Tech Death Thursday: Skyglow
We’re bringing you the tasty oldschool prog stylings of Skyglow today! This album flew under most peoples’ radar back in June, so let’s make up for that and give it it’s due.
Few newses, but big newses:
- Irreversible Mechanism have finally announced their sophomore album, Immersion, for release on September 14th through Blood Music. Excited as I am for this, I feel like the press release calling them the “second coming” of a band that released one album anyone cares about before promptly dropping off the face of the earth wasn’t the best idea, but maybe that’s just me.
- Beyond Creation are getting weird again, this time with a new song. Look for Algorythm on October 12th, out via Season of Mist.
- That Hadal Maw album I mentioned on Toilet Tuesday is streaming at Metal Injection. Give that a listen if you need something heavy.
Given the fairly weird and noodly bands we’ve had on TDT lately, I think it’s time to dial it back a bit for something that will be a little more palatable to the pasta-averse among the audience. Can’t all be hyper shred and weird vocals all the time, right? Well, wrong, but we’re featuring something with a bit of an oldschool flavor to it today anyway. With that, let’s dive into Thousand Years of Terror, the newest from Moscow’s Skyglow.
A short, haunting passage of acoustic guitar sets the stage on “Sacred Self-Deceit,” belying the album’s violent nature while at the same time establishing its overall mood. It’s suitably grim given its subject matter (more on that in a bit), and that feeling carries forth as the distortion kicks in. And it’s some wonderfully gritty distortion, powering an off-kilter, dirty, proggy thrash riff that kicks off the album proper. The band wears their Death influence on their sleeves, but they don’t sound quite like other bands cut from the same cloth. Their melodies are darker than they are aggressive, and the progressive parts generally feel more organically implemented. There are rarely any sudden changes in tempo or hard turns into completely different sounding riffs, which has always been one of my biggest issues with this particular style of death metal. With those elements stripped from the mix, it made the overall listening experience much smoother and exciting.
Progressive death metal isn’t really perceived as a bastion of politically forward-thinking lyrical content, but that is the crux of Thousand Years of Terror. It examines various parts of Russia’s history as it relates to the modern day corruption running rampant throughout their government. The “lyrics” tabs on Bandcamp all include a handful of interesting (and mostly horrifying) facts expounding the song’s subject matter, which makes for a nice solid reference point through the somewhat more ambiguous wording of the lyrics. Given that Putin critics have a tendency to wind up dead, this feels pretty bold, even if the Russian government isn’t going to pay much heed to an underground prog death band.
But hey, if all you’re looking for is a fun progressive death metal band, then you won’t be disappointed. Skyglow feels like a true evolution of a classic formula, made all the more enticing by diverging from the same path as their contemporaries. Splashes of colorful acoustic guitar and piano dot the landscape of their sound, and the prominent fretless bass screams Steve DiGiorgio. Thousand Years of Terror is an excellent album from start to finish, combining strong songwriting and performance chops with a powerful message. Fans of new and old prog death alike will find something to love here.
Is your band tech as heck? Got a juicy piece of news or an upcoming release to watch? Send it my way at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll check it out. I might even talk about it.