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SKYWARD


SKYWARD 

"Skyward"

By Dark Starr 

While not everything here is metal, I'd consider this outfit to be a metal band. They make great use of dual male and female voices. The music generally runs along a territory that's bordered on one side by European epic metal and on the other by nu-metal. That said, it breaks out of that zone at times, too. 

Moody and trippy, " Daily" is very much a psychedelic kind of piece. Overall it probably lands in the neighborhood of modern atmospheric prog. When it rocks out that's even more apparent. The mix of male and female vocals works very well on this. 

Much harder rocking, "Casualty" lands in the general territory of European epic metal. I dig this one a lot. It's screaming hot for sure. Although there are some prog metal elements on it, " The Floor" is very much more of a mainstream metal tune. It's modern, and the dropped back section is a cool melodic twist.

A bit mellower cut, " Animal" definitely has more of that modern electronic prog vibe. There are certainly elements of the epic metal sound, too. The cut makes good use of both the male and female voices. 

Other than the dropped back section, " Stand-Ins" is very much a modern metal tune. It's quite mainstream. That short mellow section actually leans toward pure pop music. This is an effective number for sure. 

Now, "Burn" definitely has a lot of that epic metal vibe. It's a hot tune with great coordination between the male and female vocals. It's one of my favorites here. It just works so well. More of a mainstream rocker, "Now" still has enough metal in it to land the cut there. It's more of a raunch and roll rocker in some ways. Yet there are some modern edges to it, too. 

"Crows and Wolves" is a dynamic piece. The balance between harder edged and mellower is dramatic. It's one of the most complex things here. Yet, the metal edge is undeniable. This is more of a progressive metal piece than it is anything else, really. I think it's almost my favorite tune on the disc. 

The female vocals start "(M)arrow" in a mellower motif that's more in line with modern pop music. The male vocals join in the more sedate arrangement, bringing an almost soulful edge. In some ways this cut makes me think of something Lana Lane might do. It does get a bit of a modern metal edge to it in some ways. Other than the first cut, this is the most "different" thing here. It's also a real standout. 

"Giving Tree" is a killer modern metal tune. It's part nu-metal, part epic metal and all cool. It makes good use of mellower and more rocking stuff. It also has a powerful group vocal anthemic segment later. Not a big change or anything out of the ordinary, "Drag Me Through" is strong nonetheless. It's more alternative rock based and less metal, but it's still strong. It's an effective tune for sure.