If forced to name my favorite cloud-themed solo instrumental djent project, it would have to be IBUILTTHESKY.
The release of ‘The Sky Is Not The Limit’ is the culmination of years of writing, demoing and refining material created by Rohan and his trusty computer.
Writing and composing as a solo musician can have its benefits and drawbacks. For one.. you can’t really have a fight with yourself about whether a riff belongs in a song…nor can you argue with yourself for rocking up late to practice.
To describe IBS you would have to start with a Vai-meets-Misha comparison before tangenting off and discussing James Norbert Iyavani and Plini, Sithu Aye and more. Essenially it is proggy, melodic guitar music that is as much a djent/metal project as the rest but dabbles frequently in ambient and alternate styles for a really varied body of work.
On this album, the mix of flamboyant guitar shredding and noodling is well balanced with enjoyable chord progressions and sections that will have you tapping your feet and forgetting that this is a non-vocal artist. The first three tracks Stratiformis, Radiatus & Transludicus all feature guest solo/shredding from other artists. This is great fun to listen while trying and tell where one player ends and the other begins. The tracks flow really well together from one to the next, sharing a sort of power-metal style across them. It’s uplifting and feel good music.
Then ‘Humilis’ drops. This is the heavy, dark/djent track and it shines like a jewel amongst the other more melodic and anthemic tracks. I enjoy all IBUILTTHESKY music, but I rrrreally enjoy the heavier stuff.
One element of IBUILTTHESKY that compliments the recorded work is Rohan’s commitment to on-location and playthrough video’s. You can’t really appreciate the technical prowess at work until you can see how the hands and fingers flit about the frets and fly up and down the neck. There’s tons of video’s on his channel including some performance vid’s and clips as well as home vids.
Check the video clip for Humilis and see what I mean about those hands:
Just add a Kylo Ren mask and this would be pushing perfection.
The surprise moments come in the form of some beautiful softer shades in the albums middle 3 tracks. The ambient (sleepy) ‘Cirrostratus’ gets lush and chill AF which sits nicely after the busy and harshest songs before it. However the real killer if not show stealer is ‘Floccus’. The guitar is working with a harp-like echo/delay/drone effect that fills the space in-between notes with an ethereal kind of sound which honestly just sounds unlike anything I’ve heard. I don’t know..and I don’t wanna know what effects or patches have been implemented here, I just want to listen and enjoy the wonder of it.
Go treat your ears to this outstanding album from a guy who can play guitar better than you ever will. The light and shade, heavy and light music all roll together nicely and the albums closer is equally as tasteful with acoustic guitar strumming, climbing lead lines and gorgeous harmonic work. Just sick.
Well done Ro, this is amazing.
For the photo > https://www.facebook.com/campenrosephotosau/