To A Skylark

To A Skylark

Written by: TL on 04/04/2009 13:05:13

Named after a famous poem by the classical British romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, To A Skylark is an Italian attempt at a good psychedelic progressive metal band. Now I know that especially PP has been quick to belittle the majority of the Italian efforts that gets sent for us to review, so I want to quickly negate the prejudice here by saying that there's no trace of the usual amateurism on this particular record. The production here is flawless and both instrumentation, vocals and linguistics are in order, so essentially there's no quick excuse to cast the album aside, rather it is worthy of a fair evaluation of the actual music.

So what does it sound like then? Well the first band that comes to mind when I'm listening to the album is definitely Tool. The guitar sound is very similar, as is the steadily intensifying machine-like grinding of the sound. However To A Skylark are obviously somewhat more metal than Tool, signified mainly by drum- and vocal work that would hardly be found on a Tool record. The pedals aren't being spared here, that's for sure, and while singer Alessandro Tosatto sounds a bit like Maynard in his clean parts, he also employs a range of deep growls and harsh barks of the kind that would seem more at home on a record by The Ocean than on one by Tool. In fact, The Ocean are a great point of reference too, as the heavier parts here also hint towards the monolithic post-hardcore that is the trademark of that band. Apart from that, the band themselves list names like Pink Floyd, Isis and Opeth as influences, and while I'm no expert on any of those, it's fair to say that comparisons to them are also justified.

Then the question simply becomes; What does this album, sounding like this, amount to in terms of quality? The answer for my part is unfortunately: Not as much as one could hope. I've had this cd on as a soundtrack to whatever I've been doing around my apartment for the past 4-5 days now, going through it once or twice a day, and while some may claim that this is too little for progressive metal to really take root, in this line of work that's a lot of listening time. In any case the fact remains that while "To A Skylark" has been setting an interesting mood between the walls of my home, there have been few things on it that have really impressed me. It's the kind of record I'll put on and enjoy without remembering much of it when it's over, except for a few of the mellower parts in songs like "Icarus' Redemption" and "The Lotus", where especially the clean vocals are used with a nice effect.

My end verdict remains the same however, because in its entirety this record seems more to me like a very solid atmospheric piece than the captivating journey into sound that I suppose is the ideal of progressive stuff like this. It's a good and interesting listen, especially if one is usually inclined towards the genre, but it is hardly exhilarating or mindblowing in any way. Hence a grade only conservatively on the upside of medium.


Download: Icarus' Redemption, The Lotus,
For The Fans Of: Tool, The Ocean, Isis, Opeth,

Release Date: 03.04.2009
WormHoleDeath / Aural Music - SPV

Related Items | How we score?
comments powered by Disqus


© Copyright MMXXI