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Felskinn: Mind Over Matter
Felskinn - Mind Over Matter CD Album Review

Felskinn: Mind Over Matter

Heavy Metal
3.0/5.0

Formed some 13 years ago by vocalist Andy Portmann (Krokus, Ain't Dead Yet, Felskinn has had a sparse existence. Two albums landed early in 2006 and 2007, only to have the band dissolve the following year. Then Portmann reinvented himself with a new band Download, and 2014's Eleven Stages. Curiously, excepting the drummer, Download features the same members in the 2018 resurrection of Felskinn: Cyril Montavon and Hef Hafliger (Maxxwell) on guitars, Beat Schaub (Live/Wire) on bass. With Krokus' Flavio Mezzodi on drums, Portmann drops the third Felskinn album, Mind Over Matter.

Felskinn Band Photo

Felskinn

Having never heard of Portmann or Felskinn, I really had no idea what to expect from the band and album. Suffice to say at the start, my conclusion is somewhere between ambivalence and disappointment. Against press release information, Felskinn doesn't play hard rock, but rather heavy metal with a latent rock groove underneath. The Felskinn sound is mostly defined by the twin guitar riffage which is brisk and sharp to the point of being almost harsh and caustic. These guitar lines eventully seemed unrelenting and redundant, and so I found myself simply fast forwarding through songs. The thick and thumping bottom end of the rhythm section merely intensified the harsh heaviness. Portmann's voice is heard above rage and thunder of this combination, but only because the album was mixed and mastered by veteran producer Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Primal Fear).

If there is anything that saves Mind Over Matter from being a total disaster, it's two things. One is the impressive guitar solos that light up most every song. The other is those songs where the rock groove tempers the caustic riffage, such as Superhero, Rain Will Fall, or The Night Before The Dawn. To be fair, Felskinn can lighten things up. Our Favourite Game is something of a metal ballad or anthem. Wake Up On Mars, another anthem has a lighter electric guitar line through the first half. And the single most interesting song is possibly Break New Ground, where Felskinn drops in some symphonic synths over a big beat. In the end, one spin to listen and another (choppy) spin to write a review about Mind Over Matter was enough for me. I'll take a pass on Felskinn and Mind Over Matter. But enjoy the videos below, you may feel differently.




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The Bottom Line

In the end, one spin to listen and another (choppy) spin to write a review about Mind Over Matter was enough for me. I'll take a pass on Felskinn and Mind Over Matter. But enjoy the videos below, you may feel differently.

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