Prog metallers triumph over adversity with aplomb.
losing half of your line-up might strike a fatal dagger into the heart of many groups, but Shattered Skies are made of steelier stuff. The prog metallers – based just outside London – have welcomed new singer Gerry Brown and bassist Chris Borland in recent years, and it appears the upheaval has only fuelled the quartet’s fire. Second LP Muted Neon is a cauldron of grooved-up guttural riffs, brainsearingly catchy melodies and fretboard wizardry – think Haken’s perfect tour support act they’ve never had. More confident and fuller in sound than their 2015 debut, Muted Neon is a clear step- up; opener The Disaffected is tech prog done just about right, with a brooding intro catapulting into a series of bouncing riffs zapping out the guitar neck which are both bludgeoning and bloody catchy. They thankfully haven’t lost the theatrics that former vocalist and stage musical man Sean Murphy brought to the mix, with the synth-speckled You Will Know My Name sounding a bit like Meshuggah on the West End. The album’s lyrical theme is about triumphing over adversity, and having seemingly come through line-up changes in style, it looks like Shattered Skies have plenty to celebrate. CC