Guiding Light

SKU: BSK064CD
Label:
Basick Records
Add to wishlist 

"As band histories go, Skyharbor‘s is somewhat unique. Debut album Blinding White Noise was a bit of a (nevertheless beautiful) Frankenstein’s monster – bolted together gradually onto the skeleton of guitarist Keshav Dhar’s home studio demos. With members spread across three continents, live performances have been few and far between, limited to one-off festival appearances and just a couple of short tours – probably fewer than twenty shows in total. With the line-up solidified and a very successful crowdfunding campaign under their belts, Skyharbor have delivered their second album Guiding Lights.

Right from the start it is clear that Guiding Lights is a more focused affair than its predecessor. Possibly with the benefit of having a better idea of what they are aiming for together as a band, it sounds much more cohesive and sure of its own identity.

Guiding Lights is also slightly more restrained than Blinding White Noise. The guitars are more driven by texture than out-and-out riffing, and there are fewer djentisms. There’s also barely a vocal scream to be heard throughout its duration, which may be a disappointment to those for whom that kind of thing is important.

Obviously, a significant chunk of the spotlight will fall on singer Dan Tompkins, especially because of his recent decision to re-join TesseracT – but Dan has used the time he spent apart from the band in which he really made his name to show how capable he is at managing multiple projects simultaneously. Since the summer of 2013 alone, as well as Skyharbor and TesseracT we’ve seen him record and perform with In Colour, White Moth Black Butterfly and Piano, not to mention a host of one-off guest appearances – yet it is clear that Guiding Lights received his undivided attention, and the result is potentially his most captivating performance to date. There is a shift in his approach in the direction of Maynard James Keenan, particularly in his phrasing, which both suits his voice and compliments the music.

This is especially apparent on “Halogen“. Falling around halfway through the album, the song is very probably the best Skyharbor have written. A genuine masterpiece, with no fewer than three sections vying for the position of chorus. It is one of those rare tracks that practically demands skipping back for a second listen the moment it has finished. Glorious.

Whilst there are some more uptempo passages, particularly in “New Devil“, the majority of the album is mid-paced. It carries a vibe that seems to draw inspiration from the likes of Tool, Karnivool and the dreamier parts of the Deftones‘ discography. Anup Sastry’s inspired drumming also has similar flavours to Stephen Perkins of Jane’s Addiction, which provides a subtle sense of urgency under Keshav and Devesh Dayal’s intertwining guitars.

Guiding Lights feels particularly well-named. It shimmers, glistens and sparkles throughout its near 70 minute run-time with an uplifting feel that is frequently close to euphoric. But more than this, Guiding Lights is Skyharbor coming of age. Blinding White Noise showed what enormous potential this collection of musicians had together, and the album is all the stronger for having them all working together on the material from day one.

Guiding Lights is an enthrallingly beautiful album that should help warm the hearts of progressive metal fans as the winter nights draw in. It would be easy to see Skyharbor as a kind of side-project supergroup, but that feels like it sells them short. We can only hope that with all the various commitments the members of Skyharbor have on their collective plates, they are able to carve out the time to keep the band as a going concern." - The Monolith

There are no review yet. Be the first!

Product Review

You must login or register to post reviews.
Laser Pic

customers also bought

SEE ALL
  • Iron Mask is the power metal band led by Belgian guitarist Dushan Petrossi. You may know him from his other band Magic Kingdom, although I would hard pressed to understand the musical distinction. Petrossi worships at the feet of Malmsteen and Romeo - total neoclassical bliss for those interested in this sort of thing. Mark Boals is front and center solidifying the Malmsteen comparison. The dude can certainly blow that's for sure!
    $15.00
  • "A new interpretation of a classic RPI title! This is quite an undertaking, but it comes off in an outstanding way, giving new life to old friends. In contrast to so many reworkings of old pieces that I've heard in recent years, this one does not leave me only wishing to listen to the original. Rather, the new work stands well on its own, not only helping me listen to the original with new ears, but also bringing new insights and experience.In 1972, Latte e Miele released their debut, an incredibly ambitious work based on the Passion of St. Matthew, "Passio Secundum Mattheum." This is one of the seminal titles of 1970s RPI and has rightfully stood the test of time. The band would never equal this album, although the subsequent title, "Papillon", came close. After that the band broke up for a time, until drummer Alfio Vitanza reformed the band, with new members including bassist Massimo Gori. Their only album, "Aquile e Scoiattoli", has its moments but is inferior to the first two, and the band disbanded a few years later after moving toward more commercial music.In 2008 the band reformed, including all three original members (Vitanza and songwriter/keyboardist Oliviero Lacagnina, as well as guitarist Marcello Giancarlo Dellacasa) and Massimo Gori, bassist from the second generation of the band. The quartet released "Live Tasting", an excellent live album that portended of the good to come. Their time together also produced a wonderful new album, "Marco Polo: Sogni e Viaggi" in 2009.Over the years, Lacagnina never stopped composing his masterpiece, his "Passio". Now the quartet has recorded anew their masterpiece, adding those "new" compositions into the narrative. For example, "Il Pane e il Sangue dell'Alleanza" has been inserted right after "Ultima Cena", and "Il Rinnegamento di Pietro" and "Il Prezzo del Sangue" between "Il Pianto" and "Giuda". Also, the ending has been fleshed out significantly, with four new songs, and the final song, "Come un Ruscello che..." includes the final themes previously entitled "Il Dono della Vita". Also of note, a solo organ piece entitled "Toccata per organo" is placed just before "Calvario"--this is special, as it is an original take from 1972!The instrumentation is true to the spirit of the 1972 piece, although with an updated sound. Ditto the choir, which sometimes on the 1972 version is muted and thin--here the choir parts are strong, lush, and vibrant. The majority of the pieces that were rerecorded for this edition also maintain their compositional structure, although there are a few changes inserted (notably in "I Falsi Testimoni", the new version of "I Testimoni" parts 1 and 2). There is nothing that violates that spirit of the original work, though it is impossible to duplicate its wonderful innocence.Another unique feature of this album is the presence of several prominent figures from RPI providing the spoken Evangelist parts. These include Alvaro Fella (Jumbo), Lino Vairetti (Osanna), Silvana Aliotta (Circus 2000), Paolo Carelli (Pholas Dactylus), Aldo de Scalzi (Picchio dal Pozzo), Sophya Baccini, Elisa Montaldo (Il Tempio delle Clessidre), Giorgio D'Adamo (New Trolls), Max Manfredi, Simonluca, and Paolo Griguolo (Picchio dal Pazzo). It's a nice touch that really rounds out the album.The CD comes in a jewel case with a lyric booklet. I'm told that the pending Japanese version will contain a newly recorded composition as a bonus track. But don't wait for that one--go out and grab this one. You won't be disappointed. Four plus stars (Gnosis 13/15).Edit: I can't stop listening to this! Though it's not quite as good as the original, it's very close. I'm bumping it up to Gnosis 14/15, which is five stars on PA." - ProgArchives
    $25.00
  • Years ago before Mind's Eye were Mind's Eye (they were known as Afterglow), the band had demoed many different vocalists. One of them was German Pascual. Reflecting back on those demos I always felt that Pascual was a diamond in the rough and had great potential. He didn't stick with Mind's Eye and to be honest I don't know what he's been up to all this time. He's landed in the Narnia lineup and damn if he isn't a great singer! Guitarist Carl Johan Grimack has toned down all his Malmsteen-isms that always seemed to fit Narnia into a Christian Malmsteen clone box for all these years. Instead there aren't that many solos and the writing has taken the music into a melodic metal direction with catchy choruses. The lyrical themes are still religious and that seems to fit Pascual well as he's also gone down that path.
    $12.00
  • “I love the CD...the sheer skill and gusto with which they tackle it makes you laugh out loud. Great drumming. Jonathan plays and writes like a demon. Congratulations to them.” - Bill BrufordDistrict 97’s 2010 debut “Hybrid Child” took the progressive rock world by storm. Since then the band toured across the US, performed at a number of high profile festivals, and even opened up for prog icons Kansas. The band now returns with their second opus “Trouble With Machines”. Former American Idol finalist Leslie Hunt fronts District 97. With a fantastic voice and looks to match, she has captured the hearts and imagination of the progressive rock world. Complexity is one of the hallmarks of District 97s compositions but the album is laced with catchy vocal melodies. The track “The Perfect Young Man” features a guest vocal appearance by King Crimson/Asia bassist John Wetton. Rich Mouser who has produced albums for Spock’s Beard and Neal Morse mixed the album. Audiophile mastering comes courtesy of Bob Katz.
    $14.00
  • "Although I had no idea what has been running inside his head, I have always known that Michael Kiske, once the leading vocalist of HELLOWEEN and one of the prime candidates that was suggested to replace Bruce Dickinson in IRON MAIDEN back when the latter left in 1993, would come back big. Along with his old partner in crime back in the hungry days of 80s HELLOWEEN, Kai Hansen, and with members of PINK CREAM 69, including the wonderful producer Dennis Ward on bass, and Kiske's other band PLACE VENDOME, the UNISONIC band was born. Though it's not the rebirth of old HELLOWEEN but more of a mix with melodic Hard Rock music following GAMMA RAY signatures, this joint force showed true class just as it was expected from these veterans with a superb self-titled debut under Edel / Ear Music. Just for the record, I had the feeling that I won't be stumbling upon a Power Metal album as for Kiske obvious Hard Rock notations over the years that kept him somewhat locked out from the Metal world. I can't count his guest appearances as those weren't enough for new fans to accumulate this guy's amazing abilities. Though his band of late, PLACE VENDOME, has been playing something that is near Metal and its second album, "Streets Of Fire", knocked me to my feet, I knew, just like many others, that no matter how soft Kiske would go and no matter his opinions regarding the evil side of Metal, that is where he belongs. The UNISONIC band proves it pretty well. Kiske might not have the long standing high pitches of the past, yet he has more than enough vocal qualities that top most of the old guard of vocalists. As for his partner and amazing artist, Kai Hansen, it seemed as if his place was to be next to Kiske all along, together they made wonders and I believe that two "Keeper Of The Seven Keys" albums are enough as elaborations. When it comes to UNISONIC, I must say that I was glad it wasn't a sort of continuance to the old HELLOWEEN era, even if the opening hit "Unisonic" blasted as if it was a blast from the past straight from the glory days, yet with the addition of a superstar second lead guitarist in the image of Mandy Meyer. Though heavier and more Metal than anything other thing that Kiske has been involved in the last two decades, UNISONIC still relies on the vibes of melodic Hard Rock. The Metal edge serves as an appetizer and a little spicy ingredient to energize things up. "I've Tried" and "We Rise" delivers true class right to your table. Kiske voice sounds so rich, still full of youth while spewing majestic singing rhythms and I can't also ignore the emotive and crunchy soloing of both crushing guitarists. To this fine selection of high quality features I can account also "My Sanctuary", "Never Change Me", "Never Too Late" and blazing "Star Rider". Kiske, Hansen, Ward, Meyer and Zafiriou delivered a well written Hard Rock / Heavy Metal album with plenty of taste. In general I felt the touch of Kiske rather tuned the band to treads a lightly than if Hansen was at the helm, but with a voice like this and such amazing talents, which also involved a striking production, only good can come from this." - Metal Temple
    $14.00
  • You might recognize this album...you should.  Like the rest of the Egg catalog, Patrick Vian's sole album was heavily imported into the US by JEM Records.  Back in the day, this album was everywhere.  In fact I still run across copies in the used bins from time to time.  It even made the Nurse With Wound list.  Originally released in 1976, it finally has found an audience and has been reissued by Staubgold.  Patrick Vian is the son of French jazz musician Boris Vian.  He was also a member of the underground rock band Red Noise, who made one album that is quite well known among prog and psych collectors.  Bruits Et Temps Analogues is actually quite an interesting album that has probably been taken for granted over the years.  Vian has assembled a high caliber instrumental quartet that includes noted percussionist Mino Cinelu.  Vian plays a variety of analog synths  - Moogs and ARPs.  George Granier is the second keyboardist and Ame Son's Bernard Lavialle plays guitar.  The music is flat out prog rock.  Vian's use of synths has a bit of a spacey quality but not in a textural way - he's playing laser-like leads while the band plays in a bit of a jazz rock style.  The rockier tracks sound a bit like Egg stablemates Ose and Heldon.  So you wind up with this weird amalgam of styles that come across like a mash up of Heldon and Gong.  Highly recommended.
    $18.00
  • 30th Anniversary remastered edition.
    $15.00
  • Krush is the sixth album from the organ/bass/drums power trio of John Novello, Billy Sheehan, and Dennis Chambers.  Oddly it finds them now signed to Prosthethic Records, a metal label that is now making a push into the fusion and prog genres.John Novello has really expanded his array of keyboards.  He's not solely focusing on Hammond organ. One of the tunes, "Stormy Sunday", finds him blasting away on synths and organ and the music takes on and ELP dimension.  So while the album still has fusion undercurrents it very much has its foundation set in rock stylings.  Think more in terms of Keith Emerson and Jon Lord as opposed to Joey DeFrancesco.  Nothing needs to be said about Sheehan and Chambers - they are jaw dropping colossal as usual.  Krush lives up to its name.  Highly recommended.
    $13.00
  • "Power metal. A genre overpopulated by a tonne of bands that all sound the same as one another, with no real substance to their music and thin, weedy vocals that have no power – which is kind of ironic, given the name of the genre. But then there’s Persuader, who have smashed all boundaries and have brought life to this tired genre with their brand new album The Fiction Maze.It begins strongly enough with some good melodic guitar-work but it’s only when the vocals kick in that it becomes apparent that this is no ordinary album. The amount of sheer power and energy behind them just blow you away and it truly is a standout performance from frontman Jens, right from opener One Lifetime to closer Falling Faster.The album just has so much substance and it really does deliver from start to finish because you won’t find any filler tracks or songs that are simply ‘okay’. Particularly strong offerings are the striking opener One Lifetime which will be stuck in your head before you know it and the fast-paced Heathen that slowly builds up into a wildly catchy tune before you even know what’s hit you. Then there’s the title track The Fiction Maze (arguably one of the best on the entire album) which lulls you into believing it’s a slower, more laid-back track with its acoustic intro before smacking you in the face with heavy guitars and hammering drums. Absolutely amazing stuff!Persuader are onto a winner here with The Fiction Maze and it’s a perfect example of how to do power metal RIGHT. It stands out from the crowd in the best possible way and if you haven’t got this band in your life yet, then what on earth are you waiting for?" - Soundscape Magazine
    $14.00
  • PG II marked an about face from the debut. The 1978 album was produced by Robert Fripp. His features his audio verite production technique that he was using at the time (see The Roches). Tony Levin was a linchpin for the band as well as Larry Fast. The featured guitarist is Sid McGuinness who was unknown at the time but became a staple of late night tv as part of David Letterman's band. The music had a nervous punk energy indicative of the times. The opener "On The Air" introduced a character named Mozo that was supposed to be an ongoing theme throughout his future albums but was eventually dropped. A flawed classic.
    $12.00
  • Perhaps inspired by the passing of the legendary Jon Lord (who the album is dedicated to) or by the creative infusion from producer Bob Ezrin, Deep Purple's 19th studio album arrives firing on all cylinders.  Sure I miss Ritchie Blackmore.  Steve Morse is Steve Morse.  A legend...but he brings a different element to the band that to my ears was always defined by the neoclassical explorations of Blackmore.  Getting past that this album is a pure smoker.  Don Airey replaced Jon Lord over a decade ago.  He's always played the hell out of the Hammond organ and he doesn't disappoint here.  He's the perfect replacement for Jon Lord and even adds his own imprint in some not so subtle ways.  Oh yeah - Ian Gillan sounds great.  I wasn't a huge fan of the last couple of albums but this one sure does kick some major ass.This is the deluxe digipak edition.  It comes with one bonus track on the CD and a DVD that has interviews and bonus live clips.
    $15.00
  • Once again we turn to Norway for a fresh take on an old sound. With amps turned way up, Anti-Depressive Delivery blend classic progressive rock with modern raw aggression. Mellotron, organ and synth clash with frantic guitar leads underscoring this young band's appreciation for prog and metal Gods past and present. Think Anekdoten mixed with Pain Of Salvation and Somnambulist.The prog world may never be the same...
    $5.00
  • "The story of King Charlemagne, First Holy Roman Emperor, acted and sung by the legendary actor Christopher Lee, one of the most popular and highest grossing actor of all time, with cinematic milestones such as "Lord Of The Rings", "Star Wars", "The Man with the Golden Gun" and "Dracula". The Carandinis, Lee's maternal ancestors, were given the right to bear the coat of arms of the Holy Roman Empire by the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. Christopher Lee, directly linked with Charlemagne, has decided for the first time in his life to pay homage to his distinguished ancestor, who is credited as "The Father of Europe". Charlemagne is a concept album with original words and symphonic metal music. Marco Sabiu - best known for his collaborations with Kylie Minogue, Take That, Ennio Morricone - has composed a huge epic canvas of sounds in the form of a movie score, introducing modern metal symphonies for orchestra, choir, two metal bands, and several guest vocalists. The mesmerising lyrics meld with this powerful story, transporting the listener into the Dark Ages and allowing for the imagination to run wild. All these elements bring to life the legend of Charlemagne."
    $15.00
  • Double live CD + pro-shot DVD of Jorn's performance at the Sweden Rock Festival on October 6, 2010. Seventeen tracks solely focused on his solo album material.
    $11.00