Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Black Skies - On The Wings Of Time

Review by Natalie Zina Walschots. Originally published here by Exclaim.

Cover photo by Timothy Herzog

Black Skies have been active since 2005 and are based in Chapel Hill, NC. They're a hybrid band that are somewhat difficult to categorize. The music they play is a bit like metal and a bit punk-ish garage rock, in terms of their technique. The core of their sound though, the guiding principle in the songs' progression and structure, is a heavy, psychedelic take on the blues.

There's a sense of urgency in the rhythms, a relentless forward momentum that feels like falling, the gallop of uncontrolled emotions. Tim Herzog's drumming has a spontaneous quality that nonetheless projects a powerful, brooding quality. Bassist Michele Temple and guitarist Kevin Clark share vocal duties, almost duelling with their voices in shouting, aggressive counterpoint. Their sound can be surprisingly clean, with relatively light distortion for a group with sludgy influences.

Even at their most intense, On the Wings of Time shies away from that full-on buzz-saw tone, letting a little light in, like sun filtered through a broken green bottle. This is dark and hypnotic, torqued and tilted, but with just enough clarity to see through if you squint.


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