TOD HOWARTH Opposite Gods

SKILL IN VEINS is the brainchild of young italian guitarist Andrea Lanza “Andream”. He first got into music being a kid when he was flipping through the record collection of his brother.
There he discovered his passion for Hard Rock, with bands like Guns N’ Roses, Aerosmith, Skid Row, Megadeth and Metallica being among his favorites.
After gaining first experiences in Rock cover bands Andrea soon decided to go his own musical way and to start writing original songs for a new band.
At the beginning of 2009 “Andream” contacted worldwide known producer Alessandro Del Vecchio (Glenn Hughes, Ian Paice, Edge Of Forever, Eden’s Curse, Axe, Moonstone Project) with a bunch of songs to produce.

Through Alessandro’s contacts the right musicians were found quickly. Joining in first were drummer extraordinaire Francesco Jovino, a member of U.D.O. for several years, and his musical accomplice in Edge Of Forever and Moonstone Project, Nik Mazzucconi on bass. Considering the consummate quality of this musical venture, Gabriele Gozzi (Markonee, Killer Klown), one of Italy’s uprising vocalists, also didn’t hesitate to lend his vocal chords.

Lanza have studied hard the epitome of hard rock sounds in America from the late 80s and early 90s.
SKILL IN VEINS breathes new life to the vintage sounds of Skid Row, Badlands, Lynch Mob, Guns N’ Roses and why not, the polished Megadeth of the ‘Youthanasia’ era without the ‘thrashy’.

Andream definitely plays his part as the guitarist/leader of the band and is just as technically accomplished as the other members while his guitar leads move from abrasive hard blues licks to speed arpeggios and occasional shedding. His guitar tone is rough and ready, taking his cue from guys like George Lynch, Slash, Jake E Lee, Richie Kotzen, and alikes.
But the star of this recording are the vocals of the italian Gabriele Gozzi. This man seems born and raised in L.A. scene and that’s quite a surprise since you usually have to be an American to spit out such an accent.
His style is convincing, powerful, reaching sky notes only where needed while basically using a glossy palette to color each number’s needs. A mix of Sebastian Bach (SKID ROW), Mark Slaughter, Michael Sweet (STRYPER) and C. J. Snare (FIREHOUSE), Gabriele pushes the tracklist up one level.
In addition, Jovino’s drumming stand out, bringing to front a huge beat complemented by devastating tom sound in combination with Mazzucconi’s muscular bass.

Opening duo ‘Can’t Ride My Soul’ and ‘Skulls On The Way’ are hard rockers chock full of Les Paul riffing with pure adrenaline at its top.
‘Youth Times’ is probably the most Guns ‘N roses influenced song of the whole record. Gabriele shouts out his soul and heart in this rageous melody.
Lanza and Gozzi dabble in cowpoke rock/metal a la Aerosmith on the very commercial midtempo ‘I’m Living My Life’. On of the best tracks of the album.
Even more variety is given by the neck breaking rocker “Sick Mind”, a head banging track with a heavy and dark riff.
“You’re Doing It Again” is a heavy-funk melodic rocker featuring a monster bass line, very WINGER-ish with a big groove.

“Just One Drink” is a slow groove stomping blues rock CINDERELLA-influenced with a sleazy slide guitar work and harmonica. Cool.
The real power ballad of the record arrives with “Don’t Need You To Cry”, definitively a contender for the best melodic rock song of the year. A highlight.
The accelerator pedal is floored once more for the busy ‘The Way Out’ and the prowling groove of ‘We Don’t Cry’, sounding like a song off SKID ROW’s ‘Slave To The Grind’.
Musically “We Don’t Believe In Fables” is the most complex song of the entire record, with various sections and different atmospheres all long the track clocking more than 7 minutes.

The debut album from Italy’s SKILL IN VEINS surely worth your money and time.
My video-sample pick was “Don’t Need You To Cry” because this is one of the best melodic songs of the year, but SKILL IN VEINS is much, much more than that.
I’d never expect such a great release by a non-American band, – an unknown group that comes out of nowhere to be one of the year’s bests – with melting guitars direct to amp cranked to 10 and a phenomenal vocalist.
Robust production (although I’m not convinced by the cymbals sound), and an awesome mix, just listen with headphones “You’re Doing It Again” in example.
This band is setting a benchmark regarding its phenomenal sound and revitalising the Hard Rock subgenre that adds bluesy undertones to thundering guitar riffs and smashing melodies.
One of the debuts of the year without a doubt.

01 – Can’t Ride My Soul
02 – Skulls On The Way
03 – Youth Times
04 – I’m Living My Life
05 – Sick Mind
06 – You’re Doing It Again
07 – Just One Drink
08 – Don’t Need You To Cry
09 – The Way Out
10 – We Don’t Cry
11 – We Don’t Believe In Fables

Gabriele Gozzi: Vocals
Andrea “Andream” Lanza: Guitars
Nik Mazzucconi: Bass
Francesco Jovino: Drums
Special Guest:
Marco Simoncelli: Blues Harp on “Just One Drink”

Produced, engineered and mastered by Alessandro Del Vecchio


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