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Skanners - Temptation

by Sean McGirk at 18 June 2019, 6:08 AM

Italy’s SKANNERS has been at it for almost 40 years, playing traditional Heavy Metal with slight Power Metal influences.  Born of the ‘80’s music scene in Italy and signed to a major label, they were the chosen ones in a scene that birthed many lesser-celebrated, but no-less-worthy bands, like STRANA OFFICINA, VANADIUM, CRYING STEEL and GUNFIRE, among many others who struggled to break out. Despite a short time away during the grunge period of the ‘90’s, they never quit, releasing a steady stream of albums throughout the 2000’s and they’re currently out with a seventh full-length, “Temptation.”

The band contains two original members, vocalist Claudio Pisoni, and guitarist and backbone of the group, Fabio Tenca. These two ensure that the classic SKANNERS sound is alive on “Temptation,” an album that flirts with modern Germanic Power Metal tropes. Remarkably, Pisoni is as strong as ever, sounding very Ralf Scheepers-ish, especially on the double-bass driven “Lost In Paradise” and the almost-Doomy “Cut My Heart.” The album starts with “In Flammen 666,” a bit of a darker-than-usual turn for the group, but it’s effective, with a kind of Middle Eastern melodic chorus that connects. “Rays In The Darkness,” also revolves around a strong chorus with some layered backing vocals. “Rolling In The Fire,” is a formulaic, old school rocker with a dated attitude. “Demons of Tomorrow,” has a distinctly HELLOWEEN chorus, but the band still plays with a personality cultivated and honed over many years.

There’s eleven songs of pure melodic heaviness here, nothing too challenging, but all emotionally charged. “The Eye,” is one of my favorites, with a timely “Big Brother is watching you” message.  “The Letter” is a powerful tune with a nifty tiered guitar solo (Walter Unterhauser shares guitar duties with Tenca).  “Always Remember” is a heartfelt ballad written about a fallen roadie of the band. SKANNERS remains a fan favorite in their home country, as well as in Germany and Austria, where the locals appreciate a good melodic Power Metal assault. They never did make it in the States—and I don’t think that will change with this release–but the band certainly has nothing to feel bad about by continuing to put out strong material like this. With the seemingly ageless duo of Pisoni and Tenca at the helm, the future remains bright.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. In Flammen 666
2. Rays in the darkness
3. Rolling in the fire
4. Cut my heart
5. Demons of tomorrow
6. The Eye
7. Lost in Paradise
8. The Letter
9. Back to the past
10. Pray with my Angel
11. Always remember
Claudio Pisoni - Vocals
Fabio Tenca - Guitar
Walter Unterhauser - Guitar
Tomas Valentini - Bass
Davide Odorizzi - Drums
Record Label: Alpha Omega Management


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