JAMSPHERE - H27 – Dark Skies Filled With Lies – Album Review
H27’s absolute consecration as a high-powered octane rock band, can be certified with the release of their latest 12-track project, “Dark Skies Filled With Lies”. The album, recorded at Cherry Pit Studio by Ryan Kutz, and mastered by Joel Wanasek, shows that a hard rock band can meld art, aggression and melody.
It’s heavy, dramatic and bold, and unfolds with an urgency that is impossible to hold back. The album is heavy on groove while still serving up a healthy dose of bone-crushing rock riffs. It jumps back and forth between sheer ferocity and ear-warming magnificence.
“Dark Skies Filled With Lies” is by far the band’s most complete musical effort, as they throw loads of ideas at the album, honing in on what they already know and making ideas more effective.
The album opens with “Wicked Girl” which quickly frames H27’s intentions. The heavy rhythm section holds down a fat sound, while the guitars create a beautiful soundscape that make the gritty vocals and lyrics that much more emotional. The sinister heaviness surges with “Fighting Time”, before the catchy aggression of “Sinderella” stirs up the dust.
“Deceiver / Cries for Redemption” brings the walls down. The guitars stay brutal, the drumming stays tight, and the vocals stay hard. H27 never come across contrived. They know what they want, and deliver their songs with conviction.
Such is the case with “Coming Home”, which switches between a mellifluous and acoustically driven soundscape, and an explosive, soaring anthem. “Black Widow” is awash with high-octane groove and killer chants. This leads directly to “Severed Anus & The Stuffed Rat” a runaway instrumental with screaming guitars coming at you full force.
“Iron Will” has the core head-banging elements of classic metal and is the perfect lead up to the crushing riffs of “Just a Freak” which keeps the energy going, and adds a catchy singalong chorus just for kicks.
Strangely enough, one of my favorite tracks on the album is the quieter, more nuanced and atmospheric, “10,000 Stones”. It features soulful vocals, thoughtful lyrics, and a superbly executed, stripped back arrangement. This is quickly contrasted by the euphoric bombast of “The Darkest Lie”.
H27 close the album with a full frontal powerhouse track in the form of “Tsunami”, to create a six-minute plus opus of sharp emotional notes and beautifully arranged melodies. It is a dynamic end to the project, which is sure to enthrall listeners.
To say that H27 has cranked it up a few notches since their debut, would be a disservice to just how much Steve Statler (vocals & guitar), Schack (guitars & backing vocals), Bobby Farr (vocals & drums), and Ken Boggs (bass), have shifted things into the stratosphere on “Dark Skies Filled With Lies”. Positively brimming with unwavering zeal and energy, H27 is nothing short of an absolute reinvigoration for the modern hard rock scene.
METAL ADDICTS - H27 – Dark Skies Filled With Lies – Album Review
Can a band actually mix alternative rock with Metal music and still made a very decent album? Can a band mix lots of indistinct influences in an album and still make it work fine? Can a band have at the same an exciting musical production that enriches the sound of all instruments and still sound exciting and not overproduced? Is time travel even possible while listening to a band?
Well, H27 with “Dark Skies Filled With Lies” manage to answer all these question with a big and sound Yup.
At the very beginning “Coming Home” shows a nice guitar strumming that addresses to a truckload of songs recorded in those 50 years of Metal music. Then, suddenly the song has an incredible and unbelievable plot twist to an alternative 1990 rock section. Maybe similar to Nirvana’s “Something in the Way” or any other. Ok, first time I was listening to the album I was still deciding if I would review it or not. I then thought “No way, this is too much!” and I was about to yank the album out of my player when suddenly the song had a change of heart to a hard picking Metal tune. “Ah, much better” was my thought at the time. By that time I was analyzing the odd mix H27 did in the album with some elements of alternative rock with Metal. This song proved me it could get cool enough.
It’s impossible to list all the influences a track as “Severed Anus & The Stuffed Rat” showcases. Aside the aforementioned influences the track many others being a complete tour around Metal music. The album goes by the same feeling. The fan that listens to it all will discover a new influence in each track of the 12 the album delivers. From 1980’s Hard Rock to Thrash Metal “Dark Skies Filled With Lies” offers a great deal of hooks and catchy tunes to enjoy the fan. Though on paper some of the mixes seem not to catch on H27 made its way to make them work out. To my dear fan not say that I made all this up here are some of the bands the press release say influenced H27: Anthrax, Dokken, Dream Theater, Fates Warning, Iron Maiden, Joe Satriani, L.A. Guns, Megadeth, Pantera, Queensrÿche, Sevendust, Slayer. Do you see what I mean?
Though it’s possible to hear clearly all instrumentals and most notably the guitars, there are some passages and moments that they don’t fit, I mean they don’t absuletely glue or stick. “Iron Will” showcases this with flying rainbows. Some guitar riffs and phrases sound out but the way I see it this is exactly what makes “Dark Skies Filled With Lies” very interesting. Maybe the clean production besides giving the sound punch also allowed the guitars to be closely heard and, ergo, made the mistakes – Let’s call them mistakes though I don’t believe they are mistakes – more clear. For some this would be a blasphemy, but I guess, for many metalheads this is only spice to the dough.
Listening to “Dark Skies Filled With Lies” made me travel in time. Most of the songs made me remind other songs from the good old past in an odd way. I mean, it wasn’t exactly the songs, but the sound H27 produced. I consider this good not to say great. Dare I say this is one of the most interesting yet odd albums of the year?
FROM THE DEPTHS ENTERTAINMENT - H27 – Dark Skies Filled With Lies – Album Review
"Dark Skies Filled with Lies" Album Review The opener "Wicked Girl" takes a bit to hit its stride, but once it does, it goes all out in its audio assault. The pacing drives forward with its Hard Rock riffs and highly accessible vocals that are incredibly easy to sing along with. "Fighting Time" brings a one two punch of crunch with it. There's a lot to like with the track as it shifts gears between Hard Rock and Modern Rock in its delivery. "Sinderella" doesn't hold back. The track is incredible in its approach and really lets loose with its riffs and melodies. "Deceiver/Cries for Redemption" continue the path they set before it. The hard and heavy sound is perfect for Hard Rock lovers. The track barrels down its path like a runaway freight train of Hard Rock chaos. "Coming Home" is just waiting to be a live show hit. The track twists and turns with melodies, riffs and tempo perfectly. "Black Widow" has shades of Alice Cooper to it. The slower, methodical, darker tone is the overall theme. The track has a nice crunch and riffage all around to it. "Severed Anus & the Stuffed Rat" is purely instrumental. The track is an awesome showcase and an overall sound and pacing you can just get lost into during its runtime. "Iron Will" picks up the tempo. The high octane sound, soaring melodies and stellar riffs are sure to be a fan favorite in no time. "Just a Freak" features instrumentation during the verses that brings to mind Heart's "Barracuda". The chorus shifts gears and brings with it a more Kiss melodic chorus. "10,000 Stones" is a journey into the deep wilderness of the H27 sound. The Progressive vibes and melodies are slowed down and has more of a ballad feel to it. "The Darkest Lie" cranks in right away with a heavy crunch. The track will induce some serious moshing as well as sing alongs. The track screams single and has a full arena Hard Rock sound to it. "Tsunami" is a six and a half minute closer that sums up everything that H27 have to offer. The hard hitting riffs, melodies and overall talents are on full display and wraps up everything perfectly.
Verdict: H27 conjure up the Hard Rock thunder with their newest album.
ROCK ON MILWAUKEE - H27 – The Road to Nowhere – Album Review
Milwaukee rockers H27 bring thick rhythms and blistering solos in their debut LP, The Road to Nowhere. The foundation of their sound is a deep, heavy rhythm guitar that hits you in your gut, very much in the vein of Metallica or Motorhead. Guitarists Steve Statler and “Schack” also know how to shred, as their screaming solos are the icing on the cake for all 10 tracks on this album. Bassist Ken Boggs gets his spotlight with slow thunderous intro on “Sexploitation”, while drummer Bobby also gets his kicks as the lead vocalist on several tracks.
All of the songs on The Road to Nowhere are very well written. Each track has a little something different on it. The band does not have a lead vocalist, instead those duties are split between Bobby and Statler. Both have distinctive delivery styles. One is smooth and funky, while the other is more metal. Both work, but I think it would be interesting to hear both vocalists share a song and play off each other and create a unified sound, whereas on this record, both vocalists stick to their own tracks.
The album has several standout tracks. “Summer Song” is a fun, upbeat tune, that is exactly the type of song you’d expect with a title like that. “Turn the Lights Off” thrives off its heavy riff, killer solo, and soulful vocals that will instantly provoke images of Lenny Kravitz dancing in your head. “Dead Dreams” and “The Road to Nowhere” are slower tunes that show the bands diversity, the former featuring a little acoustic guitar in the intro, while the latter starts with some piano, both eventually build up into big metal choruses, which really stand out.
H27 has put forth a quality full length album that is sure to please anyone who likes heavy guitars, impressive solos, and prefers a cleaner vocal instead of a traditional metal growl. The lyrics are relatable, the music is headbangable, and the choruses are sing-alongable. What more could you ask for?
FIREWORKS Magazine Issue 85 - H27 – The Road to Nowhere – Album Review & Interview
(Album review excerpt)
From Milwaukee, Wisconsin, we find hard rock quartet H27, who have a very good new ten track CD out now called 'The Road to Nowhere' which runs in at just over forty-five minutes long and is the band’s second release.
The album starts off with the 'The Voice of Reason' that sets the tone for the record, the song is a solid groove rocker with raspy vocals from singer Bobby Farr, coupled with crispy Van Halen influenced guitar riffage from Rob” Schack” Schackmann, it was also the first song written by H27. Singer/drummer Bobby Farr and bassist Ken Boggs hold the groove together, it’s one of those melodic ditties where you can hear all the instruments. 'Tear off Your Face' has a more up-tempo energetic vibe, groove based, catchy with a nice solid funky guitar edge. Next up is the excellent 'Turn the Lights Off', this song has a more alternative hard groove edge, a little heavier, energetic and catchy with a retro vibe. 'Dead Dreams' is very melodic with fine performances from all, maybe a little darker with a slight progressive groove. 'Sexploitation' is where we hear some fine bass work from Ken Boggs. This is meaty song, again groove based with solid musical work throughout and fab vocals from Statler, here he has a slight Stephen Pearcy vocal edge. 'Kick Your Shoes Off' is a fun catchy groove based hard rocker with wicked guitar work from Schackmann. The title track 'The Road to Nowhere' is an atmospheric melodic piano driven ditty that shows off a fine vocal performance from Statler, then before you know it, H27 burst into action with fab Slash like guitar work before settling back into the melodic atmosphere, then kicking back up and down where needed. Statler here sounds a little like Night Ranger's Jack Blades. 'Summer Song' carries the catchy melodic hard rocking, whilst The stomping 'Last Request' is another gutsy hard rocking groove-based ditty, I like this song a lot, and the musical compositions have a slight Dokken/George Lynch feel, lots of complexed guitar work. The album ends with the massively dynamic 'Parallels', which is another of my favourite songs, the whole band are on fire, and Steve has a slight Dave Mustaine edge to his voice, this song has chunk loads of riffage and raspy vocals, a fine groove-based rocker. Overall, 'The Road to Nowhere' is a fine groove based hard rock album, H27 sound tight and the music is vibrant and well performed