Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 11/28/2006
Under Darkest Skies
Poisoning the Hearts of Fate
posted on 5/2007 By:
This is one of those times when I come across an unsigned band and it makes my head spin to think about how much trendy crap gets good deals while bands such as this are being passed over. To my knowledge, Under Darkest Skies remains unsigned, and even though they don’t set new standards for melancholic, burly multifaceted music, the potential to do so shines brightly on Poisoning The Hearts Of Fate, a massive display in hybrid metal. One reason why they might be having a hard time finding a deal is simply because they’re nearly impossible to market towards a specific target audience, mixing so many different styles into one strangely cohesive package that PR people don’t know what to do with it.
The mix of multiple styles is a lot less complicated from an artistic standpoint than from a marketing one. It’s a thick layering of When The Deadbolt Breaks-styled gloom, with hints of experimental Neurosis, huge Thee Plague Of Gentlemen / Giant Squid riffing, and very early Today Is The Day weirdness. You can’t really call this doom, death, or black metal in pure form since there are so many elements of all three styles blended into one. I could see this trio being great gigging partners with Rwake or Conifer. Vocalist Steven is a little iffy, and has a flat, direct clean singing method that is more about stylistic expression rather than technical poise, and enhances the bare bones feel of their music, while his over-the-top roar is as effective as anything offered by the other bands mentioned. There’s a distinct separation between grace and power, at times implementing some truly beautiful programming (the conclusion of “Scriptures Of The Dead And Forgotten”).
Speaking of raw things, for an independently funded offering, the sound of this recording is as good as many bands with label support behind them. Since all of the tracks are quite long, the sound stays well-balanced through the different levels of intensity the band goes through during the course of each track. There are no songs that meander in a droning pace, and likewise, none of them are onslaughts from start to finish, although the title track is quite a ferocious piece of work. The clean, supple music that opens “Parasites From The Kingdom of Guilt” aligns with Steven’s coarse screams before gliding effortlessly into gothic segues that flow with an abrasive sort of dignity, sounding so emotionally ravaging and honest that it’s difficult not to be totally enraptured by it all. There’s an overall rawness that even a more professional production wouldn’t hinder, a rawness that is encapsulated in the unencumbered songcraft, and fittingly unpolished execution.
Even though there are tons of bands who are making melting pots out of their chosen forms of expression, very few of them are doing it in a compelling way that makes me want to collect their music for years to come, and Under Darkest Skies should be given the opportunity to spread their potent blend of crushingly heavy, intelligent, and at times graceful metal to a wider audience. Why Relapse or Goodfellow hasn’t snatched these guys up is completely beyond me. With a little trimming of some fat around the edges, I see no reason why these guys couldn’t be new standard-setters within a very short period of time. Highly impressive.
Register to post comments.