Crimson Glory: Transcendence (reissue)
I've never reviewed an album twice. But I'll make an exception for Crimson Glory who made a gigantic impression on me while serving the USAF in West Germany when this album dropped in 1988. I love Midnight. Midnight was the vocalist for Crimson Glory during this groundbreaking album which remains one of the top ten progressive metal albums ever released. Midnight in my opinion was the best progressive metal vocalist of all time. I know he received knocks about dramatic flair or strident intensity but it matched the extraordinary lyrical and musical accomplishments of an album that can be called a verifiable vision of art.
There are some commercial-oriented tracks "Painted Skies" and "Lonely" which were meant to showcase Midnight's melodic capabilities and maybe gain more of an audience with radio airplay. They are not my favorite songs but they stand the test of time thirty years later as examples of music you dare not listen with prejudice. This guy had a better voice than most of the pop idols during that time.
The depth of material on Transcendence is what makes it a unique piece of metal musical history. From beating up communists on "Red Sharks" to tackling Poe's paranoid fears of TB in "Masque of the Red Death" to the fantasy worlds of dragons in "Where Dragons Rule" to my favorite spooky track "In Dark Places" where I find the guitarist an incredibly mature player for this his sophomore album effort. Crimson Glory had a major impact on progressive metal for decades after they broke up. I can honestly say one out of four albums I review currently pay direct or indirect homage to their stylistic signature.
The title track "Transcendence" is an atmospheric whirlwind of falsetto and fine musical teamwork to create an ending to this album as fitting as a bagpipe at a hero's funeral. We lost Midnight some years ago but his final lyrics to this album still ring true today:
"In Death I found the answer/In Death I live again/fear not the Reaper's blade/
It does not mean the End/It does not mean the End."
- Lady of Winter 4:06
- Red Sharks 4:55
- Painted Skies 5:23
- Masque of the Red Death 4:19
- In Dark Places 7:10
- Where Dragons Rule 6:14
- Lonely 5:26
- Burning Bridges 6:40
- Eternal World 3:57
- Transcendence 4:39
Added: August 20th 2017
Reviewer: Mark Antony Rossi
Related Link: Metalville Records
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