SIMULACRUM – Sky Divided (2015)
“Sky Divided” is the just released, second album by Finnish progressive metal six-piece SIMULACRUM. The band strongly focuses their lyrics, music videos, artwork (all managed by themselves with premium quality) in just about anything related Sci-Fi: books, movies, music, etc.
A very interesting premise, which works pretty well with the music.
Progressive metal has taken on many shapes and forms over the years. Nowadays, it’s harder to find a band that is just straight up prog metal without any additional sub-genres thrown in.
Finland’s Simulacrum are damn close to straight up prog metal.
The only add very little touches of power (see “Embrace the Animal Within”) and some symphonic metal because they do have some orchestration on tracks like “Behind the Belt of Orion”. But apart from these, “Sky Divided” is traditional Prog Metal.
How good is the music? Right off you notice how well structured the songs are.
Regardless if the songs are shorter like the catchy “Broken” (which comes with a sax solo!) or epic like “A New Beginning,” the transitions are truly flawless. There are plenty of riffs, movements and of course solos. Keyboardist / composer Chrism is a master and guitarists Netri / Solomon are equal to the task of keeping up with him.
The album tells some kind of apocalyptic story, but the focus here is the ‘song format’ and you can enjoy the songs separately.
Musically, Simulacrum are nothing short of incredible. The interplay, the solos, the vocal harmonies are top notch, and I love the way the guys use the keyboards, cleverly arranged and placed.
“Sky Divided” is one of the ‘purest’ Prog Metal albums I heard from a while, and I like it alot: it’s melodic progressive / heavy metallic in equal parts, resulting in a very strong record. Production & mix (also handled by themselves) is shining, crisp.
01 – Timelapse
02 – Behind the Belt of Orion
03 – Broken
04 – Embrace the Animal Within
05 – Deep in the Trenches
06 – The Abomination
07 – Sky Divided
08 – Enter Hyperion
09 – A New Beginning
Niklas Broman – Vocals
Olli Hakala – Bass, Chapman Stick
Chrism – Keyboards, Orchestration
Netri Makila – Guitars
Solomon – Guitars, Bowed Arp
Henri Kallio – Drums, Percussion
Max Zenger – guest Sax solo
BUY IT !