Album Review: SkyHarbor
Blinding White Noise: Illusion & Chaos, the debut release by Skyharbor aka Delhi-based guitarist-composer Keshav Dhar, is a double CD that is an almost overwhelming exercise in duality. Almost every song merges fierce yet intricately complex riffs, with delicate passages of melancholic, ambient soundscapes. For genre junkies, Skyharbor is sort of a progressive metal band; we say “sort of” because its music is peppered with that much-maligned djent sound. The tracks on Blinding White Noise are divided into two discs featuring different guest vocalists, who in turn represent the two distinct sides of Skyharbor. Former TesseracT vocalist Daniel Tompkins sings on disc one, which is entitled Illusion, and Bhayank Maut’s Sunneith Revankar mans the mic on disc two, Chaos.
On Illusion, Tompkins displays his affinity for vocal theatrics, stretching syllables as far as they can go at times. Fortunately, these indulgences fit snugly into Skyharbor’s punchy melodic textures. The distinctly un-metal “Night” is this disc’s standout track, with Tompkins at his most restrained, gently crooning, “I fell into a dream/Nothing is what it seems” to the backing of a resplendent guitar line. The songs in Illusion rise and fall rhythmically—intense breakdowns and angry riffs typically step aside for subtler sections of unconventional chord progressions. Former Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman’s appearance on Illusion, while impressive, is restricted to a pair of wizardly solos, on “Catharsis” and “Celestial”. Showcasing an angrier facet to Skyharbor’s sound, the Chaos disc is much heavier. Shorter at only three songs, it features chugging guitars played over elaborate drum grooves. It’s not as grand as Illusion, but the chorus of “Aphasia” is among the album’s most insistent moments.
Blinding White Noise: Illusion and Chaos by Skyharbor, Basick Records, can be streamed here.Tags: album reviews, Blinding White Noise, Blinding White Noise: Illusion & Chaos, Keshav Dhar, Music, Skyharbor