Skywalker – ‘Late Eternity’

By Dave Stewart

Czech metalcore heavyweights Skywalker have been sat atop brand new music, patiently waiting for the right moment to unveil it to the world. Four long years after the release of their EP ‘Sugar Horse’ and an even longer seven years since their last full length ‘Liberty Island’, the time has finally come for them to pull back the curtain and reveal brand new album ‘Late Eternity’. A very aptly named record, for sure, but has it been worth the wait? Absolutely.

The metal side of their sound has never sounded so weighty. The powerful ’No Leader’ introduces you to the record with bouncy drums, insatiable riffs and an impassioned vocal performance from front man Jay Kucera, beautifully balanced with crushing heaviness and venue-filling melodic bliss. ‘Precious’ is another potent dose of the same, boasting dreamy pop-tinged verses that merge surprisingly well with the darker riffs of guitarist and bassist duo David Machalicky and Tom Rothschild surrounding them.

The title track is one of the heaviest songs on offer, ripping through furious blast beats courtesy of drummer Damian Kucera that enhance the aural onslaught, only momentarily relieved by the epic chorus. There’s also the colossal ‘Sand God’ that features a beast-like guest vocal spot from Our Hollow Our Home’s Connor Hallisey, the groove-ridden ‘Cape Fear’, and the menacing metalcore stylings of ‘Away’ – but there’s so much more to this record than the heaviness.

The more melodic and lighter side of this record is addictive – the stunning ‘Justify Me’ being a prime example of this, as every note urges your hairs to stand on end, especially those performed by former Alazka vocalist Kassim Auale. ‘Setting Stone’ is sprinkled with the same energy, with soaring verses, biting choruses, and yet another well placed guest spot from Landmvrks front man Florent Salfati.

The whole record flows in and out of both sides of their sound perfectly. From the gigantic riffs of ‘Ignis’, the moving and serene ‘Through You’, the bitter yet beautiful ‘Charon’s Song’, to the hardcore-infused album closer ‘Every Grief’, each moment comes together to deliver one hell of a strong punch, and you’ll have no issues with being on the receiving end of it.

Where ‘Sugar Horse’ saw them tap into their sound, ‘Late Eternity’ sees Skywalker completely tuned into it. Honest and stirring lyrics delivered with both venom and heart, balanced guitar work that switches from pummelling to soothing with ease, tasteful drumming that always serves the song exactly what it requires – this is the sound of a band that have figured out what works, what they’re best at and know how to use everything at their disposal to its absolute best capability.

This is without a doubt the most professional and accomplished record of their career. If you’re a fan of Stick To Your Guns, The Plot In You, In Hearts Wake and A Day To Remember, this, and the rest of their discography, will be right up your street. A bold and beautiful return from a band operating at their absolute best.

DAVE STEWART

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