SHAT­TERED SKIES

Prog met­allers tri­umph over ad­ver­sity with aplomb.

Prog - - The Musical Box -

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

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