Skansis is a relatively new band from Switzerland, the home of Gotthard, Krokus, Felony, and, of course, Celtic Frost. This is good company to keep. Formed in 2000 under the name 'Shine,' they released two demo CDs in four years. Then, in 2005, they changed their name to Skansis. This year they released their first full-length studio album on the Escape Music label. Skansis produces some encouraging, and often brilliant, melodic rock with clever hooks in the arrangements and guitar work. What's more impressive is the raw, yet smooth vocals of Reto Reist. He delivers with a consistency and passion equal to his main influence, Jeff Scott Soto. And the rest of the band have equal enthusiasm and professionalism. Together they have produced a fine melodic rock album. It is worthy of your attention.
Skansis begins their work with the satisfying 'Is That Enough.' It gives you a preview of what is to come: melodic hard rock with enough twist and turns in melody and arrangement to wonder what is next. This crew can rock hard with power and speed on a song like 'Dangermind.' Yet the also have some moving AOR qualities like the simple melody and singable chorus found on 'All I Care.' Other quality songs include the dramatic and lyrically strong, 'Justice,' 'Take Your Chance,' which has a short but clever guitar solo, and the pleasingly unusual 'Lay Hands On Me' with its quirky, almost funky, guitar start and bridge. In the end, the whole work is driven by a solid melodic foundation and skilled musicianship.
My only disappointment was the production which seemed a bit muddled. But this is easily overlooked because of the fine songs, consistent arrangements, and sure skills of the players. As a debut work, this is a great start for Skansis. Some my find their work derivative, but I think Skansis is really on to something here. They are developing their own style. There is much promise for the future. I would encourage you to check them out today!
- Craig Hartranft
As a debut work, this is a great start for Skansis. Some my find their work derivative, but I think Skansis is really on to something here. They are developing their own style. There is much promise for the future. I would encourage you to check them out today!