• Emily Sabourin aka DJ Shadowplay

The Vaulted Skies First Effort with Label Soars to New Heights

I came across the music of Brit band The Vaulted Skies by complete accident as I was doing the usual mindless scroll through social media. And what a happy accident it was! You could say it was *ahem* fate (pun intended) that led me to discover this band. They became one of the biggest influences on the musical direction I decided on for my radio show I host at my university’s student radio station (89.1 WIDR FM at Western Michigan University), and later on, I even got to interview lead singer James Scott on my show. The gratitude that I have for this band is immense, and so I only felt it was right to return the favor by writing this review of their EP of last year No Fate? (Alya Records). This band deserves all the recognition they can get, and the fact that they aren’t bigger than they are is astounding. It has been a long road leading up to this EP. The St. Albans, Hertfordshire-based band started years ago under the name Sunflies, later on changing it to Rorschach’s Journal, and finally The Vaulted Skies, after several line-up changes and new management. No Fate? is a worthy culmination of those years of persistence and dedication. It not only represents the incredible talent of the band, but also their genre-defying, powerful sound.

The album kicks off with the energetic “Does Anyone Else Feel (Strange)” , the synth-kick drums burrowing themselves right into your soul, as an echoing guitar line menacingly grows stronger. The five-minute romper slowly builds as the song goes-on, adding further and more complex layers of instrumentation and fusing together elements of post-punk and electronica. The pulsating up-tempo beat remains unwavering throughout. In fact, the entire rhythm section on this release, made up of session drummer Bom and bassist John Melia, is solid as a rock. It is clear that the two have an understanding of each other’s musical strengths and have a dynamic musical relationship that lends itself to the band’s high energy.

No time is left for contemplation, as one track goes immediately into the next, “It Starts With You”, which is a testament to the band’s genre-bending sound. The opening notes feature thumping drums and a funky Hammond-organ riff, which then descend into a hard-hitting guitar. Here, there is more of a rock edge than the previous dance-oriented track and the guitar skills of both Scott and co-lead guitarist Ben Singleton