Rise to the Sky – Let Me Drown with You Review

Since I discovered Rise to the Sky last year with their tremendous EP In the Grave of a Forgotten Soul, Sergio G., the one man behind the one-man-band has put out a second EP and sophomore full-length album, A Cold Embrace from Life and Death Will Not Keep Us Apart respectively. So the fact that I’m now sitting down to review his third full-length, Let Me Drown with You, less than a year after that initial encounter, is staggering. Rise to the Sky is nothing if not consistent, melding doom metal together with slices of funeral and death metal atop thick layers of crushing sorrow. In this newest enterprise, the project looks to crush, dismay, and pummel in a further exploration of its own sound, one that I’ve never really been able to pin down, that that’s always felt, refreshingly, like Sergio’s own.

If you’ve heard any of Rise to the Sky’s previous work, you already have a good idea of what to expect here. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the short length of time since the last EP release, Let Me Drown with You picks up right where A Cold Embrace from Life left off, utilizing all of the most memorable tropes that made previous releases as good as they were. You’ve got weeping leads, heavy organs, and a crushing death metal drawl to tie everything together nicely. Let Me Drown with You is a very heavy album. The production is thick and dense, and while everything is given its space, there’s markedly less room to breathe here than on previous Rise to the Sky releases. This has always been a project that excels at atmosphere; here, it’s laid on thick.

So what does that mean for the music? It means this is a new and promising arena for Rise to the Sky to explore its sound. “Dream the Pain is Gone”1 opens with an outstandingly mournful lead melody before shifting into a lively, powerful monster of a song that takes full advantage of the album’s thick atmosphere. The title track is similarly big, straying further into death-doom territory than usual and making great use of big organs and towering leads. Elsewhere, “Leaving This World” blends standard-fare death-doom with more symphonic brushes, leading to a memorable, powerful number. Let Me Drown with You offers Rise to the Sky an atmospheric arena to do what they do best.

Let Me Drown with You is the project’s longest album yet, at fifty-six towering minutes. While it’s filled with solid music, a lot of heavy atmosphere over a lot of minutes is the kind of thing that demands versatility, and, though Rise to the Sky excels at its own brand of doom-death metal, Let Me Drown with You sounds a lot like the project’s previous work, and it sounds a lot like itself. The album takes few risks; the vocals are low in the mix and exist more as a vessel for the lyrics than as an instrument of its own, the drumming still isn’t as impactful as I feel it could be. The result is that songs like “See Me Fall Down” and “Liebestod” don’t stand out in a meaningful way. An album that goes on so long playing it so safe demands tracks that excel; these songs are simply good. The division of the album into two “chapters,” each ending with an interlude track, makes it feel more like two EPs, stacked on top of each other; as is, it’s hard to deny a sense of ear fatigue by the end.

And that’s too bad, honestly, because “Bury Me in Your Heart,” the album’s last proper song, is one of the best Rise to the Sky songs I’ve heard yet. As much as I feel that Let Me Drown with You is held back by these structural concerns, when it shines, it really shines. Make no mistake, this is a strong album for gloomy days, for times when you want to be crushed by sadness that moves faster than glaciers. I’d love to see some more risks taken in the future, but for now, I’m perfectly happy to enjoy some more good doom music from a talented guy who doesn’t seem to want to stop making it.

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 4 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: GS Productions
Websites: risetotheskyband.com | risetothesky.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/RisetotheSkyBand
Releases Worldwide: March 12th, 2021

Show 1 footnote

  1. I don’t know where Sergio got his Doom Metal Song Title Maker, but it is on point. And I love his lyrics too.
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