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Faithful Breath - Skol CD (album) cover

SKOL

Faithful Breath

 

Symphonic Prog

1.75 | 12 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
2 stars 'Skol' - Faithful Breath (3/10)

Faithful Breath is a German band that put out a progressive rock record in the early 70's, and just as quickly, changed their sound into something else entirely. Fast forward a decade or so, and the band is barely recognizable from what they used to be. While its established that many surviving prog rock bands from the 70's changed their sound in order to keep up with the crowds in the 80's, most of those bands became pop outfits, whereas Faithful Breath went down the route of heavy metal. While this would tend to be a more personally promising prospect than hearing a prog band dumb down their sound to the four chord wonder, my first experience with the band's heavy metal material 'Gold n' Glory' indicated to me that there was not all too much to be excited about here. 'Skol' was released the year following 'Gold n' Glory', and right before they decided to change their name and start fresh as the speed metal act Risk. 'Skol' is a weak album from the proggers-turned- hard rockers, and virtually drowned in dated 80's hair appeal. While I still can't call Faithful Breath's material 'horrible', this is a clear step down from the comparatively fun 'Gold n' Glory'.

While I still was not a big fan of Faithful Breath on 'Gold n' Glory', I could enjoy it at least as fun, concise heavy metal; an obscure album that was all too lost in its era. 'Skol' changes their sound up a bit, but for the worse; the songs here sound like they have been taken down a notch in terms of speed and relative heaviness. Instead of a purely heavy metal album, this has now dipped beneath the threshold, into hard rock. The songs are more mid-tempo, there is less excess with the solos, and most things seem to have been toned down, if only a little bit. In any case, this is enough to make 'Skol' a weaker incarnation of Faithful Breath than its predecessor. The lyrics here are laughable, and the songwriting is extremely formulaic, relying mostly on the repetition of the usually gang-chanted choruses, wherein the band usually calls out the title of the song. Sound pretty familiar?

The band's performance here is not memorable, although its not bad at all, for what it is. However, the lacking sense of identity on 'Skol' does nothing for me, and Faithful Breath would remain a lacking Accept clone to the very end. Luckily, their music under the new name of Risk would be better.

Conor Fynes | 2/5 |

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