Tension Rising - Penumbra - Reviewed By Metal Temple! Tuesday November 3 2020, 5:58 PM
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Tension Rising - Penumbra - Reviewed By Metal Temple!

Tension Rising - Penumbra - Reviewed By Metal Temple! Check it out here at this link: http://www.metal-temple.com/site/catalogues/entry/reviews/cd_3/t_2/tension-rising.htm

TENSION RISING is a Heavy Metal band out of New York. Listing them as Heavy Metal in this instance is more of a catch-all for their overall sound, not just the one genre they fit into. Like many bands in this day and age, they have a variety of influences and it shows. Originally formed in 2008, Penumbra is their second full-length issue, which was independently released on September 7, 2020.
Right off the bat, you get “No Tears Shed”, a heavy, doom laden tune with a catchy riff and some melodic guitar work in the middle. The double bass work by the drummer is impressive. The bass chugs along underneath the guitars, lurking and thudding along like a beast waiting to pounce. This is a complex song that has a bit of a progressive vibe without being a prog song. This is a great opener for the record. It really sets a tone.
“Darkness Returns” is a more subtly heavy song. Still heavy, but with more intricate guitar work that sets it apart from their heavier work, while still crushing you. The vocals again stand out for their almost growl. Chris Garrigan uses that register just above a growl while staying just inside the clean range. It is not an easy line to straddle, but he does it. He also goes into clean and growl at will.
“Getting Out Of Hand” is one of the lighter songs on the record and is notable for it’s choice of going much more melodic than the rest of the record. Then you have “Masquerade”, the song that treads both of those paths. Heavy riff work with a more melodic chorus to showcase two different aspects of this group. “Anxiety” has some cool bass fills that add another dimension to the talent of this band. Alex Repetti is really good at hanging out below the riff and filling the sound out well, but can step to the front and hold your attention as well.
“No More Goodbyes” again goes more melodic before “Doomsayer” turns up the heat again. These guys can pull off both sounds well. It’s a testament to their influences and their talents. Nicky Van Page can shred or hold a tempo, whichever is needed to make the song hit its mark. The rhythm guitar works well with the lead guitar. There is no conflict, only complement. One of the best examples of the rhythm section doing an excellent job is the intro to the last track, “Your Lies Run Deep”. That lead line over the rhythm is awesome.
TENSION RISING may only have two albums out, but they have over a decade of experience. That fact shows with the compositions this band puts together. They are not amateurs trying to grab your attention, they’re seasoned veterans showing you what they can do. This is a really good record, especially for a sophomore effort. These guys should be in a wider circuit than just the New York/New England area. I would love to see them catch a national tour, maybe hit the European festival circuit in the next few years to see where they can take this.
Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

September 7, 2020 - New York-based melodic metal act TENSION RISING unleashes their long-awaited new album, Penumbra.

Penumbra focuses on facing various kinds of darkness in the world; the darkness of relationships, politics, war, being told you're not good enough, anxiety, adversity, etc. It's about all that we were seeing in the world while writing the album and how this craziness can affect different people in different ways.

Penumbra is available in digital formats everywhere.


"Unity In Adversity": The Making of Penumbra

"After being on a 4+ year hiatus, Chris gave me a call that he wanted to meet and chat about doing a new album. I wasn't really sure what to expect after not working on music as a group for so long. We went out to meet with Chris, chatted for several hours, and ultimately, decided to move forward with a new album that had a new sound.

The next week, Chris and I met up to begin writing, which we had done many times before. But this time there was a new mindset. The first writing session was fantastic as we wrote the entire song that would eventually be called “Knuckle Up” after finalizing the lyrics. We realized that day that we were honing in on a new sound for the band; a darker, heavier sound.

Over the following weeks, we repeatedly wrote a full song each time we met. Then about a month later, Nick joined us and we wrote the song that would eventually be named “Masquerade” in one day. The riffs were just flying off of Nick's fingers! The goal of a 4 or 5 song EP quickly turned into a full-length, 10 song album.

Then the pandemic made it's way to the US.

The three of us were concerned about how the pandemic and inability to play live shows would affect the outcome and support of the album. It was time to change up our plans. We wrote separately while in quarantine, and managed to keep our momentum going. Even though we couldn't play shows, we decided we can do more videos to promote the new album instead.

But the momentum was still there; that and perseverance which has since culminated with Penumbra; the new album due out September 7th."

- Alex Repetti (bass)



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