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I Built the Sky - Zenith Rise Award winner

I Built the Sky
Zenith Rise
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 06 December 2019, 7:26 AM

I BUILT THE SKY is a “Cloud Core” one-man instrumental project based out of Melbourne, Australia. He has been releasing independent music since 2012 under this name. There are no guest credits on the album, and Rohan did everything here himself. “The Zenith Rise” contains ten tracks. “Up into the Ether” opens the album with clean and pretty guitar notes that make you feel good. When the main riff hits, it has a Djent quality to it, with hard accents and dancing lead guitar notes. When Rohan wants to, he can shred with the best of them. The song builds into a beautiful crescendo at the end that takes your breath away.

“Journey to Aurora” shines even more warmth on your face, as you gaze into a clear blue sky on a sunny spring day. The several guitar tracks work together in a synergy that only a masterful composer can pull off. The ambient passage really allows the song to shine and it ends with another superb crescendo. “Wormhole Traveler” opens with charming clean guitar notes and a feeling of peace. The rhythms here and deep and thick, under a bed of lead guitar that knows exactly where it’s going.

“Stellar Evolution” opens with a meaty selection of lead and rhythm guitars and a cadence that suggests a high level of understanding…his sense of timing and cadence is perfect. Though it’s obvious that he is highly skilled, he favors songwriting over mindless shredding. “Light Pillars” opens with a raucous energy that is infectious, and hooks you from the start. The guitar work here is absolutely brilliant. He rises and falls on these scales like a rollercoaster ride hugging the track at impossible speeds among many twists and turns.

“Stars and Darkness” goes a little different in direction. It opens with more mellow notes and a bit more somber tone. The guitar work however is just as good as it is in other songs, it’s just a bit more linear here. “The Zenith Rise” packs a powerful punch out of the gate, with heavy and aggressive rhythms and lead work that dances fancifully over top. This track has a more serious tone and it’s off to business here for Rohan. “The Only Way out is up” is a tender and charming song, with positive vibes. This time he keeps it simple with a pleasing main melody that is easy and accessible. “Diamond Dust” features acoustical guitars and a delicate little melody that sticks to your ribs. It’s a nice break from some of the earlier pyrotechnics on the album.

“Moonbow” closes the album. It’s another mellow, more introspective song that focuses on the beauty of life and a simple and lovely melody line. Sometimes, all instrumental albums can get boring without vocals and lyrics to keep things alive, but that’s not the case here. Rohan’s fingers are like secret passages to the sky, gatekeepers to everything that is right and beautiful about the world around us. It’s the perfect balance between shredding and melody, and his sense of timing is impeccable. Let this album take you away to a bright and clean place where you can forget about all of your troubles!

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Up into the Ether
2. Journey to Aurora
3. Wormhole Traveler
4. Stellar Evolution
5. Light Pillars
6. Stars and Darkness
7. The Zenith Rise
8. The Only Way out is up
9. Diamond Dust
10. Moonbow
Rohan Steveson – All Music
Record Label: Independent


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