SKYFIRE - ESOTERIC

PIVOTAL ROCKORDINGS

 

Metal To Infinity

Skyfire ain’t at all a new Metal band. I still remember their first album, especially because of the front cover (the laughing king). For some reason I was very attracted to that cover and I’ve mentioned before how important a good looking cover is for an album. It was not only the cover that was so important; Skyfire impressed the Metal scène by their debut. Ever since they built a decent fan base! Once again Skyfire delivers an album with an eye-catching front cover; the paintings and colors are awesome. I admit I don’t know any album by this band, although I liked anything I’ve heard from this Swedish guys before.  

The bombastic intro is a good way to start and if you like this kind of instrumental – even classic – backgrounds and introductions you will easily be sucked into the entire concept of this album.

Skyfire is official a Melodic Death/Thrash Metal band but to be honest I hear a lot of traditional Heavy Metal (Iron Maiden, Savatage) and Power Metal as well. Skyfire might as well be considered as Progressive. I suppose it is the strength of this band and this particular album to mix several Metal genres with entertaining and imposing classic musical elements! Add intelligent song writing and I’ve told almost anything about this release. The last time I was blown away by such classical musical arrangements was when I heard the very first Beyond Twilight album, still one of the best records in my collection. 

“Rise And Decay” for example starts with amazing arrangements. Of course fast tempi are used, making the band sound more extreme, so don’t worry if you’re a ‘die hard‘ Death Metal fanatic. Nevertheless Skyfire is far too melodic to label them as a typical Death Metal band… maybe we can say they’re typical Swedish. Still talking about this particular song I can tell you some good guitar solos are weaved into it as well; fast fingered and emotional played! Also in the other tracks you will hear striking guitars and interesting solo’s. After a few listens I still consider “Rise And Decay” as one of the strongest tracks on this release.  “Darkness Descending” is another song that is made strong because of those arrangements, if you’re a fan of Therion you will like what you hear! The structure of this mid tempo – yet overpowering – song will easily take you by the throat. Yes, this is some great piece of Metal too! The songwriting is more than excellent and this counts for every single track! “Misery’s Supremacy” and “Linger In Doubt” are other songs I want you to hear because of their intensity and ‘dark’ beauty.  

Skyfire delivers bizarre – even sinister – piano parts which fit  amazingly perfect into the songs. Also the other classic instruments and choirs seems to have found their way into this Progressive kind of Death Metal. The result is commanding and what people call ‘grand’! In each song the band delivers some special effects, some things that leave you speechless behind.  It shows how intelligent this band is but believe me if I say the band don’t exaggerate with anything, all musical ingredients are in perfect balance and the musical quality is immense! Is it new and original? Hell no, but Skyfire knows how to fit these elements perfectly into the total concept and I consider them as masters in writing this kind of songs. 

Vocal wise you need to be a fan of grunts, but even if you’re not you should try Skyfire out. To be honest I am wondering how this music should have sound with clean vocals. Would it have been also this remarkable? I suppose this masterpiece should have stand tall with an exceptional singer. Only on a bonus track you can hear some clean vocals which makes it possible to answer this question. After hearing it several times I can say I’m satisfied because of the fact that the band have chosen to use the grunts instead of the traditional vocals. To be honest they’re not strong enough to lift the music to a higher level. By using this kind of vocals the album would have lost a lot of its strength and magic! 

I suppose youngsters will consider this as a masterpiece for their generation, I support them easily in their thoughts as an older man. Although there’s a revival of traditional Metal we don’t have to worry about the future! Whatever happens, plenty of first class musicians are waiting to deliver us goodies in the near – even far – future. In its style this is indeed a ‘magnum opus’, no doubts about it! 

My Points: 93 / 100 (Review by Officer Nice) 

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