Post-hardcore kids Skies of Terra have begun to make their impression on the scene here in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this past year. With an emotionally charged and diverse sound via their album Lunar, there’s a reason the name Skies of Terra has begun making its way around the City of Steel.
The most notable thing about Lunar that reveals itself early on is that it is an album not afraid to wear its influences and heart on its sleeve. The band come from many angles to form a melting pot of various genres and sub genres. A lot of times when this happens, the results can be very uneven and lack ebb and flow, but I must say the band pull this off very wear well throughout Lunar. Skies of Terra offer a heavy, yet accessible style, all while going off the beaten and experimenting with song structure. Pulling from various genres seamlessly from the white belt “Rawr” of Underoath or Dance Gavin Dance, the alternative melodies of Incubus, and even circling back to the baggy Jnco swag of Deftones in places. While the vocals displayed here are typical of the genre, the way they are pulled off is nothing short of fantastic. The clean vocals display a good range without sounding whiney and thin, the growled and harsh vocals are thick and strong, but what sparks the ear is the emotional impact displayed across the board. The guitars display a great sense of melody with little implications of technical skill without over indulging in guitar wanketry. The bass makes a notable appearance throughout Lunar as well, adding great fills and overall ambiance to the songs on the album.
Production on the album is raw and done in house, but fairly level headed overall. Some recording purists may turn their nose up to the mix, but you can tell a lot of hours went into the making of this album. Everything sits fairly nice aside from vocals getting buried in the mix at times. With some more time behind the board, I can see the production value going up next time around for these guys. An impressive job overall, just needs a little more punch to really give the tracks the sonic assault they call for.
Two main tracks that best sum up the amalgamation of sounds on Lunar lie in the tracks “The Great Big Yellow House In The Sky” and “Vice Grips”. “The Great Big Yellow House In The Sky” opens up with celestial guitar melodies that will remain present off and on throughout the track (and the album as a matter of fact). Featuring one of the best vocal performances on the album, “TGBYHITS” is a proggy slab of post hardcore sprinkled with Tool-esque bass work as the band builds and climaxes as they navigate their way through the soundscape. “Vice Grips” pulls back on the post hardcore shenanigans and opens up with a powerful bass riff before erupting with psuedo-metalcore tendancies. With a powerful, heavy hook that acts as a tug of war between harsh and clean vocals, “Vice Grips” offers one of the strongest hooks heard on Lunar that will have you moshing along. The album as mentioned before runs through a variety of genres seamlessly with different vocal approaches taking place. There’s a sorrow and longing for healing that rings through the air that is engrossed in the band’s sound on Lunar. The band do an excellent job of conveying these emotions and tugging on the heartstrings of the listener.
Skies of Terra have more than proven their salt with an album like Lunar. All around the band packs a serious punch with their songwriting and execution. With some more time under their belt, some improved production work, and continuing to push the boundaries with their already progressive niche, I can see these guys doing some major damage in the future. Be sure to pick up a copy of Lunar today and catch Skies of Terra at a show near you!