Album Reviews

Ian Blurton’s Future Now: ‘Second Skin’ Album Review

There’s a reason Second Skin by Ian Blurton’s Future Now was recently picked for one of Monster Riff’s recent Saturday Music Suggestions alongside bands like Nebula and My Sleeping Karma.

Second Skin is electrifying. 

Propelled by frenetic guitars, layered vocals, and a high-octane rhythm section, this album is perfect for fans of Green Lung’s stunning guitar solos, Iron Maiden’s powerful bass lines, and Baroness’s intricate songwriting. 

About Ian Blurton’s Future Now

Ian Blurton is a powerhouse Canadian musician and producer with a background that spans across Country, Alternative Rock, Indie Rock, and Psychedelic Rock. 

As a solo artist and lead songwriter, Ian Blurton has turned to the heavier side of Hard Rock, picking up elements of Metal and Sludge for dramatic original tracks perfect for headbanging. 

On Second Skin, the credits go to:

  • Ian Blurton: guitar/vocals
  • Glenn Milchem: drums/vocals
  • Anna Ruddick: bass/vocals
  • Aaron Goldstein: guitar

Additional support was provided by Sean Beresford (guitar on “Too High The Sky”) and Robin Hatch (piano on “Trails to the Gate/Second Skin Reprise”). 

Second Skin Album Review

Release Date: July 15, 2022
Tracks: 9
Length: 44:22
Record Labels: Pajama Party (Canada), Seeing Red Records (US, World)

Track 1 – Like A Ghost

As the opener, “Like A Ghost” features everything that makes Second Skin so intoxicating: high-energy, Green Lung-style dual guitars, a persistent Iron Maiden bass line, and distinctive, piercing vocals. And because “Like A Ghost” runs only a little over three minutes, it follows the traditional Rock song format—and becomes a quick standout track on the album. 

Track Two – Second Skin

There’s so much to say about the title track on this album. With its bombastic lead guitar and delightful Prog Metal tendencies, “Second Skin” would be as appropriate on a video game soundtrack as it would on an album from The Sword. Overall, “Second Skin” is unpredictable, so enjoy the ride!

Track Three – The Power of No

After the complexity of “Second Skin,” “The Power of No” is a much simpler song, relying heavily on bends and harmonics as well as a steady drum beat to create a taut sonic landscape. 

Track Four – When the Storm Comes Home

“When the Storm Comes Home” features an interesting dichotomy, shifting between pummeling bass tones with soaring leads and longer sections with jangling guitars. This is the shortest song on the album, but there’s plenty going on. Pay close attention!

Track 5 – Orchestrated Illusions

Dramatic and theatrical, “Orchestrated Illusions” moves quickly, relying on a pulsing rhythm section to rip through the verses and drive from chorus to chorus.

Track 6 – Denim on Denim

Like “Second Skin,” “Denim On Denim” would have made an excellent action-packed video game soundtrack (especially its introduction). For as Prog and catchy as the first half is, the bridge and conclusion add an extra layer of Psychedelic elements for an intricate breakdown.

Track 7 – Beyond Beholds the Moon

While the intro to “Beyond Holds the Moon” could have been plucked from an old Baroness or Valkyrie track, the verse sounds more like Dream Theater than anything else. “Beyond Beholds the Moon” isn’t the best song on the record, but it is one of the most compelling and unpredictable.

Track 8 – Too High The Sky

Although we’ve already heard acoustic guitar on this record (like the end of “Orchestrated Illusions”), “Too High They Sky” marks the first time on the album that we hear the acoustic guitar open a song, and it’s backed dramatically by a piercing electric lead. 

But whatever sort of romantic notions are captured by the acoustic guitar are eventually replaced by heavier intentions; “Too High The Sky” evolves into one of the most impressive Rock songs on the entire album.

Track 9 – Trails to the Gate/Second Skin Reprise

Interestingly, the isolated layered vocal tracks at the beginning of this song may temporarily call to mind classics like “Carry On My Wayward Son”—but that connection disappears as the drums and palm-muted riffs roll in. Simultaneously the heaviest and more melodic tracks on the record, “Trails to the Gate” generates plenty of Metal attitude, but the morose keys and guitars in the “Second Skin Reprise” create a slower, depressing atmosphere for the album’s final conclusion, finishing on a line that summarizes the album: It’s just a second skin!

Final Thoughts On Second Skin

Final Score: 9.5/10

Standout Tracks: “Like A Ghost,” “Second Skin,” and “The Power of No”

Pros: At its highest peaks (and there are numerous standout moments on this record), Second Skin makes a strong case for Album of the Year—even if it only hit No. 8 on the July 2022 Doom Charts. It’ll certainly make Monster Riff’s Best Of 2022 in December (check out our list of top albums and EPs of 2021!), and I’m confident it’ll pop up in other places as well.

But let’s unpack what makes Second Skin such a solid listen.

Each track on Second Skin is carefully crafted and arranged, with multiple guitars and vocals delivering memorable melodies and exciting leads—much like Green Lung, Iron Maiden, and other standout Metal acts. This is one album you don’t want to miss!

Cons: Second Skin is at its very best when Ian Blurton and Co. are moving at breakneck speeds, but there are tracks (like “Orchestrated Illusions” and “Beyond Beholds the Moon”) where the band slows down, mixing in tiny bits of Sludge and giving the tracks room to breathe. This disrupts some of the album’s catchier moments and quick pacing, interfering with an otherwise cohesive experience. 

Learn More About Ian Blurton’s Future Now

To learn more about Ian Blurton’s Future Now, visit the band’s Bandcamp page or follow them on social media (Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter). 

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: