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Skies In Motion - 'Life Lessons' Album Review


1. Architect 2. Cascades 3. Realizationship 4. Happy Families 5. Learn The Hard Way 6. Ugly 7. Finding Myself Lost 8. Sword Swallower 9. Gonvena 10. When Home Feels Distant (And Distance Feels Like Home) 11. Five Years 12. Hopebringer

As I start this review I have to admit it took me a little while to make time to actually put words to page, and in hindsight I’m regretting not being able to make the time sooner. Skies In Motion are a band I’ve heard mentioned and never properly listened to, a mistake I won’t be making again.

I took myself for what I thought was going to be a light jog after a long days work and thought I’d play their album; Life Lessons' while I went. Whether this was a mistake or a blessing in disguise is still up for debate.

The album starts out with a steadier tempo, intro track titled “Architect” which I thought was setting the score for a steady jog. This delusion was short lived however when the track transitioned to the heavier and faster second half and then seamlessly into the next track “Cascades”. Instantly the tempo increased further and as a result, my pace did too. “Realizationship” keeps the momentum going with more heavy riffs but at a slightly steadier tempo. That is until about a minute in, when this track completely transforms. Instantly the pace, the riffs and beats of the track all skyrocket, sending it into a frenzy of metalcore at it’s finest.

I’d just like to add I’ve been playing this album whilst jogging for the last few weeks now and I can tell you my pace and stamina has increased massively, so if the guys in Skies In Motion read this, you can add accidental personal trainer to your CVs!

Moving swiftly on, the next track “Happy Families” comes in with a quiet build up, leading to some awesome guitar chugging and some sick drum work before leading into something of a gallop, making the track feel even heavier and more impactful, before the chorus comes in with some heartfelt gang vocals. The pace is picked back up with “Learn The Hard Way” which starts with a single guitar playing a seriously cool riff, one that only serves to get more fierce as the track comes in full force as the full band join in. This track also employs some gang vocals again during the steadier second half, before moving onto a hard hitting soft ending, followed by a pretty eye opening clip from a film I never expected; Patch Adams.

Once more the tempo is brought down in “Ugly” with some seriously heavy chugging and guitar riff cutting through. This leads quickly into a fast riff, that picks the tempo right back up again, this track had a more upbeat feel to the main riff and the slides left me smiling, as I hope they do when most people hear them. Not always expected, but always a cheeky bonus.

“Finding Myself Lost” as the title might indicate, started out with a more emotional feel to it, the vocal lines having a bit more of a ballady (I hope is the right word) feel, which lended itself well to the emotional undertone, whilst still holding a fast, heavy pace. Then just as these guys think you might need reminding “Sword Swallower” opens things up with more heavy sounds and beefy chugs to remind you what you really came here for!

“Gonvena” felt like it was from a completely different album in the intro, leading in with a single guitar and pouring rain (a great use of pathetic fallacy) and then some fully clean vocals to really set the mood of the track. Which then truly opens up, with a gang shout leading into the heavier sound we know and love, whilst losing not even an ounce of the angst successfully built by the intro.

“When Home Feels like Distance and Distance Feels like Home” despite how the title might make it seem, breaks in with another extremely fast pace and some more heavy beats and chugging.

Setting us up for “Five Years” and “Hopebringer” both are fast paced, and more upbeat riffs, with more booming bass and punching drums, and heavy breakdowns. The latter of the two tracks, finishing the album with an awesome lead guitar outro and some gang vocals, making it a perfect fit for a set finisher.

The riffs in this album create an awesome mix between intense chugging and intricate lead guitar, the bass rattles your insides and keeps the momentum constantly moving forward, the drums hit so hard you can practically feel the beats in your chest (or perhaps I need to turn it down a bit… nah), and finally the vocals really shine through, the screamed lines are powerful and cutting without sounding way too guttural. Couple that with the clean vocals which are often accompanied with some occasionally falsetto backing vocals really helps to add that extra layer to this already awesome mix.

I won’t go so far as to say that these guys have absolutely cracked a new and profound formula in the Metalcore genre by any means. But some parts of this album such as the heavy yet interesting breakdowns, and the fast and intricate riffs are just some of the things that help to make this band stand out amongst the crowd of Metalcore sounds.

As I have heard said quite a lot in the past, this is a genre that is quite saturated with bands, despite that, I can say with confidence is that these guys have taken Metalcore and made it Skies In Motion.

Review - Ric Snell

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