Skyharbor: Blinding White Noise

Big names add spice to Indian prog metal debut.

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It’s possible the Indian metal scene has passed you by entirely. Every time another technically proficient bands pops up, the question always resurfaces: can they make it? Young New Delhi newcomer Keshav Dhar has certainly been networking. The double-disc debut from his Skyharbor project features major vocal contributions from TesseracT singer Dan Tompkins, and a cameo from former Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman. Both discovered Dhar’s demos and subsequently collaborated with him online.

If nothing else, Blinding White Noise attests to how the web smashes geographical boundaries. There is nothing particularly Indian-sounding here. Instead this fits into a ready-made European scene: within the jarring riffs there’s a shoegaze element mixed with emo mosh that is, in parts, pretty generic.

Real potential emerges when the guest artists really kick in – Tompkins gives it his all on towering opener Dots and atmospheric Order 66; Catharsis and Celestial are enriched by Friedman’s mastery.

As for Dhar, he knows his way around ProTools alright, and while his work won’t may not put the subcontinent on the metal map just yet, it’s a step in the right direction.