On our episode this week is Ron Coolen with his album "RISE"
This was submitted to us by Zach Moonshine with METAL DEVASTATION RADIO
We spoke with Ron prior to this publication here's what he had to say:
1.) Band name and where are you from?
hey guys, my name is Ron Coolen and I am an musician from the Netherlands. After a long life of playing in various bands I was kind of fed up with band democracy and the typical band processes that wear you out. I decided to go for a solo career, meaning it all comes down on just me, whether it is success or failure. I have just released my first solo album called ‘RISE’ on my own music label RC Music, and on that album I work with 12 guest musicians who play all the stuff I can not play, like the vocals and guitar solos. I am very proud to have each of the 12 guys on board of the project, they did an incredible job ! Among the 12 are people like George Lynch, Keith St. John, Goran Edman, Christopher Amott and Stephan Forte, to name but a few.
I use standard tuning in all of the songs, the only exception is in the song ‘Paradise’ where I used a dropped tuning for a specific part in the song
3.) Major accomplishments for 2019?
That’s an easy one, musically speaking I only had one accomplishment in 2019, which was giving birth to the ‘RISE’ album. It was an intense project that kept me busy 24/7 for the whole year. Not only for the musical part, but also preparing for the promotion and marketing planning of the album.
4.) Goals for 2020?
2020 is the year of promoting ‘RISE’. I have developed a specific release strategy across all the media (physical, online, streaming) during the whole year, with the purpose to create regular promotion moments. I did not want to promote the album as a one-off big bang, since it would be old news after a month or 2. During 2020 I will release several singles, and also release some new songs as bonus tracks. That will keep the attention ongoing, at least that is what I aim for…...
5.) How did you assemble such an All-Star cast to contribute to this album?
In 2008 I ran the New York Marathon and I set-up a charity for Jason Becker. Setting up charities when running a marathon is very common here in Holland. At the same time I hosted a weekly hard rock radio show for a few years. Through these initiatives I got in touch with a lot of musicians, and always kept in touch with guys like Thorsten Koehne, Christopher Amott and Stephan Forte. Then guys like Keith St. John, George Lynch and Goran Edman are heroes of me and they were on my bucket list for a long time. I just went after them and I was so lucky they were interested to work with me. Some others were a matter of “scouting”. I came across guys like Joey Concepcion and Johannes Persson on facebook and YouTube, and I was amazed by their incredible skills. So I just approached them by email, and apparently the demos I sent them were convincing enough to get their contribution!
The challenge of all this puzzling was to make sure that every guest musician’s individual skill added value to the song, giving exactly what the song needed, and lift the song to another level. I was always aware that I had to ensure that so many guest players would not make the album too messy and too diverse.
6.) Bands who have played with?
The bands I played in were mainly local Dutch bands with a focus on playing live music, and in many bands also playing cover songs. My first band was a heavy metal band called RAZOR playing original music, and my last band was an AC/DC coverband. Too many bands to mention between these two. I even played in a dance classics band. Since a few years my main instrument is guitar, before that it was drums.
7.) Funny/weird story about your band?
Currently my band is my solo project with remote guest musicians, so no funny touring stories from this project yet.
One funny story is that one of my previous bands called Order2Crash was a band with working colleagues, and we played a ‘Business Band Contest’ together with 6 other bands. We knew the venue would be full with 800 corporate employees awaiting only Bruno Mars type of dance music. So we decided to start with the fastest version of Motorhead’s ‘Ace of Spades’ that was ever played. The look on 1.600 eyes was just priceless, it was one long “W-T-F-is happening here” look!
Our 1st guest this week is Jesse Denner with S1R3N out of Nebraska.
Here's his take:
"This album is a tasty journey through hair metal, thrash, prog and everything in between. Whether its the haunting and eerie first track "Big Devil Data" or the exotic prog last track "Selfishness" youre in for a ride full off shreddy guitars and big vocals. Favorite track after my first listen is "Stories" for sure. The last couple minutes is some of the hardest hitting music Ive heard in a while. Overall a killer album and it was a pleasure to give her a spin. A few tracks will be on my regular rotation."
A Xandr Layne also reviewed "RISE" he had this to say about it:
Oh well now, everybody hold onto your seats. What a banger this album is! Abso-damn-lute stellar. Starting with the album art. Such a pleasing encounter this one's been. A roller coaster through different dimensions, I promise. You can't help it, it's gonna make you RISE.
This album is vibey, and groovy, hell lotta heavy, and takes you to vivid places with each song. And the guest line up, you ask? To die for. More on that coming up.
This album is a serious project, with good measures of sleaze, naughtiness, pain and death, all kinds of emotions. Every song has its elements. It's own life and message. I had an absolute blast listening to these.
Some of the tracks that I find awesome:
Sin City: George fuckin' Lynch, on the opening track!! Yes, he laid down the chops for this one, and man, you're left with some serious 80's vibes! "It's not love, in Sin City", I love it. It's like taking a quick trip to Hollywood or someplace. And the solo is an absolute giant. So groovy, so much fun to listen to. Bring out your air guitars and air spandex!
Kill Kill Kill: Crazy track, this one. It's fast, murderous, and screams a lot. I found the guitar tones interesting in this one. It's like,.. futuristic or something.
Gotta Shoot Your Devils Down: Amazing energy in this song. It's a statement in essence. The lyrics are are badass, the riffs are badass, the solo is badass, this song is BADASS.
Ashes to Ashes/Paradise: The instrumental, Ashes to Ashes, gets you ready for the unfolding that's about to come in the next song, Paradise, a grim glimpse of life in a time of distress. Heavy and vibey, one will definitely transport your imagination.
Big Devil Data: Another cool song, so groovy. And the lyrics are relatable with today's world. Keep your mind fully open with this one.
Definitely one the best releases this year. And with Keith St. John, Christopher Amott, Göran Edman, Stéphan Forté, Joey Concepcion, Thorsten Koehne, Chris Clancy, Johannes Persson, Daniël Verberk, Steve Lamb, Sam Walters, and George Lynch playing along, this album is a helluva frickin BEAST!!
Thanks for a kick-ass album, Ron.
Up next we have Gage Sifuentes with UNTO THE WOLVES out of Idaho here's his thoughts:
Review for "Rise"
"RISE" is the new album by Ron Coolen. It features 12 songs of classic hard rock and heavy metal, with some prog and thrash here and there. RISE features a range of fantastic guest musicians: George Lynch, Keith St. John, Christopher Amott, Göran Edman, Joey Concepcion, Thorsten Koehne, Stéphan Forté, Johannes Persson, Chris Clancy, Daniël Verberk, Steve Lamb and Sam Walters.
I listened to the overall album twice through and I enjoyed it both times. The high points on the album for me were "Too late to surrender", "Kill kill kill", and "Stories". None of the songs are bad, but those were all particularly enjoyable for me and are all tracks I'd choose to come back to.
I think what I appreciate most about this album is the variety from track to track. Sure, the vibe has a very signiture classic metal sound, but the variance of tempo, riff work, singing styles, guest musicianship, and topic choices of lyrics really give this album a flair that is rarely highlighted in this genre. It makes it so you want to keep listening. The singing styles alone really deserve some love. I can hear the influences range from Rob Halford and Bruce Dickenson to Alice Cooper and Dio. And I gotta say, I'm impressed with the personal touch of vocal styles performed throughout the album. Really well done.
The music is killer. Classic hard rock/ thrash all the way. Even the slower ballad tunes have excellent guitar work and rhythm variables that make the songs especially enjoyable.
What's also special about the album is part of the proceeds are going to charity.
Per album sold, Ron will donate 1 USD to the charity of Jason Becker. Jason Becker is an outstanding guitarist whom was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease . However, that did not stop him from utilizing technology to continue composing. He really is a testament to what the human spirit can do when creative energy is involved. If you decide to pay more than 10 Euro, Ron will donate the additional payment to Jason Becker too. And frankly, I freaking love that. It just speaks volumes about Ron and where his heart was when putting this album together along with these other amazing musicians.
This album is definitely a work of love and if you enjoy Classic Hard Rock and Classic Metal, then this album should be a purchase, no Doubt.
Jeremy Amack with THE BAND REPENT also reviewed "RISE" here's his thoughts:
BIG DEVIL DATA
You can just immediately notice this song, it brings me back to the 80's this sound..
Great guitar harmony's..
Great vocal medley..
What a ripping solo!!!
Produced very well, notes are absolutely perfect..
Really a hard rock song at its best.
Love the way this starts out..
You can really identify the keyboard here..
Sound production is amazing..
Solid drumming had a unique beat..
Another SIC solo..
This song is a slower tempo but definitely has its moments of shredding..
Builds up well..
A creepy song in some parts..
What an ending
TOO LATE TO SURRENDER
This song speaks for itself, no need for me to comment.
We're all familiar with the unfortunate incident on Oct. 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Its George Lynch on guitar what else can you say!!!
This song screams that 80's style and I've always loved that sound..
Once again this is mixed and mastered perfectly..
George nails both of the Oslo's and this one was just a fun reminder of what a guitar hero sounds like.
GOTTA SHOOT YOUR DEVILS DOWN
Good subject material this song kicks major ass..
I love the triplets pick attack on the guitar..
Vocals are super hard to sing to which means they're awesome..
Bitchin solo way killer..
Loved that echo effect going out..
Such awesome guitar work.
ASHES TO ASHES
Ron knows how to start a song, you immediately know what to expect, that's the keyboard genius in his writing..
This song leads into the next song.
Building off of Ashes to Ashes their identifiable as 2 songs in one, and the groove on this is amazing..
Great background music as well..
The whole sound is huge at a slow pace..
The lyrics are intense..
Love the news footage..
Very awesome guitar work.
KILL KILL KILL
Well, this starts a riot immediately!!!
I wish my guitar sounded like that!!!
Goes into such a kick ass riff..
This features a different vocalist which makes it a heavier song by far..
Blistering solos, way intense..
Just a badass song all the way around.
The title track features a killer keyboard solo..
This song is based on Ron and all the hard work he's put in on this.
Love the rythm section..
Way kewl solo to start..
"Buried heads in the sand"
This song builds itself very well..
When you try to isolate a particular instrument you start to notice just how good this really is..
A ripping solo, wow!!!
For you death metal fans there's definitely something for you here.
FROM YOUR MOUTH
Major hits right off the bat, good chugging..
Love the vocals..
Intresting time changes, very precise..
Wow is all I can say about this..
The song is just amazing..
Definitely my favorite on the album.
An interesting way to start, very melodic on the guitars, Indian vibe..
I believe I hear a sitar..
Timing is perfect..
Can't believe how that solo started!!!
Dual guitars are pristene..
What a way to end a song I'm just blown away here.
This album is a lesson in guitar shredding, I'm a guitar guy and this just made my day!!!
Absolutely the toughest Solo's ever..
Major league mixing and mastering..
This was just amazing from top to bottom.
For all things Ron Coolen please follow him here:
Band camp: www.roncoolen.bandcamp.com
facebook Ron Coolen: https://www.facebook.com/ron.coolen
facebook Ron Coolen Music: https://www.facebook.com/roncoolenmusic/