In the past, I have often expressed my perplexity about the strategies adopted by musicians who are more prolific than the average: in fact, beyond the quality of the works proposed, I believe that an excessive proliferation of releases with the same brand ends up diluting the attention of the listeners, who absurdly do not even have time to dissect the contents of a record being immediately faced with a new proposal by the same artist. This long preamble serves, however, to exalt and not to diminish the work of a musician like Sergio Gonzalez Catalan, able in just under two years to publish under the moniker Rise To The Sky four works of excellent quality, the last of which, Per Aspera Ad Astra, rises above the previous ones for intensity and compactness. Three full lengths such as Moonlight (2019), Death Will Not Keep Us Apart (2020) and the most recent Let Me Drown with You, released last March, strictly self-produced and distributed only through bandcamp, have attracted the attention of a very active label like the Russian GS Productions. This allowed Sergio to take advantage of adequate promotion, a necessary expedient to avoid products of excellent quality such as Per Aspera Ad Astra from unjustly ending up in oblivion. The new album, as I said, elevates to the nth power the emotional impact of the proposal of the Chilean musician who is placed on a level not dissimilar from that of HellLight, compared to which the main deviations derive from an approach more oriented to melodic death doom than funeral as is that of the Brazilian band led by Fabio De Paula. Moreover, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this time an album of above-average intensity and melancholic inspiration comes from a mournful event such as the sudden loss of their father at the beginning of the year. The result is seven tracks (plus bonus track instrumental) evocative, centered on the inlay between atmospheric keyboards and an effective guitar work also in the solo phase, finding an ideal sublimation in the wonderful End My Night. On a vocal level Gonzalez Catalan doesn’t let himself go to particular digressions, allowing himself an exception to the effective growl only with the recitation in mother tongue of Only Our Past Remains. All this is enough so that there are no more valid excuses (if any) to ignore the work of this talented and spontaneous South American musician.

2021 – GS Productions