Shattered Skies
Muted Neon



by SitarHero USER (49 Reviews)
November 16th, 2018 | 8 replies

Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The ghost of futures past

I miss Chimp Spanner. Guitarist/Producer Paul Antonio Ortiz’ late-oughties studio project combined Meshuggah-inspired riffing, Allan Holdsworth-inspired soloing and Tangerine Dream-inspired synth soundscaping to create a retrofuturistic sound that found equal acclaim in both the then-nascent djent and retrowave movements. A decade on and the future doesn’t sound like it used to. In addition to Chimp Spanner’s disappearance, many of the first wave of djent bands have all but abandoned the sound completely because of how saturated the market became with djent bedroom projects almost as soon as the word “djent” became known. What was once one of the most exciting things to happen to heavy metal became commonplace and mundane, as is the way of such things.

However, Shattered Skies still hasn’t gotten the memo, and I’m glad they haven’t. Four years after their debut, The World We Used To Know, guitarist Ian Rocket and drummer Ross McMahon have soldiered through lineup upheavals to keep Shattered Skies alive, recruited vocalist Gerry Brown, a dead-ringer for their previous vocalist Sean Murphy (seriously, if you didn’t know the band had switched vocalists you probably wouldn’t have noticed the change), and put out their sophomore full-length effort.

Muted Neon isn’t groundbreaking, but it hearkens back to the best parts of what made Chimp Spanner’s music so fun. Its tasteful use of ’80 synths under the groovy guitars and drums gives the whole album an air of nostalgic futuristic-ness, and while that particular aesthetic may have all but worn its welcome out, thanks to its mainstreaming by Muse of all bands, Shattered Skies still does it better than most.

In fact, that’s a pretty apt summarisation of Shattered Skies in general: they’re doing stuff that has been done by many others, but they manage to do it better than most. They offset the lack of "true originality" with songwriting acumen and good taste. The vocals are catchy without being overwrought. The instrumentals are technical and groovy without being overbearing. The atmosphere is nostalgic without being cloying. The band focuses on writing songs with real direction and momentum instead of mashing technical riffs together or riding their low strings incessantly. Just like on their debut, Shattered Skies have crafted a pop-metal album with enough melody and bluster to make even your grandma bob her head.

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user ratings (7)

Comments:Add a Comment 
November 16th 2018


Album Rating: 4.0

This is the first video the band put out form the album:

November 16th 2018


Album Rating: 4.0

I really like that this newer album is, in my opinion atleast, more heavy and proggy then the last one - which one I still liked

But I still think their best music was and still is the Reanimation EP

November 16th 2018


Album Rating: 4.0

You're right! It's definitely more aggressive and there aren't any ballads on this. I've never listened to any of the band's music apart from the two LPs but I'll probably get on it.

November 16th 2018


Wow I actually have a few old songs from these guys in my library

Digging: Unleash The Archers - Apex

November 16th 2018


Quick lets cover ourselves in alien jizz and play some tunes

Digging: Mo'ynoq - Dreaming in a Dead Language

November 17th 2018


Album Rating: 4.0

We could do that.

Contributing Reviewer
November 18th 2018


Remember jamming the fuck out of 15 minutes of gay or whatever that song was called when it first dropped. Might need to hop on this one.

November 18th 2018


Album Rating: 4.0

It's a good little album.

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