36vultures

Review: A Skylit Drive, ‘Rise: Ascension’

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A Skylit Drive is a post-hardcore band that has been in existence for a period of eight years now and despite recent lineup changes, they show no signs of slowing down. “Rise:Ascension” is their latest release. This release is a completely acoustic album. It’s actually their last full length done acoustically, and it still sounds fresh. What an incredible way for this band to kick off the new year.  

When you think of a post-hardcore band, you don’t automatically think, “Hey, these guys should put out an acoustic album,” but in this case we probably should have. I was a little skeptical at first but after the first listen, my mind was instantly changed and needed more of this; I hope they release more material like this in the future. It seems to be the new popular thing to release acoustic albums such as The Relapse Symphony releasing “Shadows:The Acoustic Sessions” and Farewell, My Love’s “Wrapped Up In Pinstripes” with their new vocalist. I must say, it is agreeing with all of these bands (not like Of Mice & Men’s attempt at an acoustic set, sorry guys). I think breaking away from the normal mainstream post-hardcore sound and doing something a little different can be very interesting and therapeutic for a band and A Skylit Drive is no exception.I love the way that these songs transitioned with acoustic guitars, simple percussion, and strings in the background, it is a very exciting sound, but the vocals bring all of this together to make this a solid album without the release of brand new material. Michael Jagmin has quite the vocal range and it is finally showcased in the right light instead of hidden behind distortion and screaming; “Just Stay” and “Pendulum” are two of the best songs that exemplify all of his vocal talents but this is not the only component that is shining through on this album, it is a team effort. The melodies are really able to shine through as well as the guitar leads but such heavy riffs as the ones in “Save Me Tragedy” and the title track “Rise” were just as powerful acoustically as they were electric. With such powerful lyrics backed by the perfect vocalist, it’s hard not to fall in love with every aspect of this album.

Lyrically, “Rise”, “Said & Done”, “Just Stay”, and “Pendulum” are the biggest powerhouses on the album but the rest are just as phenomenal, the technical aspects just seem to stick out much more. The thrashing guitar riffs from “Save Me Tragedy”, “Rise”, and “Wide Awake” were reinvented in the most perfect way in an acoustic setting. The musicality of these songs was executed exceptionally and was not overdone with unnecessary sounds; sometimes simple is better… guitars, strings, drums=awesome.

From start to finish, it was an easy listen and this easily earns a 5 out of 5 in every aspect from musicality to creativity. This band is much more talented than we give them credit for and I hope more people will give them the credibility that they deserve. This band has a fantastic foundation and I hope that they will continue to release music like this with a much more raw sound that really showcases the technical aspects of Jagmin’s voice as well as the musical precision of the rest of the band. Can’t wait to hear more material from these guys hopefully in the near future!

Review By: Josh Weisner