Sometimes it’s impossible to believe that there are new progressive metal bands capable of thinking outside the templates laid down by Dream Theater, Opeth or even Porcupine Tree. Too often there’s a tendency to rehash what those market leaders have created. Yet Shattered Skies are a band who have managed to overcome that barrier and create in Reanimation an album that possesses a rare originality in a crowded genre.
As with any band there are reference points, and the album is a glossy unification of groove metal, slick melodies and smart musicianship.
Such a mix should ensure a wide appeal among traditional metal lovers and the more progressively minded, and nowhere is that more apparent than on opener Beneath The Waves, which has influences as diverse as Yes, Godsmack and Meshuggah. Chasing After Time is similarly burly and possesses a catchy chorus that elevates the track above the average.
Given this is their debut, there are naturally a few gripes, not least their flirting with the cliché of growling vocals, lowering themselves to the level of numerous other wannabee metal bands. Ultimately though, this is still an assertive entrance.