Red Skies, Iron Sun (2015) Album Review



Artist Red Skies Album Iron Sun Release Date: 13 October 2015
Label Independent Genre Progressive Metalcore

The debut album from Red Skies is Iron Sun, and from start to finish it’s a punishing blow to the head. When all’s said and done, you’ll want more heavy exultation.

But beyond the exploding ordinance of bass, the heavy guitars, the varied use of synth, and more is a masterful mix of genres that Red Skies has managed to blend seamlessly. Included in their repertoire seems to be hardcore, djent, industrial metal, groove metal, metalcore, deathcore, and tech death. Did I leave anything out?

Order Iron Sun here.

The intro track, “Permian Era,” with its sci-fi feel and destitute narration, might have you thinking that you’ve put on a Fear Factory album. That feeling is echoed a few more times on the album. Near the end of the intro, however, the outerspace aspect gives way to some djent influence, which is then carried over, full-throttle, into “New Voice,” which does feature some clean vocals that are, yet again, similar to Fear Factory.

I should clarify that other than several stylistic nods to Fear Factory and/or the genre, Red Skies is very different.

The third and longest track, “Rough Sleepers,” seems to touch on every genre that influences Red Skies. The hardness of this track is book ended by a near lullaby melody, played with different instruments, and the piano at the back end is a definite and pleasurable surprise, changing tone and expectations for the rest of the album.

Hemlock might be the most metalcore/djent track on album, and the lyrics are a bit adolescent in their interpretation of how the world works.

But it’s “Sonder” that really offers a chance to breathe at the album’s midpoint. Once again, we’re treated to some piano work, which is accompanied by clean vocals, some horns, clean guitar work, and choir work (real or not). But by song’s end some synthy guitars come into play, which are carried over into the next track, “Concept Citizen.”


Now, if Red Skies is a band that doesn’t typically do that stupid metalcore jump thing (oh, wait, they do the jump thing as seen in the video above… Damn it!), “Concept Citizen” is the song that you can see them doing it in your head. As an ardent hater of metalcore based on principle, I’m not a fan of this track, especially with the weird bass bomb that happens. However, there is a decent guitar solo in it, and funnily enough I actually hear a bit of Eddie Van Halen in it… I’m pretty sure he’s not making a guest appearance on Iron Sun.

There are three other tracks for you to discover on the album, but rest assured that these offer the same, if not more, intensity than the tracks that preceded them.

The Verdict:

As mentioned, I’m not a metalcore fan, but Red Skies have managed to take the genre to the next level by incorporating other elements from heavy metal to make it enjoyable. What’s more, they dropped a lot of the metalcore tropes that absolutely suck, which means that Iron Sun doesn’t… even if “man-buns” and hipsters do.

Rock Hard \m/

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