REVIEW: A Skylit Drive – Rise: Ascension

A Skylit Drive - Rise Ascension

California metal-core band A Skylit Drive will be releasing their fifth full length album via Tragic Hero Records on January 6th. This comes after the successful release of “Rise” in the fall of 2013; and is an acoustic re-imagining of what made that release successful.

From the opening moments Rise: Ascension hits the ground running in the form of “Save Me Tragedy” and “Unbreakable”; both of which feature beautiful instrumental styling and harmonies. Considering that these tracks were stripped down and rebuilt with acoustic instruments, the high energy delivery of these tracks did not lose any steam in translation. Allowing for these songs to be just as enjoyable, if not more so, than the original.

One of the most enjoyable factors of this release is Michael Jagmin’s rich singing voice. The extent of his talents are displayed in tracks “Pendulum” and “I, Enemy.” Jagmin masterfully pulls off these reworking’s of what are originally heavier tracks, while retaining the understated qualities that separate him from his peers.

Sonically, it’s evident that these pieces were composed by music virtuoso’s. Which is never more apparent than in closing tracks “Shadows” and “Dreaming In Blue”. The use of instruments not commonly used in this genre, such as cello and piano, help to distinguish these tracks from an instrumental point of view.

2014 was a year with more than a few re-imagining’s and reissues; some were wonderful while others not as much. Rise: Ascension successfully took what made Rise a standout album and successfully reworked and polished it into another record that is sure to garner momentum for the metalcore veterans in 2015.