Sky Church

Urge of the Human Device

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

In 1996, Philippine heavy metal band Sky Church released its debut album, Urge of the Human Device. The music of Sky Church is tight and menacing, and characterized by fast, brutal guitar played in a precise, on-the-edge manner. The band displays such influences as metal band Pantera, as well as death metal band Cannibal Corpse and thrash metal band Slayer. Also evident is the influence of Metallica, particularly in the days before that band's mid-'90s crossover into mainstream rock appeal. Sky Church is comprised of three brothers who play guitar, bass, and drums. The bassist, Russell Dela Cruz, also performs vocals, which are patterned upon the snarling, growl-throated vocals of Pantera. The songwriting, such as it is, is co-written by the three brothers. The opening, "Kamao" (Muscle), starts on a high-speed guitar riff which leads to the strident vocals of Russell Dela Cruz. The guitar changes speed and direction several times, and also heard are languidly played heavy metal chords. The drums are vital, and keep a fast, taut backbeat. There is much synergy exhibited between the drums, guitar, and bass. There isn't much melody in the songs, which consist mostly of relentless ranting on a one-note theme, weaving in and around the menacing guitar and drum work. A touch of melody, however, appears in the closing song, "Agony." The songs' lyrics are angst-ridden, although some hope is expressed as well. Nonetheless, the relentless barrage of anger and menacing guitar can be too much for a listener to take. This music is for a small minority of listeners.

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