Ireland’s Shardborne has released a seven song instrumental opus, titled Living Bridges. Formed in 2010, Shardborne released Aeonian Sequence, its four song debut EP, in 2011. Living Bridges is an odd, instrumental hybrid of progressive rock fusion, djent, atmospheric extreme metal, and regular thrash metal.
Like listening to a great riff tape, you hear chops for days, with no concrete destination. The ‘bridge’ seems an enjoyable, but hazy crossing into oblivion. Complex songs are long, interesting, and indulgent. Similar to some jazz and fusion compositions, there are very few repeating themes and very few typical rock hooks. Songs possess multiple ‘heads’, or motives, instead.
Engineering, production, and mastering sound contemporary, with good instrument balance and snappy crispness to the mix. The band is making a splash by including top shelf engineering, production, and artwork with their release. Production, mixing, and mastering duties were handled by Between The Buried and Me‘s producer, Jamie King. Artwork by Duncan Storr, who also illustrates for Skyclad, completes the package.
Music is overall fluid, limber, and moving, with many emotions espoused, ranging from mellow relaxation, through intense anger, poignant joy, and pensive cognition. The most interesting facet lies with the percussion, with the band being provided a remarkable variety of tempo and meter changes. This allows additional sonic depths for exploration. Guitar, bass, and keyboards all layer nicely, nimbly weaving over, under, and through the percussion lines. Song sequencing seems logical, with the more mellow tunes in the middle, or bridge, portion of the disc.
At times, it’s quirky, whimsical music, rarely staying in place long enough for a listener to absorb. Well thought out, nicely composed, and supremely practiced, this disc is one to pick up, if you’re an instrumental metal, djent, or prog fan, and appreciate listening to a fiery show of technique.
Not That Axis
Moving Magnetic North
Mind The Gap
Looking Down At The Sky From Above
Room Within A Room
Ciaran Culhane – Guitar
Eoin Culhane – Guitar
Cormac O’Farrell – Bass guitar
Ben Wanders – Drums