Skeptical Minds – Omega Thanatos (FYB Records)

  Van Muylem    24 oktober 2015

Last year I reviewed their great live album and saw than on stage during one of the best festivals of that year (The Metal Female Voices Festival and yes: the live recording came from the previous edition of this same festival). They surprised me in the most positive way! Their live shows are real performances filled with energy and the best drive you can get!

Until so far I always noticed that they sounded better on stage than on a studio recording, but with their newest one it all changes! I’m impressed, for the first time they really sound as they should! I don’t know yet what made the change, but that might be one of my questions (if I have time to assemble them).

Now, back to the album that starts with the angelic Balcony Dreams which starts just from the point of view of the title with a harp, angelic voice and a dreamy sound until the guitars wake up. Vocal wise Karolina sounds a bit like one of the best female singers I know (Anneke Van Giersbergen): soft, sweet, filled with passion, strong, angelic, melodic … nice words are not enough: feel it and hear it for yourself! The music is a great mix of symphonic metal, Gothic Rock and a lick of industrial. Lyrically it’s a not so happy song, so mind the words, despite the positive feel! Alone and Fears present us a great mix between hard and soft: aggressive voice and ditto guitars mixed with that angelic feel and sweet sounds. This one is for sure one of the highlights of the album. Guitars and drums blend in perfectly, just the more industrial influenced parts! Those 2 tracks will pretty fast become beloved live tracks! With The Sign we get more industrial and gothic Rock influences. I adore the guitars on this one, just as the switch on the vocal mood (from hard to soft and sweet). Again I get the feeling that this one will get great feedback on stage! Horror Show starts with a weeping cello and metal minded guitars versus industrial noises that tear us apart, into madness and into a horror show! Words and drive are perfectly matching the story and drag you deeper into it! The title track Thanatos tells us more about the dark feel that covers this album and might be a great theatrical opening track for gigs! Musically speaking it can be described as dark Neofolk. Last Friends is a very dark track filled with sad feelings, an angelic voice and an electronic feel shred by heavy guitars and drums that are hammering until you are fully awake. It’s a special mix of all kind of influences and drives. You can describe the track as a false ballad or a soft metal/industrial/electro ballad. More sad feelings come with Emptiness. The start is pretty soft; with an acoustic part until it all explodes and gets a faster and more energetic drive. Once again my fantasy starts to work on the live feel and the positive feedback.  I love the melancholic sound! The piano/cello/bass part is my favorite passage. Deca-Dance is an instrumental once that carries a mysterious sound, very atypical for this band, it’s a nice catchy interlude that can even be played during parties (just try it out). Escape has a high tempo and a fueled industrial/metal drive. I feel this song like old school Skeptical Minds mixed with a more symphonic sound and an extra layer of bitter sweetness. It’s very clear that during this one the band will enjoy them whilst playing as they all get their own important part. This one will for sure rock your socks off! Time flies and we are already listening to the last one Hopeless Hope: a very dark ballad which leaves you uncertain about the end of the story. I’m wondering what the words in the end mean.

A very important matter is the artwork by Alain Poncelet and the comic book, as both will from now on be more and more be integrated into the shows and the music, just as some songs had to be reworked until they actually fitted into this new project! And honestly: I loved the comic book! I can’t wait to see them back on stage and perform as a new band, going further down the chosen path!

For this one evolution takes a gigantic leap forward! There is no better album but this one for my friends from Skeptical Minds! Hope to see you soon on stage! Keep on rocking!