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Rise to the Sky - Death will not Keep us Apart Award winner

Rise to the Sky
Death will not Keep us Apart
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 14 September 2020, 7:10 AM

RISE TO THE SKY is a one band atmospheric doom metal band from Chile.  “Death Will Not Keep Us Apart,” is their second full length album, in addition to having an EP.  The guy behind all this, Sergio is really adept at weaving melodies in between, out and around, all the heavier guitar parts.  This is easily one of the most melodic albums I’ve heard in doom all year.  However, don’t let me persuade you into thinking this isn’t a dark album.

The story line is apparently based upon a dream Sergio had in which two doomed lovers attempt to escape a terrible world on a safe location on top of a mountain.   The girl ends up not being able to make it up so the man leaves her behind in hopes that least one of the might survive.  But, ultimately, he decides to descend back down with her so they can die together—and maybe be together in the afterlife too. This is a rather heartfelt story about the power of love, the fear of death, and the overcoming of that fear to face it head on on your own terms.  These are powerful subjects and elements that really translate well to the music contained in the nine tracks.

With the multi layered, lush melodies presented within the album, the songs could be seen as both hopeless and yet hopeful.  In essence, life and death is explored in this musical realm and I really felt like I got to know these characters as the album went through.  In many ways, this album can apply to everyday situations for a lot of people—myself included.  How many of us sacrifice a part of ourselves every day? For a families or jobs?   We each of us make a choice and, for most people, hope things are better after we are gone. As for facing death…that something we too must all come to terms with but so few get to do it by choice.

The album opens with “From The Distance,” that builds upon the sorrowful melodies pushing them ever forward but being backed with rifts and meaty drums.  I just can’t get over how well the tracks are put together, how well the melodies, harmonies, and riffs all grow as natural extensions of each other. “Together In The Grave,” is one of the best songs on the album.  The light use of keys in the background for the guitars to jump off from is a nice touch and the drums keep a sense of urgent danger.  The melodies are methodical on this song, use the five minutes or so belonging to the song as best it can by filling every available nook and cranny.

The Final Choice,” has an opened ended feel to it, much like a choice has before it has been solidified.  The clean vocals are well done and ethereal and mix well with the rest of the music.  The double bass rumbles to life, lifting up the softer vocal parts and allows the death growls to flow smoothly into the song. The title track impressed me with its opening of sweeping keys and keen sense of melody in the guitars.  I enjoyed the moments were the guitars were less melody and more metal crunch plus they went so well with the death growls.  The song ends with the keys fading out, ending as gently as it began.

The last track, “Dancing In The Dark (Death)” is rather epic especially the way the keys and guitars blend in together.  The cleans are very well done and are much of the song’s focus but the drums make a good show of keeping everything on the heavy side.  I do have one major complaint about the album: the production is all over the place.  In places, especially early on, the death growls are buried too far under the mix and struggle to be heard.  It probably doesn’t help that the rest of the music is way too loud and overpowers the vocals.  The bass is also often times a lost cause.

With that being said, there is so much to enjoy here that trudging through the mad production/mixing job is worth it.  With “Death Will Not Keep Us Apart,” RISE TO THE SKY have created a very impactful and emotional doom metal album that cannot be missed.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. From The Distance
2. Pain and Blood
3. Together In The Grave
4. When Death Comes
5. High Up Above
6. The Final Choice
7. Death Will Join Us
8. We Are Not Mourning
9. Dancing In The Dark (Death)
Lineup:
Sergio G. - Everything
Record Label: Independent
     


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