Release Date: 6 March 2015
Review by Rod Whitfield
2015 marks the ten year anniversary of the formation of this excellent Perth based melodic progressive rock/metal act, and they are celebrating in no uncertain terms with the release of their rather magnificent third full length album.
On Colliding Skies, the band have taken the sounds, arrangements and songrcraft present on 2011’s The Human Connection a step further, and shown tremendous development and honing of their craft in doing so, as their last album itself was a superb release. Colliding Skies is even better. It’s always great to see a long running band, with multiple releases behind them, striving to better themselves with every new release.
These guys label themselves a “progressive heavy rock” band these days, as opposed to their more metal oriented earlier days, and this seems highly appropriate. Colliding Skies is very melodic, very prog-rock orientated and with only a few metallic moments thrown in every so often to add some zesty spice and a fist to the face every so often. Of course, this means when the heavy moments do come, they smash you hard right between the eyes.
The first sign of heaviness doesn’t appear until track three Painted with Grey.
The album opens in true epic style with the seven minute fourty second Landmines, which is a groove laden, tour de force of a track that takes you on a truly dynamic musical journey. Such a strong opener may have been tough to follow up, but they manage to back it up beautifully with the shorter, catchier Badge of Honour, a very worthy first single and just a great, emotionally uplifting song.
Colliding Skies is a very consistent album, end to end, with virtually no weaker moments and absolutely no filler. Every track is strong, right through to the sax-laced closer With Nothing We Depart. And highly varied as well, there’s even a touch of bluesy boogie on the track Soldiers.
In fact, it is obvious that songcraft was the absolute focus here, with the flow, emotion, openness and memorable nature of the tunes emphasised over the exhibition of flashy chops and musicianship. Consequently, the songs breathe beautifully and stick in your head for long moments after. Don’t get me wrong, these boys can certainly play, but their playing serves the song rather than trying to impress on an individual basis.
This is yet another Aussie release that is as good or better than virtually anything that is being released this year from overseas. Well worthy of your undivided attention.