SKYFIRE

Melodic Death Metal • Sweden
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Skyfire is a band from Sweden that has mixed the respective styles of power metal, black metal and death metal in their music. They were formed in the town of Höör, Sweden, in 1995. Thus far, two of the founding four members of the band have remained in the lineup: Andreas Edlund, Martin Hanner, Jonas Sjögren, and Tobias Björk.

The main songwriters of Skyfire are Andreas and Martin, but alas, none of these four members had any singing talent. When they decided to record a demo, the band contacted Mattias Holgrem of Embracing who was found to be amicable to the idea. The resulting demo, recorded at TMS Recording in Hässleholm during December of 1997, was entitled Within Reach. The band was ambivalent about the result and changed their sound accordingly for a second demo.

For this demo, known as The Final Story, they found a new singer in Henrik
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EsotericEsoteric
CD Baby 2012
$88.02
$19.42 (used)
SpectralSpectral
King Japan 2004
$13.92 (used)
Timeless DepartureTimeless Departure
Martyr Music Group 2001
$57.21
$8.37 (used)
Timeless Departure by SkyfireTimeless Departure by Skyfire
Hammerheart
$49.95
Mind RevolutionMind Revolution
Extra tracks
Seoul 2003
$13.00
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SKYFIRE Discography

SKYFIRE albums / top albums

SKYFIRE Timeless Departure album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Timeless Departure
Melodic Death Metal 2001
SKYFIRE Mind Revolution album cover 3.75 | 2 ratings
Mind Revolution
Melodic Death Metal 2003
SKYFIRE Spectral album cover 3.78 | 5 ratings
Spectral
Melodic Death Metal 2004
SKYFIRE Esoteric album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Esoteric
Melodic Death Metal 2009

SKYFIRE EPs & splits

SKYFIRE Haunted By Shadows album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Haunted By Shadows
Melodic Death Metal 2003
SKYFIRE Fractal album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Fractal
Melodic Death Metal 2009

SKYFIRE live albums

SKYFIRE demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

SKYFIRE Promo 2012 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Promo 2012
Melodic Death Metal 2012

SKYFIRE re-issues & compilations

SKYFIRE singles (0)

SKYFIRE movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

SKYFIRE Reviews

SKYFIRE Spectral

Album · 2004 · Melodic Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Diogenes
Skyfire are another one of those bands that crawled from the woodworks just when the melodic death/power metal style started hitting its peak. The difference here is that they actually took that sound and ran with it, instead of releasing the same Children of Bodom worship over and over again (Norther, I’m looking at you). Being the third album from the Swedes, Spectral shows the band in full creative bloom as they push the boundaries of the “power metal with growls” shtick, and manage to make it halfway interesting in the process.

True to its subgenre, Spectral is basically a power metal album with the death metal parts coming from the vocals and, on occasion, the drums. Everything else is deeply rooted in the Euro power metal scene that you’re bound to be sick of by now…but these guys have somehow found a way to make this not sound like a garbled mess. The atmospheric keyboards, the shredding leads, and the shrieking vocals are all there, and yet on this album it’s almost as if I haven’t heard this style before at all.

How is this possible? For one, most of the guys in this band are a notch above what you might be used to for the melodic death/power metal subgenre. Everyone that is audible (can’t hear the darn bass again) puts forth at least an above-average performance, with big ups going out to Martin Hanner and Andreas Edlund for their guitar and keyboard work. Both of them are credited for both instruments, although I don’t really care since they both did a magnificent job. The leads are marvelous, which should be expected, but what might catch you off-guard is how solid the riffs are. This alone puts another notch in the “CoB with balls” pole. Take A Dead Man’s Race, for instance: the lead during the chorus is catchy as all get out (you’ll hear this a lot on Spectral), but there are plenty of great riffs on the bottom end, forming a nice and thick guitar sound. And those keyboards…oh my. They’re awesome. Using synths to set a “cold” atmosphere is nothing new for metalheads from Sweden or surrounding countries, but Skyfire takes it to the next level as far as the whole “wall of sound” thing goes. They are both harsh and beautiful at the same time.

In spite of all this, the coolest thing about Spectral is the way it flows from one song to the next. The album actually seems to go through a mood swing as it goes on; Conjuring the Thoughts is undeniably upbeat for a song under the death metal genre, but by Awake you can feel the atmosphere getting gloomier, and Tranquility’s Maze ends the album on an absolutely dreary note mood-wise. It’s not a concept album or anything like that, either. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s nice to find a record with changes like this that isn’t a) 90 minutes long and b) insisting you go along with some sort of story to understand the thing. Props to the Skyfire guys for rediscovering the lost art of creating an actual album, not a CD with 9 separate songs on it.

What keeps Spectral from being a total OMG WORSHIP EVERY SINGLE NOTE album are the vocals. This isn’t a shot at Henrik Wenngren, because he’s more than competent, but this about the only area where Spectral becomes cliché. It’s the “death/black metal vocals because that’s how this genre is” feeling; the album is filled with twists and turns and changes of every kind, and then there’s Wenngren and his fairly monotonous vocal delivery. Again, keep in mind that there’s technically nothing wrong with the vocals, although I believe that some great cleans to contrast the shrieks would have put this album over the top as an essential. Let’s just leave it as an acquired taste.

Spectral is one hell of an album in that it shows a band staying true to its roots, yet at the same time forging a style all its own. This is about as innovative as melodic death/power metal gets, and although it won’t change anyone’s opinion on the subgenre, I’ll be damned if it isn’t light years ahead of almost every other album of its kind. Kinda sorta highly recommended!

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