CD review SANTA CRUZ ‘Katharsis’

(7/10) Finnish rockers Santa Cruz went through some rough months. After having released three pretty good longplayers things clashed on the 2018 US tour when the guys were on the road with Fozzy. Massive internal problems led to nearly all members stopping with Santa Cruz and it was singer Kuosmanen being the only one remaining.

Kuosmanen, also known as Archie Cruz, put some effort into continuing with Santa Cruz, which demanded a total restart. The frontman moved to Las Vegas and began a collaboration with Kane Churko. New songs have been written and were recorded, also together with the new lead guitarist Pav Cruz. Next station was Hollywood where the guys recruited with Ero Cruz and Toxy Cruz a rhythm section for the band that then went for rehearsals for upcoming live shows.

The album, that resulted out of the earlier mentioned cooperation is entitled ‘Katharsis’ and it certainly stands for a musical shift. Was it a dirty Hard Rock sound, reminding of bands like Skid Row, that made the first three longplayers to exciting ones, the new longplayer reflects a modernization of Santa Cruz sounds. Keyboards and samples became part of their music, which is generally spoken nothing bad. In this specific case though it doesn’t really help.

‘Katharsis’ is an album that doesn’t bring a lot of new to the table. Songs aren’t bad ones but it’s mainly music we’ve heard a lot of times. Santa Cruz went from a down-to-earth Hard Rock band towards a commercially oriented Rock band with modern songs like ’Tell Me Why’ and ‘Ture Believer’ being totally exchangeable with other bands. What manifests the move in the best way is the cover version of Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Time After Time’. Not that it’s a badly done interpretation, it just reflects a different direction of Santa Cruz.

The band stood at a crossroad in 2018 and founding member Archie Cruz decided to adjust direction with the effect that Santa Cruz became one out of many bands rather than the dirty Hard Rock powerhouse they have been in the past.

Rating: 7 out of 10.


  1. Changing of Season
  2. Bang Bang
  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 (Cyndi Lauper cover)

Label: M-Theory

Genre: Modern Hard Rock

Release Date EU: October 18th, 2019



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