Review: The Sky Is – Télépathie
Written by Gary Hernandez
The Sky Is is an instrumental stoner metal band hailing from Warsaw, Poland. They have two releases to their credit—a self-titled EP from 2012 and Télépathie, an EP released in April 2017. So with five years between albums, how has this band grown?
From 2012 to 2017 the band has become heavier and more insistence in their musical exploration. Where their first EP came across as melodious and jazzy, Télépathie is driven and dark. From the intro wave of drums of ‘Entangled’ to the crushing crescendo of ‘Artica,’ Télépathie conveys an urgency and energy that wasn’t as apparent in their earlier work.
The growth could be down to Maximilian Herbst (guitar) and Robert Pelka (guitar) enhancing their collaboration. It could come from the introduction of two new members: Rafal Szmidt (bass) and Jacek Laziuk (drums). The new studio and producer may have also made a difference, though I should say the production values of their first EP are just as strong as the second—that is, both are excellent. Or it could be the general influence of life, the universe and everything on the band members. Any way you look at it, the results are clear: While their first EP was good, Télépathie is superior in many ways.
An observation: Without lyrical signposts to provide direction as to the intent of the music, instrumentals compel fans to listen more closely to the nuances of the music itself and to make up their own mind as to the meaning. In a way, lyrics trap people into a dependency on authorial intent. That is, they rely on the lyrics to tell them what the song is about. Sure there are exceptions—language and meaning is a very inexact science, after all—but for the most, when we hear ‘War Pigs’ we kind of get that Geezer was critical of war. My point is that instrumental music puts the responsibility of interpretation on the listener. For some people it is a gift; for others a curse. Allow me to share my curse with you.
Télépathie explores life’s struggle with societal entanglements and invasive cultural expectations (‘Entangled’ and ‘Kudzu’); finding one’s own way through the vastness of choice and consequence (‘Currents’ and ‘Depths’); and finally arriving at a cold reality of unexplored possibility and danger (‘Arctica’).
Now, I could take you through a chord-by-chord review of Télépathie and show you exactly how I arrived at my conclusion—citing progression, time signatures, and harmonic scales—or you could just buy the album and make up your own mind. I highly recommend the latter. Télépathie is a strong album by a remarkably talented group of musicians. Hopefully with the success of this EP we’ll see a full-length album from them sometime soon. 7/10