Perhaps the most noteworthy, forefront characteristic of this CD is Skyline Awake's amazing instrumentals. The double guitar attack never misses its mark of polyphonic duality, followed with a sturdy, steady bass and drum section. Straightforward yet tactful, powerful yet structured, these songs possess a very well contrived development in musical progression. Typical elements of improvisation, metal, and emocore are apparent in the instrumentals added with touches of spontaneity and originality that are flawlessly changing in and out of each song.
         It is pretty obvious that Skyline Awake's focus as musicians is instrumental performance and coherence, which they seem to have mastered. I'd have to say the vocal additions sound just like that--additions. Not to say the vocals are weak, because they aren't, but they are solidly eclipsed by the overwhelming instrumentation. It seems to me that the things that stick to you most about this EP are the guitar riffs rather than the melodies.
         And this is something I really adore. Most bands these days, by some unwritten yet orthodox rule, gain followings because of mainly melodies; bands like Glassjaw, Poison the Well, Taking Back Sunday, Story of the Year, Brand New, Rancid, and absolutely every pop-punk band in the universe. While I and most decent minded people endorse the bands I just mentioned, it has occurred to me that their performance is based on melody first, instruments later. I mean, with a singer like Daryl Palumbo, you don't have much of a choice as a guitarist but take backstage to his incredible voice, but nevertheless, a lot could be asked of from the string and percussion department.
         In contrast, nothing is really left missing from Skyline Awake's instrumentation. Fans of Hot Water Music and Under a Dying Sun will find much to love about this band, as will any indie enthusiast looking for a band that knows how to bundle numerous musical ideas into several solid songs.
C.L. '05
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Rosewater Records
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