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Santa Cruz - Katharsis Award winner

Santa Cruz
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 31 October 2019, 9:00 AM

I don’t like to write about personal experiences of mine on my reviews, but this one deserves it: for a long time, I always heard/read praising words about the Finnish quartet SANTA CRUZ’s musical work, but I never heard anything of the band before. But as long as I was chosen to write the review for their latest release, “Katharsis”, I was introduced to their work in the best way possible. It’s a strong and vigorous Hard Rock/Glam Metal, heavy and really charming. But on this album, the band is using a modern and really aggressive sonority than before (because their music was going into such way since “Santa Cruz”), and fits on their melodic work. The charming choruses, the accessible melodies and all the elements that make their work widely known are presented on each song, but always with an abrasive and heavy outfit. And fans from Sunset Strip days and modern Hard Rock fans will love it, because “Katharsis” is really excellent!

The album was produced, engineered, mixed and mastered by the hands of the famous producer Kane Churko (who previously worked with names as OZZY OSBOURNE and FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH), and this abrasive modern sound quality is really amazing, because the band’s music gained weight, but without losing its usual elements. And everything sounds loud, clean and heavy in the due proportions. It’s a perfect work, indeed, and fits on what the songs demanded.

“Katharsis” is an excellent album that can satisfy Greeks and Trojans at the same time. But on the 11 songs of the album, there are some that deserve special praising words: the hooking hymn “Changing of Seasons” (very good melodies, great vocals and backing vocals), the slow smashing tempos of “Bang Bang (My Worst Enemy)” (a modern and abrasive groove appears in some points), the perfect mix between the past and the present shown on “Into the War” (great work from bass guitar and drums), the excellent power ballad “I Want You to Mean It”, the nasty melodies of “True Believer” (in some moments, it can be depicted as the perfect blend between PANTERA and SKID ROW), the accessible and catchy hit “Tell Me Why” (excellent vocals once more), and… Oh, come on, the album is really a fine piece of perfection in terms of Hard/Glam Metal, so hear it from the beginning to its end, and you won’t regret the experience.

After hearing “Katharsis”, this writer heard the other albums, so what’s left to say: in the hands of bands as SANTA CRUZ, the existence of Hard/Glam Metal is guaranteed. Hear it and take you own conclusions.

Originality: 10
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Changing of Seasons
2. Bang Bang (My Worst Enemy)
3. Into the War
4. I Want You to Mean It
5. True Believer
6. Tell Me Why
7. Testify
8. Smoke Signals
9. It Was You
10. Salvation
11. Time After Time 
Archie Cruz - Vocals, Guitars
Pav Cruz - Lead Guitars
Ero Cruz - Bass
Toxy Cruz - Drums 
Record Label: M-Theory Audio


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