Skyharbor
Blinding White Noise: Illusion & Chaos


4.5
superb

Review

by LSDcoatedbrain USER (1 Reviews)
April 24th, 2012 | 110 replies | 15,631 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Technical. Brutal. Crushing. Melodic and ethereal. Transient and monumental. Indian metal comes into form and comes of age.

10 of 10 thought this review was well written

India’s latest metal offering is a project of Keshav Dhar that has incubated for 4 years, in a journey that Keshav describes as “epiphanies and disappointments, frustration and jubilation.” Skyharbor. You will hear this word whispered in the dank underbelly of the Indian metal following. You will hear it screamed by teeming thousands in the testosterone-fueled mosh-pits of the subcontinent. Remember the name well, because you will hear it again, and you will hear it spoken of with awe.

The only metallers from India that match the sheer perfectionism of the sound on this album are Undying Incorporated, and the comparison ends there. Yes, perfectionism, as what is apparent on this record is that Keshav is not just a perfectionist, but his method and way is a perfectionist one. Professionally produced by Keshav himself, the sound of Skyharbor is massive, and it is a pleasure the likes of which I haven’t heard in India, ever.

Where Undying is tight, oppressive, groovy, and viciously angry and possesses a sound that is much like Pantera had babies with Vader and Meshuggah, Skyharbor is smooth, and carries a vast space with it that is reminiscent of Opeth’s acoustic passages, or early Anathema. That doesn’t mean it isn’t heavy, though. You have to remember that the songs on the CD are recorded with 7-string guitars! Blinding White Noise is crushing. From the very first track, Dots, you begin to understand what a mad genius Keshav really is.

After a dissonant guitar riff, the wall of sound hits you square, and ex-Tesseract vocalist Daniel Tompkin’s tenor voice is carried by progressive and distorted riffing, setting the tone for the entire feast to come. Daniel has never sounded better. His sequences in Tesseract were arguably too much noodling and too little structure, but here his range and power are what shine through the anti-septic haze of ambient noise.

Keshav’s brand of Djent guitar is the apt framework for a singer with so much variety in his repertoire. Misha Mansoor of Periphery would stamp Keshav’s album in approval and at that, decisively. Every one of the blistering 7-string Djent riffs on Blinding White Noise is as delectably complex as Bulb’s diverse Djent portfolio, and as effective a hook as something out of Scar Symmetry’s Holographic Universe. There is something for both lovers of melodic and atonal metal here.

Add legendary guitarist Marty Friedman to the mix, and what you get is a genre-breaking album that is crushing and brutal, melodic and ethereal, technical, transient and monumental. This is the record that will not just redefine the sound of Indian metal, but heavy music everywhere. Fans of Periphery, Born of Osiris, Meshuggah, Deftones, Refused and Scar Symmetry will all find something about this record that will keep them waiting on the Facebook fan page for Keshav’s next offering.

Dropping a Djent record within months of Meshuggah’s Koloss is a gutsy move. However, it turns out to be an appropriate one, as Keshav’s production seamlessly blends Kolossal riffs with Opethian grace. The transitions are perfect. The only gripe you might have with Blinding White Noise is with some progressions, like in the end of Order 66, where the instruments seem to dally around instead of reaching for the stratosphere, which Daniel Tompkin is trying to hit with his pitch. These moments are rare, though, as every song finds its own unique potential, each one sounding different from the next.

The number of great metal influences you hear is interwoven with apparent ease. The ambient guitar sections that connect the “illusion and chaos” are masterfully produced and mixed. The drums of Anup Sastry and the bass of Nikhil Rufus are a tight and focused rhythm section that complements and supports the madness of the foreground, but are nothing quite spectacular as far as progressive metal bands are concerned. Their concern is evidently with tightness for the sake of the music, not with technicality or originality.

If you’re an Indian metalhead, this CD is a must buy for you. In all likelihood, this will be the apotheosis of what modern metal should sound like in the country and beyond. Foreign audiences will find the sound a familiar one, and might finally accept an Indian band into the fraternity of world-class metal musicians. Perhaps, finally, now fans will speak the names of Meshuggah, Periphery and Animals as Leaders in the same breath as that of Skyharbor.


user ratings (153)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Ponton
Emeritus
April 24th 2012



5775 Comments


better rule

Digging: Mimicking Birds - Mimicking Birds

Motiv3
April 24th 2012



8421 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

just heard Maeva and holy crap it ruled. Gonna check this out.

DotEight
April 24th 2012



5434 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

It's basically the Dan Tompkins Tesseract 2.0 release. He fucking took over this album. That's why I'm lowering my rating. Instrumentally it's phenomenal. But he put Dan on this album way too much.

bloc
April 24th 2012



34499 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

As much as I would love to back up some fellow Indians, I heard a little bit of this and wasn't too impressed.

But screw it, I'll check this out.

Digging: He Is Legend - I Am Hollywood

Evreaia
April 24th 2012



3743 Comments


It's growing on me, but at first listen I wasn't really impressed.

Digging: Plebeian Grandstand - Lowgazers

bloc
April 24th 2012



34499 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I went through the same motions with Tesseract so I'm expecting similar results ;)

But damn do I love Marty Friedman.

Evreaia
April 24th 2012



3743 Comments


So far this still feels like an inferior TesseracT for me.. :/

jimmykidd
April 24th 2012



520 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

nice review. i fucking love this. one of my favorites of 2012 so far.

CitiesInTheSky
April 24th 2012



5 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Dat Dan Tompkins. I agree that maybe he's featured a bit too much, but I could care less because he totally kills it. He can do no wrong in my eyes.

Apollo
April 24th 2012



10083 Comments


listening now, this sounds intriguing

SowingSeason
Emeritus
April 24th 2012



14513 Comments


Was more interested when I thought your username was LSDcoatedbra

Front page false advertising

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2012



9492 Comments


Damned good first review, just stay off that crazy hyperbole man!

Digging: Koan Sound - Dynasty

wacknizzle
April 24th 2012



11948 Comments


Pos'd, been listening to songs from this on their facebook the past two days. I like it a bit, we'll see how it holds up.

Digging: Lord Mantis - Death Mask

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2012



9492 Comments


Was gonna write a review for this today if I got the time, oddly enough.

And I actually am not too keen on it for now

Motiv3
April 25th 2012



8421 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

very strong 3.5 for now, can see this growing more.

PistolPete
April 25th 2012



3462 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fuck this is the most consistent and strongest album i've heard this year so far i think.

Digging: Jolly - The Audio Guide to Happiness (Part 1)

trilogique21
April 25th 2012



340 Comments


rules. definitely Tesseract 2.0 for the most part. and better, too. might bump to 4.5 eventually, but Chaos holds the album down IMO.

DotEight
April 25th 2012



5434 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

If this was an instrumental, AOTY.

PistolPete
April 25th 2012



3462 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've tried Tesseract and for some reason I was turned off a bit, maybe it was the dude's vocals? I can't remember, but if everyone is saying this is like them, then what album would be worth checking out first? I prolly just listened to them at the wrong time.

bloc
April 25th 2012



34499 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

On first listen this is okay. Hopefully I'll enjoy it more with more listens.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy