01. Beneath the Waves
04. Chasing After Time
05. Take the Beaten Path
06. This is What We Built
Anyone who has invested any time in the online music scene knows that the “djent” style is getting over-saturated at an alarming rate. New artists are popping up daily, and not all of them are as “different” as they claim to be. Dublin, Ireland’s Shattered Skies, however, are one to watch. Shattered Skies unique blend of sounds show hints of Meshuggah with the electronics and riff styling of Raunchy. Throw in a nice helping of guitar work that show cases solid Animals As Leaders influence along with vocalist Sean Murphy’s soaring cleans and you’ve got a band that deserves your attention.
Opening track ‘Beneath The Waves’ is alone a great show of what the band has to offer, starting off with a beautiful piano bit that ends up accompanying the aggressive guitars in a combination of both excellent song writing and intelligent melodic direction. The use of piano as an ambient layer is a great touch that is repeated throughout the EP to great effect. Clean guitar tapping in the verse and bridge show off guitarist Ian Rockett’s impressive—yet not overblown—chops. All of the guitar solos on the EP are extremely well composed, fitting perfectly and adding an extra layer of interest whenever they’re used. Second track in, ‘Delusions‘, adds in more electronic layers along with the pianos, giving a strong sense of ambiance that only augments the pounding 8 string guitar riffs.
I personally think one of the hardest things for some people to digest about Shattered Skies is the vocals. People who are not fans of clean vocals will definitely have a hard time getting into the music. Like the buzz around Periphery and Tesseract, people seem to be much more outspoken about the use of clean vocals in metal, regardless of how well they’re implemented into the music. In my honest opinion, they work very well in Shattered Skies. I think their Karnivool influence is most apparent in the vocals.
The production on Reanimation is top notch. Everything is balanced, the layers all have their own space in the mix, and the more dynamic moments are well accented. The electronic layers are always audible, but never over power the guitars or drums. Unlike some bands, Shattered Skies make use of the bass as more than just a low end filler and give it its own moments to shine.
Reanimation lasts a good 38 minutes, which is quite a long time for an EP. Considering more than a few LPs in recent years have been under or around the 30 minute mark, Reanimation feels more like a full album as opposed to an EP. It doesn’t exactly overstay its welcome, but the shortest song is barely shy of 5 minutes long with the longest almost pushing 9 minutes. The band also released another EP recently entitled Pianomation, which includes a new single entitled “As The Sea Divides” and piano renditions of 3 songs from the Reanimation EP.
It’s hard for me to really find any gripe with the EP. It’s a well put together, pristine sounding piece of work that is loaded with riffs and melodies that are pleasing to the ear. Djentaphobes may be turned off by the whole internet scene and overuse of 8 string guitars, but as I said early on, Shattered Skies are a band to check out if you want to hear something fresh from the scene.
Shattered Skies – Reanimation gets…