Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to check out the single Carry the Fire from Rift and Savilion (presented by Hand’Solo Records). Like most of the offerings from Hand’Solo artists, it was a sharp single that played on my nerd sensibilities and engaged me with well placed rhymes and beats. It also offered an interesting look at perseverance and survival set against the backdrop of a harsh wilderness. I was a big fan of the song and gave it some praise. I am happy to say that with the release of the full album (available now on CD and Digital) the title track holds up. The rest of the album is pretty strong as well, focusing on an exploration of past hardships for the promise of a better future. While some of the songs deal with a great deal of personal pain, they give way to positive affirmations and genuine goals to make things better.

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The album starts out strong with the title track kicking it off. It’s immediately followed by probably my favourite song of the bunch, Take You Higher, featuring appearances by Geneva, Wordburglar, Chokeules and Sulfur. The song is an uplifting anthem promoting friendship and sticking together, making sure to acknowledge the bad but focus on the good in life. The message is simple: Let the beat take you higher. I found that easy to do with great rhymes that reference Stan Lee, Stanley Kubrick, Bill Murray, the Incredible Hulk and Battlecat from He-Man.

Things take a darker turn as we get further in with tracks like I Don’t Know Why? and Ace of Diamonds. With a cool piano track backing it and a couple of interesting spoken word parts explaining the medical effects on a person experiencing a loss of romantic love, I Don’t Know Why? is a reflection on a past love and a lament of the loss of that relationship. Ace of Diamonds further explores this break up as it relates to his son. The song is an acceptance of the hardship in life while also a promise to make sure the father/son connection remains strong.

Near the end of the album, we get a more focused look at the beliefs of Rift with both Into This World We’re Thrown and Fuck Dead Presidents. Sampling The Doors’ Riders on the Storm, Into this World We’re Thrown is an attempt to understand and conquer the question of life. This track takes a little trip to the geeky side as there are references throughout to Star Wars, Highlander, Terminator and more. Fuck Dead Presidents is an indictment of mainstream hip hop, pointing out everything that’s wrong with the rap “image”. Featuring Ceschi, More or Les, Jesse Dangerously, Sulfur, Mikal & Mindbender, the group takes a look at the “Money and Bitches” outlook that’s promoted in a number of mainstream rap tracks and offers an alternative. Instead, they wish to make intelligent art that is conscious of the current culture.

There’s also a track about Frida Kahlo……yeah, Frida Kahlo, the famous Mexican painter. Rift and Savilion put their money where their mouth is when it comes to not following mainstream conventions and produce an album that sports some culture and class as well as a bit of information about other artists who have contributed to and influenced that culture.

I really enjoyed most of the tracks featured and I also enjoyed the messages and themes of self exploration and taking a positive stand against the negativity in life. Carry the Fire is an inspiring album that hip hop fans should be sure to check out. We need more music that stands for something and Rift and Savilion give us just that. The album is available now through Hand’Solo records. Click the link below to get your hands on Carry the Fire.

CARRY THE FIRE (Full Album)

If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!

Rift and Savilion bring an interesting tapestry of love, loss and perseverance with Carry the Fire.

Rift and Savilion bring an interesting tapestry of love, loss and perseverance with Carry the Fire.