H27’s absolute consecration as a high-powered octane rock band, can be certified with the release of their latest 12-track project, “Dark Skies Filled With Lies”. The album, recorded at Cherry Pit Studio by Ryan Kutz, and mastered by Joel Wanasek, shows that a hard rock band can meld art, aggression and melody.
It’s heavy, dramatic and bold, and unfolds with an urgency that is impossible to hold back. The album is heavy on groove while still serving up a healthy dose of bone-crushing rock riffs. It jumps back and forth between sheer ferocity and ear-warming magnificence.
“Dark Skies Filled With Lies” is by far the band’s most complete musical effort, as they throw loads of ideas at the album, honing in on what they already know and making ideas more effective.
The album opens with “Wicked Girl” which quickly frames H27’s intentions. The heavy rhythm section holds down a fat sound, while the guitars create a beautiful soundscape that make the gritty vocals and lyrics that much more emotional. The sinister heaviness surges with “Fighting Time”, before the catchy aggression of “Sinderella” stirs up the dust.
“Deceiver / Cries for Redemption” brings the walls down. The guitars stay brutal, the drumming stays tight, and the vocals stay hard. H27 never come across contrived. They know what they want, and deliver their songs with conviction.
Such is the case with “Coming Home”, which switches between a mellifluous and acoustically driven soundscape, and an explosive, soaring anthem. “Black Widow” is awash with high-octane groove and killer chants. This leads directly to “Severed Anus & The Stuffed Rat” a runaway instrumental with screaming guitars coming at you full force.
“Iron Will” has the core head-banging elements of classic metal and is the perfect lead up to the crushing riffs of “Just a Freak” which keeps the energy going, and adds a catchy singalong chorus just for kicks.
Strangely enough, one of my favorite tracks on the album is the quieter, more nuanced and atmospheric, “10,000 Stones”. It features soulful vocals, thoughtful lyrics, and a superbly executed, stripped back arrangement. This is quickly contrasted by the euphoric bombast of “The Darkest Lie”.