Blinding White Noise: Illusion & Chaos
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.
Now I introduce you to an India-based band known as Skyharbor. Once just a one-man bedroom project under the joke name Hydrodjent masterminded by Keshav Dhar, it has now evolved into a full band with Keshav on guitar duties, Nikhil Rufus on bass, and Anup Sastry on drums. I had honestly never heard of the band until I became friends with Anup on Facebook and saw all of the photos of his drums. As a drummer myself, it excited me, and then I saw all these statuses about this band he played drums for. So, I went to the ever awesome YouTube and watched him play through the song ‘Dots’, the first song on the record. After that, I knew I had found something good.
I love all forms of foreign metal music, or even foreign music in general. It adds a new element, and when I first listened to this album, I felt like it really was coming straight from India. Something about the vast textures that are created by different guitar tracks just makes the album seem foreign, while still keeping the djent-y-ness that makes it sound familiar. All of the players sound phenomenal on this album. At times, I wish that sometimes a guitar layer was taken away to give more love to Nikhil’s skills. This album’s main low point is that some songs have so many guitar layers it begins to sound too busy, if that can ever be uttered about metal. This isn’t Cloudkicker; it’s a whole band.
On a musical front, a lot of comparisons can be made to the percussive grooving rhythms and ambient influence and that it mirrors UK’s Tesseract, but maybe that connection is fostered by the vocalist on the Illusion half of the record, former Tesseract vocalist himself, Dan Tompkins. The majority of the vocals are sung by Tompkins, and he sounds better than he ever has, and the lyrics flow like beautiful poetry from his mouth. At the tail end Chaos segment of the album, Sunneith Revankar handles the harsher vocals, and does especially well on ‘Aphasia’, which is my favorite track from the record. Marty Friedman (ex-Megadeth) and Vishal J. Singh (Amogh Symphony) also guest on guitar duties on the song ‘Celestial‘, lending their craft to some beautiful solos. This album, especially for being their first, shows some how truly impressive others are with their music. They also played at the Bacardi NH7 Festival in Pune, India, which was their first live gig ever, creating much buzz that they went worldwide.
As I finish this review, I am currently jamming another couple album favorites, ‘Celestial’ and ‘Trayus’. This album is 48-minutes of good, solid songwriting and heavy metal. As their first release, I am thoroughly impressed, because the only way to go from here is up. Though the journey is long, they are already leaps above many other new bands. I can’t wait to see what the future holds. And, if their name is any hint, the sky’s the limit for these dudes.
Skyharbor – Blinding White Noise gets…