||Hard Times Cafe|
|Tues||9/22/2015||Confirmed||Fredericksburg, VA||Hard Times