Timeless Departure

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The melodic death metal of Skyfire's 2001 debut, Timeless Departure, is perhaps driven more by keyboards than any other effort in the Scandinavian metal genre. Guitarists Andreas Edlund and Martin Hanner both pull double duty on synth. Each of the record's eight tracks is dripping with textural and melodic keyboard washes that at times can detract from the group's interesting but unwieldy material. With its "classically influenced" sound, Skyfire tries to attain a sense of drama through complex arrangements and thickly layered instrumentations. The resulting noise is much less than the sum of its many parts, as some nice compositions and performances spin out in a kind of sonic wind tunnel. The full-tilt black metal screeching of vocalist Henrik Wenngren adds an interesting effect, but ultimately does little to straighten out so much musical confusion. The members of Skyfire deserve credit for their musical abilities, but they miss the mark on Timeless Departure.

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