Well it seems like yesterday that CRYSTAL VIPER amazed us with their debut album “The Curse of the Crystal Viper”. At that point of time (2007) the scene was struggling for a hot newcomer and Crystal Viper seemed to fill the position. Not only they were powered by powerful female voice of Marta Gabriel, they also had a bunch of strong and heavy compositions to share. Well CRYSTAL VIPER did manage to become a popular, commercial act, yet their following albums failed to capture the essence of their debut. At least to my ears.
Anyways, fast forward 12 years after the “Curse…” album, CRYSTAL VIPER, now a successful band releases their seventh album. And since I haven’t heard a note from them since “Crimen Excepta” I was quite curious of that would I expect.
Well it turns out that CRYSTAL VIPER didn’t alter their recipe of success, instead they made it a little bit formulaic. Which means that instead of classic heavy metal the clueless listener will come across a Heavy / Power album with direct links to the 90’s stuff. Indeed, it was quite a surprise to listen to songs like “Under ice”, “Still alive” or “Crystal Sphere” since it has been ages from the last time, I heard that style.
Strong melodies, catchy anthemic choruses, fast drums, some neoclassic stuff in the solos and a shitload of influences from early STRATOVARIUS, HELLOWWEN, ANGRA, RHAPSODY, FREEDOM CALL, GAMMA RAY, HEAVENLY etc.
There is an energetic flux throughout the album and a very positive vibe. The songs are more enjoyable than the bands recent past and the vocals are great. Marta is a pro, and this is obvious in the way she sings: she uses her voice in an excellent way and manages to transmit emotions in each song. The guitar work is great, not prolix but rather purposeful.
I would also add some extra points to the album thanks to this great cover on the classic “Dream Warriors” originally by DOKKEN. The band has brought it on their standards -mainly focusing on the classic Heavy Metal touch-, still managing to capture the original’s magic.
Well if you are in the mood to add some serious European Power Metal influences on the classic Heavy Metal vibe of your music, well this is a record for you. CRYSTAL VIPER are aware of your thirst. And they are basically offering you this actual musical combination. You will be satisfied as a fan while they are taking their overall sound a step forward as a band. Everyone is happy.