Review Summary: An unfortunate brew of fantastic musicianship and impossibly bad execution.
Line-up changes can do murderous things to good bands. Countless bands struggle to find a compositional foothold before establishing a comfortable groove with their new bandmates - it’s an ubiquitous phenomenon that happens in the industry on a regular basis. Unfortunately, bands still insist on releasing albums during their “transition-new-line-up” phase. Metalcore quintet Sky Eats Airplane’s latest extended player, The Sound of Symmetry
, aptly exemplifies said “compositional pubescence
” - only one member remains from the band’s original lineup this time around and the results are painfully obvious. At only three songs long, The Sound of Symmetry
is (to put it delicately) a complete mess.
That's not to say that the band has completely gone awry. The technicality that was so liberally displayed on the band’s self-titled album is still present, but in smaller doses. The spiraling synths and electronic elements are integrated better than ever - theoretically, Sky Eats Airplane’s formula should yield good results. The problem, however, is the lack of direction - the band has absolutely no grasp on the concept of ‘structure’ and instead favors bouncing around aimlessly in jerky synth breakdowns and polyrhythmic tech-freak outs. To make matters worse, new vocalist Bryan Zimmerman has absolutely no idea how to create a catchy melody. Sounding much like ex-Underoather Aaron Gillespie when singing clean and much like A Plea For Purging’s Andy Atkins when screaming, Zimmerman meanders around his supremely whiny vocal range without any direction on all three songs, squandering the band’s instrumental potential. Opener ‘The Contour’ is ripe with interesting, glitchy electronics, sweeping synths, extremely complex rhythms and guitar lines but all of the instrumental glory is completely smothered by the inept vocal work. The uncertain future of Sky Eats Airplane looks all the more bleak because of The Sound of Symmetry
- the band’s inherent technicality has once again been dethroned by a lack of direction and poor vocals. As long as Bryan Zimmerman is piloting this metalcore airplane, it’s time to fasten your fastbelts - Sky Eats Airplane’s full length release this summer may have the band hurdling towards the tempest at 40,000 feet and we won’t be able to say we didn’t expect it. Bonne chance.