Felskinn – Enter The Light
ROAR! Rock Of Angels Records
Release Date: 25/02/22
Running Time: 50:08
Review by Simon Black
Felskinn is the brainchild of singer Andy Portmann and despite being around in one form or another since 2006, this is only album number four. To be fair their first two releases came fairly close together in the mid noughties, with over a ten year hiatus until 2018’s ‘Mind Over Matter’. Pandemic’s notwithstanding four years seems a manageable gap between releases, although this is their first rodeo for my ears.
This Swiss five piece are firmly in the Hard Rock / Melodic Metal category, with the sort of classic Euro sound that automatically makes one think they might be Swedish. Either way they’re in crowded waters and probably needed to be a little more distinctive to stand a chance of standing out amongst their many peers. It’s got a lavish production sound – not a bad job considering they did it themselves, but the challenge I have is that despite some nice sounds and playing and some creditable vocals from Portmann that the tracks themselves are often fairly generic and perhaps lacking some of the strong, catchy melodic hooks you need to stand out. That said, I’m enjoying their overall sound more than these words might imply and it feels like a case of being a bit shy of a few killer hooks and riffs to give the whole album a more impactful feel. I suppose if they had, I might be complaining that they were being too commercial…
It has its moments though, normally when it’s trying to be a bit more weighty with tracks like ‘The Saviour Was Born’ holding their own better than others by being both a bit more heavy, but also notably more anthemic, but when this one comes in after the half way point you can see many may have been turned off by that point. ‘Life Beyond The Line’ keeps that weight and once again feels the more catchy for being a bit more hook-laden and I’m left with the overall impression that this is two slightly different records that have been stitched together. The darker, heavier tracks in the second half work much better however and save this from being mediocre. Which is a shame as I like their overall sound and performances, I just feel that a bit more originality, gumption and mood would have gone a long way, although it’s absolutely worth starting at the half way point.
01. Darkness In Your Eyes
02. Send The Angels Down
03. Enter The Light
04. Your Life Is Mine
05. World Will End
07. The Saviour Was Born
08. Life Beyond The Line
09. Lonely Heart
10. The Final Reason
Andy Portmann – Vocals
Martin Rauber – Lead & Rhythm Guitars, Backing Vocals
Tom Graber – Rhythm & Lead Guitars, Backing Vocals
Beat Schaub – Bass, Backing Vocals
Ronnie Wolf – Drums, Backing Vocals
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