Sky Architect: A Billion Years Of Solitude

The space-rocking Dutch bunch look to ancient stars.

Why you can trust Louder Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

In a galaxy far, far away, ruled by HG Wells and questionable special effects, Sky Architect appear to have carved a setting for their third LP, some seven years after their inception in Rotterdam. Sharper, heavier and more sprawling than previous work, their latest packs in seven pieces and paves an admirably ambitious path.

Easing in isn’t an option here – Sky Architect serve their 18-minute opus up front, in the form of The Curious One. Sci-fi meets free jazz and old-school spacey samples; lo-fi arrangements and moody vocals evolve into discordant alt-rock; the strains of a Mellotron appear.

A lot happens, then and things become saturated in places: wandering melodies and woozy fuzz quash some of the eclecticism (the ample musicianship displayed throughout suggests the problem might lay within the writing). Still, the beauty of a record like this is that you do keep discovering with every listen.

By turns soaring, beefy, noodly and ethereal, the intricacies embed themselves in jazzy sensibilities and assured prog patterns, embracing delicate piano in Elegy Of A Solitary Giant, and Flower Kings-esque guitar in the Revolutions. Nice.

Polly Glass
Features Editor, Classic Rock

Polly is features editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she writes and commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage), and has interviewed rock's biggest and newest names. She also contributes to Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. Elsewhere she's had work published in The Musician, delicious. magazine (opens in new tab) and others, and written biographies for various album campaigns. In a previous life as a women's magazine junior she interviewed Tracey Emin and Lily James – and wangled Rival Sons into the arts pages. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.