This album I have been looking out for since first seeing them live at ProgPower Europe. At the time their EP sold out fast and eventually I got Reanimation as digital download. Last year I saw them live again at HRH Prog and again their show was astonishing. As I already concluded with Andrew (from Ave Noctum's brilliant reviews) after seeing them in Baarlo it is all about the energy. This album was announced for some time and now I received it nicely before official release date through their website. I can only conclude that they managed to catch the energy on CD as well.
Shattered Skies bandcamp page mentions as references Djent, Industrial, Groove, Progressive Metal (amongst London?, where these Irish! guys moved to) I don't think any box compasses them, but what I actually like most is that while they show flashes of these more modern styles, I simply like to consider them as a technical Heavy Metal band. 11 songs are actual songs apart from short opener maybe. Sean Murphy is a great vocalist who can go different places without much of an effort, while always staying on the clean vocal bits. Djenty parts come by on several guitar hooks, but there is definitely more than just Djent. Guitarist Ian Rockett has written all songs and he can probably be held responsible for avoiding the show offs and concentrating on the songs. Jim Hughes on Bass is the new guy since PPE, but was already present at HRH and drummer Ross McMahon co-wrote some songs and is remembered by me for giving their original white Tee to me after calling them a taxi in metropole Baarlo to get them to the castle.
It is so good to look forward to a debut full album from a band that you saw live and loved and then they manage to surprise you positively. Anyone into melodic rock, progmetal, djent, heavy metal or just open minded music lovers should hear this. There is so much happening and every new listen the album grows further on me. Melodic midtempo songs, ballads, heavy metal songs and closing with their epic title song. Coming to the title I thought "The World we used to Know" more a title for my generation, stating that the eighties with the rise of NWOBHM, Speed Metal, Thrash metal, Melodic Rock and Classic Heavy Metal can never be repeated. In stead of living in the past and regret, it is better to realize that some old bands are still going strong and new bands like Shattered Skies show us that we can expect great music coming at us for many years to come. Saddest news on this release is the fact that no label has picked them up. I guess that can not take long after this release. Obligatory purchase for all into great music, for a mere GBP 7 it even is underpriced, as I am sure this album has all to grow into a Classic. I shall proudly wear my Jade Shattered Skies T-shirt at the first opportunity I get. Progpower, just get them back this year.