Skyharbor - Guiding Lights (Basick Records)

Improve the mind with the next generation of progressive music.
Release Date: 
10 Nov 2014 (All day)

Thanks to technological advances in the world, what was once impossible for musicians has become an everyday reality. Born as guitarist Keshav Dhar's studio project, one of the best examples of a band that took advantage of new possibilities through the power of the internet is Skyharbor. Taking shape after Dhar's music surfaced online, the band is now made up of members living thousands of miles from one another in India, the United States, and the United Kingdom. But the band has shown that distance is nothing but a number with the release of their second full length album entitled Guiding Lights.

Drawing elements from bands ranging from Deftones and Animals As Leaders, to Karnivool and Dream Theater, Guiding Lights is sure to be on everyone's list of top prog-rock albums of 2014, if not on the list for best releases of the year. Fronted by TesseracT vocalist Daniel Tompkins, Skyharbor is a refreshing breath from the recent surge of bands that claim to be progressive, but end up sounding like Born of Osiris worship groups. Part of this separation of sound lies in Tompkins' incredible vocal range that jumps from a steady tenor sound, as seen in the title track, to a high pitched falsetto in Idle Minds. Additionally, Tompkin's almost completely eliminates the use of growls and screams in Skyharbor's music, giving him a chance to shine as a talented singer.

Musically, Guiding Lights is an auditory grab bag with something for fans of progressive music, djent, and good music in general. In what is sure to be a fan favorite, the grooves and melody of Evolution are most certainly a nod to Periphery and The HAARP Machine. The electronic touches of Kaikoma and dreamy atmosphere of Miracle serve as much welcomed surprises along with lyrics that serve as the perfect soundtrack for day dreamers.

Words simply do not give enough credit to the genius of Guiding Lights; the best way to experience it is to listen to it at no less than the highest of volumes. While fans outside the United Kingdom and Europe may be anxious to see one of the most important up and coming bands of recent times, the fact that a project based in so many different places is able to tour at all is an accomplishment in itself. Without a doubt, the wait will be very much worth the while.