Initially perceived as a Ritchie Blackmore solo project, Rainbow had become a permanent fixture in the British rock atmosphere by the time the band was ready to follow-up its breakthrough debut. For Rising, Blackmore had replenished Rainbow with a colorful arsenal of accomplished sidemen and studio musicians; keyboardist Tony Carey, bassist Jimmy Bain and drummer Cozy Powell. But the main event here is Ronnie James Dio, who establishes himself as one of heavy metal’s most influential vocalists.
The presence of the new lineup is immediately felt. The keyboard intro to ''Tarot Woman'' sets a sorcerous tone for the album. Carey’s dexterous playing paired with Powell’s thunderous drumming provides a cavernous sonic template for Blackmore chugging riffs and sparking leads. Dio’s lyrical trademarks are all here: tales of wizards, magic and kings, as well as foreboding of the darkness that lurks ahead. The epic ''Stargazer,'' which features a 42-piece orchestra, and the equally ambitious, nine-minute ''A Light In the Black'' - an indisputably thrilling one-two punch - close out the album.
Rising announced Rainbow’s arrival as a new voice in metal, establishing many elements that would shape the genre for decades to come. Complete with a faithful replication of the original gatefold sleeve and dead-quiet surfaces, this Wax Cathedral reissue is pressed at RTI. Even better, it’s on colored vinyl.