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Crystal Palace: Scattered Shards

German neo progressive rock band Crystal Palace have been stalwarts in the German prog scene since the early ‘90s amassing eight studio albums including their latest titled Scattered Shards. I first became familiar with the band upon hearing their 2013 release The System Of Events followed by Dawn Of Eternity in 2016. Both albums are highly impressive and with Scattered Shards that sentiment remains. This is an excellent album. For those wondering what this music sounds like I would say bands like Pendragon and Pallas would be solid reference points.

There is a stream of melancholia running this release although the music never feels depressing, overbearing or weighty. The melodies are warm and inviting which can also be attributed to the pleasant lead vocals of Yenz (Jens Uwe Strutz). He does have a slight accent but I didn’t find this to be a problem has he has a good handle on the English language. His delivery style is pretty low key preferring a rather subtle approach avoiding the histrionics that sometimes plague the genre. Another plus is the use of song dynamics. Acoustic guitar and piano are contrasted with intense guitar crunch and livelier synth and keyboard sounds. Electronic elements are also used adding a certain freshness to the overall sound. It all adds up to an excellent listen and should be on the wish list of anyone into melodic/neo progressive rock.

Among the many highlights are the heavy and light contrast of “Inside Your Dreams”, the soaring guitar in the moody and dramatic title track and the Pendragon-like guitar exploits in the catchy “The Logic Of Fear”.

Another great release from the good folks at Progressive Promotion Records.

The band is:

Nils Conrad (electric and acoustic guitars)
Frank Køhler (keyboards, backing vocals, sound programming)
Yenz (electric bass, vocals, bass pedals)
Tom Ronney (drums, additional keyboards)

Guest musicians:
Tobias Walter (clarinet on “Inside The Box”)
Guido Galler (additional voice on “Collateral”)
Ralf Jaschob (additional voice on “The Logic Of Fear”)

Track Listing:
1. Inside The Box (5:27)
2. Scattered Shards (7:24)
3. Inside Your Dreams (6:56)
4. The Logic Of Fear (6:49)
5. Craving (5:23)
6. Collateral (6:25)
7. Simply Irresistible Cruel Intentions (8:03)
8. Outside The Box (4:03)

Added: December 2nd 2018
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 1053
Language: english

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