Morpheus Rising
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Morpheus Rising


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"Morpheus Rising - Original Demos 2008"

I've posted about Morpheus Rising before, when the five-piece from York released their first single An Ordinary Man to raise money for the charity Help for Heroes. Fabulous cause and a great song, so do go and download it. Recently they sent me a five-track CD, The Original Demos 2008 and I've been giving it a listen.

Morpheus Rising is NWOBHM - The New Generation. Brainchild of guitarist Pete Harwood, who has worked with the likes of The Human League and Marillion, these guys list the likes of Iron Maiden, Saxon and Diamond Head among their influences.

In the best traditions of NWOBHM, they combine lyrical story-telling, soaring guitars, a solid bass line, and pounding drums with strong vocals that have a good level of clarity. The production is better than is frequently the case with demos without sounding overproduced, and the balance of the various elements of the bands is very good.

Opener Fighting Man has a particularly strong bass, almost acting as a counterpoint to the driving rhythms of the drums. It starts off as a bit of a slow burn, but when the guitars take off there's almost a touch of Dragonforce about the riffing.

Next up is Save The Day which opens with stunning riffing and the guitar rhythms dictate the pace throughout, easing off a bit for the verses then upping the tempo again in between. The bass takes a bit of a backseat here but is still carrying a solid line in the background and the drums are particularly well well done. Works terrifically well and I think would make for a great live track.

Those Who Watch was a bit of a surprise, and shows Morpheus Rising as capable of mixing things up a bit. It's very atmospheric, slightly otherworldly with synths underscoring the piece to give it that ethereal air. The guitars retain the solid rhythms, although slightly toned down, and work well as a contrast. There's also echoing, harmonising vocals adding to the otherworldy feel. It's very melodic and a fabulous piece of work.

In The End features a brief sparkle of duelling guitars which adds a bit of depth in places. I believe I'm right in thinking that there was only the one guitarist for these recordings and definitely think the second will round out the sound a bit more. It feels unfinished though in the way it fades out.

Lords Of The North is a monster, diving into the realm of mythology and ages past, telling tales of invasions, war and blood. Again playing with harmonised vocals, and featuring some great riffing with particularly heavy bass this track has something quite special about it that I'm not quite able to put my finger on.

Morpheus Rising has made all five tracks available as free downloads on, ReverbNation, iLike, Facebook and Bandcamp BUT at a lower quality than the bought tracks, which can be found on iTunes, Napster, Rhapsody and 7Digital Indiestore. For those like me who like having a physical CD in hand, there is also a limited run of 250 CDs available from the band's website. You can also check them out on myspace. Go have a look and a listen - I think you'll like them. - Graceful Degradation (Freelance Music Journalist)


An Ordinary Man - released October 2008 in aid of HELP for HEROES
The Original Demos 2008 - released December 2008
All tracks available on (



Morpheus Rising are five musicians from York, UK who met in early 2008 to discuss the first steps of what is quickly becoming a powerhouse of rock…

The NWoBHM era was a golden age in British music. Bands like Iron Maiden, Saxon, Def Leppard, Tygers of Pan Tang, Diamond Head and Samson ruled the world.

We grew up with these guys, they taught us to play, they taught us to write music.

MORPHEUS RISING takes all the best bits of NWoBHM - twin guitars and soaring vocals; adds a splash of extra ingredients such as the darker edge of Goth bands like The Cult and The Mission; the raw energy of Classic Rock icons like Led Zeppelin and AC/DC; plus just a twist of more melodic acts such as Marillion and Magnum. We are The Next Generation... NWoBHM-TNG!!

The brainchild of guitarist Pete Harwood who spent years working on the project, MORPHEUS RISING spent most of 2008 writing and rehearsing material before playing towards the end of the year.

They released their first single, An Ordinary Man, in aid of the charity HELP for HEROES in October 2008. The single was a marked departure from the rock material the band are known fir, but the bare acoustic style of the track matched both the lyrical content and the reason for the song. This was received well by public and critics alike receiving world wide radio airplay on national and internet radio.

On Boxing Day 2008 Morpheus Rising released their first commercial release in the form of The Original Demos 2008. This EP showcased the powerful style of NWoBHM which the band have embraced as their signature sound. Twin guitars, soaring vocals and powerful rhythms combine to take the genre forward… the next generation of NWoBHM! The EP is currently available from iTunes, Rhapsody and Napster.

Morpheus Rising are:

Vocals: Grae Tennick
Guitars: Pete Harwood
Guitars: Daymo Sweeting
Bass: Andy Smith
Drums: Paul (Gibbo) Gibbons

More information and exclusive content can be found at


Iron Maiden, Saxon, Def Leppard, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, The Cult, The Mission, Marillion, Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake, Deep Purple, Dio, Metallica…