Title: The Skyhammer
Release date: 12 February 2021
Format reviewed: High-quality Digital Recording
Another chance has rolled around to see what the land down under has to offer to metal. Skyhammer parades as power metal, has one previous EP from 2016 and now has another EP ready. At first glance this group is not very original nor diverse, having already made at least two covers or tracks by other artists as well as naming both of their EPs after the band name…although the second one has „the“ in front of it.
Now, “Beyond the Walls” has quite the melodic start to it, on the modern side with a very bright production. The vocals are a blend of Bruce Dickinson and Blaze Bayley but honestly, this is not your typical dragons and swords power metal; it has a Black Sabbath side to it and most segments sound a bit more like thrash which the vocals fit a lot better with. The impeccable transition from the first track to the second makes you believe there never was a switch and there is no arguing here that this group knows how to play their instruments.
“Chains of Life” includes a lot of quick switching between riffs and tempos. Constantly going from groovy parts, faster thrashy speed metal parts, over to more blended Maiden vibe over to an acoustic part that takes the track down a notch, which has for the first time brought forth some identity from this group since much needed catchy choruses that hook the listener have so far been missing. “Into the Chamber” is very different from the rest as it is an instrumental fantasy track. It was lovely for sure, and my absolute favorite from this whole release.
“The Skyhammer”, the title track and band title starts out right away with a nice little shouted choir part filling in the vocals. After a couple of rounds with the verse and what might be the bridge or even the chorus, another part in a different feel and tempo comes in for a bit, and then we are back to the verse again. Parts themselves are fine, but it almost doesn’t feel like they fit well together. “Danger Zone” finally is a cover of the Top Gun track by Kenny Loggins.
This group surely has instrumental skills, there is no doubt about that, and therefore I don’t feel bad for saying that I do expect more than this when the members have impeccable performance skills. These tracks are a mishmash of different decent segments and riffs, but it never really felt like they took off. The vocals are rather anonymous which is not a great thing in power metal, and overall it sort of feels watered out. But I do hope that this group continues to evolve and make it to the next stage, I believe with a little more work and some more identity, a full-length album from them might turn out fantastic. 6/10 Julia Katrin
6/10 We may survive!
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