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Skyhammer - The Skyhammer

Skyhammer
The Skyhammer
by Mike McMahan at 27 March 2021, 8:31 PM

SKYHAMMER is a five-piece Power Metal band hailing from Adelaide, South Australia. “The Skyhammer” is their second EP to date, and it follows an eponymous debut EP, released in July of 2016. Musically speaking, the band has a sound not unlike some of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal bands, full of rolling, heavy riff usage and a thundering bottom end. Vocally, singer Steve Lebadi seems to be a hybrid. He obviously possesses a decent range, as evidenced by some of the tracks I will speak about here; but he borders on a Death Metal-like growl. I’m not certain it is a sound a lot of fans of either genre can get behind, as it was a distraction to me.

The band has paid its dues on the road. Not only have they shared stages with some of Australia’s finest acts; the band has supported such international groups as Ross The Boss (formerly of MANOWAR), RAVEN and ARTILLERY. Judging from the music found on the two EPs, I am certain the live shows are high energy affairs. To give the release a fair review, I will touch on each track individually, trying to be as thorough as possible with each.

The EP opens with “Beyond The Walls”, and what is some very promising riff work from Cutting and Zipato. The song has moments of brilliance, with some nice double-bass drum pounding courtesy of Rory Amoy. The guitar solo interlude, however, has an almost muddy feel to it, almost as if there is too much going on at once.

Almost immediately, the song gives way to “It Rises”, which is an absolutely bombastic cut. This is where the band shines, and Lebadi’s voice feels most at home. The mix is better here, as well, with some nice work done with the guitars through the instrumental break. Lebadi has moments toward the song’s conclusion that almost put me in mind of the great Bruce Dickinson.

“Chains Of Life” follows. Again, the song is extremely heavy, and the band tears through it with a vengeance. There is a beautiful acoustic interlude in this one where the vocal steps away from the growl for a moment; but through the heavier segments, it left me somewhat cold.

“Into The Chamber”, coming in at just over a minute and a half, is a gorgeous instrumental prelude to the band’s centerpiece, the progressive feeling “The Skyhammer”. This song has an epic feel and a musical maturity beyond my earlier expectations. There are some incredible vocal histrionics here, and musically the track simply blew me away.

I’m not certain where the inspiration to include a cover of Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone” came from, but it really doesn’t fit the rest of the release. Musically fine, vocally irritating…but I always felt it was irritating in its original form.

A good band, and a solid release.

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

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Beyond The Walls
2. It Rises
3. Chains Of Life
4. Into The Chamber
5. The Skyhammer
6. Danger Zone (Cover)
Lineup:
Steve Lebadi – Vocals
Andrew Cutting – Guitar
Rory Amoy – Drums
Larry Ash – Bass and Backing Vocals
Matthew Zipato – Guitar and Backing Vocals
Record Label: Independent
     


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Edited 18 April 2021
 

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