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Review: Skyliner - Dark Rivers, White Thunder
Dark Rivers, White Thunder

Label: Alchemic Visions
Year released: 2021
Duration: 50:25
Tracks: 11
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: January 31, 2021
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
Dark Rivers, White Thunder

Rated 4.7/5 (94%) (10 Votes)

Florida's Skyliner is a power metal band that doesn't stick to conventions of their genre. Pushing the envelope is not necessarily a bad thing but not everything they've done has caught my attention, exploring unconventional and esoteric avenues as they do. That has taken quite a turn with their third full-length, Dark Rivers, White Thunder, their first to be released on their own imprint, Alchemic Visions.

At first blush, I was thinking it was more of the same proggy, dark power metal of previous efforts but the more I listened, the more this album began to open up. There is a wide variety of styles and influences from mystical epic metal atmospheres with harsh vocals to Maiden-esque instrumentals to low, dark gothic vocal lines and straight up power metal anthems. And strange as it might seem, it all works. Dark Rivers, White Thunder flows from one style to the next, never really repeating itself but never losing the listener on the journey from one track to the next. Growls and driving riffs on "Bleed" contrast with the atmospheric melodies of the title track. The slow tempo and sorrowful vocals of "I Walk Alone" close out the album after Skyliner breaks out the speed and major chord goodness of "Night Gypsies," my favorite song on the album. "The Singing Shaman (Fire Stomp)" features a bass line Steve Harris would love. Some songs are more engaging than others, but the album is never boring, not once.

It took a while for the album to sink in but once it did, influences from Virgin Steele, Labyrinth, Type O Negative, Sabaton, Metal Church, and others all swirl and shift before ultimately becoming incorporated into Skyliner's sound. Don't give up on this one too early, patience will be rewarded.

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Review: Condition Black (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Outsiders (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Skyliner (Demo) (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
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Review: The Alchemist (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Interview with singer/guitarist Jake Becker on April 22, 2017 (Interviewed by MetalMike)
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