In the last couple of years, Irish/UK based quartet Shattered Skies have been making ripples in the Prog ocean, including an early but show-stealing performance at the first incarnation of HRH Prog with their brand of tech metal. The fact that it has taken so long for a full debut to see the light of day and capitalise on this momentum could have proved damaging for lesser bands, and even seen them forgotten about. Fortunately this shouldn’t prove a problem for an act with such a strong balance between the memorable and the forward thinking.
Sitting well alongside their peers with the air of drifting but Meshuggah like crunching tone of TesseracT and the soaring melodies of Alaya, The World We Used To Know (Independent/Holdtight! PR) is by no means a wholly original concept but is delivered with a much bigger emphasis on actual, catchy songs than most. The vast bulk sits on the anthemic side with the merest suggestion of further imagination. Sean Murphy’s lofty vocals offer the towering performance that this brand of metal expects without the reliance of harsh growls.
So far, so good, but there is the niggling sense that there is a lot of boldness and evolution waiting to come out. The likes of ‘Collapse Of Man’ and the following ‘End And The Rebirth’ show futuristic keyboards at play ,which then seems to get buried for a more straightforward formula here on in, reappearing again with the magnificent 11 minute title track. This closing epic shows them really exploring the prog rabbit hole with various twists and dynamic shifts yet still contains plenty of drawing hooks. A stark statement of just what they are capable of.
A very strong and immediate debut of impressive technical prowess married with a level of immediacy that many in this crowded bracket cannot muster, Shattered Skies have shown just why they have made such an impact. The only dampener is the evidence on show that they have the prowess to be more daring, adventurous, and even more special. A very commendable start which closes with what almost feels like a teaser for bigger things to come.