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Haunted Saloon
February 2013
Released: 2012, Indie
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: JP

With a name like Skymir you would not be blamed for assuming the band might play some sort of Folk/Black Metal. Especially with the upside-down crosses and Thors hammer worked into the band name/logo, being an obvious visual clue. But the cover art has some sort of alien/robot? dudes near a cabin in the woods ala Evil Dead Parts I and II, so you might think it’s Death Metal. The song titles are all about comedy and South-Western blues-based Hard Rock. For example, ‘Haunted Saloon’, ‘Outlaw’, ‘Farmageddon’, Stampede Night Terror’, ‘Black Metal Cowboys’ and my fave, ‘Squirrel Meat’ are a far cry from lyrics about the haunted arctic northern shores. It’s obvious these guys are fucked up (in a good way) and I haven’t even opened the CD booklet yet, let alone heard a single note of music!

Perhaps you can judge CD by it’s cover because Calgary’s Skymir play a weird eclectic blend of Thrash/Death/Black Folk with western based comedy lyrics. I gues the song ‘Black Metal Cowboys’ kinda sums it up. This independent production is the debut for the band and the 10 tracks run 45 minutes. The packaging needed work; it’s a slim-line digi-pak with no booklet or lyrics. Lyrics would have been a big help to translate the humour. This young band has lots of energy and enthusiasm. The production is tough on the ears, it’s an odd mix where the instruments don’t quite sit right in the mix where they usually are. The band also show their inexperience as musicians as at times they are not in sync, at times the bass and drums are each doing their own thing. The solos need work as well sometimes the playing is just sloppy and out of time. However we can’t judge too harshly, not everyone starts as Yngwie Jr. on the guitar. The vocals are rough and raw but also clear enough to hear most of the lyrics.

Despite some obvious sonic shortcomings, Skymir has three major bonuses going for them; originality, personality and charisma. The energy and fun of the songs thrash along with the weird Blackened thrash mix and HAUNTED SALOON is an extremely promising start for this young act.
Track Listing

1. When the Clock Strikes Noon
2. Haunted Saloon
3. Black Hour
4. Drink Away
5. Stampede Night Terror
6. Black Metal Cowboys
7. Squirrel Meat
8. Outlaw
9. Hymn of the Horsemen
10. Farmageddon


Brenden Hull Vocals
Colin Ryley Guitar
Josh Bell-Surette Bass
Ben Boykiw Keyboards
Connor Erhart Drums

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» Haunted Saloon
by JP

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