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Hornet - 'Skies Are Falling' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     December 12, 2013    
 
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A talented band that combine metal with, arguably, some more listenable elements.

Endearing, isn't it, when you hear an album has been financed via fan donations? Here, it's the Pledge Music campaign. Sometimes this results in a less-than-average album, either due to rushed production or simply not enough funds. With Hornet's album, it's a mediocre mix.

'Skies Are Falling' packs a punch of metal with a lighter twist in the backing vocals. Joe Thompson's vocals are gutsy and full-bodied, providing a great counterbalance to a sometimes surprisingly treble guitar section. 'Down To The Bone' hisses and growls though at times the rhythm section could be doing more; without the vocals it often feels lonely. 'Second Hand Smore' gives the bass a leading role but the sound, though powerful and tight, remains too thin, as if something is missing, which can be awfully distracting. Though it thickens out on the chorus, it becomes one of those purely ceaseless thrashing tracks. 'State of Emergency' lets you in for another lengthy solo from guitarist Tollef Rikje-Pearson but the fast rhythm will carry you through without too many problems.

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There's an element of punk here too, which makes this band more modern and unique than some of their metal compatriots. 'Under Pressure' slides in a melodic chorus fittingly, illustrating Hornet's writing talent. Though, like several tracks, it fails to capture the listener throughout. 'Bite Down' is aggressive but fails to be anarchistic in its safe structure while 'I'm Gonna Be The Man' will appeal to the more metal-headed fans while still maintaining Hornet's punk modernism.

The closing four are faster, more furious and would have been better at the beginning. Nevertheless, the raw and racy 'Sweet Lips' lets loose some of the band's live dynamism. 'Rock'n'Roll Riot' is short but it sure isn't a bad minute and half, if a little unguided in places. 'Storm the Gates' does well to harness this band's various strands of sound into a closing track. Thompson's voice doesn't suit the low pitch as much as you might think but the element of serenity shows off a band confident in their sound as they rip into a more characteristic chorus.

Not a bad album by a talented band that combine metal with, arguably, some more listenable elements.

JJ Lee

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