Quality metal

Updated - July 11, 2016 09:03 pm IST

Published - May 26, 2012 05:02 pm IST

Sky Harbor Blinding White Noise: Illusion & Chaos

Sky Harbor Blinding White Noise: Illusion & Chaos

In November last year, the NH7 Weekender festival in Pune unleashed Skyharbor to play their first ever live show. The performance saw Keshav Dhar shredding away on his guitar, Nikhil Rufus adding to an impeccable bass groove, and Anup Sastry drumming away at what seemed to be an incalculable speed.

Dhar created Skyharbor after deciding to expand his solo home studio project Hydrodjent. Not having to rely on a seven-string or eight-string guitar to create djent has already become an alien concept in this progressive metal sub-genre. Skyharbor managed to impress the likes of Marty Friedman (Megadeth), Dan Tompkins (ex-Tesseract) and Vishal J Singh (Amogh Symphony). Skyharbor now stands firmly as one of the most recognisable Indian metal bands.

In addition to the above guest collaborations — Tompkins sings on every track for the first part ‘Illusion' — closer to home, Bhayanak Maut's Sunneith Revankar provides the angrier, abrasive edge to the album's second part ‘Chaos'. The record kicks off with Dhar's first claim-to-fame Dots, which sounds a tad unnatural with Tompkins' vocals, especially if you are used to the instrumental version. Even then, a lot of the originally-instrumental songs are infused with vocals to add a different personality to it. Celestial is another infectious track, by which point you are convinced that the partnership between Skyharbor and Tompkins is working.

Order 66 slows the pace down very quickly, being a very ordinary djent song. Catharsis, on the other hand, is layered beautifully, with ambient soundscapes clashing perfectly with sharp riffs. Precision is everything in djent, and Skyharbor makes it count (no pun intended) to an admirable extent.

The second disc Chaos is Revankar's territory and the last three tracks also push Dhar's brutal tunes to the front. Trayus, Aphasia and Insurrection are perfectly categorised as chaos. Skyharbor saves the heaviest for the last and succeeds in mind-numbing, startlingly accurate metal while Revankar's vocals are guttural and monstrous.

Skyharbor might not be the greatest thing to happen in djent, but it certainly tops the list of Indian metal bands with regard to global exposure. With “Blinding White Noise: Illusion and Chaos”, Skyharbor forges a sound that would make most metal artists — Indian and global — envious.

Bottomline: mind-numbing, startlingly accurate metal

Blinding White Noise: Illusion and Chaos;Skyharbor, Basick Records

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