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And The Sky Darkened - Between Ghosts Award winner

And The Sky Darkened
Between Ghosts
by John Foley at 22 June 2020, 6:56 AM

AND THE SKY DARKENED are a Metal/Hard Rock act coming all the way from Cardiff in Whales. They were formed back in 2016 and this marks the release of their new EP "Between Ghosts". And what a punch this E.P manages to pack in. I’ll kick things off with the opening track "Burden Hardest to Bear.". It has a really strong intro with the drums from drummer Matt Thomas until we get that twin guitar attack. Almost has a bit of an ALTER BRIDGE feel to it which is present throughout the E.P. Filled with a really catchy chorus with a speed metal almost middle section that leads directly into a very interesting guitar solo. Strong opening to "Between Ghosts" and a really good song.

Up next comes "Turn these Eyes Blind." Starting off with a dark clean guitar intro and bangs straight into a killer heavy riff for its verses. The song contains very memorable choruses. The lead guitar work on this song does a great job in adding more texture to the song. Very melodic middle section and guitar solo which makes the song almost uplifting in a way. "The Darkened Await" comes next opening with some clean strumming on the guitar which leads into a bang your head lead melody and a very Groove Metal riff. There are some Thrash Metal elements present here and followed with some killer guitar solos. The rhythm section of Matt Thomas on drums and James O'Donovan on bass are really thundering their way through this song which is then followed by a dual guitar section from Ryan Lewis and Ollie Hansen. This song shows some amazing musicianship among the band as the song leads you out it has a way to raise you up.

Now we get to our last song, the title track "Between Ghosts." A very different song to the rest of the E.P. Starts off with some ambient sounds with a clean almost bluesy guitar. And Acoustic guitar comes in accompanied by a piano. This is almost entirely an acoustic song here but works well. Has some great vocal work from Ryan Lewis and a powerful chorus. Compared to the rest of this E.P the song is very stripped down and baring soul with lots of emotion.

Well my first impressions of AND THE SKY DARKENED were some fantastic vocal work and a really tight group of musicians. There is a strong ALTER BRIDGE influence from what I can hear with a few thrash elements thrown in for good measure. Present are some very melodic guitar solos, great clean vocals with some samples of death growls. These are the kind of songs you listen to on the radio while cruising down the road in your car and after listening to "Between Ghosts." I do hope to hear more music from these guys in the future.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Burden Hardest to Bear
2. Turn these Eyes Blind
3. The Darkened Await
4. Between Ghosts
Ryan Lewis – Vocals and Guitar
Ollie Hansen – Guitar
Matt "Animal" Thomas – Drums
James O'Donovan – Bass
Record Label: Independent


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