Top critical review
75 people found this helpful
on 14 August 2007
I only came across Biffy Clyro after Puzzle was released and I loved that album so much I decided to explore the preceding albums. Blackened Sky is the debut, released on a minor label back in 2002. Out of the three albums prior to Puzzle, this is the album that has most in common with Biffy's current effort. But that doesn't mean it shares the same sound entirely. It has some very tender songs on here that are certainly worth listening and Biffy should be credited for not sticking to the same tried and tested formula - the variety between songs and albums is pretty huge. I love the tender songs on here, the best being "Joy.Discovery.Invention" and "Christopher's River", which are both truly excellent tracks (the latter being especially beautiful). I also quite like "27" and "Justboy" which are both very good.
However, the early Biffy liked to unleash a barrage of screams onto the listener which I hate. A lot of old Biffy fans seem to like this sound and dislike Puzzle, whereas I fall into the opposite camp. So my advice to other customers who are buying into the Biffy back catalogue on the strength of Puzzle alone, don't expect the same sound or anything anywhere near as accessible as Puzzle. Blackened Sky is easily the best of the rest after Puzzle and is far more accessible than The Vertigo of Bliss and Infinity Land but I can't hide the fact that I simply don't like the fits of screaming on this and the other two albums before Puzzle. To be fair, it's not so noticable on this album but you will certainly notice it on the other two. And just so you know I come from a rock background and have listened to plenty of heavy music in the past - Metallica, Megadeth, Seether, NIN, Disturbed - so I know heavy but I draw the line at mindless screaming and messy guitars. It's a shame because Biffy are talented and the promise was most certainly there in some of the early work. This comment may not sit well with old Biffy fans but I hope the band stick to sound of Puzzle because it works so much better for them.
And I bet because of this, a lot of these people will unfairly click the unhelpful button. Well this isn't a review for old Biffy fans - I'm just trying to present some advice to newcomers of Biffy like myself. Blackened Sky is the best Biffy album to try after Puzzle but exercise caution with the other two until you know what to expect.