Black Skies


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At six songs a quick blast and then some, Hexagon gives Black Skies a chance to demonstrate that they know their metal well even if they don't have an immediately individual stamp to show -- if anything, they have the kind of pre-thrash dramatics familiar from acts like Black Sabbath and Meddle-era Pink Floyd down pat without sounding like a revival act as such, thanks to lead vocalist Kevin Clark's cracked but not raspy or Cookie Monster-styled vocals. Nothing ever explodes into hyperspeed rampage, aiming instead for controlled crunch and swagger, the latter perhaps most readily heard on the swinging "Nomad." Veering toward dramatic, slow-and-steady sludge on the opening "The Quiet Before the Storm," then immediately powering up on the speed front for "Smoke & Mirrors," Hexagon is a good enough signpost for the band's future.

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