INTRODUCING: Shattered Skies
Very often when I am presented with a large influx of metal bands to listen to, there are one or two releases that fall under the radar, and upon spinning them later, I kick myself very hard for not trying them beforehand. This next band epitomizes my point; had I heard this during 2102 I would have proclaimed it EP Of The Year. As it is, I must content myself with presenting it belatedly and with much enthusiasm.
I discovered Shattered Skies’ sound by pure accident while browsing through Bandcamp’s vast range of pay-what-you-want metal, and was intrigued by the bright purple cover of the Reanimation EP. The tags indicated it was a form of djent-inspired groove metal, so I gave it my 1-Minute Trial of the song “Beneath The Waves”. Within 2 minutes, I was already downloading the EP.
What I was hearing was not another Meshuggah ripoff, or completely soulless palm-muted riffing, but a swirl of melodies backed by the unmistakeable groove rhythm, and quite a keyboard-infused presence, along with actual melodic solos. Most of the bands I know in this genre opt for a harsh growl, but Sean Murphy (whose name is proof of the band’s Irish origins) has a touching melodic voice that works fantastically, opting for harsh vocals only in brief moments. Guitarists Ian Rockett (also on keys) treads the fine line between honoring the djent rhythm and slipping in infectious leads and solos on both instruments, while Ross McMahon and James Dunne provide the tight rhythm required, including the latter’s almost Cloudkicker-esque cymbalwork.
Comparisons to TesseracT and Periphery are inevitable, but one thing is clear to me: Shattered Skies have covered more ground in this 6-song EP than many bands cover in a full-length album, and top it off, that’s their début. To think what they could accomplish on a full-length makes me incredibly excited to hear it, but for now check out the band’s Bandcamp (below) and Soundcloud profiles (the latter boasting a free download of one of the best covers of The Final Countdown I’ve heard). Also be sure to follow the band on MySpace and Facebook.