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Sonic Skies - Drifter

Sonic Skies
by Jon Conant at 10 July 2018, 10:27 AM

German newcomers SONIC SKIES have arrived, releasing their debut full length album “Drifter”, featuring 13 tracks of metalcore goodness. Everything about this is standard metalcore with a European vibe. We distinctly hear the CALIBAN influence, each song is a neat balance of blast beat driven breakdowns, melodic BRING ME THE HORIZON-esque choruses, solos, and more ambient sections. There is some variety throughout the album, some songs dip more into the melodic side, and some more into the heavy breakdown side, but each track is pretty consistently within the same style, and never strays too far off the beaten path. This makes it a consistent album, for what it is.

Unfortunately, this is also a drawback. While the songs are very well written and produced, they are VERY much standard and established metalcore stylings, with hardly anything new or noteworthy. The breakdowns are sick, but a bit behind the curve. It would have sounded fresh in 2014 maybe, not so much today. This wears thin after 13 tracks, reaching the point where one track stops standing out from another. It’s kind of impressive in one sense, they wrote 13 songs and not a single one of them sucks. But, unfortunately this also means none of them elevate above the rest, or above what the expected standard of quality is in today’s metalcore scene. This leaves behind an unfortunate feeling of “meh”, which is a shame when the quality is so presently obvious. The mix is crisp, the parts are beautifully recorded, Sebastian’s vocals are spot on, and the breakdowns blend into the more ambient sections and choruses with ease.

However, there’s still a lot to love, particularly in the heavier moments. Heavier tracks like “Refuge”, “Empire”, “Rosebud”, and “Epilogue” exhibit the best and most unique sides of SONIC SKIES, with some of the most interesting, unique, and heaviest breakdowns, along with thundering harsh vocals. But, on the opposite end, softer more melodic tracks like “Hearts” and “Polaris” only serve to exhibit the more bland side of the album, with more generic songwriting that just weighs everything down, as opposed to accenting the heavier tracks around them. The album could have been improved by trimming some of these “excess” tracks, IMO.

It’s not a perfect album, and SONIC SKIES certainly made plenty of young mistakes. But what they did accomplish is a very well written, produced, and recorded album that still does feature a number of outstandings tracks. The talent is all there, and with a (if nothing else) solid entry under their belts, they’re poised to make a stronger splash with future releases. I hope to see them expand on their style and sounds, and really start to think outside the box with the songwriting on future albums. “Drifter” won’t go down in the history books, but it’s a rock solid place for this young and talented band to start.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

3 Star Rating

1. Refuge
2. Empire
3. Polaris
4. Gears
5. Hearts
6. Loathe
7. Rosebud
8. i Carus
9. Wanderer
10. Reach
11. Drifter
12. Epilogue
13. Riot Bro, Riot
Sebastian - Vocals
David - Guitar
Piggy - Guitar
Marco - Bass
Phil - Drums
Record Label: 7Us Media Group


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Edited 26 April 2019

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