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I have a great bias regarding this band in every instance because I always compare the other albums to its debut. Let me just put that out in the open so you'll understand from where this review comes from. When I first heard the first album, I was nothing less than astonished. Despite the modest mixing and "too" experimental parts (like the female vocals, completely unnecessary), it still a work that many tech/prog death should look up to. It had insane tempo shifts and breaks, amazing dissonance and awesome instrumentals overall.
In the following albums, such uniqueness has been lost, but of all the others, this one has the subtler difference (even though it's quite different still - I mean, there's a 7 year hiatus since its last release). First of all, there was quite a step up in the mixing department. Every instrument is clear as day and sounds awesome. And that is vital for a tech/prog death band. The only issue I have is that the kickdrums are way too sharp, there's barely any weight in it. I know it's normal in tech/prog death bands, but I particularly don't like it.
Second, it is waaay less unique. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's still has that Gory Blister air to it, and I'd say it's in this album that they defined their predominant style. But, then again, I cannot avoid comparing to the first album. The insanely progressive parts are gone, even though there are plenty good tempo breaks and instrumental variability. They definitely tuned down the awesome schizophrenic playing, which also means the experimental parts. There are still some rare random clean vocals and 'bridge tracks' with synthesized background music and autotuned voices, but you barely notice them in the endgame. But you don't see sudden breaks to opera chicks singing anymore, which although I didn't like, was an awesome symbol of the courage to try new things. And that is what is lost in this album, that uniqueness in fearless experimentation. A great tech/death album indeed, like many of its successors, but still falls short in the shadow of the band's former self.
Lastly, a comment on the Death cover. It's actually good, even though not that memorable. The thing is, it suffers from the same problem the entire album does: great track, had the band's air instead of a copypasta and all... but falls short in comparison to its original. I mean, it's ok, it's Death we're talking about, but still I think that it is a great representation of the album as a whole in that fear of going beyond. Oh yeah, and the vocals are a bit too low in this track.
Summing up, it's honestly a great tech/prog death album, you should listen to it. But if you know the band previous work, don't expect something too similar. And if you don't, give it a try.
Adventurous progressive death metal outfit Gory Blister are an Italian act with apparently only one thing in mind: rewrite old Death albums with even more complexity, hooks, and melody, and manage to come out considerably original in the face of the main influence bleeding into the music. However, this singular vision comes across extremely well, and the influence loses nothing over its own translation, creating the extremely rich and complex sound of Skymorphosis (which is the band's first full-length CD in 6 whole years!). Comprised of 13 "real" tracks (the tracks that go with the loose concept of the CD, which is to be discussed later in the review) and one cover (of, you guessed it...Death!), the CD wastes no time and begins with the usual intro track before launching into start-stop-grind moments of technical frenzy and interesting catchy harmonies. Of note is track 7, "I Shall Hang Myself", which is, if I recall correctly, the Blister's longest song to date, with a mature and superior compositional style (despite their terrible band name that doesn't fit the music, as well as the sometimes mind-numbing song titles such as this one, the band is unflinchingly mature in everything it does) that keeps it interesting throughout its 6 minute length. The concept seems to have to do with equal parts space and inner/psychological trouble. With these themes quite unexplored in modern metal, Gory Blister is moving on their own path towards metallic perfection.
(originally written for RateYourMusic.com)