"Spectral" (Arise; 2004)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

It seems lately that I've received a lot of screamo and hardcore-based bands not that there's anything wrong with that. It's just that I sometimes want to listen to the one genre that is primarily responsible for me getting back to metal; that genre is melodic death metal. Yes, the sound that bands like In Flames, Soilwork, and Dark Tranquillity has made famous is still a style that I frequent in the limited listening opportunities I have outside of my reviewing responsibilities for Rough Edge.

Skyfire's brand of melodic death metal on "Spectral" borrows heavily from the keyboard-laden sound that Soilwork has become known for (and perhaps a little bit of the style popularized by Children Of Bodom). The guitars are fairly typical for the genre as the riffs come cascading through the speakers in one relentless stream after another just the way most people like it to be. The keyboards are also fairly standard for the genre yet move enough into the black metal and gothic metal genres to keep things interesting at all times.

Since the album features growling vocals throughout, "Spectral" should appeal to all melodic death metal fans that have been disappointed by the ever-increasing use of clean vocals on recent albums by the genre's heavyweights.

"Spectral" is a solid effort through and through and - despite the fact that there really isn't too much new ground to overturn in the melodic death metal genre - Skyfire have at least made a record that is fun to listen to. I am very much looking forward to hearing Skyfire's next recorded effort.

"Spectral" was produced by Pelle Saether and Lasse Linden. The production is clear and balanced.

Skyfire: Henrik Wenngren on vocals, Andreas Edlund on guitars and keyboards, Martin Hanner on guitars and keyboards, Jonas Sjorgren on bass, and Joakim Jonsson on drums and guitars.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:46:19 -0400.