You may know Anup Sastry as the drummer of bands such as Skyharbor and Intervals. He has also been a guest drummer for Ex-Nevermore guitarist Jeff Loomis. Those are some big names, and the only reason why he is such a famous drummer is because Anup Sastry is a phenomenal musician and a man of many talents. Ghost is Anup Sastry’s debut album that brings his drum mastery to the forefront. With his debut, Sastry has shown us that multi-instrumentalism is the way of the future. No longer are you required to rely on how efficient you are at playing an instrument perfectly, but rather how well you can convey across what you write. However, regardless of Sastry’s obvious technical proficiencies, Ghost is a creatively weak album that rehashes the same old djent making Ghost an overambitious effort where Sastry takes ideas from other bands he plays for like Skyharbor and Intervals, yet brings nothing new to the table. This makes Ghost a tiresome listen that tries to go beyond certain conventions of djent, yet conforms to quite a few in the process.
If I had my say, there would be a top one hundred list, because I enjoyed so many different albums this year. I’ve changed this list fifty seven times over the past week, so this list is me finally making a decision. It’s honestly been harder choosing this list than it has been choosing classes for next semester. I must say that 2012 has shown that music has not totally gone down the drain, because there are still so many amazing bands I’m just now hearing about, and so many great albums to listen to. So, without further ado, here are the twenty best albums to come out in 2012, and the six best albums that would be twenty one through twenty six that just didn’t make the cut.
Metal is full of creative voices. In fact it’s filled with some of the most creative and innovative voices of the generation. Some voices however, carry an extra context. This post is about one of Dan Tompkins’ several projects. You may know him from a little band called Tesseract, or perhaps Skyharbor was more your flavor. It kind of goes without saying that Dan is a obscenely talented and an extremely dynamic vocalist. In particular he performed in largely over looked dream rock band called Absent Hearts and it’s beautiful.
Skyharbor‘s debut album is a contender for my “Best of” list, as it’s one of the best progressive metal albums to grace my earholes all year. So I was really excited when they posted a video of the song ‘Aurora’, because it has become one of my favorite tracks on the entire record.
The video is of Keshav and Nikhil playing guitar and bass respectively, and it’s a great video, showing how beautiful their playing is. They also announce that they will be a part of Euroblast 2012, which is super awesome for you folks across the pond.
Oh, and did I mention that Dan Tompkins of former TesseracT fame will be their live singer? Yeah. Time to get on that Excitebike.
Blinding White Noise: Illusion And Chaos is out now via Basick Records. Catch Skyharbor at Euroblast 2012 is October 18-21st in Cologne, Germany.
I’ve always held the notion that the Indian metal scene is doing pretty well, considering it’s entirely DIY, but sadly there are only a handful of bands that come out with entire albums worth listening to. Of course, the scene is still in its infancy and big name bands such as Scribe, Bhayanak Maut, Undying Inc. and Skyharbor are really the only ones worth mentioning for this reviewer. But a fairly new band from Chennai, called Blind Image, with their 2nd album More Than Human recently caught my attention. What I heard was quite possibly one of the most polished metal albums from India I’ve heard in a while. The production – crisp; the compositions – complex; and the writing – mature.
This thrash-metal group has been getting a lot of praise, and rightly so considering the amazing musicianship on the album. What’s more startling is that the album is entirely self-produced! According to their soundcloud page, “This is a concept album based on a fictional character – Dr.Alvarez Olaf. It is closely associated with (the) Large Hadron Collider”. Being a concept album, it utilities a cyber-punk theme and as the album title suggests, hints that we are all “more than human”. In a world where people have become more robotic in nature and lost all humanity, the album asks for humanity to “give new meaning to existence”.
It’s pretty much common knowledge that Dan Tompkins (Skyharbor, ex-Tesseract) has quite a set of pipes. I was bummed when he left Tesseract, but it’s great that he’s taking part in other projects. Check out his recent uploads of his rehearsals for ‘Dots‘ (above) and ‘Night‘ (after the jump.)
I just happened to be randomly flipping through the Basick Bandcamp pages when I discovered that the new Skyharbor album Blinding White Noise is now streaming in its entirety for free! There wasn’t so much as a mention on Basick or Skyharbor’s facebook pages, which seems kinda odd. I mean, normally they would tell their fans when an album is available, especially ahead of release. Who knows if its an accident or what, but you can listen to the record via the Bandcamp player below.
02. Order 66
Metal is and always has been a global community. No other genre of music is as encompassing as it is, and no other type of music has such a devoted following. Festivals like Download, Rock In Rio, and Sonisphere highlight this ideal by bringing metal acts from all over the world to perform on their stages in front of crowds that can exceed 100,000 people. There is just one problem; there appears to be less of a concentration of metal as far east as China, Japan, Indonesia, etc. You have Acrassicauda from Iraq, a fairly healthy scene in Australia, and even Ulcerate from New Zealand, but in between those places there has always been a large gap not filled by many bands.
Oh hey, more Basick-related news! I think at this point it’s safe to say that Basick Records are the best record label around when it comes to the ratio of excellent bands on their roster, which comes out to about 100%. They’ve just been on fire lately, releasing some of the best albums this year, including Uneven Structure‘s Februus and Aliases‘ Safer than Reality. In case you didn’t think they could get any better, think again, because they’ve just announced the signing of both The Algorithm and Skyharbor.
The Algorithm is the experimental one-man project of Frenchman Rémi Gallego that fuses electronic music and metal with a style come have called djentstep, which actually works far better than you’d expect. The Algorithm will release a new single EP titled Tr0jans in early 2012, as well as a new album later on in the year! You can stream a track from the single, “Isometry,” below.
Skyharbor also began as a one-man project from Keshav Dhar under the joke moniker Hydrodjent before evolving into a project that is now seeing worldwide attention, bringing in guest artists including Daniel Tompkins (ex-Tesseract) and Marty Friedman (ex-Megadeth). This is top-notch Indian progressive metal that will likely blow minds next year when the debut album Blinding White Noise: Illusion & Chaos. Here’s an edit of the song “Celestial”, featuring the work of the aforementioned guest artists.
Exciting! We’ll have more info on these releases when they’re available!
Today is a day for me to discover some killer new music. Skyharbor (formerly known as Hydrodjent as a tongue in cheek placeholder name) is a one man progressive metal project straight out of India. Doing something similar to what Haunted Shores has been working on for a while, mastermind Keshav Dhar writes and produces his own music and has guests come in to fill in the blanks.
Skyharbor’s first single “Catharsis” was released and features Tesseract‘s Daniel Tompkins on vocals and Ex-Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman playing a killer solo. This isn’t your standard djent affair either, despite the old project name; while some of the elements are there, there’s so much more going on. Everything about this song is astounding, and with guests like these on the track, you know for damn sure it’s worth your time.
Skyharbor’s debut album will see the light of day this June, and I can’t wait to see what else Keshav has up his sleeve.