Sounds From The Underground: Skies In Motion – Life Lessons Review
*Sounds From The Underground*
Band: Skies In Motion
Album: Life Lessons
Label: Self Released
Country: United Kingdom
Release Date: 1st September, 2017
In recent times there has been a rich crop of young, hungry metal bands that have been harvested relentlessly from the British scene by labels and promoters alike. From the technically astounding, hugely creative Architects from the southern coastal town of Brighton to the stadium filling Deathcore turned Pop-rock Bring Me The Horizon hailing from the Steel City in the north of the country (or as it is known to most people, Sheffield).
We have also been treated to bands such as While She Sleeps and Polar who have created a unique sound that perfectly blends all of the things that people hold dear when it comes to Punk such as the DIY ethos and the chaotic live shows with the heaviness and technical prowess that we see in many of today’s Metalcore bands.
Skies In Motion also come from this same mould. The boys hail from Derby in the East Midlands of England and have already set their local scene ablaze with their impressive live shows coupled with their hard work and determination and now seem set to take their crushing Metalcore/Hardcore sound to a more national scale with their highly anticipated debut full-length release ‘Life Lessons’.
The album opens with somewhat of a call to arms with the track ‘Architect’ (which is a rather fitting name for the song that showcases the design for the album to come) where the boys quickly get you into the swing of things with chanted vocals, heavy guitars and a pummelling rhythm section. This all works wonderfully well at getting your attention before leading you in to the first full-length track on the album ‘Cascades’. Now, those of you that have been made aware of Skies In Motion previously over the last few months would probably have seen the video for this track as they have used it to spearhead the albums release and pushed it as their lead single. It becomes very clear very quickly why the boys have chosen this particular track as the focal point of this album. The track oozes attitude and energetic riffs from the more than capable six stringers Dave Stewart and Andy Shaw whilst combination of bassist Dan Wheeler and drummer Sam Gaines create the kind of crushing rhythm sections that could shift tectonic plates. The vocals from Adam Connor sound raw and anguished as he delivers them with the kind of emotion that really tunes in with the listener, this is no more apparent that when the melodic break kicks in two thirds of the way through the song before you have the living shit kicked out of you with a monolithic breakdown that is sure to be the death sentence for whoever just so happens to be in the pit at the time.
The next track that really stands out on this album is ‘Happy Families’ which shifts between an almost Nu Metal styled guitar riff to the same crushing Metalcore that has been on display throughout the early stages of the album. Once again the drums and bass guitar drive the song forward the vocals once again sound as emotive as they do aggressive as Connors snarls his way through in a Jamey Jasta-esque fashion (this time his harsh vocals are accompanied by some deep, guttural vowels for extra effect). The chorus shows a completely different side to Skies In Motion as the clean vocals of Andy Shaw interlink with shouted vocals to provide melody without straying in to the squeaky clean, nasal territory that murders so many potentially decent Metalcore tracks. Towards the end we are treated to a bass drop leading in to an almighty breakdown that sounds vaguely reminiscent of a nuclear blast.
Later on in the album we see a real curve ball in the form of ‘Finding Myself Lost’. This track shows the boys really wearing their hearts on their sleeves and delivering arguably the strongest displays of melody on this entire opus. This is not to say that Skies In Motion are toning down the heaviness in any way, shape or form, in fact this track does not shift gears at all other than the impressive shift in dynamic from Connors. The other thing that truly stands out on this track is the impressive lead guitar work, the boys have stepped up their game on this one and appear to have drawn some inspirations from bands such as Parkway Drive and Killswitch Engage when it comes to writing their interlinking guitar parts. The fact that these boys have this kind of radio-teasing tune in their arsenal proves that they are holding all of the aces in their particular hand.
So with Skies In Motion armed to the teeth with the kind of writing chops that you would seen on a veteran act coupled with the can do attitude and hard work that is so refreshing. The fact that the they have come out of the gates with a debut release as impressive as ‘Life Lessons’ is truly staggering. These guys have a very bright future and in my opinion a record label needs to notice this as soon as possible and pounce before they miss their chance and this ship passes them by in the night.
A debut release that offers more thought and song writing know-how than most bands can scrape together in their entire careers and if they can build on these blossoming ideas as they progress then the sky is the limit (pun not intended, but not regretted either).
4. Happy Families
5. Learn The Hard Way
7. Finding Myself Lost
8. Sword Swallower
10. When Home Feels Like Distance And Distance Feels Like Home
11. Five Years
Total Playing Time: 47:32
Links to the band: