Album Review :
Our Sky is Falling - Tales From Distant Shores
Band: Our Sky is Falling
Album: Tales From Distant Shores
Reviewer: Brody B
- Cadillac Ranch
- I’ve Got the Torches if You’ve Got the Match
- She’s My Everything Went Wrong
- Disbelieving the Truth
- The Famous October 25th
- The Only Way to Beat a Camper is By Camping
- The Monarch
Variety is often referred to as the spice of life. Our Sky is Falling prove that throwing some variety into the mix is also able to spice up what might fall into the trap of being bland and generic without that certain spice.
While Our Sky is Falling may occasionally toe the line between coming off as generic and not so different from any other name in the sea of metalcore, they manage to leave their own unique brand at times, making “Tales From Distant Shores” worth checking out if you’re looking for a few interesting ideas.
Cadillac Ranch shows off the groups potential at mastering a few different genres of music and seamlessly combine them into an interesting song. The thing that I thought was especially cool about these few genre changes was that the band always seems to throw them in right as things are just about to get stale.
For instance, the opener starts out much like many other songs in the world of heavy music; fast and heavy with a smattering of cleans for good measure. However I was thrown a curveball when an unexpected southern breakdown comes out of nowhere complemented by Matt Magill howling, “She’s a southern gal, She loves her whisky and her cigarettes!”. Brick keeps the genre hopping trend alive, stopping and starting multiple times, jumping back and forth between aggressive and mellow.
It seems the new trend in metalcore is to obtain a keyboard player who just goes crazy during live shows and never really puts any effort into writing music, but with I’ve Got the Torches if You’ve Got the Matches interesting keys are dispersed throughout, adding an element of intrigue as they give the track more depth. During the aforementioned, Brick, the keys steal the show at about the 1:25 mark as they create a jazzy feel that helps the laid back tempo really stand out from the pack.
Along with using the keys in a beneficial way, Our Sky is Falling went the extra mile in adding out of the ordinary instruments into the mix. I’ve Got the Torches if You’ve Got the Match utilizes a horn section which effortlessly flows into one of the albums strongest breakdowns.Album closer, The Monarch, adds a string ensemble in the opening section. This gives the song a very prestigious feel bringing to mind renaissance times.
While Our Sky is Falling hit their stride trying things out of the ordinary they also shoot themselves in the foot at times playing things too safe. For instance I felt that a lot of the clean vocals on the record felt forced. This is in no way meant to knock the singer, seeing as his voice is perfectly fine. It just seemed like it was placed in awkward places at times.
For instance, the first appearance of singing in The Monarch completely kills the flow, bringing things to an ungraceful halt. The tracks Disbelieving the Truth and The Famous October 25 both failed to really hit a sweet spot for me, both coming across as just average metalcore songs.
This is not to say that Our Sky is Falling can not master straightforward metalcore. The Only Way to Beat a Camper is By Camping does not particularly have anything special about it, yet everything seems to flow right as it angrily romps from head bobbing riffs to devastating breakdowns. Disbelieving the Truth and The Famous October 25 seem uninspired and thrown together in terms of composition compared to this one.
The production on “Tales From Distant Shores” also hit a bit of a sore spot for me. While not bad, I felt that everything blended together a bit too much. For instance, every time there is singing and screaming at the same time it feels like each voice is competing for the spotlight rather than simply coexisting. The same goes for the guitars. Riffs and leads kind of meld together instead of complementing each other.
Overall: Our Sky is Falling show they have massive potential and great ideas. They refuse to let their keys be just for the heck of it, throw in a variety of neat instruments, and show they can handle themselves in their genre. Only, sometimes it seems the band gets a bit lazy and settles for mediocre. I’d like to see the group explore their wild side more on the next release and really experiment because that is where they truly shine.
RIYL: See the Light | This City in Ashes | Bring the Arsenal