For Fans Of
When We Are Triumphant isn’t posting Jarrod Dines videos and coming across as a somewhat dodgy label, they’re signing up generic and unoriginal metalcore bands. It seems, Melbourne’s own Skybound, who recently released their debut EP, ‘Darkfall’, apparently ticked all the boxes. So the label signed them up faster than a One Direction fan freak out over getting tickets to see them for Christmas (Jesus Christ, that video is just sad to watch).
The issue with this EP and countless other similar EPs and albums is that once you’ve heard them there are no more discoveries, nothing else to find, nothing more to really experience when there are thousands of other copy cat bands out there doing the same thing. It’s the usual double tracked screams (because no one can make a low growl and a high scream at the same damn time), generic guitar chugs and breakdowns, clean vocals leading the choruses, and the occasional, well-used synth that make up the full breadth of this quintet’s sound. So let’s not beat around the bush, it’s a very generic sound for sure, but it’s not all bad, as there are some positives to find here (oh, thank God!).
Firstly, the clean vocals are not as over-produced as some other post-hardcore bands (*cough The Amity Affliction cough*) and the screams actually have some real aggression and angst in them. The vocals across the board feel and sound real, and that’s something some bands really fuck up. Secondly, things are heavy throughout (shocking right?) and it never loses its way trying to be all over-the -top, or too overly melodic and the band seems to know what they wanted straight away. Thirdly, just kudos to any band who’s cool with calling themselves ‘Electronic Post-Hardcore’, as some others usually stick more clear of that like avoiding sleeping with someone who has the clap.
One thing that may really stick out to listeners is that Skybound sound a lot like early The Devil Wears Prada, (who undoubedtly got better with their last two albums), especially the early works, which lets be honest, were pretty solid. But, on the flip-side, the sound here is way too similar, like we’re talking nearly identical to what TDWP’s earlier stuff sounded like. It’s like Skybound just looked at ‘Plagues’ and ‘With Roots Above And Branches Below’ and said ‘Yeah, we want to be that, let’s just be that, guys’. Mission accomplished boys.
So at the end of the day, from the minute and a half opener of ‘The Mockery’ right up until the last track, ‘Desolate’, the core elements of this band’s sound are way too familiar and uninventive. But as we all know, that shit ain’t exclusive to just one band, so Skybound just fold into the background with so many others, instead of being that often sought after group that really sticks out like that one goth kid in the high-school class photos. That’s the band that people want.
“Good evening. Our specials this evening include; singing and screaming that alternates between the verses and choruses like clockwork. Repetitive breakdowns and a slew of heavy chugs that you should find quite familiar and predictable. Finally, we have a hint of synth for some much needed flavour that might endow your senses, but to be perfectly honest, there are better dishes on our menu. Now, I shall return with our full menus shortly”.
1. The Mockery
4. Saints Vow