Being the death metal fanatic that I am, sometimes it’s good to take a step outside the now standardized brootal circle of releases I gobble up with glee and appreciate the varied, sometimes less thoroughly bludgeoning aspects of metal. When I find myself in this state of mind, I tend to revert to one of my surefire staples to give me a boost: metalcore. It seems like every time I write one of these I am singing the praises of some band or another in this most maligned of subgenres. But hey, everyone could a little metalcore in their life (he said sheepishly), and today I’d like to honor this most hallowed tradition by spreading the virtues of Skies In Motion and their debut album Life Lessons. If you’re a fan of either metalcore or melodic hardcore, put this band on your radar. There’s plenty to enjoy here.
Hailing from Derby, Skies In Motion bring to bear a sound reminiscent of recent releases from While She Sleeps and Architects, though with a slightly more melodic, hardcore-tinged aesthetic. Big raucous choruses one would hear in mid-career Bring Me the Horizon couple with equally expansive and emotional composition akin to The Ghost Inside to create a sonic vista that’s fairly epic in scope. There’s a lot of space in this music as well, and despite the deep and rolling production on the blistering guitars and drums nothing feels suffocating. Opener “Architect” displays this balance well, opening with an almost western-inspired guitar passage that builds on itself until the song finally can contain itself no longer, exploding with a distinctly metalcore passion, only to divert into a propulsive hardcore melee that leads us into the album’s second track, “Cascades”. It’s an unusual and auspicious opening to the album, and the band ride this momentum well throughout the duration of the record. Tracks “Sword Swallower”, “When Home Feels Like Distance and Distance Feels Like Home”, and “Ugly” pack particular intensity, while tracks like “Gonvena” and “Hopebringer” highlight the bands more dynamic side. Overall, Life Lessons presents an unusual amount of variety for the genre, and is an entertaining listen.
If you like your metalcore in cinemascope, this is an album you will enjoy. Skies In Motion exhibit a lot of promise on this record, and will be a band to pay attention to for fans of the subgenre. While it doesn’t stray too far from the beaten metalcore path, it doesn’t particularly need to. It’s a solid debut from a band with potential, and was just what the doctor ordered for this closet metalcore junky.
Life Lessons will be self-released by the band on 9/1/2017.