Artist: Sky Pig
Album: It Thrives In Darkness
Label: Forbidden Place Records
Release Date: 07/10/2022
Location: Sacramento, California
Sky Pig are one of those bands that do their best work in the spaces that lie between clearly defined genres, a fact that they have proven yet again with their upcoming album It Thrives In Darkness.
Existing fans will find plenty of elements that they loved about the band’s previous album on full display. However, they will also find a number of new elements and influences. One element that immediately stood out to me was the Conan inspired tinge that had been brought into the fold. You’ll primarily notice this in the vocals, but instrumentally some of that charging heavy groove can also be detected.
As can be expected with a Sky Pig release, each track is different to the last and draws upon different inspirations and elements. While the opener is a more straight-forward sludge/doom track, the second song on the album begins to break into new territories. The song features segments of extremely well implement minimalism and at times even silence for dramatic effect. You’ll also find psyched out spacey instrumental segments amongst the heaviness that break the song up perfectly.
Track 3 takes us back down a more traditional doom/sludge path but then track 4 comes along to mix things up again. You’ll find some post-metal/sludge stylings here that are reminiscent of bands such as Neurosis or Isis. These are both in the instrumental work and the vocals on this particular song.
Track 5 is where the band give us a haunting and highly atmospheric track that presents as a slow burn but with plenty of impactful moments. The selective use of harsher and heavier elements among the more post-metal type segments makes them that much more impactful. The clean, semi faded and echoed clean vocals used throughout the track really help to develop that haunting atmosphere. Overall, I think this is my favourite track on the album, it just really sucks you in as a listener with its twists and turns, as well as its spacey elements.
Lastly, but definitely not least we have the album’s title track which happens to be an almost 10-minute epic to close out the album. This is probably the slowest track on the album as far as development speed. It takes its time to slowly build atmosphere until it rises into rousing crescendo’s before falling back again to more relaxed, psych influenced atmosphere. It picks up again, bringing in some seriously bluesy riffs to close out both the track and the album.
Overall, I see this as a solid follow up to the band’s debut and I believe that many out there will connect with their new direction. Anyone who happens to be a fan of fuzzy, heavy music should find plenty to love there and those who enjoy post-metal will also find a number of appealing elements. I look forward to seeing what the band do next and I’m sure that whichever direction they go in, they will perform it expertly.