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Flight of Fire - Shatter the Sky

Flight of Fire – CD Review
Shatter the Sky


Flight O fFire



CD Info
12 Tracks
English Lyrics

The band, Flight of Fire, following their first album, Ascended from Ashes (2011), released their sophomore album, Shatter the Sky, in August 2013. The album is interesting in that it takes the listener on a journey that is both interesting and pleasant. With a mixture of soft rock, blues, some Irish influence, ballads, and a little classic rock, this band invites one to go on that journey with them. The musicianship of the group is well established and the fact that they are trained musicians comes out in the album. Even though there are only two years between the release of the two albums, Shatter the Sky, shows the band maturing. The vocals, besides showing great expression and emotion, give the listener a feel at times of being at a poetry reading. The instruments show more variety and expression that comes from maturity. Make no mistake, at times, the sound is raw, but the rough edges have been smoothed.

The beginning of Flight of Fire is quite interesting. This is information is also available on the band’s website with more detail for those interested. I will give a shorter overview. The band started with two young ladies from Detroit, twins actually, Tia and Tanya Dmuchowski, who traveled east to Berklee School of Music in Boston in 2009. They had been playing the guitar and bass guitar from age 13 and studied the techniques of various classical rock great guitarists. Shortly thereafter, in the subway, they would meet the future vocalist, Dorian Maverick, known as Maverick, who added her strong voice and songwriting skills. Another friend of “the twins,” Sheik, added his talents on the drums. After playing gigs around Boston and Detroit, the group recorded Ascended from Ashes at Sheik’s home studio on Martha’s Vineyard. After releasing their first music video, playing additional gigs, the next step became their second album, Shatter the Sky. Shortly thereafter, Shaina Mikee Keiths, a drummer co-sponsored by Zildjian, joined, making it an all-female band. They have completed a tour promoting the album.

To quote the band in their promo material, “The members of Flight of Fire feel passionate about influencing the music industry away from music that demeans women and other persecuted groups and towards honest, inspiring music that encourages integrity and acceptance.” I can appreciate this view because music should be inspiring on some level. I believe that this album will play well for women, especially younger women, as it addresses a serious issue that is quite prevalent today. That issue is the deprecation of women in relationships, or the idea of how one can realize that a relationship is not good, but at the same time, feeling powerless to change it. The group strongly supports the empowerment of women and that issue does need addressed considering the climate on some college campuses today.

In addition the band shows a lot of energy in their music, especially in the twelve tracks on this album. This is also apparent in their live performances and YouTube videos. It does not hurt that they are all multi-instrumentalist. Tia, in addition to the bass, also plays the bass clarinet and sings backup vocals. Tanya, besides being talented on the guitar, plays a mean flute and also backup vocals. Maverick, lead vocals, plays keys, fiddle, and backup guitar. Shaina brings experience on the drums and backup vocals. As seen, this group is multi-talented in addition to their music education at Berklee School of Music.

“Out of Silence,” a song with clear multiple parts to it, is the first track. After a nice, short drum intro, we have a traditional rock guitar opening. In comes a short spoken part and then the singing begins. It is obvious that this song is about a man’s hold over a woman, and her expressing her helplessness. Maverick shows a range of emotions in her voice. This includes anger, disgust, and questioning. Underneath the voice expressing the anger and the disgust we have the driving rock drums, bass and power chords. Midway through there is a nice guitar solo that is not overpowering but complements the expression of the vocal part. The song ends with a spoken, “gone.” The chorus says it all concerning this song:

Fire! Fire! Fueling rage
Sadness, heartbreak from those days
It took so long for me to see
That you were tainting me
Criticism never ceased
Terrorism haunting me
It took so long for me to see
That you were ruining me

A nice bluesy song, “Diary of a Broken Heart,” gives us another side of Maverick’s vocal skills, and in addition, a unique orchestration. Starting with a mournful blues riff on the guitar, a walking bass plays under Maverick’s emotional voice. Intermixed with this is a countermelody played by the bass clarinet and keeping it all together is the steady drum beat. Midway through, Maverick vocals lead the band through a myriad of chord changes with her soulful voice, which then leads to a bluish rock guitar solo. This progresses to an arpeggiated guitar chord pattern under the vocal part. The song ends with a melody-countermelody between Maverick and Tanya. The chorus gives us the sense of the song’s emotional content:

No, I’m not okay; I’m begging you to stay
Why did you go? You walked out the door
How can we move on when this feels so wrong?
All I want is you to hold me like you used to do
But for now I’ll bleed my thoughts into this diary of a broken heart

“Always” is a folk ballad and the instrumental parts treat this song as such, with acoustic guitar opening the song. Even when the drums and other instruments enter, they are very subdued allowing the vocal part to be prominent. The guitar plays a rock like rhythm, it is still soft. Midway through the song, there is a very lovely duet. Then song lets loose, with a guitar solo and bass accompaniment, before settling back in to the acoustic setting. The unique feature of this song is the chorus that consists of “Ah” being sung in several different lyrical manners.

An Irish influence is very strong, with the addition of the fiddle part, which is prominent at the beginning of “I’m Lost Without You.” This song is best described as an Irish Ballad with the sorrowful melody played on the fiddle. While the voice is singing the melody, we are treated to a pizzicato countermelody played on the fiddle, all over the strumming guitar and light rhythm section. Most of the song becomes a melody, countermelody between the voice and fiddle. It continues to build to a climatic pause, and then the instruments and voice let the music flow and shine. The opening verse and chorus are worth mentioning and they are:

Do you remember the night my hand stole into yours?
It sticks in my memory like clay when the music won’t come to me.

The chorus:

I’m lost without you
I’m lost without my,
Lost without my
Lost without you

There are three other songs worth noting before I mention my favorite song. They are “Noah,” “Treating You Like He Deserved,” and “The Tapestry Suite.” I wanted to mention “Noah” because there is a very lovely countermelody played throughout the song on the flute by Tanya. It doesn’t overpower but complements Maverick’s voice. The piano is also a key instrument in this song. “Treating You Like He Deserved,” is song of both sorrow and hope. The vocalist tells a person about how they mistreated them because of how they were treated. The hope is that they realized it, and how they want to change. This comes out in the chorus:

Treating you like he deserved
Saying things to you that he should have heard
And a thousand times in a thousand slurs
I have punished you for his cruel words
But you are the light of a better life,
So I promise to be the girl that you deserve

While the song is a ballad, there is a very nice, almost lyrical duet, between the voice and the bass. In this song, the bass is treated as another voice, and it doesn’t disappoint. It is like a dance between them until the end when the guitar takes over. Overall, it is nice song with a message. What makes “The Tapestry Suite” interesting is that it completely instrumental. Here they create a tapestry of all the songs, weaving the melodies in and out while using many instruments, especially the ones that they don’t normally play. This allows the listener to re-live the songs from the album in a nicely, crafted way. The style also changes throughout the tapestry and it makes for a pleasant listening experience.

My favorite song on the album is “Against All Odds,” sort of a rock anthem. What causes me to like this song, among all the others, is that this song is a story of the band. When this song and album were made, Sheik was the drummer and so the first verse pertains to him. The next verse describes Maverick and the third verse deals with “the twins.” The final verse includes the whole band and the whole message is that they went “against all odds.” Starting out with heavy power guitar chords, the bass plays a high countermelody, with the drum underneath. At the end of each verse, there is a vocal chorus of “ahs.” The verse pertaining to Maverick has a distorted guitar part. After the chorus we are treated to a drum solo, a bass solo, and a guitar lead in and solo before the next verse. For “the twin’s” verse, we have the traditional rock beat under the vocals. At the end there is a countermelody played by the guitar. For the final verse, the rock beat continues but in spots, it becomes very choppy, almost staccato, before the melody is layered in the guitar and bass and slowly fading out. The verse pertaining to the group is:

We can’t change our past, but we can make history
We don’t know what’s next, but we can forge the future
Leave what once was, Live what is now,
If there is a dream worth fighting for,
Take the risk and fight
Against all odds

Shatter the Sky is a pretty good rock album and for those looking to add to their library, this album is a good choice. This second album, by Flight of Fire, has a diversity of music genres and displays the maturity of band members, both songwriting and performance. Not only is there the typical rock sound, but it includes some Blues, Folk, and ballads. The music promotes the band’s beliefs concerning the empowerment of women over the degradation of women that is so prevalent in the music industry. This is good in that hopefully it will help and inspire the younger generation. The fact that they all are graduates of the Berklee School of Music in Boston is apparent and they are very proficient playing their instruments and music. They completed a successful tour promoting this album and it will be interesting to see what their future will entail. I am looking forward to seeing their future as they go “Against all Odds.” For additional information on the band, please check out the following links:


8.5 / 10