Monday, 24 April 2017

SKULL PARADE – Skullparade (CD)

Swedish hard rockers Skull Parade (featuring former Treasure Land bassist Magnus Lind) released their debut in 2014, a pretty good debut indeed. The follow-up opens with a kick ass quirky hard rocker entitled Nightmare, which makes me think of both Dizzy Mizz Lizzy and TNT in their “Transistor” era. Nice melodies and cool guitar playing. Drained continues in the quirky vein with some really cool and odd chord changes. If you’re into bands like Galactic Cowboys and Matches For Maggie (sure, you wouldn’t know about them, would you?), these first two tracks should be right up your alley! Beyond Protection almost draws a bit on thrash or US power metal. Not a huge fan of the vocals in this one. The oddly entitled Lost Ball In High Weeds starts out with acoustic guitar and vocals, but soon turns into some strange doom type song with a touch of Metallica in the verse, while the chorus is almost a bit grungy. Interesting. Fair Weather Friend throws the ball in a totally different direction, fast but still quite proggy and with singer Erik Anell not trying to smooth things out. He’s a good singer, but he sometimes gets a bit too rough around the edges for my taste. Acid Rain starts out as an acoustic ballad and turns into a slick poppy thing, quite different from the previous songs. Train To Nowhere takes us back to the quirky, funny hard rock that started the album, and it’s definitely where the band catches my main attention. Awaken The Masses is another tracks that’s a bit hard to define. Great, quirky guitar playing, cool riffing, but the vocals is the letdown for me, I’m afraid. This 9-tracker finishes with Ballad Of Cloaks, a theatrical, doomy, semi-ballad. Actually not bad at all! Except for the f***ing saxophones… So, my general impression: a bit scattered, but it still comes together in a way, some great songs and some that didn’t attract me that much, great musicians, cool guitar solos, but the vocals are the weak link for me. Works great in some songs, but feels a bit too raw and untamed in others. Well worth checking out!
Janne Stark
Year: 2017
Country: Sweden

Label: Rexius Records

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