It was quite an ordeal getting this album. It really wasn’t worth it.
Patrik Skantze is one of those self-taught guitar virtuosos that crops up in Prog Rock every now and then with a lot of fanfare and aplomb for an album or two before disappearing. They’re not gone, it’s just that nobody cares any more. His debut album, released in 1998, was the forebodingly titled “Music For My Ego’s Sake,” an entirely instrumental album. Eight years later and Skantze’s singing as well, though pianist/flutist Eva Björkner often takes a dominant role in that department. Skantze’s also playing bass and piano, because he’s that kind of musician.
But how’s the music? Lite. Though this is a Prog Rock release, Skantze clearly has his eye set on mainstream adult acceptance. It’s tempting to label this album Easy Listening, which should send the Metalheads running. When the word “muzak” pops into your mind when listening to an album, something is seriously wrong. There are the occasional rocking bits clearly paying homage to LED ZEPPLIN or Neil Young, but there’s more material descended from ABBA and CROSBY, STILLS, AND NASH. There’s a market for this music, I concede. It’s not me and it’s not "The Metal Observer".
(Online January 5, 2007)