Skills – Different Worlds (2022)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 42:26 minutes | 525 MB | Genre: Hard Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Frontiers Records s.r.l.
Skills is an apropos handle for this new band. The band presents some considerable talent from the worlds of hard rock, heavy metal, AOR, and genres where all three are blurred. Skills features Renan Zonta (Electric Mob), guitarist Brad Gillis (Night Ranger), bassist Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, The Winery Dogs, Sons Of Apollo), and drummer David Huff (Giant). Take a closer look and you’ll see that Brazilian singer Renan Zonta is the youngster of the bunch. Songs are provided by Zonta, along with Alessandro Del Vecchio, Martin Jepsen Andersen, Pete Alpenborg, among others. Different Worlds is their debut album for the Frontiers Music Label.
Musically, Skills is hybrid between those aforementioned genres: melodic hard rock with some metal edge but enveloped in AOR accessibility. After several listens, it was difficult to determine what elements rose to the top. There’s no quibble about the talent here. The skills of these musicians may overshadow the songwriting. Yet, bringing together great talent to perform well is often a function of good songwriting. In a similar analogy, ask any actor and they will tell you that a good script (dialogue in particular) brings out the best in the actor, even if the plot sucks and movie bombs.
So then, a listener might juggle musical skills with songwriting ability. For the latter, Brad Gillis’s guitar work is quite remarkable and notable within Blame It On The Night, Different Worlds, and the acoustic play within Show Me The Way (not the Frampton tune). Sheehan’s bass work is also well-established, with strong emphasis within Escape Machine, Hearts Of Stone, or Writings On The Wall. For the first time, I’ve come to appreciate Zonta’s vocal approach. In other contexts, like Brother To Brother, he was way too much over-the-top screamo at times. Within this album, you hear his versatility especially within Show Me The Way or Don’t Break My Heart. Those previously mentioned songs are also my best picks across this album. But, I would also add Need To Fall which bumps of the AOR arena-like groove.
Most things considered, with the depth of the musical talent involved, Skills and their debut album, Different Words is strong and entertaining album of metal assertive melodic hard rock seasoned with AOR sensibility.
1-1. Skills – Escape Machine (03:26)
1-2. Skills – Blame It on the Night (03:05)
1-3. Skills – Different Worlds (04:12)
1-4. Skills – Losing the Track (03:58)
1-5. Skills – Writings on the Wall (03:28)
1-6. Skills – Show Me the Way (04:27)
1-7. Skills – Just When I Needed You (03:55)
1-8. Skills – Need to Fall (03:16)
1-9. Skills – Stop the World (04:09)
1-10. Skills – Hearts of Stone (03:52)
1-11. Skills – Don’t Break My Heart (04:31)
Renan Zonta – Vocals
Brad Gillis – Guitars
Billy Sheehan – Bass
David Huff – Drums
Alessandro Del Vecchio – Keyboards, Backing Vocals