ARTIST: A Skylit Drive
GENRE: Post hardcore
LABEL: Tragic Hero Records
A Skylit Drive came out with Wires…And The Concept Of Breathing the year after I graduated high school. I loved some of the songs on that album, but since then they’ve mostly just been one of those bands that I had in my music library but never really listened to that much. I own all of their albums, and I’ve seen them live a handful of times, but I was never as crazy about them as I was other bands in the same genre.
The first few verses into Rise you will notice the difference in the vocals of Michael Jagmin, the lead vocalist of the band. In previous releases he’s sang in a much higher octave, and with this album he’s definitely lower. His vocals aren’t the only thing that’s changed with the band’s sound though, which makes for a nice change up from the band’s usual routine.
“Save Me Tragedy” is the first track on the album, and it’s easily one of the best tracks. It’s catchy, and is a true indication of how the band has developed over the years. The guitars are melodic but not overly complex. The unclean vocalist has changed his technique a little bit, and has a better range than their last album. The main focus is on the clean vocals though, and you don’t hear much of the unclean vocals, not only on this track, but on the entire album.
There are some real stand-out tracks on Rise, and it’s hard for me to say which is my personal favorite, and which would be an overall fan favorite. One of the noteworthy tracks is the title track. It’s a perfect anthem to getting back up on your feet after you have been knocked down (no pun intended?). Do not pray for an easy life // Search for the strength to walk the line. If that’s not an anthem of hope then nothing is. On top of the positive message the song is very catchy. It has a simple melody and has lyrics that anyone could relate to.
There aren’t a ton of well-written songs out there about musicians having to leave loved ones for the road. The only one that I can really think of is “Miles Away” by Memphis May Fire. “Just Stay” is A Skylit Drive recalling the difficulty it is to leave behind a loved one/significant other for months at a time. The song is a drastic change from every other track on the album and is a nice break from the fast pace their songs usually take. Anyone who’s ever been a traveling musician, or had to travel for long periods of time, can definitely relate to this song.
It’s obvious these guys have matured, and you can hear that in their music. None of their albums sound the same, and this is another example of them being able to create something unique but still manage to keep a little bit of familiarity for fans. Michael Jagmin has a distinct voice, and that is something that has helped the band continue to be successful as they push out new music.
This isn’t one of my favorite albums, but it’s a great listen and will have any big fans of the group falling in love with them all over again. I think this is the best record they’ve put out to date, and hopefully this is a sign of an even longer life for the group. If you like them even a little bit, or never really liked them at all, I recommend giving the album a shot. You might find yourself putting Rise on repeat.
Review written by Kriston McConnell