Thy Bleeding Skies - Chapters Of Downfall
Dark Balance
8 songs (45:37)
Release year: 2008
Thy Bleeding Skies, Dark Balance
Reviewed by Goat

Although in many ways the European Melodeath scene is saturated to the point of bursting, there are a surprisingly large number of quality bands hidden amongst the dross. Thy Bleeding Skies is a Finnish/German project formed by members of My Darkest Hate, Icon Clan and others, and plays a form of Melodeath that isn’t afraid to experiment a little, adding elements of not just the usual Thrash, but also quite a ladleful of Doom. Vocalist Claudio’s growl is deep, dark, and positively made for belching out hatred, meaning that it sometimes feels slightly out of place but overall enhances the atmosphere immeasurably.

Opening song At The Edge starts with a speedy, almost Lamb Of Godish intro section, Thrashy, with powerful drums and backing riffs before opening up into a more typical sound, melodic weaves carrying the song to its conclusion. If you found In Flames’ last album more than a little lacking in the heaviness factor then you’ll love this – it’s nothing that a thousand other bands haven’t done, but there’s not a step wrong. Curveball follows, with pretty much more of the same stretched to a seven-minute song, plenty of solos and a catchy (growled) chorus making it another great track.

There are more than a few epic moments, the likes of Thy Bleeding Skies reminiscent of Amon Amarth and sure to cause moshpit casualties without relying on Metalcore clichés. Burning Angels takes a slightly groovier path, Die Ideale a Thrashier one, but they can seem rather repetitive, especially if you’ve been listening a while. Throughout the listen it sometimes feels as if certain song sections have been recycled, as there is a bit too much similarity around the mid-section of the album. Insomnia sounds as if things will change but soon devolves into the same old same old, a whispered section towards the end trying hard to save it and failing. It’s the final track Where Life Shall Grow that makes amends, however, using clean vocals and feeling almost like a different band at times.

Worth noting is that the aforementioned repetitiousness is more about how it feels than actual reused riffs – all the playing on the album is excellent, and there’s a truckload of great riffs and leads. If, like me, you try not to listen to a lot of Melodeath so you can appreciate the better bands then Thy Bleeding Skies will be worth a try, but if it makes up the larger part of your playlist then Chapters Of Downfall may well be a little too familiar. Either way, there’s certainly enough of promise here to make the band’s second album worth investigating when it arrives.

Killing Songs :
At The Edge, Curveball, Thy Bleeding Skies, Where Life Shall Grow
Goat quoted 70 / 100
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