I Built The Sky - The Sky Is Not The Limit - (6.5/10)
Published on March 18, 2017
Genre:Instrumental / Progressive Rock
Formed back in 2012, the solo instrumental project I Built The Sky has been fairly consistent in releasing new material. The project’s new album, The Sky Is Not The Limit, came out October of 2016, and this Melbourne project sticks to the more “djent” style of music, similar to an Animals As Leaders or Scale The Summit style of progressive music. That being said, this project is perhaps a bit more impressive being just a single person as opposed to a full band, but generally the music still comes across as similar and along the same lines.
Whenever these albums come out, the music is focused heavily on the guitar. The bass and drums may have some moments here and there, but the guitar always becomes the hero. That being said, the guitar needs to be able to maintain the interest of the audience for whatever the run time may be. With I Built The Sky, the technicality is definitely there, but over the course of the album it feels a tad thin. These 11 tracks run just a little over 40 minutes, and do manage to showcase a faster approach with a few slower songs here and there interspersed into the mix. There are of course plenty of riffs between the leads and solos on the record, and they are fine, but they don’t seem to really build enough momentum to keep things solidified between the technical showcase. The drumming is usually pretty solid, providing some very good moments to head bang to, and get into a bit of a nice groove. The bass adds some decent lower end and keeps the sound on the album from feeling too thin, which is very appreciated.
With any type of solo project or instrumental project, you can easily run the risk of overdoing one thing too much. Where I Built The Sky succeeds, is in the slower tracks. Focusing less on the technicality, although still being plenty impressive, these tracks add some actual mood and feeling to the album that would have otherwise been lacking. These slower songs are at times quite beautiful and even ethereal, giving the album a nice bit of life. When the album does speed things back up and provides an onslaught of notes, there are some very impressive passages, but lacks in memorability and feels ultimately disposable.
There is no doubt that solo member Ro is very adept at his instruments. Being able to do it all himself again holds him up against some of the other bands in the style, but that does not quite save The Sky Is Not The Limit from being a slightly above average listen. Sure, it’s perfectly fine while listening, but after the last track it feels harder to really remember the first or second track. Perhaps a bit more focus on the songwriting front would provide a better overall experience, but if you are interested in other djent bands and can’t get enough of the style, I Built The Sky would add nicely to your collection.