Sienna Skies – A Darker Shade of Truth (2016)


Holy shit. Sienna Skies have completely destroyed any misgivings or preconceptions I may have had with this soaring, melodic and brutal album.

I’m shocked. Perhaps I went into this with lower expectations than I should have? Another melodic meh-talcore band blah blah blah. I’ve seen these guys before, ignored their other releases, typical confessions of a music snob story here.

When I hit play on ‘A Darker Shade of Truth’ I thought…just for a moment that i’d accidentally hit ‘We Came As Romans’ or something like that. It was huuuge! And the riffs? Ha! The riffs, oh man..! So I double checked the screen to see that it was in fact Sienna Skies’ tearing me a new one.

This is all within 30 seconds of chucking it on for the drive home after work..and im like.. nah this is too good!

The opener ‘Misunderstood’ is a great way to kick it all off. The fast paced metallic riffing and tough vocals show that they mean business. The chorus is stupidly good, ‘Maybe/Maybe I’ll start a fire/Watch it burn down all of the hatred/standing between us’ and yes.. it’s a catchy one that I haven’t been able to rid my head of yet.

Early comparisons to We Came As Romans and Memphis may Fire prove accurate as the album progresses. The single ‘Divided’ (see video below) is a clear and easy pick for a single with the focus of it being more on the lyrics and melody. I like the theme they’re exploring in this song too. It’s about looking evidence of darkness within ourselves after identifying it in others. Very introspective.

Track #5 ‘There’s No Place Like…’ is a reflective and mature take on the feeling of being alone and showcases some of the best vocal performances on the album. ‘If I cant come home, and I cant be told, where does it leave me in this world alone’ feels like there might be a great story behind this one.

The band swing effortlessly between that hard edged screaming/chugging/riffing delivery and the more accessible (albeit easy on the ears) pop/rock angle. It’s well executed at a compositional level too where a build up peaks at just the right time, a fast passage will break down to a groove but only for bar or two when it quickly returns to tempo. The chord progressions are well thought out and provide a melodic backdrop with high-pitched ambient/post-rock lines that flow really well.

A great example of this song writing is on ‘Quaterlife’ where the band get quite heavy but maintain the connection with the chords and melody. It gets low and djenty but doesn’t linger there too long. If anything it brings to mind ‘Quantum Flux’ from Northlane as another example of this. Just excellent work that will engage audiences to sing back at the band right before jumping off stage.

My favourite track would be #7 ‘Palliative’ which packs punches that compete with In Hearts Wake’s best moments. Simultaneously the heaviest song on the album and most diverse. Love it. Faster and more unrelenting than other cuts from ‘A Darker Shade of Truth’ perhaps the reason it sticks out so much is because there’s so many shades and twists to enjoy. The double kick pummels and the drum fills are furious. The pace and energy alone puts it up there. What a jam!

Overall I am really impressed and I highly recommend getting on this when it drops early December. Pre-orders are up now, the single is doing the rounds, the time is now for Sienna Skies.

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