Derby-based quintet Skies In Motion have been together since 2009, releasing an EP entitled Dreamer in 2012 and consistently making waves on the live circuit with their brand of full-on melodic hardcore.
Life Lessons is the band’s debut album, twelve tracks of light and shade, underpinned by a sweeping sense of melody and some truly crushing breakdowns (Ugly). The vocals are clear, mid-range screams, occasionally supported by some unobtrusive clean lines (Realizationship, Happy Families, Gonvena) and there’s a nod to the likes of While She Sleeps in the gang vocals that are utilised to good effect across the record.
Architect opens proceedings and in its 100 brief seconds encapsulates the overall sound to be found across this album; melody and punishment in equal measure. The kick drum especially almost sounds like it was taken from a live performance, its percussive thump resonating the chest cavity like a good kick should. Architect bleeds deliberately into Cascades, a track that would get even the most stone-hearted cynic flailing around in the pit for dear life, the melody on offer pushed to the fore towards its neck-snapping breakdown ending. Learn the Hard Way is an absolute belter with a positive lyrical message and an outro sample taken from the movie Patch Adams.
Finding Myself Lost acts as a mid-album breather, perhaps inadvertently, the melody cranked right up throughout until it reaches its devastating staccato conclusion that brings to mind American’s The Bled. Gonvena opens in beautiful fashion, clean guitar eventually leading to some heart-felt but restrained clean vocals before the song soars into majestic territory at its midpoint, a clear ode to a departed loved one that concludes with a piano outro. When Home Feels Distant and Distance Feels Like Home showcases an increase in tempo and is possibly the most positive feeling track on show.
Hopebringer closes out the album, a six minute epic that showcases the band’s song-writing ability to the fullest, straddling the line between brutality and melody with consummate ease and containing a couple of hefty breakdowns alongside some beautiful lead guitar work as the track and album draws to a close.
Skies In Motion are an intriguing prospect and they offer more here than some bands can conjure across a career. The band has every reason to be rightly proud of the twelve tracks on offer, none of which are remotely close to being labelled filler which is an achievement in itself. While some of their influences are at times a little obvious, the song-writing and musical ability of this unit shines through and makes for a record which is truly engaging and draws the listener into their world.
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Guest review by David Pope.