Corona Skies - Fragments of RealityHaving read plenty of trash masquerading as philosophy and heard plenty of nonsensical music both within and without metal, I figured I was desensitized to weird stuff. Hell, the world seems almost desensitized to weirdness; Jacques Lacan, one of the biggest dolts to ever pretend to think about stuff and write it down, posited that an erection was equal to the square root of -1 and more than zero people took him seriously. With the hyper-dissonance of Portal effectively mainstreamed, Diablo Swing Orchestra along with Troldhaugen getting rave reviews for their zany yet fun music, and Obscura being a genre touchstone now, what’s weird? To my ears, Finland’s Corona Skies are. They’re weird to me in the only way that can be surprising anymore: enthusiastically doing something I just can’t wrap my head around.

In descriptions, what Corona Skies is doing doesn’t sound all that odd. To my ears, this is a combination of The Devin Townsend Project, Insomnium sans growling, and Andrew WK run through a filter of pop-metal a la Amaranthe with some Sworn to a Great Divide and onward Soilwork thrown into the mix. There’s also a big, cheesy power metal influence, the one that animates acts from Pyramaze to Theocracy. I could swear that I hear a bit of Bon Jovi in here as well, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Where it gets weird is the execution, because I have no idea what’s actually going on here and what Fragments of Reality is trying to achieve. This is strange because it doesn’t sound all that out of the ordinary in the sense of, say, iwrestledabearonce. It’s a more low-key style of odd.

The best track on Fragments of Reality is “The Sea of My Mediocrity,” a cheesy quasi-ballad that sounds like Insomnium up and decided to be Whitesnake playing Euro-power metal. It’s insanely cheesy, but Oskari Salovaara’s vocals, which sound a good bit like Einar’s from Leprous with less range, manage to work like a charm and add to the song. The midsection approaches being gorgeous, and the solo is fantastic. The annoyingly catchy “Big Boy’s Blues” has a distinctive pop-punk vibe, channeling  Green Day in a way that reminds me of how carefree eighth grade was when “Holiday” was a big deal. I don’t want to like it, but I can’t help myself; the intended nostalgia trip works. “Delirium Disco” sounds like Soilwork if they tapped Amaranthe’s keyboardist for production and input, and again, I can’t help but be a bit charmed by how carefree and catchy the whole affair is.

Corona Skies 2016What I described liking above cannot possibly carry a whole record, and, lo and behold, it doesn’t. The downright bizarre “The Social Network” sounds like Nevermore playing mediocre party rock while a soundtrack to a Mega Man knockoff blares in the background. The midsection, featuring an impromptu rant against “parrot pictures” and “toilet duck-face pictures,” is good but doesn’t save the song. “Summer Bum” sounds like Sonic Adventure 2: Battle as played by Andrew WK who also decided to cover “Boys of Summer” at the same time. While not offensively bad, it’s certainly a head-scratcher that doesn’t have a big impact otherwise. “Business Suits You” has a nifty Iron Maiden style riff that it revolves around, but the rest of the song sounds like bland Euro-power metal and a softer, cheesier Children of Bodom save a few good moments that sound like throwaways. “Falling Sky” comes so close to being a quality power ballad but falls maddeningly short, largely thanks to it not ending when it sounds like it should have but continuing on with an extended outro instead.

Corona Skies opt for a pristine production here, and it suits them well. It’s not exactly great, but their music would sound odd should it be produced differently. Cymbals are pushed a bit too far back for my liking thanks to the compression, and the bass is wont to lose itself like it’s enjoying mom’s spaghetti, but it’s tolerable. So is the music overall, but it’s not much more than that. This isn’t your go-to party metal like Alestorm or your go-to catchy stuff like Pyramaze. It’s odd and different in a somewhat subtle way, an experiment that left me neither enthused nor repulsed. I would say it’s worth checking out, but I’m positive a lot of metalheads will loathe Fragments of Reality. I’m glad I gave it a fair shake because there’s some okay stuff here. It just won’t be shakin’ very often in the future.


Rating: 2.0/5.0
DR: 4 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Mighty Music
Websites: coronaskies.com | facebook.com/coronaskies
Releases Worldwide: November 18th, 2016

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  • GardensTale

    After Devin Townsend Project’s Addicted I fervently believed there was a place for poppy dance metal. I still do, but after this, I’m not sure any other artists should attempt it. The fun is addictive but it’s a bit too Electric Six on speed and prozac for me.

    • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

      It’s like Rock Band 3; sure, you can play it on your own, but it’s a bit weird. With friends and beers, it becomes a whole lot better.

  • Not one joke about skies full of piss beer or whether this would go better with lime. I’m disappointed.

  • Eldritch Elitist

    The singer in the video looks like he got lost on his way to a Mudvayne video shoot. All those crazy, wide-eyed expressions!

    • Morrowind542

      I just thought he was trying to signal the mothership

  • AlphaBetaFoxface
    • Grymm

      I came here to say exactly this.

      This is, like, “blow-up doll” level creepiness right there.

      • Thatguy

        He beat me to it too.

    • Gaëtan Baratin

      I tried to click the play button on your screenshot. Twice. I’m ashamed.

      • AlphaBetaFoxface

        Don’t worry, I did too

  • Disco ain’t dead!!!

  • ArtifeX

    By the amount of big names you mentioned I thought I would find at least a 3.0 at the end of the review, especially because despite yourself, you seemed to like the catchiness of some tunes.

  • madhare

    I am soooo going to quote your awesome Lacan comment in an academic paper or at least a lecture presentation one day. :D

  • Oscar Albretsen

    I’d say Alestorm is more of my go to torture metal…

  • For a brief while, this didn’t sound utterly schizophrenic. Than it ceased not doing so.
    “…weird to me in the only way that can be surprising anymore: enthusiastically doing something I just can’t wrap my head around.” -Well played!

  • Tyr

    UUGH, like latter day Samael mixed with Dream Theater mixed with crap.

  • METAL OTTER

    Corona Skies is an awesome party metal band name, second only to maybe Corona Brewskies

    http://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8fab83b5ba7ac8f55315d5946ccd6bac953121f5b3e70b7e6e40d678bc7bf6a4.jpg

  • Mark Z

    Awesome review. Sounds like something to avoid. Also love that subtle Eminem reference ;)

  • I mean…this COULD work, if they’re going for Devin Townsend’s Addicted meets Mindless Self Indulgence meets Static-X…but the production is all wrong, the video is all wrong, the singer’s presence is all wrong. I wonder if it’s a case of a producer/label’s inability to package them properly…

    • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

      I don’t think it’s the label, and that’s what I can’t quite grasp about this whole thing. They’re not being “ironic” or whatever mediocre bands do today to get attention, they’re going all-in on…whatever this is. It’s not exactly unappealing, but it’s certainly not mandatory either.

      • Going all in is fine, but they could at least look like they’re having fun, you know?

  • herrschobel

    thats what happens when those northern boys to the MDMA shuffle…puhhhh….funny for a minute or two and then it becomes just ridiculous; just like Jacques Lacan…damn ! how did you managed to sneek that guy into a review ?

  • Innit Bartender

    These guys are alright. The video proves to be a breath of fresh air against the usual, unispired ton of menacing, lunatic, I-hate-everyone metal imagery. At least they look healthy! Anyway you’re right, it’s nothing to write home about.

    • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

      Yeah, I agree. Growling over what are practically non-riffs about entropy or half-baked Nietzschean ideas straight from Wikipedia or SparkNotes gets extremely tiring to hear. Not just uninspired but uninspiring, because the metal market is absolutely flooded with it.

      • Innit Bartender

        Not to get too political or anything, but do you think we will witness the rise of Trump-metal in the coming years? Or perhaps a Reaction-metal against? Just wondering… If I look back at the genres that were born under Regan… but well, I definitely am stretching it out here…

        • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

          Absolutely. What we’ll see, and already have seen (Brujeria, for example), is a turn back to the idea that dissent is the highest form of patriotism that was largely absent for the last 8 years because the majority of the big bands in the scene liked the last President so The Man was cool then. Now it’s cool to hate “The Establishment” again, while ironically repeating the same talking points the actual Establishment used about the President-elect for the last year. Expect a ton of thinly-veiled virtue signalling, violent hyperbole, and then an obligatory and disingenuous call for “respecting everyone’s opinions” after a frenzy of attacks on Trump, his supporters, and even his reluctant voters. We’re going to get garbage, because it will be agenda-driven hogwash aimed at throwing red meat to the “we hate Trump but can’t articulate why” crowd, which will alienate a lot of people. MetalSucks has effectively made themselves into Anti-Trump Pravda now by their own admission, so now railing against him is a way to reach a bunch of eyes and create the illusion that the metal scene as a whole is completely against Trump. It will also elevate mediocre drivel to a higher position than it deserves because it serves the “right” agenda. Going to be an interesting 4, and in all likelihood 8, years.

          • GrandmasterB

            “we hate Trump but can’t articulate why” — I beg to differ on this observation. One need not delve deep to articulate disdain for Trump; quoting or paraphrasing the man’s own words or those of his cohorts is quite sufficient. On the other hand, defending Trump without implying alignment with the ideas which engender disdain for him, is a true feat of verbal acrobatics.

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            Have you seen the clips of his protesters being interviewed? That’s the crowd they’re appealing to. That’s MetalSucks. Basically the dumbest, most inarticulate university students.

          • GrandmasterB

            To be honest, I have not…I just assumed that it doesn’t take much to articulate the reasons why someone would be protesting Trump, but if these people can’t even express themselves to that extent, I wonder how they got accepted into a university.

  • Not Bad

    2/3 into the review I was pretty sure I’d hate this considering the sugary pop metal name-dropping but I’m kind of glad that I gave them a chance.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    I was just listening t the embedded track while reading the review and couldn’t really understand what was going on. Then I look at the video and saw thw size of those keyboards and everything made sense! The synthetic, excuses me, synth sounds overpower and overwhelm the guitars.
    This is not really bad, but it’s not really good either. Maybe it’s just not my cup of tea.

  • Jarski

    I love this band. I see them live at record release gig. Very good sound. Something different and fun.