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Crimson Glory: Astronomica- Deluxe Edition (remaster)

The masks had gone away with the album Strange And Beautiful and the sun had risen on their former singer Midnight, who decided to leave the group just after its release. They would replace him with Wade Black - a powerful vocalist in his own right, who would bring an excellent level of intensity to the group at the same time. Drummer Dana Burnell was also gone and in his place was Steve "Doctor Killdrums" Wacholz (who many know from Savatage). Despite these changes Crimson Glory was able to remain a supremely powerful Melodic Metal force albeit a more refined and determined one. No gimmicks and costumes just incredible levels of Metal and musical expression. From the original lineup only Jackson, Drenning and Lords remained and they would surely not let the band fall by the wayside with mere membership changes. With Astromonica the band would show that they were far more than image and instead proficient players. Black's growling voice and intense presence raised the level of aggression in the band and provided them with a little more edge than they had in the past. Songs like "War Of The Worlds" and "Lucifer's Hammer" would present their fans with a Crimson Glory that was back and determined to take no prisoners. With Black at the helm and the former Savatage skin basher, I felt that CG became more of a Metal band than they were with their earlier releases. Transcendence was heavy, but more early Prog-Metal and still remains my favorite since this was the type of Metal that I was very big on when it was initially released but aside from this album Astronomica is a worthy component to any fans music collection. The remaster includes a bonus CD of rarities (live & demo) with expanded liner notes. The live tracks are from 1989 and capture the original lineup early in their career. If you are someone who found the group appealing when they burst on to the scene then this is something you should seek out for at the time the genre of Melodic Power Metal was still new and boundless. With reunion material pending, this is a great jumping on point for those who only heard about their legend from others who lived through those early years.

CD2: War Of The Worlds (remake), Astronomica (demo version), Touch Of The Sun (demo version), Dragon Lady (live), Eternal World (live), Painted Skies (live), Queen Of The Masquerade (live), Lost Reflection (live).

Track Listing
1. March To Glory
2. War Of The Worlds
3. New World Machine
4. Astronomica
5. Edge Of Forever
6. Touch The Sun
7. Lucifer's Hammer
8. Other Side Of Midnight
9. Cyber-Christ
10. Cydonia

Added: January 30th 2007
Reviewer: Ken Pierce
Related Link: Crimson Glory Website
Hits: 3654
Language: english

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Crimson Glory: Astronomica- Deluxe Edition (remaster)
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-01-30 17:58:15
My Score:

Astronomica has always taken a pretty harsh beating from long time Crimson Glory fans. In 1999, the band had already been out of action for a few years after the release of the solid but commercially dissapointing Strange and Beautiful, and decided to give it another go, but it would be without singer Midnight and drummer Dana Burnell. In their place would come vocalist Wade Black (Seven Witches) and drummer Steve Walcholz, who many know through his longtime contributions to metal legends Savatage. The sound here on Astronomica is a complete about-face from what fans heard on Strange and Beautiful, as Crimson Glory were back to producing epic progressive metal. Black's vocals are drastically different from Midnight's, which was probably where the problem started with the fans disinterest in the album. Comparing Black to Rob Halford or Tim "Ripper" Owens is not too far off, as he spends most of his time here screaming at the top of his lungs, and pretty well I might add. "New World Machine" is a perfect example of this, with Black's high pitched wails leading the charnge over massive riffs from Ben Jackson and Jon Drenning, Walcholz's pounding drum work, and the intricate bass lines of Jeff Lords. Elsewhere, there's some ethnic & proggy bits on the crushing title track, grinding guitar chords on "War of the Worlds", intricate acoustic & electric arrangements on "Touch the Sun", groovy wah-wah licks, rumbling bass, and histrionic vocals on "Lucifer's Hammer", and a somewhat industrial metal edge on 'Cyber Christ", where the band sounds like a cross between Fear Factory, Judas Priest, and Alice in Chains. The band changes pace a bit on the soaring & melodic "Cydonia", one of the strongest tracks here and ironically the least heavy. Featuring Black's best vocals on the album, keyboards, and a Queensryche vibe, this one ends this solid CD on a high note.

The bonus CD on this Metal Mind remaster contains plenty of extras, like demo tracks as well as some live cuts from 1989 of the original band, which are great to hear. The end result is a very solid album from a different but still formidable Crimson Glory, and an album that should not be overlooked by prog-metal fans.

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