Progressive death metallers SKYFIRE formed in 1995 with a vision of combining epic atmospheric metal with complex song structures, yielding a sound that completely deviated from what the rest of the Swedish scene was doing at the time.
SKYFIRE’s debut album Timeless Departure was released by Hammerheart Records in March 2001 and was recorded at Abyss Studios with Tommy Tägtgren. Timeless Departure, a groundbreaking release that received critical acclaim, combined the tasteful use of keyboards to create a symphonic atmosphere with elements of melodic death, black, and power metal. SKYFIRE followed their debut with Mind Revolution, a slightly more progressive effort in 2003, utilizing Tommy Tägtgren once again as producer. Following a European tour with Ancient Rites, Blood Red Throne, and Thyrfing, SKYFIRE signed with Arise Records. The group's third album, Spectral, was released in May 2004 and was recorded at Studio Underground. Similar to their previous works, Spectral was received with extremely high regard amongst the metal media and the band’s devoted fan base due to its heavy and ominous sound. SKYFIRE embarked on a tour with the legendary Dark Moor, followed by an appearance at the Busan Rock Festival (Arch Enemy, Soilwork, Rage) in South Korea shortly before their departure from Arise Records.
After a brief hiatus and a series of member changes, SKYFIRE returned in 2007, signing a multi-album deal with Pivotal Rockordings. The band then regrouped to begin writing a new album, the end result being 2009’s Esoteric; a masterpiece that not only draws from SKYFIRE’s trademark sound, but also expands on it with orchestral and choir arrangements as well as even more progressive song structures and heavier riffs. However, in an effort to make sure all SKYFIRE material saw the light of day, Pivotal Rockordings first released the digital-only Fractal EP in 2009, which featured tracks written between 2004’s Spectral and 2009’s Esoteric and demonstrated the band’s growth as musicians and a group over those years. It was also the first new SKYFIRE material to feature lead guitarist Johan Reinholdz (Andromeda) and vocalist Joakim Karlsson (Mark:Black).
Being huge fans of the band, Pivotal Rockordings purchased the rights to the Timeless Departure and Mind Revolution albums for the sole purpose of re-releasing them in digital format for the first time ever. The releases are also expanded with the inclusion of the Haunted By Shadows EP tracks, a Japanese-only bonus track and the original 1998 Within Reach demo which has never seen the light of day aside from only one of its tracks which was a bonus track on the Esoteric album. SKYFIRE’s unique musical concoction resulted in legacy of over 10 years and still counting.
Timeless Departure Band Member Comments:
Tobias Björk: ”This album still means a lot to me. Back then music was all we cared about. Andreas, Jonas, Martin and I grew up together and Timeless Departure is the result of four good friend’s passion for metal music.”
Martin Hanner: “Im proud of our debut album. At that time most of our influences came from classical music and epic movie soundtracks. All the songs are packed with harmonies and I think we managed to do something pretty unique within the genre with that album.”
Mind Revolution Band Member Comments:
Henrik Wenngren: “For me personally MR is an important milestone in my Skyfire career. The lyrics I wrote for that album were very personal and they will always be there to remind me of who I was then and what I´ve been through. That album also resulted in a South Korean adventure which was just plain awesome and I will never forget the gigs we did there and especially the one at Busan Rock Festival.”
Martin Hanner: “Looking back at the Mind Revolution album I think some of the songs on that album might have needed some more work. But then again, we didn’t just want to do a “Timeless Departure 2”, we wanted to something a bit different. It is not my favorite Skyfire album but it definitely contains some of our best songs to date if you ask me. The title track along with Shapes of insanity and Blinded by Euphoria are some of my personal favorites.”