Alternative rock quartet And The Sky Darkened find themselves in an interesting spot on sophomore EP Between Ghosts. With a sound that seems open to interpretation - there's still no clear signal for exactly which direction the four piece will be heading from here, it's an unpredictability that's as exciting as it is dangerous if mismanaged. Even with that said though, there's a sweet charm to this record that serves a more than adequate musical place holder for now.
You'll feel the influence of Trivium's heavy metal technicality all over both the title track and 'Turn These Eyes Blind', with the latter blending pinching guitar lines with Staind-esque emphatic choruses. The dark undertones that And The Sky Darkened bring with them are often offset by Ollie Hansen's astute chord progressions. Even when the Welshmen succomb to cliche's like vocalist/guitarist Ryan Lewis' occasional over pronunciation, there's a classic fervour to Hansen's riffs that you can't help but lap up.
Opening track 'Burden Hardest To Bear' is where And The Sky Darkened leave their sound at a sonic crossroads though. With its pacing taking nods at both early 2010's Bullet For My Valentine, and modern day Four Year Strong - it's a fascinating effort to dissect. Funnily enough, it's where the band sound best though - vocalist Ryan Lewis is firmly at home controlling a rhythmic fluctuation between upbeat and down trodden, and there's an intriguing level of flexibility at play here. Perhaps this is just a capture of a moment in time, but you just get the sense there could be something here if the band go all in.
Between Ghosts is an EP that gives more questions than answers - and right now, that works for And The Sky Darkened. The bands reluctance to commit to one specific venture in sound undeniably keeps more doors open than shut, and as the quartet continue to find their place in alternative rock - if they play their cards right, this could be the first step towards ascension.