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Skyblazer - Infinity's Wings Award winner

Infinity's Wings
by Kevin Lewis at 27 January 2023, 12:57 PM

SKYBLAZER is a side project put together by Johannes “Skyblazer” Frykholm (SYMPHONITY, PALANTIR) as an homage to early 2000s European Power Metal bands. You will hear and feel the influence of bands like DRAGONFORCE and POWER GLOVE from start to finish. Johannes is the sole full time member, the rest of the instruments played by a who’s who of the European metal scene. Infinity’s Wings was released on January 13, 2023, via Elevate Records. The album opens with “Prologue,” spoken word with ominous synth tones. This leads to “Shine Forth!,” a synth-heavy track with a pretty good riff. The drum pattern is dynamic and fast but not to the point of blast beats. The keyboards and guitar trade off leading. They are woven together with a nice precision, alternating quickly, always right on time.

Eyes Of Serenity” starts with a slower riff, but have full on blast beats for the drums. The bass is running right in step with the riff. This track has more of a video game soundtrack feel to it, showing the influence of POWER GLOVE and DRAGONFORCE. The pace is incredibly fast and the whole thing feels like you’re running through a quest. “Turning Time” has a bit of an AVANTASIA feel to the keyboard riff. This makes sense as SKYBLAZER fits into the Metal Opera/Video Game based theme. This track has a bit of a darker sound, heading farther down left on the keyboard and toward the end of the guitar neck. Every quest has to have a struggle and this song is part of that turmoil.

Under The Blazing Sky” and “One Million Ways” are more upbeat, indicating we are on the path to victory in our quest. The guitars and keys are fast, the bass thundering, and the drums powerfully driven. The tuning is happier and you feel like you’re winning the game. The title track has the same feel, though it is more intense, heavier on the keys and more atmospheric. The epic Power Metal song is “Eternalize The Dream.” This is the song that is part power ballad, part victory march, and part story conclusion. It is Power and Progressive Metal. If there is a prototypical song on a Power Metal concept album, this is it. Running just over eight minutes, it wraps the tale up and celebrates the victory.

The outlier song is the bonus track, “Skyblazer.” This is the heaviest song on the album. It has great vocal layering, the guitars are not really any faster, but feel like they are. The keys are light and airy, which makes the riff feel and sound a little heavier than on some of the other tracks by comparison. The drums are magnificent on this one, ending the album on a great note. SKYBLAZER definitely paid homage to the video game themed Power Metal genre. The compositions mirror a video game soundtrack well and the tempo matches the fast-paced gaming worlds. The album concept has a bit of a gamer theme, taking the listener on a quest, a journey, through a fantasy world, bringing the album to end with a win, completing the mission. Records like this are fun to hear. They give a sense of brotherhood, showing Power Metal is the ultimate inclusive genre.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Prologue
2. Shine Forth!
3. Eyes Of Serenity
4. Across The Heavens
5. Turning Time
6. Under The Blazing Sky
7. One Million Ways
8. Infinity’s Wings
9. Eternalize The Dream
10. Skyblazer (Bonus Track)
Johannes “Skyblazer” Frykholm – Lead Vocals/Keyboards/Rhythm Guitar/Songwriting
Jack Stanley – Lead Guitar/Guitar Solos (Track 5, 8, 10)
Fredrik E. Enochson – Guitar (Track 3, 6, 7)
Desiree Lind – Lead Vocals (Track 6)
David Henriksson – Lead Vocals (Track 9)
Vide Bjerde – Lead Vocals (Track 3)
Libor Krivák – Guitar Solo (Track 2)
Fabiel Perez – Guitar Solo (Track 3)
Jeff Taft – Guitar Solo (Track 4)
Jack L. Stroem – Guitar Solo (Track 9)
Ollie Bernstein – Narration (Track 1)
Record Label: Elevate Records


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