Sky Empire – The Shifting Tectonic Plates of Power – Part One Review

Get yourself a copy of this album, you won’t regret it. Any fan of prog metal and prog music in general will undoubtedly enjoy this....

Released by: Vicisolum Productions

Released Date: October 27th, 2023

Genre:  Progressive metal, Hard Rock, Progressive Rock

Links: facebook.com/SkyEmpireMusic

 

 

Line Up:

Jeff Scott Soto – Vocals
Drazic Lecutier – Vocals, Guitars
Remi Jalabert – Drums, Percussion
Tom Hobson – Keyboards
Jon Delaines – Bass

 

Tracklist:

01. Prolegomenon: The Encomium of Creation
02. On The Shores of Hallowed Haven
03. The Emissary
04. Into My Father’s Eyes
05. Wayfarer
06. The Last Days of Planet Fantasy
07. House of Cards

 

 

This band leaves little space for the mind to wander at first with a slap in your face playing out a 15-minute Fantasia-style instrumental story. It does more in that time than many bands do on a full album. The different movements in this song alone in true prog fashion are like the prog rock of the 70s and 80s. Starting epic and ending epic.

 “On the Shores of Hallowed Haven” has an attractive acoustic guitar and bass riff to start the song. The drums are complementing the story as well. The vocals and melodies of the great Jeff Scott Soto(most versatile singer on the planet) remind me of something from Dream Theater. The texture of the song makes me feel like I am walking in the sound waves. The drums have a nice role later in the song with the interplay of toms and cymbals. The bass tone and note choice are on point with the bends. When the guitars hit full chords around four minutes the song gains a different life. I like the end of the song with the double time on the hi-hat, and then the staccato rhythm ending it all.

 “The Emissary” starts without any major intro, just goes right into it. A true rock song, keeping the 4/4 for the first 30 or so seconds, then it takes another turn and goes into the metal that makes this album what it is. We have a difference of sound at 1:30 and it adds a whole new layer to the song that was not expected. At the 2:00 mark the song picks back up, and we get into some arpeggios and back to the familiar. We hit 4:18 or so and then the solo takes this song to new heights. The guitar tones are just something every guitarist wants, or at least I want. It sounds very well done no reverb just straight selective shredding that speaks to the soul. The solo itself tells a story that is above and takes you to the mountain top where at 6:00ish we change keys and the song hits the penultimate moment. This song isn’t a build-up by any means, but it weirdly feels like that, it has elements of build-up. It ends as quickly as it starts.

 “Into My Father’s Eyes” is another guitar tone I want out of my amp. The interplay of the instruments on this track kept my interest. When the vocals came in, that put things together like the glue it needed. Overall, this track just slaps and rocks out. Probably my favorite on the album. The singing accentuates the track nicely to an already complex track.

 “Wayfarer” gets us back into the 10-minute track territory, and it’s a true banger. It’s a slower tempo for the first almost three minutes but that’s okay, it’s a good reset for what’s about to happen, and we get back into headbanging territory for a bit. We go back into the slower tempo, but there’s still power behind it. Straight chords and “four to floor” get you back into the full swing of things. The solo in this song is on point. I just love how they go back to the slower tempo consistently, then the ending hits this part of hammer-ons and a total rhythm change.

 “The Last Days of Planet Fantasy” – we’re back in sub-7-minute territory for now. This tune is an instrumental piece, and it’s awesome. Makes me want to run, work out, and do a bunch of activities honestly. The ending is odd however, that’s the only thing that I couldn’t get into much. Felt like a video game ending. They did this in Wayfarer too, and I was confused at first. I think upon second and third listening it may make more sense.

 House of Cards – put your prog pants on folks, and strap in for the ride, because this tune comes in at 16:20, and you’re going to use all of that time gathering the feelings for the moment the song comes to full light around the 4:00 minute mark. The guitar work in this song is just incredible. The bass too. I know I’ve used the plane metaphor before, but this song is like a short flight. You are on the rise, you’ve hit altitude, and now you’re just cruising along with your headphones on, watching the landscapes change and the clouds come and go. You find yourself still on the plane when it’s all about to end and you want to go listen to the album again.

 Get yourself a copy of this album, you won’t regret it. Any fan of prog metal and prog music in general will undoubtedly enjoy this.

 Not to mention the absolute killer lineup of musicians….

 

Written by: Chris Rugowski

Ratings: 9.5/10

 

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