Monday, October 05, 2009
Sweden’s Skyfire return on Pivotal Rockordings with their third full-length, entitled “Esoteric”, and their first album since 2004. Not really being familiar with Skyfire prior to this release, the band is treading the well worn ground of progressive, melodic death metal with hugely pompous keyboards, alternating tempos, both rough and clean vocals, and lots of fluid, melodic guitar work.
Certainly, the musicianship and production to be found on “Esoteric” are all quite good, but I found the songs on “Esoteric” to be interchangeable and lacking distinction. Throughout the album, the focus is upon the keyboards at the expense of riffs, whether the pace be quick or slow. When the guitars are at the forefront of the music, the focus is upon soloing rather than forging a solid backbone to the album in the form of memorable riffing. This decided lack of emphasis upon crunchy guitar work is the key to what is wrong with this release for me. The lack of interesting riffs robs the music of any heft or memorable qualities, and you find yourself instantly forgetting about each song as soon as it’s finished.
I’ll be the first to admit that my own personal tastes are somewhat coloring this review as I’ve not much interest in melodic death metal (the term “death metal” is really a stretch when describing Skyfire, though). But, what’s readily apparent is that Skyfire are a solidly second tier band. Most of the qualities for a solid album in “Esoteric” are there (musicianship, production, and so on), but the songwriting is mediocre.
“Esoteric” will probably appeal to those with a huge taste for saccharine, overly melodic Swedish death metal, but this album lacks the necessary punch.
Skyfire Official MySpace