Review: Skyharbor Guiding Lights

Multi-national prog team exceed the sum of their parts

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

What started from humble origins as a bedroom project of Keshav Dhar has now mutated into a truly excellent band.

Skyharbor have shown promise before, and on Guiding Lights that promise is fulfilled. Logistical nightmare though it may have been to get this Indian/US/UK quartet together in the same room, it was worth it, as they now sound much more coherent and engaged than on previous releases. Keshav’s imagination and nimble-fingered fretwork the most noticeable aspects about the record, but frontman Daniel Tomkins also puts in an inspiring performance, teasing out all manner of sublime melodies over Dhar’s shimmering compositions. There isn’t much here that could really be described as ‘heavy’ in the classic sense of the word, but fans of Tool and Karnivool shouldn’t have too much trouble being seduced by the glorious Technicolor swirl of Idle Minds or the beautiful, gradual build of Patience, which recalls White Pony-era Deftones at their most reflective. Ultimately the fact that Skyharbor are able to exist at all is a tribute to the band’s perseverance and belief in the music they create. Listening to Guiding Lights it’s clearly proved to be a labour of love./o:p

Stephen Hill

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.