Boston’s Extreme on ‘Rise’ again with new album, tour


Two minutes of “Rise” thumps along well. The debut single from Extreme’s 15-year hiatus album “Six,” “Rise” features a difficult riff, a sizable chorus, and a ferocious stomp. However, Nuno Bettencourt’s guitar solo is the main focus of the song’s first half.

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The guitar breakdown by Bettencourt is a Frankenstein monster composed of triple-time prog rock, neo-classical metal, thrashy and trashy grunge, and a ton of enigmatic and endlessly intricate flourishes.

One way to solo, according to Bettencourt, is to be thinking, “How can I show off here? How can I impress people,” and that, in my opinion, is a horrible strategy. The other is that no one else needs to be impressed. But it must inspire you… You get a certain sense, and it’s the same feeling you had when you first began to play.

When Bettencourt feels that youthful spark, he knows he’s onto something terrific. He understood that when he created the solo for “Rise.” Millions of other listeners also did.

Millions of people have listened to the song, which announced the long-awaited return of the Boston band Extreme (Extreme plays a show at Roadrunner on August 5). Equal numbers of YouTube analysis videos have been streamed. It has been dubbed “the solo of the century,” which strikes you as both absurd and completely plausible if you enjoy playing guitar in the Eddie Van Halen style. He didn’t understand “Rise” was striking a chord on a profound level until a few friends and heroes joined in.

According to Bettencourt, “I was getting texts from peers, like Steve Lukather and Brian May, telling me, ‘Hey, this is very fantastic. “What the hell is going on? I wondered. This place is different in some way. I am aware that the solo received much praise, but it goes beyond that.

The “Rise” lead, though, is just one of six jaw-dropping performances on “Six”; instead, listen to the clumsy, fantastic tangle of notes on “Thicker Than Blood” next. However, “Rise” came with a music video that showed Extreme back in action, jumping around, becoming locked in, and taking off. It wasn’t a home video filmed on an iPhone of someone playing “Eruption” note for note. A rock group flaunting their charisma and chemistry.

“We follow this new generation of guitar players on Instagram or Facebook, and they’re in their studio or their bedroom blowing your mind playing guitar,” Bettencourt added. “You can either like it or remark, then carry on with your day. You unexpectedly see an emotionally invested rock band in a video.

“I think what people saw in the ‘Rise’ video was the mythology of rock ‘n’ roll that’s been missing,” he continued.

The grandeur of Queen or the bombast of Van Halen are qualities that Extreme has never been able to match. However, they have made a valiant effort. Additionally, trying—or what Bettencourt referred to as “a band being all in”—matters a lot.

Perhaps “Rise” isn’t the greatest solo of all time. Even yet, it may not be the best solo on the album. But it’s fantastic that it sparked fervent discussions on rock mythology fifty years after “We Will Rock You.”

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