Released: 2009, Pivotal Rockordings
Reviewer: Alan Gilkeson
After a five year hiatus Skyfire return with a bang, hammering out melodic Death Metal. Now featuring two new members, Joakim Karlson and Andromeda guitarist extraoidinaire johan Reinholdz, they've stepped it up a bit, building great songs that are both atmospheric and powerful, especially now that they have the guitar talent that was lacking on previous records.
With a new confident line-up, Skyfire have their finest disc. Like most Melodic Death Metal there's a lot of keyboards, adding to the already euphonious atmosphere. But most impressive is the tremendous amount of ambrosial riffs, both crunchy and melodious. Also, the solos are straight up mean, especially on tunes like 'Linger In Doubt' and 'Darkness Descending'. There's just the right mixture of brutality and melody to please both the Power Metal fan and extreme music fan. The vocals are all dirty (except for a bonus cut taken from a 1998 demo) and fit well, though brutal they also come across as melodic and tight, kudos to Joakim karlson.
Produced by Scar Symmetry guitarist Jonas Kjellgren (a guy that knows a bit about this style of Melodic Death Metal), ESOTERIC is a complex design of songwriting and production. A pleasant surprise, though the trend of Melodic Death Metal seems to have died down a bit, Skyfire manage to operate at a level that transcends the sub-genre, and given the opportunity and if the stars align correctly, should shoot them to the top of the metal heap.