Review: Ring of Gyges – Beyond the Night Sky

Ring of Gyges

With the amount of records being released in the present era, ranging from the bedroom to high-class studio productions, it is quite a challenge to satisfy my hunger for music lately. Most of this has to do with the fact that the music being released today lacks sincerity. Maybe I am stuck badly to the old-school understanding of rock music, but even though I try so hard, it happens quite a lot that I cannot understand and enjoy the modern music. The sound of 1970s is my comfort zone.

Ring of Gyges from Reykyavik, Iceland could be described as a true progressive rock/metal band with touches of metal here and there, offering well-thought melodies, interesting vocal arrangements, and passages that connect the dots that are quite enjoyable. Helgi Jónsson and Guðjón Sveinsson, who are the key persons for this band, both handle vocals and guitars on the the band’s debut album, and they absolutely shine here. Although their voices tell the story, both do a great work with their guitars — backing up the vocal melodies most of times.

Beyond the Night Sky

The album opens with a short atmospheric piece “Ascend,” which shows that Beyond the Night Sky has a lot to offer. With often changes, Ring of Gyges distance themselves from delivering just a pure, lifeless showcase of technical proficiency, something that these guys definitely have, but rather present the work that is alive, dynamic and above all, interesting.

References to various stylistically different artists can be heard in Ring of Gyges’ music. Their explorations within Anathema’s or Porcupine Tree’s melancholia speak of that, but the band is not afraid to delve deeper and expand their horizons. As Beyond the Night Sky flows by, a listener is taken to a sound-trip that gets more metal-esque. Each of the songs on the album has its own personality, and labelling this record under a single genre would do this band a lot of injustice.

To summarise, Beyond the Night the Sky is a record largely based on the progressive rock genre channelling many different elements. This is a true epic, both in length and amount of quality material, which requires quite a few listens to get into it. How far Ring of Gyges are ready to go? Time will tell. But for now they are on the right path.

Get a copy of Beyond the Night Sky from this location.


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