|Review: Skylark - Fairytales|
Label: Sound Holic
Year released: 2005
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: June 17, 2010
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
Oh, boy. There are so many things wrong with Skylark that it's hard to single out just one to start off a review. The only other album I heard from these Italian weirdos was Divine Gates I, which was also unbelievably hacked up and misguided, and if you think they forgot how to make music like that, well, you have a lot more faith in humanity than I do. People, this is Fairytales! And I'm going to go ahead and go for the obvious joke, since it's not like this music had any more thought put into it: Gee, I sure wish this album was a fairytale! Cue the laugh track any time.
Skylark is basically the distillation of Italian Power Metal into a gelled down, unprofessional and sloppy mess of childish shit. You get the usual fast double bass, keyboards, high pitched vocals and so on, but it's never done with any kind of finesse or tact at all. It's gone beyond simply unintentionally funny and more into deeply disturbing when you consider the fact that this is a group of thirty year old men creating this music. Listening to this album's matchbox-and-string guitars and those weird "big bad wolf" imitations on "Little Red Riding Hood"...you just have to wonder what kind of a mental maturity it takes for an adult to write music like this. It isn't even like Rhapsody where it's nerdy in a really bombastic and over the top way that at least shows you that professionals made the music. This is the musical equivalent to the balding forty year old with a collection of Magic the Gathering cards and fantasy table-top RPG stuff that the parents of the neighborhood don't let their kids go near. Eugh.
Yes, the lyrics...let's take a look at some of them: Listen to the music close the door and spread your Dreams /Ride the Winged Lion until he will turn the things /Feel inside your body your celestial Fantasy /Touch the Wizard and tell me if you've finally found the Key!...what does that mean? I get the idea, reading these lyrics, that they're the kind of fantastical drivel that a child molester would write if he wanted to lure kids in through music. Eugh...just creepy.
Since you can't have lyrics without a singer, what are the vocals like? Where the old stuff had a well meaning vocalist who was simply too soft sounding and too horribly produced to sound good on it, this album really goes the extra mile in order to rob the music of credibility and just has some blonde chick singing over it in this really queer, warbly voice that makes me think she probably has a mustache she needs to shave. She doesn't really have any charisma or power and it's really quite sad that she can't even sing these ridiculously simple and poppy vocal lines and sound the least bit good doing it. But then, who would expect her to? The only reason they even keep her around is because she's willing to pose in various states of undress so that they have something to get people to pay attention to their website; nothing else. Personally, such low self esteem is as putrid as it gets.
The songwriting is where they really go wrong, as even when they get an actual would-be-decent metal song going, they ruin it with the awful guitar tone, which is simply unforgivable at this point, and some really sappy pop melodies that are just about the most superficial and candy-assed I've ever heard. And I don't mean simply streamlined and mainstream sounding. I mean like the lowest common denominator form of bubblegum pop you can possibly imagine. Sometimes they sound like nursery rhyme melodies.
The music lacks any kind of sincerity. Listen to the assbucket of nasally pop melodies that is "First Night" or the completely wretched vocal tradeoffs that make up their cover of a song called "Moonlight Shadow." And "Little Red Riding Hood" drags on and on for eighteen minutes, eighteen minutes, and not once does it produce anything listenable. From the nonsensical slow-to-fast transitions to those idiotic "big bad wolf" sound effects that I mentioned already, to those stupid, stupid sounding guitars...what's that? Yes, I do believe we have one of the worst metal songs ever written. I don't think I've ever heard anything quite so hammy. I mean, this is seriously near impossible to actually listen to all the way through. It's just so hilariously bad. This is what they consider good musical and lyrical story telling? This whole thing is so stupid it'd be hysterical. If it wasn't so sad.
To sum it up, this is so bad that it doesn't even seem real. Someone pinch me, am I dreaming? It's like they decided to make music that completely pandered to every false stereotype about Power Metal there ever was. It's stupid, it's annoying, and it's sappy as hell. Seriously, there's a line between sounding happy and forcefully trying to jam happiness and cheer down the throats of your listeners. Nothing about this is sincere; nothing about it is honest or passionate. It is nothing but purely idealistic, buttered up bullshit served on a rusty platter. But hey, at least their website has pictures of their singer flashing her cleavage at the audience! God, what a load; bunch of "LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME" posturing from a group of insecure morons who couldn't write a piece of heartfelt music if their lives depended on it. That's it, I can't take it anymore; this review is over! Now if you'll excuse me...I'm going to go listen to some Torture Squad to wash this shit out of my ears.
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