Anmeldt av Matt Coe(AFM Records, 2012)
The fourth full length studio album from Poland’s Crystal Viper explores more of their epic old school metal influences, using a lyrical concept theme of historical facts mixing with a fictional storyline relating to witches, black magic and the holy inquisition. Songs like “It’s Your Omen” and “Witch’s Mark” have galloping riffs, high pitch note holding vocally and this 80’s traditional appeal, intertwining the European musicality with this American spirit and take no prisoners toughness. The 6:59 title cut features a series of riffs and higher range chorus work very culturally-oriented to the classic Running Wild sound, with Marta Gabriel’s true as steel delivery symbiotic to Leather Leone of Chastain.
One can picture synchronized head banging or axe wielding movements from the stage as Crystal Viper as a band isn’t afraid to allow the bass a chance to gain the limelight when necessary, where the harmonies can be slow, mystical and evil instead of merely speed exercises- and they also add in cool guest appearances from David Bower of Hell to Piotr Wiwczarek of Vader to make the album that much more unique. Favorites currently include the slower, militant marching “Medicus Animarum” which reminds me of early Virgin Steele and their powerful cover of the early Vader song “Tyrani Piekiel”, paying homage to the beginning days of original Polish metal.
It’s not easy in today’s Cubase, Pro Tools, trigger and sample driven world to produce a metal album and make the human element come across effectively in 2012- but producer Bart Gabriel succeeds with “Crimen Excepta” admirably and fully. Crystal Viper play with dynamics, but never feel like succumbing to pandering their hooks to a lowest common denominator. As a result, this album should be mandatory for those who savor the first two Mercyful Fate records, anything in the J.D. Kimball/ Omen years, and others who just miss leather and chains oriented heavy metal.
24.05.2013: ETERNAL OATH - Ghostlands
24.05.2013: MEAN STREAK - Trial By Fire
23.05.2013: CARDIANT - Verge
23.05.2013: MASADA - Suffer Mental Decay
22.05.2013: OPEN GRAVE - Fear
22.05.2013: LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE - Antiadore
21.05.2013: DEATH DEALER - War Master
21.05.2013: MACTÄTUS - Blot - Reissue
20.05.2013: CIRCLE OF SILENCE - The Rise of Resistance
20.05.2013: DARK MOOR - Ars Musica
19.05.2013: INQUESTED - Vulture Valley EP
19.05.2013: ZOM - Multiversal Holocaust
18.05.2013: CLAYMORDS - Scum of the Earth
18.05.2013: FREEDOM CALL - Ages of Light – 1998-2013
17.05.2013: ANCIIENTS - Heart Of Oak
17.05.2013: STARKILL - Fires Of Life
16.05.2013: ANGELS OF BABYLON - Thundergod
16.05.2013: IVANHOE - Systematrix
15.05.2013: G.O.R.E. - Stand up sexy Ladies, the Boogie band is here!
15.05.2013: INTEGRITY - Death after Death - rerelease