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Crystal Viper: The Cult

Poland’s Crystal Viper were one of the bands in the vanguard of a wave of newer acts that emerged in the 2000’s playing traditional heavy metal firmly inspired by the greats of the seventies and eighties. As founder and singer/ guitarist Marta Gabriel says in the promo blurb “Maiden, Priest, Black Sabbath, Mercyful Fate and Diamond Head " it’s where it’s all coming from, this is the core and roots of Crystal Viper, the classic heavy metal”. The band must be doing something right, as they have a growing fan base and this is their eighth album, this time taking lyrical themes from a writer who seems ever-popular in the metal genre, H.P. Lovecraft.

Following the almost obligatory atmospheric intro “Providence”, the title track gallops in to view, sporting some very Maiden-esque twin guitar harmonies. Gabriel’s vocals have a slightly gruff edge, and are authoritative if perhaps a little one dimensional. The album for me coasts a bit earlier on before picking up a little in the middle section; “Sleeping Giants” slows the pace and has a bit of folk metal influence in the chorus, whilst the edgy riffs in “Forgotten Land” are a bit more forceful than what has come before and has some effective gang vocals in the chorus. “Asenath Waithe” (named for one of Lovecraft’s few female lead characters) meanwhile has a very spirited and passionate delivery from Gabriel and some strong zig-zagging riffs and an epic feel. I’m less enthusiastic about “Flaring Madness”, which has a bit of a ‘yo-ho-ho’ pirate metal feel, but that’s probably down to me not really being a fan of that particular sub-genre.

Overall this is a good traditional metal album; the band exhibit strong musical chops throughout and their enthusiasm for the genre shines through, although to my mind they perhaps lack the originality and top drawer material to really stand out among their peers.

2.The Cult
3.Whispers From Beyond
4.Down In The Crypt
5.Sleeping Giants
6.Forgotten Lands
7.Asenath Waite
8.The Calling
9.Flaring Madness
10.Lost In The Dark

Added: February 7th 2021
Reviewer: Tom De Val
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 712
Language: english

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