The long awaited Skell CD was released this year and there will be very few fans who can’t agree that it is worth the wait! This is an amazing compilation of the current members; Mike Palone (guitar), Mike Ekis (bass), Wally Wright (vocals) and using tracks recorded by late drummer, Kieth Kweder. As Skell is still searching for the right drummer for their band it seemed only right that they use Keith’s already recorded tracks in tribute to him. Not by chance the release happened at KwederFest, a yearly benefit event that has been going since Keith’s untimely death.
Skell is a well known Hard Rock/Metal band from the Pittsburgh area that has been going strong for ten years, and “Everything’s Fine” is a CD that will prove just why they are so popular. The production quality is amazing and the band made special effort to thank Rob Deaner (Contagious Music) as well as Sean McDonald (Red Medicine Recording) for their talent. The five track release Contains:
Track #1 – Deaf Ears
Track #2 – Loose Myself
Track #3 – Everything’s Fine?
Track #4 – Menschheit
Track #5 – Everything’s Fine? (Radio Edit)
On a personal note, when I popped this into my CD player at the beginning of a long ride I didn’t expect to let it play for almost an hour but I was caught up in it from the first notes. While all genres have their own sound Skell keeps their originality in the front from start to finish. Their influences of Sabbath, Slipknot, Slayer, and some added influence of Deep Purple can be found as trace elements in the songs but their own sound retains it’s identity. There is obviously a ton of talent in this band and the production quality brings it to you in a way that makes you feel like they are in front of you on stage. I was so excited by what I heard that I hoped from the first play through that I would get to do this review.
What you’ll find from the very beginning are drum beats that make something in you move, that top body nod you get at concerts because the feeling has hit you and you have no choice but to give in to it. The wonderfully rough edged vocals grab you and rather than bleeding into the music they force you to listen and catch every word. The laughter in “Deaf Ears” is perfectly maniacal and growling at the same time. An accent to the music and song that fits perfectly. From “Loose Myself,” I can almost promise you will be screaming “If I lost myself, do you think you could find me” right along with it. These two songs are hard hitting and energetic with real meaning behind the words. The title track “Everything’s Fine” slows things down a bit. Certainly not a ballad but filled with moments, such as the guitar solo, where you close your eyes and let it all flow through you. While retaining the hard rock feel it brings you to a place inside that’s almost soothing at times. It never gets too slow and “Menschheit” brings you immediately to a fever pitch that continues through the song before setting you back into the radio edit of the title track.
In all, this is a wonderful CD and shows the amazing talent of this band. Crisp clean sound with everything hard rock and metal are supposed to be but carving it’s own path with it’s originality and feel. By the release of this review Skell’s “Everything’s Fine” will be available to the public online at iTines, Amazon, Best Buy, Target as well as streaming on Pandora, Spotify, Deezer and even more to come. There’s also the option of seeing one of their shows, which you can find listed on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/skellmetal and purchase one directly from the band. That may be the best option because if this is what Skell sounds like in a studio, I can only imagine what it would be to see them live!
Jana Lee Macheca - Lady Jaye - Is the founder of First Angel Media as well as a photographer and writer for not only her own company, but Chimera Magazine out of New York. Passionate about music and driven to help the local scene she works to connect those within it, as well as working behind the scenes on various projects. You can find her photo collection at www.firstangel.smugmug.com