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Crystal Viper: Possession

For the last ten years or so, Crystal Viper has managed to release a handful of recordings that some metal fans really love. Fronted by Marta Gabriel, this band plays traditional heavy metal with lots of heart, reminding many of us that the qualities we loved in NWOBHM bands still have legitimate power. The nice thing about Crystal Viper is that they aren't looking backwards, ignoring the developments in the music for the last 30 years. They just have a knack for that older style and they play it well.

This album, as the title suggests, is an extended concept or story about a young girl named Julia and her experiences with dark forces. I didn't follow the twists and turns of the story very carefully, but I'm told that things aren't always as they seem. The cover art gives some sense of the larger possession motif. Unfortunately, the image is nowhere near as striking as it should be. The girl looks like a doll, the angry villagers look lost, and the teddy bear on the bed looks a little too hungry. That's a toy I would never want in my room.

On the whole, the album only delivers strong material about half the time. I love traditional heavy metal, but I just didn't find the music here to be as convincing as it should have been. Marta Gabriel has a strong and clear voice and the band hits all the right grooves, but the overall package just isn't as strong or as compelling as it needs to be. Do stick around for the bonus track, though, a cover of RIOT's "Thundersteel."

Track Listing:
1. Zeta Reticuli
2. Voices in My Head
3. Julia is Possessed
4. Fight Evil with Evil
5. Mark of the Horned One
6. Why Can't You Listen?
7. You Will Die You Will Burn
8. We Are Many
9. Prophet of the End
10. Thundersteel (RIOT cover songóbonus track)

Added: February 8th 2014
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1733
Language: english

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