Tuesday 6 October 2015

SKYTHEN - Silverowls (EP Review)

Release date: October 16th 2015. Label: Self Released. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

Silverowls – Tracklisting

1. Silverowls
2. Anthems
3. The Saint
4. Eclipse
5. Wolvesrun
6. It's Alright
7. Bonus Track

Band Members:

Benjamin Kapidzic - guitars / vocals
Frederic Twisterling - bass / vocals
Jakob Ehmke - drums


Skythen are a band I’ve been hearing a lot about recently. Mainly from my good pal Mona of High Fighter fame. Skythen’s lead singer/guitarist Benjamin recorded High Fighter’s debut EP – The Goat Ritual - last year over a single weekend. I’ve had their debut EP – Silverowls - for a while and I’m happy to report it’s a blistering Stoner Metal debut that will definitely find an audience within the Stoner Metal scene. Silverowls features 7 tracks of Heavy Doom based Stoner Metal with a twisted dark edge. The production is loud and crisp as the tone of the EP is mainly about aggression and rebellion as Skythen don’t mess about with their music.

Opening track – Silverowls – comes straight at you with the band getting straight down to business with fast-paced riffs with a punk/thrash violent energy. The vocals veer from clean based vocals to the more chaotic hardcore based. It can be slightly jarring at times but at least Skythen have written impressive Stoner Metal riff towards the end of the song.

Second track – Anthems – brings the HEAVY in a very loud way with dual hardcore based vocals as Skythen cross the line between Hardcore, Stoner Metal and Doom Metal for one of the EP’s loudest tracks. The lyrical content is bleak and dark as Skythen pummel your senses into submission.

Third track –The Saint – sees Skythen offer more of the same violent doom and gloom stoner based atmospherics as the riffs come thick and fast. Skythen even add a Thrash/Groove Metal vibe which adds an air of menace to their sound.

Fourth track – Eclipse – is pure Thrash Metal fury with the band unleashing untold anger and aggression upon to the listener. There are still traces of Stoner Metal here and there but it’s buried under a ton of heavy fast paced Thrash Metal riffs. It can be quite psychedelic at times with the band in more reflective mood. This is perhaps the best song on the EP.

Fifth Track – Wolvesrun – sees Skythen return to Hardcore/Stoner Metal territory as they play through one of fastest songs on the EP. The song only lasts 2:30 mins or so but it’s the vocals that keep you intrigued rather than the music. As the vocals have a haunting edge to them that I didn’t expect at all.

Sixth Track – It’s Alright – is perhaps my least favourite song on the EP. Even though it’s got plenty of Stoner Metal riffage for you to enjoy. It’s not as exciting as the other songs on the EP. I would have left this song out from the final version of the EP. But that’s just me. What do I know!!!

The final track is an excellent cover of Metallica cover – Motorbreath. It’s what you expect it to be - a great interpretation of a classic song given a Stoner Metal makeover. Skythen made a wise choice in covering this song as it shows they’re having fun with their music.

Silverowls is a stunning debut EP that shows that Skythen are a band worth keeping an eye on in the future. Bring on the debut full length record. Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Thanks to Mona for the promo. Silverowls will be available to buy on CD/DD on October 16th 2015.

Words by Steve Howe