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Skyliner - Light Comes Out of Black

From Jacksonville, Florida comes the new metal band, Skyliner.  The band was actually formed in 2000 when the average age of the band members was around 14.  Only now are they releasing their first demo, Light Comes Out of Black.  The band plays a mixture of many different metal styles including power-thrash, progressive, and even some acoustic material.  The band actually was pretty highly recommend by a friend of mine, so I was interested in getting to hear this.

Well...umm...I guess this goes to show that you can't always trust your friends.  While this band shows some promise in places, I really couldn't get into this at all.  The opening song "Unloved", is almost impossible to listen to without reaching for the skip button as the vocals are downright horrible.  My wife walked in the room as it was playing and said, "Man...that guy can't sing worth a fart!"  LOL!!!  How's that for an honest, unbiased opinion?  The next track ,"Outsiders", is a tad bit better.  The chorus actually reminds me a lot of the band Saint.  It's kinda catchy actually.  The next song "Black" is a super long 13 minute track.  Believe it or not, this track actually kept me interested for the most part.  The rapid-sung chorus with the swirling guitars sounded good and they even throw in a half a line with some growled vocals.  There is also a long instrumental section in the song that last for about 5 or 6 minutes.  The biggest problem of the song is when vocalist, Jake Becker, holds out the last note of the chorus around the 12 minute mark and my, my, my, did it sound like fingernails on a chalkboard....or at least something just as annoying.  The next track "Summer Rain (Changes)" takes things in a drastically different direction.  The entire song is acoustic based, and while the vocals sound a tad better in this calmer atmosphere, it seems like the timing of the song is off .  Sometime just doesn't sound right.  The guitars, drums, and vocals seem all out of wack.  If they are doing it on purpose it didn't go over well.  The fifth track "Attitude" sees us going back into ultra-fast thrash mode.  They even utilize some growling vocals, that aren't all that great, but they are an improvement over the clean vocals that unfortunately show up for the chorus here.  The mid-song blazing guitar solo along with the rumbling bass was a great way to get my mind off the vocal issues.  While this is a somewhat messy song, it's probably my favorite stylistically.  The final track is called "Time" and it comes it at over 17 minutes long!  While once again the music is decently interesting, the vocals just ruin the song.  BTW...my wife just walked by again and asked..."Is that still that same guy?  Why doesn't he just shut up?"

So, my overall impression?  I think this band has some abilities musically, but their sounds is kinda disjointed.  While they do have a base style, they tend to jump all over the place.  This is most evident in the tracks "Summer Rain" and "Attitude", which sound so drastically different from each other and so drastically different from the majority of the album.  Then the vocals...well, they either need to switch to all growled/thrash vocals or they need to find another vocalist. 

As for the packaging, lyrics, and production....the packaging is simple and nothing to get excited about.  The lyrics are actually pretty well written and tackle many different spiritual topics.  The production could stand some improvement for sure, but it's decent for a demo.  One last thing...the band does have a good sense of humor which evident by their nutrition links on their website that include Pizza Hut, Wendy's, Dairy Queen, and Burger King.  Then also they have a merchandise section which has their CD's and t-shirts for sale.  While that alone is not funny, you might want to go there and check out the girlie t-shirts.  I about busted a gut laughing!

Rating: 45/100

Review By: Matt Morrow

Label: Independent

Total Songs: 6

Total Time: 56:02

Tracklisting: 1. Unloved, 2. Outsiders, 3. Black, 4. Summer Rain (Changes), 5. Attitude, 6. Time.

Best Songs: Tracks 3 & 5.

Band Lineup: Jake Becker - Vocals/Guitars/Keyboards, Benjamin James Brenner (The Ben) - Drums/Percussion/Keyboards, Kyle Monster - Bass.

Band Website: http://www.skyliner-band.com  or  http://www.myspace.com/skyliner