Skyharbor

Album Review: Skyharbor – Blinding White Noise: Illusion and Chaos

A year ago, djent seemed like it would be the rock world’s answer to dubstep. A generally new genre ready to sweep through and change the landscape of modern heavy music. With a few exceptions, most noteably Periphery and Animals As Leaders, this didn’t happen. Skyharbor, India’s latest export, are ready to be thrown into the mix.

Much in the same way Animals As Leaders is centred around Tosin Abasi, Skyharbor is the brainchild of one man – Keshav Dhar. The Indian instrumentalist has mastered the soundscapes and complex riffery needed to pull off a modern day tech-metal album, and has enlisted some well known faces to help out, such as Marty Friedman of Megadeth fame and Daniel Tompkins, known for his work with fellow djentlemen TesseracT.

The album is split in two, with tracks 1-7 being labelled as “Illusion” and 8-10 as “Chaos.” Appropriately, the final three tracks are the most aggressive on the album with harsh vocals and relentless riffing. The drums are chaotic in that way only tech-metal bands can be, making these final tracks much more hard-hitting than whSkyharbor Blinding White Noise Illusion & Chaos artworkat preceds it.

The “Illusion” tracks contain the most rewarding parts of the album, what little there are. While djent soundscapes are starting to sound very similar to one another and the low-tuned guitars sound indistinguishable between bands, there are a few tracks here that are strong enough to stand on their own.

The seven-minute epic “Celestial” in particular is the highlight of the album. Structured in such a way that each riff sounds pivotal, with vocal hooks to match, Keshav’s songwriting excels for the latter part of the “Illusion” section.

Unfortunately, other tracks such as the dreamy “Night” fail to find their place amongst the chaos. If you don’t follow the album as it makes it way through the tracks, you would be forgiven for thinking “Night” was just a slow middle section of the previous song. “Order 66,” with its slow-burn chorus and groovy verses is good, but there is not much on “Blinding White Noise” to set Skyharbor apart, nevermind above, in a genre that needs some energy kicked back into it to prove that it is not just a one trick pony.

Rating – 5

     

About Scott Wilson

Having spent the last twenty years of his life telling his friends his opinion of the latest release by every band he has ever heard of, Scott is an enthusiastic journalist and keen writer. A fan of every genre of music, though his heart firmly belongs to rock, he has been spending far too much money on gigs and not enough on digs. Reachable by either email or Twitter where copious amounts of commentating and general excitement can also be found.

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