Thy Bleeding Skies
Chapters of Downfall

They Bleeding Skies is a new band formed by Claudio A. Enzler of My Darkest Hate/Sacrificium and JJ Kontoniemi of Icon Clan and Chapters of Downfall is their debut offering. Melodic death metal in the vain of Amon Amarth is the order of the day here, and they do it pretty well.

Thy Bleeding Skies utilize a mostly slower pace throughout the disc that helps to give them a bit of a doom laden feel alongside sullen melodies that are ever present. Vocally, Enzler mostly stays with a low, grizzly register reminiscent of Johan Hegg (which is only part of the Amon Amarth vibe), but occasionally touches upon raspier, near black metal territory and in two songs (“Slumber” and “Where Life Shall Grow”), uses a very somber, clean delivery that works to great extent in adding to the generally doomy vibe.

At just a mere eight tracks, you’d think Chapters of Downfall would just breeze by, but that’s simply not the case, as three of these tunes clock in over seven minutes, and one more just shy of that mark. Despite the longer songs, the album kicks off with shortest and most aggressive track, “At the Edge”. The only truly up-tempo song on the album, it reminds me somewhat of more recent Kataklysm with its chunky, crushing groove and just a bit of melody laid over the top. A slightly misleading opener, as things slow down from here.

“Curveball” probably wasn’t the best follow up track, as it’s seven plus minute running time seems to drag on and never really goes anywhere. It’s a bit too repetitious, and is the only time that I feel truly bored with the album. “Thy Bleeding Skies” is where the Amon Amarth comparison really kicks in – it’s got an almost epic feel to the gloomy melodies, and is a standout track. “Burning Angels” starts with some thick groove, then shifts gears into the sulky melody of the two previous tracks before giving way to buzzsaw riffing, stern double bass and back again. “Die Ideale” has some more of the epic feel that I spoke of prior, particularly in the fantastic solo work.

The last two tracks, “Slumber” and “Where Life Shall Grow”, are perhaps the two best on Chapters of Downfall. Both are chock full of feeling and feature some great soloing. The former song really raises the bar when the first clean vocals of the album appear – they just take the song and the album to a whole new headspace. The latter is more of the same really, maybe with a slightly quicker step however. The clean vocals dominate most of the track, but alternate with the growls to great effect.

The promo sheet accompanying the album states that Thy Bleeding Skies is musically influenced by Edge of Sanity, Hypocrisy, Katatonia and Entombed – while I certainly do not hear the Entombed and I’m not familiar with much of Katatonia’s work, the first two seem to be valid reference points, though I still think the closest comparison is a doom inspired Amon Amarth and think their fans would also find something to chew on here. Chapters of Downfall is a fine debut that I’m sure I’ll revisit a few more times this summer from a band that I’ll be keeping an eye on in the future.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
June 21st, 2008

Comments

  1. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    I got a heavy Insomnium vibe from this


  2. Commented by: Staylow

    I’m not super familiar with Insomnium, but from what I remember of them, that doesn’t seem to be too far off base ( but Im’ fucking drunker than a hundred indians right now, so mabe Im making stuff up). They’re stuff isn’t super crazy or anything, but definately depressing and mellow. Similar me thinks.


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