The Shifting Tectonic Plates of Power - Part One

Sky Empire

From Bandcamp, "British act SKY EMPIRE is back with their second album "The Shifting Tectonic […]
September 7, 2023
Sky Empire - The Shifting Tectonic Plates of Power - Part One album cover

From Bandcamp, "British act SKY EMPIRE is back with their second album "The Shifting Tectonic Plates of Power - Part One". This time, Jeff Scott Soto has taken over the position as vocalist. The album will surely appeal to fans of 70´s, 80´s and 90´s eras of Progressive Heavy Rock/Metal, but also to the fans of the new age spotless equilibrium of Prog artists like TESSERACT, HAKEN, or VOLA." The album has seven songs.

"Prolegomenon: The Encomium of Creation" is first. It's a 14-minute opus. Out of the gate, the music is symphonic, complex and has many accents to mark along the way. The guitar work is fantastic, and you can easily tell that the band have had classical training. The song isn't even half-way over yet and the sheer number of riff and meter changes is mind-boggling. This is an ambitious song, even for a Progressive Metal band. It sounds like DREAM THEATER and HAKEN had a baby, and was born with a genius level IQ. What an opening sound, and the entire song was instrumental.

"On the Shores of Hallowed Haven" is a much shorter, five-minute song. Soto's voice is the perfect match for the music, which isn't nearly as complex. It runs on one or two melody lines for the most part, and it's catchy, and personable. "The Last Days of Planet Fantasy" is another instrumental that is full of surprises. The band obviously knows their way around the fretboards, ivories, and kit, and this song just sounds fun, in a calculated way. "The Emissary" has vocals again, and I like the balance between the two. The instrumentals are pure prowess, while the songs with vocals are just a bit more straightforward. Drazic is an absolute maniac on the guitar in this one.

"Into My Father's Eyes" is a little more playful. Golden melodies flow from chalices that are emptied by the rich. That's the image I get here. It's very catchy, and the music flows very well with the vocals. "Wayfarer" is a 10-minute song...plenty of time for the band to showcase their musicianship more. There is also time for them to develop melodies, and do they. They are fragile, and even sweet at times. Again, the lead guitar work is beyond fantastic. The lengthy "House of Cards" closes the album. It has a strong combination of melody and musical prowess. Through this sixteen-minute journey, you might expect even the best Progressive bands to get a bit lost, but they don't.

Overall, I can't say enough about the band's musicianship. They are immensely talented, and that is not even up for debate. The songwriting is strong as well. It's almost too complicated for  Progressive Metal fans to even take in...almost. Listeners will find a whole lot to like on the album, and this band is one to watch. To boot, once again, ViciSolum Productions presents a very clear sound. The pieces are moving, clicking into place, and when they finally reach that point of total synergy, look out.

8 / 10









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"The Shifting Tectonic Plates of Power - Part One" Track-listing:

1. Prolegomenon: The Encomium of Creation
2. On the Shores of Hallowed Haven
3. The Last Days of Planet Fantasy
3. The Emissary
4. Into My Father's Eyes
5. Wayfarer
7. House of Cards

Sky Empire Lineup:

Jeff Scott Soto - Vocals
Tony Snow - Bass
Drazic Lecutier - Guitars
Tom Hobson - Keyboards
Inaldo Ramos - Drums

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