Of all the countries in the world, Australia has a heavy music scene to be proud of and cherished. From the Parkway Drive and Northlane all the way through to The Amity Affliction and Buried In Verona, the country is constantly churning out new exciting acts for the rest of the globe to get their teeth into. Now after years of build up, touring, tweaking and moshing, Melbourne’s Storm The Sky are set to finally release their full length debut and try and continue to make their country proud. No pressure then.
In terms of concepts ‘Permanence’ bases itself around the idea of why we are here and what purpose we have in this life. A heavy, thought-provoking subject that, if done well, can install some real feeling and make for some interesting music. At times though it feels as though the band are almost dumbing down, hiding these strong emotions and insights they have behind a dull post-hardcore veil. Opener ‘Alive’ does little to invoke the intended passion as it’s plodding riff and electronics already feel dated. Things do start to pick up though, as unhinged spluttering and monstrous mosh calls lace their way over ‘Same Graves’ and ‘Sheltered’ and bring the band back to life and a guest appearance from Memphis May Fire’s Matty Mullins on ‘Portraits’ compliments the band’s chosen rapport perfectly.
By the latter half of the record though, the band really starts to shine through. ‘If I Go’ slows things down to a delicately vulnerable pace where a mix of shaky vocals and ambient strings make for a beautifully layered track while ‘Only One’ with it’s dual vocal battle and soaring guitars demonstrate the band’s ear for heartbroken pop sensibility. As a whole Storm The Sky seem to bash out the softer tracks better than their heavier offerings. As closer ‘Red Letter’ brings everything to a blistering point with a whirlwind of sentiment and leaves plenty to mull over, the band pose quite a conundrum. Maybe it’s a sign of the times where every shape and form of breakdown and mosh part has been tried and battered into the ground, but there is a strong feeling that Storm The Sky could blow off some of their post-hardcore baggage and conjure up something that hasn’t been heard before. Based on some of the songwriting displayed here the potential is there, but is it really being used in the best way?
Regardless of everything, ‘Permanence’ is a perfectly acceptable display of modern day post-hardcore, even if it as a whole it all comes off a bit one-dimensional. Below the pristine production, at time it feels as though the band are holding back on what they are truly capable of for the sake of conforming to what is fashionable within the scene, leaving them at just being “ok.” No doubt it will tickle the fancy of many a mosh ready listener, but there are unique and interesting ideas hiding below the cookie cutter breakdowns and “shouty bits”, and if Storm The Sky can hone in on these in the future they could be onto something bigger than just post-hardcore.
’Permenence’ by Storm The Sky is out now on UNFD.
Words by Jack Rogers (@JackMRog)