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Five Albums That Changed My Life: Keshav Dhar of Skyharbor

Siddhartha Menon

It’s tough to believe when you hear it, but just a few years back, Skyharbor started out as just another bedroom music project.

But guitarist, composer and producer Keshav Dhar’s dynamic inspired musicianship, dynamic arrangements and ultimately, gorgeous songwriting chops, have helped make him India’s hottest hard rock export. Eventually, the gifted guitarist brought in Nikhil Rufus on bass and American drummer Anup Sastry to flesh out a live lineup.

Skyharbor gained so much online buzz that the band’s first official live performance found them playing in front of over 1,000 people at the NH7 Festival in Pune, India in November of 2011. According to most reports, the group stood out as a highlight of the entire festival.

Later this month, Skyharbor will be releasing Blinding White Noise: Illusion & Chaos, its long-awaited debut album. Guests on the album include Marty Friedman (ex-Megadeth), Daniel Tompkins (ex-TesseracT), Vishal J. Singh (Amogh Symphony) and Sunneith Revankar (Bhayanak Maut). Trust us when we tell you that this album will be making many year-end lists come December. Listen to a killer track off the album called “Catharsis” below the cut.

Noisecreep reached out to Dhar and asked him to be the latest musician in our ‘Five Albums That Changed My Life’ series and wouldn’t you know it — he said yes!

Effloresce, Oceansize (2003)

Amazon

“I’m finding it very difficult to put my feelings about this album into words. Suffice to say that it has moved me to the very core of my being, and every time I play “Long Forgotten” or “Women Who Love Men Who Love Drugs,” I get an indescribable knot in my stomach and my brain shuts out everything else completely. One of my deepest regrets in life is that I never got to see this album played live, and now never will. It’s really the epitome of sheer melodic genius as far as I am concerned.”

Chaosphere, Meshuggah (1998)

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“After I heard this album, I couldn’t listen to another metal band for nearly a year. Any other heavy band sounded pitifully incompetent, weak and dated in comparison. Meshuggah have, probably without even knowing it, completely changed the face of metal forever. It is technical, yes, but so unrelentingly groovy and ferocious that I could never really hear the ‘technicality’; I just give myself over to those crushing, colossal grooves every time I spin this monster.”

Solace, Jakob (2006)

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“One of the biggest reasons I have always been so fascinated by the electric guitar, is the infinite range of textures, colors and soundscapes that it can paint on the sonic canvas. Nowhere is this quality more splendidly displayed than in this album, and yet it never goes into excesses – not a single note is held longer than it should be, and not a single section is repeated longer than it should be, and just by using a few simple effects, Jeff Boyle turns the guitar into a real sonic chameleon, creating a vast and swirling musical tempest of love and warmth. This album truly opened my eyes to the sheer range of sonic possibilities that can be realized on the guitar, and it’s another musical gem that I’ll cherish as long as I live.”

Terria, Devin Townsend (2001)

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“I had been recording my own music for kicks, for a while before I heard Terria. I don’t think I quite realized what it meant for music to have an ‘image’, till I heard this album. Suddenly music was not just sound anymore, it projected powerful and vivid 3-dimensional imagery that shifted and morphed with each new listen! And as with most of Devin’s music, there was just so much depth and visual depth to the music on this album that it took me at least 20-30 listens before I could really digest the content. I’ve often described Terria as a musical Inception, in that I can hear new hidden pieces of music inside the songs each time I listen to it, songs within songs so to speak! One of my all time favorites for sure.”

Temple of the Dog, Temple of the Dog (1991)

Amazon

“This is the only album to date, that moved me to tears the very first time I heard it, back when I was just 14-years-old. There is just something so compelling about good, honest music written straight from the heart – I don’t remember any other album making me ache to play guitar as much as this one except Effloresce, but I didn’t even play guitar when I first heard TOTD. An absolute masterpiece, well ahead of its time and written by true masters pouring all their heart and soul into each second of each song.”

Skyharbor’s Blinding White Noise: Illusion & Chaos will hit stores in North America on April 24 via Basick Records. Pre-order the album at this link.

Listen to “Catharsis” From Skyharbor

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