Album: A Billion Years Of Solitude
Review: Jason Spencer
Thoughts: I'd be the first one to admit that I wasn't a big fan of Sky Architect. Originally, I was excited about them simply because of their style (on paper), their art, and, heck, even their supremely awesome name. However, when I heard Excavations Of The Mind (2010) and A Dying Man's Hymn (2011) (dang, what is with their amazing naming ability), something ultimately fell flat for me. Well, that is no more. A Billion Years Of Solitude (2013) has finally given me what I always wanted in Sky Architect's sound.
This band is generally very rock-based in their sound. They are definitely like a cross between Porcupine Tree, Pink Floyd, and other 70's prog. That's the last I will mention other groups, however, as Sky Architect has their own sound. It is richly rocky, spiritually personal, and, with this new release, I can add wonderfully spacey. Yes, I think that's what I was missing in their first two releases: a fleshed-out space rock vibe. In A Billion Years Of Solitude (2013), the band gives us an amazing ethereal vibe involving everything from synth to horns and wine glasses (yes, you read that correctly). This personality is fresh and inspiring, and it joins Tom Luchies' vocals as being an emotional focal point of the band.
The musicians are all noteworthy in their chops ability, certainly. What impresses me the most, however, is the unity of the group. Their sound is very cooperative. Sure, there are plenty of guitar and keyboard solos, but the band is ever behind them to the point where it doesn't seem like showboating. So, this core sound is an awesome foundation for the surreal and celestially somber emotional content that this album brings. This sense of drifting, ever drifting, in the vacuum of space is palpable throughout the album. It leaves quite an impression.
I think there are some obvious favorite tracks here. The opening epic, 'The Curious One' is soaked in high-tuned guitar work and funky space vibes. 'Elegy Of A Solitary Giant' features an amazingly eccentric groove mixed with beautiful piano and sorrowful horns. Lastly, the best song on the album is 'Traveller's Last Candle'. This epic set piece is structured so well with its rocky vibe that gives way to mournful keyboard interludes. It's truly outstanding, and probably one of the best tracks from 2013.
Sky Architect has made another fan. This album is awesome in every sense. I love the personality that the band has injected into A Billion Years Of Solitude (2013), and the emotion content here has also perked my ears. If you are a prog fan, you need to hear this album.
The band was included in our Podcast #33 and you can listen the song 'Wormholes' HERE.